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25 Free and Useful Windows Desktop Gadgets

25 Free and Useful Windows Desktop Gadgets
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Free Windows Desktop Gadgets

Even though Microsoft withdrew official support for Gadgets on Windows 7, they're still a great way to always have useful information at hand. You can keep tabs on CPU or hard drive performance, launch apps more quickly, do unit conversions, see the weather at a glance and more. Because Gadgets take up system resources, you'll want to be selective about what you download. So comb our list of the 25 best Windows Gadgets to find some options that will appeal to you.

Editors' Note: After Microsoft withdrew support for Gadgets, the Windows Gadget gallery was pulled, so it's difficult to find a neat clearing house to accredit Gadgets as safe. As a result, it's best to be cautious about where you get Gadgets from. Gadgets are as powerful as they are is because they have deep access to your system. Malicious code in a Gadget can truly wreak havoc.

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  • 2 Hide
    mcd023 , October 17, 2011 11:16 PM
    I really like Rainmeter, but the Clipboard manager looks promising.
  • 3 Hide
    ickarumba1 , October 18, 2011 3:01 AM
    The remote desktop gadget seems useful.
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 18, 2011 1:56 PM
    Huh, not so bad. Like the hardware monitoring gadgets; no real use but they look cool :) 
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , October 18, 2011 4:11 PM
    The only one I have ever found useful is the weather app built into Windows. I also love sticky notes, it is the best gadget that isn't really a gadget
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 19, 2011 12:17 PM
    I've been using the CPU/RAM meter, network meter for quite some time now. They go along with the RSS new feed, weather and dark calendar nicely.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 1, 2012 1:16 PM
    I am not able to download any desktop gadgets. But why ?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2012 10:24 AM
    @Md uzzal hosen Microsoft stopped the gadget Gallery a couple of months ago. They want to get gadget developers to start developing Windows 8 'Metro apps'.

    A gadget which I like a lot is CalendarMark. It is a calendar/agenda gadget which also works with Google Calendar. You can still get it on their website (http://calendarmark.com).
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , April 5, 2012 6:24 PM
    I used to use gadgets but found them more annoying than useful. They must have the worst development incentive because I have gone to the MS gadgets download web and it's always the same old tired gadgets and like 20 different calendar gadgets or 50 different CPU meters, nothing really interesting.
  • 0 Hide
    sliem , April 5, 2012 9:28 PM
    Useful to me: Clipboard manager, clock, remote desktop, cpu meter
    Probably useful to me: network meter, drive meter, drive activity
  • 0 Hide
    burnley14 , April 6, 2012 5:26 PM
    Man Rico, your poor computer. 427/465GB full and no restarts for 58 days?
  • 0 Hide
    ITsonic , April 10, 2012 2:15 AM
    I one gadget that’s really useful System Control 1.2 the lower left hand corner of the gadget there is a PC icon which is named timer, when you click that pulls out a menu which allows you to set when you can Shut Down, Restart, Lock, and Sleep / Hibernate, Switch User, Log Off, Task Manager, Run Window, Control Panel and Command Prompt. Also you will be able to set the hour, minute(s) and second(s) when you are going to Execute the command.

    System Control 1.2
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 10, 2012 10:21 AM
    Probably useful to me: network meter, drive meter, drive activity
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 10, 2012 12:55 PM
    If you like gadgets like the Magic Folder, take a look at Windows 7's Pinned items.
    Just add Explorer to your quicklaunch, drop any of your favourite folders on the icon and presto! you have instant bookmarked folders. :) 

  • 0 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 19, 2012 5:03 PM
    Using the earthquake one... put it to 5+ with 1m update, better safe them dead? ;p
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 12, 2012 8:10 AM
    look so great
  • 0 Hide
    zeevw , September 22, 2012 11:00 AM
    rainmeter is best
  • 1 Hide
    zeevw , September 22, 2012 11:07 AM
    When you are pasting exactly the same pieces of text again and again again, Clipboard Manager could save you considerable time. All of your replicated text is organized like a small list, and choosing what should appear whenever you press Control V or choose Paste inside your text editor’s menu is as simple as hitting a block of text
  • 0 Hide
    xcaninox , October 12, 2012 8:38 PM
    all gadgets are crap, except the one that shows the earthquakes.

    damn, why did i even bother to believe the word USEFUL on the title
  • 1 Hide
    shin0bi272 , October 12, 2012 9:24 PM
    Nice spyware with the calculator app. Also I thought I remembered seeing this article... slow tech news day guys?
  • 1 Hide
    guardianangel42 , October 13, 2012 8:00 AM
    Vista Shutdown Control: Single most useful gadget on Windows 8.
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