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.
The App Launcher gadget is a simple tool that functions like a mobile quick launch bar that you can drag and drop anywhere on screen. Tack on your favorite programs and have them all just a click away from your desktop.
Stock Meter is a desktop gadget for monitoring up to 6 stocks, mutual funds, indices, or ETFs. By default, the gadget checks every 10 minutes, but you can reduce the check-in time to as little as a minute. Price graphs and configurable audio alerts for price thresholds round out the features.
Currency Meter can monitor up to 6 of 149 different world currencies, as well as gold, palladium, platinum, and silver. The default check time is 10 minutes, which can be dialed down to as little as a minute, and price charts and configurable alerts are also included as features.
A simple desktop stopwatch gadget, this tool allows you to start a stopwatch timer, or set your own configurable countdown timer. It's not particularly fancy, and doesn't support things like having multiple countdowns or a simultaneous stopwatch and countdown running, but it does the job.
What's the difference between this Digital Clock gadget and the swarm of fancy visual clock gadgets out there? A high degree of configurability. Numerous time and date formats, uptime display, a configurable date countdown, up to 5 different alarm slots, and configurable color readouts are among the many features of this neat clock gadget.
The Unit Converter Gadget is just that: a neat little Gadget for converting a vast set of different units including time, weight, energy, and more, from the practical to a downright whimsical. It even comes with a nice spinner dial interface that could work great in a touch environment. If you need a handy Gadget for converting kilopascals to psi, or wondered how many kilojoules are in two Big Macs, the Unit Converter Gadget is for you.