Use gadgets in Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7
8GadgetPack makes it possible to use gadgets on Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7.
How-to FAQ Version history
First you need to download the installer (the link is on the top right of this page) and open it. This window will appear:
Click on Install.
And here you click on Yes.
After a while (it can take some minutes) the installer will be complete and you need to click on Finish.
These three default gadgets will appear on the right side.
Click on the plus symbol on the top right to see all available gadgets.
Here you can add a gadget to your desktop by double-clicking on it.
If you move your cursor above a gadget you can drag it around your desktop. It doesn’t need to stay on the sidebar. There will also appear some buttons next to the gadget. Click on the X to close a gadget or on the wrench icon to access its options.
The options of the clock gadget allow you to enable the second hand or to change the timezone.
The next gadget is a clipboard manager. Here I copied the installer file and then the name of the file. Clipboarder will display everything you copy to the clipboard. By clicking on an element you make it the current clipboard. This way you can select older clipboards and paste them into other applications. You can also open a clipboard directly.
The options of Clipboarder allow many possibilities. You can use the shortcut Win+C to select an older clipboarder (works well together with Ctrl+V).
The options of the last gadget, the weather gadget, allow you to change the city.
You can also right-click on the sidebar. If you don’t like the sidebar you can close it there. You will still be able to use the gadgets. Click on options to change the behaviour of the sidebar.
Here you can, for example, click on the first checkbox to make the sidebar always visible. This way you have your gadgets always in sight. A disadvantage is though, that the close button of maximized windows isn’t on the top-right corner anymore. To fix this you can put the sidebar on the left side.
Alternatively you can enable the second checkbox on the view tab.
Here is a maximized video player and you can close it by using the X on the top-right of the screen. Of couse this will work for non-maximized windows as well.
You can access some advanced options by right-clicking on the X. For example you can add a preview of the application to the sidebar.
This way you can keep track of some applications on the side. You can hover with your cursor over the preview to peek into the window, just like in the taskbar. Right-clicking on the preview gives you some options as well.
There are several weather gadgets included.
Right-click on a gadget allows you to change its opacity. You can also access some general options about gadgets by selecting 8GadgetPack Tools:
- Is it free?
- What does the 8 in 8GadgetPack stand for?
8GadgetPack was originally released when Gadgets were discontinued on Windows 8, but it also works on Windows 10.
- I didn’t really use gadgets previously. Is it really worth installing these?
You should try it. The gadgets included are really useful when working with the PC. Unlike Metro-Apps gadgets can access useful system-information. The included Clipboard-Manager gadget for example will highly improve your productivity. With the Sidebar gadget, you can make the gadgets visible while working with maximized windows. Monitoring network traffic, setting the volume with one click and having an analog clock visible all the time are things you don’t want to give up once you get used to it.
- Windows 10 updated and automatically uninstalled 8GadgetPack!
Look for a shortcut “Restore gadgets” on the desktop. Open it to reenable gadgets. If there is no shortcut, right-click on the desktop and select Gadgets. Alternatively just reinstall the current version and everything should work. Windows might say that 8GadgetPack is not compatible with the current version of Windows anymore, but you can disregard that message (I do not know how to disable that message).
- Win+G on Windows 10 is assigned to the game bar. Can I use the keyboard to access the gadgets?
Yes! Press Win+Shift+G to show the gadgets and to switch between them. Use Tab to switch between gadgets that are docked to a sidebar. Open 8GadgetPack Tools if you would like to use Win+G and override the gamebar hotkey.
- Is this English-Only?
The installer and website are available only in English, but many of the gadgets have many localizations.
- Some gadgets look blurry, especially on screens with high resolutions. How to fix this?
- Can I adjust the side of the gadgets?
Open 8GadgetPack Tools and use the scale option there or configure a custom scaling by using the registry files found in “C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebar8GadgetPack”.
- What are the requirements?
This works on Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10. Administrative rights are required to install.
- Does it work on Windows 7?
Yes! Windows 7 already does have gadgets by default, but this program gives you an easy way to install many high-quality gadgets. It can also bring the gadgets back in case they were disabled or uninstalled. In case you don’t like 8GadgetPack you can uninstall it and still use the gadgets provided by Windows 7.
- Why is there a sidebar? Windows 7 didn’t have one.
This is actually just a gadget to help you keeping the gadgets organized and visible. You can right-click on it and select “close sidebar” to do so. Even with the sidebar the gadgets can still be moved onto the desktop as you like. Or you can even add more sidebars by adding the gadget “7 Sidebar”. This is especially useful when working with multiple monitors. You can also make the sidebar appear automatically when touching the border and customize its design. Right-click on it and select options to do so.
- Will 8GadgetPack install some crap on my PC?
No, the installer will only install the original Microsoft files and set the neccessary registry entries to make the gadgets work again. The only addition is a tool (8GadgetPack Tools) which fixes several bugs and allows you to change various settings. There is also an uninstaller included which removes everything the installer added. I could make quite some money by adding adware to the installer, but I’m sure you appreciate it that this installer is clean.
- Aren’t gadgets unsafe? Afterall, didn’t Microsoft remove them for a reason?
Gadgets can contain viruses like any other software. Despite the warning when installing a gadget people seemed to think that it is safe to run any gadget (e.g. like it is to view a website). That is not the case. Opening a gadget is as dangerous as it is to run an .exe file. But this is not a security hole. If an attacker wanted to access your computer, he’d need to convince you to open his prepared .gadget file. As long as you trust the source of the gadgets you install and you use anti-virus software you should be safe.
Quote from Microsofts official statement to this: “How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? An attacker would have to convince a user to install and enable a vulnerable Gadget.” (source)
- Will I be able to install gadgets other than the ones included?
Yes, when 8GadgetPack is installed you can open and install .gadget files made for Windows Vista or Windows 7. But be careful, gadgets can contain, just like other programs, viruses or trojans.
- Will all gadgets work that worked on Windows 7?
No, some gadgets don’t work or are unreliable on Windows 8 / 10. This is mostly because of Internet Explorer 11 which the gadgets internally rely on. 8GadgetPack already uses some tricks to workaround some problems but if you have issues with a gadget you better contact the author of the gadget and ask him to fix it. There are also some gadgets that work on Windows 7 / 8, but not on 10, most notably Network monitoring gadgets (but the ones in 8GadgetPack all work).
- I already installed an older version of 8GadgetPack. What do I have to do to upgrade?
Simply download the current installer and run it. It will update your installation and even update outdated gadgets automatically. You don’t have to uninstall first. All gadget settings should remain.
- There appears some error message in the installer.
First, try to download the installer again and check if the error still appears.
Try to download and run this removal tool. It is a small program I made that can remove broken installations, and also removes all gadgets and gadget settings.
If that is not working, try the following: Go to TaskManager > Details > Explorer.exe and click on End Task. Now click on File in Task Manager > type Explorer.exe and check the box below (Create this task with administrative privileges). Now try the installation again.
Now if that’s not working either, try to download and run this.
You can also try this:
– Hold shift and right-click on the MSI file.
– Select: “Copy as Path”
– Press Win+X and select “Command Promt (Admin)”
– In CMD, right-click and select Paste, hit Enter and try to install again.
And if that’s not helping contact me and don’t forget to mention the error message.
- The uninstaller doesn’t work!
Please download and start this removal tool to fix this. (Also check the question above)
- Some error message appears when I try to open gadgets!
Some gadgets require the .NET Framework to be installed. Try this: Press Win+X, select control panel, search for “Turn Windows features on or off” and select everything with “.NET” in its name. Press OK.
- For some monitoring gadget, I get a WMI error!
Please follow these instructions.
I am running AVG anti-virus and gadgets don’t start or there appear errors!
The Identity protection sometimes blocks this software without even notifying. You can verify that 8GadgetPack doesn’t contain any viruses on VirusTotal and then follow these steps to add an exception for 8GadgetPack:
1. Double-click on the AVG anti-virus tray icon in the bottom right area.
2. Select “Options”, then “Advanced settings…”.
3. Select “Exceptions”
4. Click on the “Add Exception” button.
5. Click the “Exception Type” drop-down menu and select “Application or File”.
6. Copy and paste the following text into the textbox and press “OK”.
C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebar8GadgetPack.exe
7. Repeat the steps 4-6 with the following texts:
C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebarsidebar.exe
C:Program FilesWindows Sidebar8GadgetPack.exe
C:Program FilesWindows Sidebarsidebar.exe
8. Click “OK” to apply the new setting. Click “Yes” if Windows asks permission to save the change.
(Note: The entries for the x86 version are neccessary even if you only use the 64-bit version.)
- A gadget doesn’t seem to be working. What can I do?
The best choice is to contact the author of the gadget. I fixed some bugs in the gadgets that are included in 8GadgetPack, but I do not have the time to do this for all the gadgets out there.
- Is there a way to do a silent install?
Yes. First download the installer and save it under C:. Open a Command Promt as Admin (Right-click on the startbutton and select it). Then type the following:
msiexec.exe /i “C:8GadgetPackSetup.msi” /qn /norestart
You can close the Command Promt then. After a while the gadgets option will appear in the desktop right-click menu.
The installer will allow every user on the computer to use gadgets, but the gadgets are not actually shown for a user until they are selected from the desktop context-menu.
- I have a gadget that requires the 32-bit version of the sidebar. What do I do?
The installer does install both the 32 and 64-bit version of sidebar.exe on 64-bit Windows. You simply need to run C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebarsidebar.exe to run the 32-bit version.
- Is it possible to put the sidebar horizontal on top or bottom?
No, sorry. It is often requested, but an implementation would have many problems.
- How can I backup my gadgets and settings, transfer them between PCs or delete them all together?
To access the directory where the gadgets are stored, press Win+R and paste the following text: “%userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows SidebarGadgets” and hit Enter. Each folder there contains a gadget and you can do with them whatever you like. If you screw up, select “Reset all gadgets” in the 8Gadgetpack Tools.
- I just want to have a clock gadget on my desktop and not all this stuff that comes with 8GadgetPack. Is there some “light version”?
Sorry, the installer system I use doesn’t allow this. But you can easily delete all extra gadgets after the installation by going to the folder mentioned 1 question above and deleting all folders inside of it. You save about 40MB on your harddrive this way.
- How do I uninstall/reinstall a gadget?
Right-click on desktop, select Gadgets, right-click on the desired gadget and select Uninstall. To reinstall, download the .gadget file and open it after Uninstall.
- How do I install a gadget?
Double-click on the .gadget file. If that doesn’t work, try to reinstall 8GadgetPack.
- Gadgets don’t run at startup. What to do?
Go to start, select 8GadgetPack Tools and disable and then enable Autorun there. If that doesn’t work, try to reinstall 8GadgetPack.
- Can I choose the installation directory?
No, due to technical reasons 8GadgetPack will always install in these directories: (assuming C: is the system-drive)
64-bit installation: “C:Program FilesWindows Sidebar”
32-bit installation: “C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebar”
Non-Microsoft Gadgets: “%userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows SidebarGadgets”
On Windows 7 the existing files in these directories are not touched by the installer and will also remain after uninstall.
- I want to have multiple rows of gadgets. Is that possible?
Yes! Simply add the gadget “7 Sidebar” multiple times and arrange the gadgets however you like.
- Is there a way to position the gadgets just where I like them on the sidebar?
Yes, you can hold Shift while positioning them to keep the sidebar from automatically aligning them.
- The sidebar.exe process is using a lot of CPU time. What can I do?
This most likely depends on the gadgets that you are using. You can try out the following steps to find out which gadgets are responsible:
First make sure you have the latest version of 8GadgetPack installed and have 7 Sidebar open. Hold shift and right-click on an empty area in 7 Sidebar. Select “Show Gadget CPU Usage”. A window opens that shows how much CPU time each gadget is using. You can then close the gadgets that are using too much CPU time or bug their authors to make them faster.
- 2020-06-13: Version 32.0 released.
Added monitor theme to Clock and Clipboarder gadgets:
The clock theme was provided by Dmitri Poterianski, thank you!
Improved multi-monitor support: gadgets now remain where they were placed after user-switch and remote-desktop connections. Improved DPI-support: DPI-aware gadgets remain sharp when they are moved to a monitor with different DPI-values and after the DPI-value is changed. DPI-unaware gadgets are now scaled so they are usable on monitors with very high DPI-values. Made it easier for gadget developers to make gadgets DPI-aware: objects added with addTextObject and addImageObject are now automatically scaled (calling fixDpiObject() is no longer necessary). Fixed Clock gadget rendering issues on Windows 8. Handle Windows major updates better so that gadget settings are not lost on some cases. Added back Microsoft Currency Gadget and made it working again. It now uses data from the European Central Bank and has some more bugfixes. Added back Microsoft RSS Feeds Gadget with better explanation on how to use it and some other improvements. Add 24/12-hour option in HUD Time gadget. Fix rendering issues in flyouts of some gadgets. Fixed scaling issues in RecycleBin and SearchAll gadgets. Remove Weather Meter Gadget (no longer working). Improved Slovak translation of 7 Sidebar. Clipboarder shouldn’t slow down MS Word and Excel when copying anymore. Fixed rare crash of Clipboarder that would occur in some situations while files are in the clipboard. Made Clipboarder hotkeys compatible with a Windows Update of Windows 1909 and with Windows 2004. Updated MyWeather and Igors gadgets.
- 2019-10-18: Version 31.0 released.
Fixed a bug introduced in version 30 that would sometimes crash the gadget process. Also fixed high-dpi problems with Drives Meter and Power Status Gadgets.
- 2019-10-10: Version 30.0 released.
Updated all outdated gadgets. Further improved compatibility with Windows 10 1903. Added new gadgets: Countdown2Date, Date & Time, Desktop Calculator, Drive Activity, GPU Meter, Piano. Fixed high-dpi issues in the following gadgets: All CPU Meter, Drives Meter, Currency Meter, Network Meter, Top Five 10, Network Utilization, Drive Activity, Desktop Calculator, Clock, Picture Puzzle, CPU, Volume Control, GPU Meter, MSN Weather. Added German localization to MSN Weather gadget. Improved Brazilian Portuguese localization in 7 Sidebar and some minor bugfixes. Reverted behavior in Clipboarder to show the same copied text only once (because many applications put it into the clipboard multiple times).
- 2019-05-24: Version 29.0 released.
- 2019-01-27: Version 28.0 released.
Updated all outdated gadgets. My Weather should work again. Changed Clipboarder so copied text always creates a new element, even if it is the same as the current one. Fixed installer errormessage bug. Fixed transparency bug in 7 Sidebar.
- 2018-09-30: Version 27.0 released.
Made gadgets compatible with the upcoming Windows 10 1809 update. Clipboarder can now optionally override the new built-in Clipboard manager Win+V shortcut. Updated all outdated gadgets. The sidebar now adjusts its color when it is changed in Windows Settings.
- 2018-04-28: Version 26.0 released.
Made gadgets compatible with the upcoming Windows 10 1803 update. Made the color for the sidebar more like the color of the taskbar in Windows 10. Added blurr behind the sidebar on Windows 1803 to match the taskbar. Fixed an issue with Clipboarder. It was locking the parent folder of the file that is in the current clipboard. Also fixed a small issue with copied images in firefox. Updated a bunch of gadgets. Removed the Microsoft Currency Gadget, as it is no longer working.
- 2017-12-08: Version 25.0 released.
Changed the provider in the Currency Meter gadget to Google Finance to make it work again. Thanks to tomazov for the fix! Some minor improvements to Clipboarder.
- 2017-10-07: Version 24.0 released.
Some compatibility bugfixes for the upcoming Windows 10 version in October. Also fixed some bugs that might occur if you use Clipboarder and Word/Excel (it’s actually not Clipboarders fault, but I guess MS will never fix these bugs. So I added a workaround.). Updated some gadgets.
- 2017-05-23: Version 23.0 released.
Made some usability tests and quite some issues came up! Added newsletter option so you can get notified about updates via mail. Fixed rare crash in Clipboarder when opening a link. Added workaround for a bug in MS Word when copying a formula while Clipboarder is running (Word crashes when the user copies a formula and then the textformat of the clipboard is requested. Clipboarder detects this now and skips the text formats). Added also another workaround for a minor bug in Word: When a certain clipboard format is requested Word adds a favorit inside the document. That format is now skipped as well. Fixed a bug with the “Enable unformatted paste” option in Clipboarder when used with the right shift-button. Clipboarder now handles images with transparency copied in browsers correctly. Added Date Time, Digitalclock, Turn off PC, CPU and Network Utilization Gadgets. Removed Google Mail gadget (it no longer works). You can place gadgets on the sidebar whereever you want now without snapping while holding Shift. Added workaround for a bug that caused several gadgets to fail sometimes during startup. Fixed a bug that caused gadgets to go behind the sidebar sometimes. Fixed many minor issues.
- 2017-03-25: Version 22.0 released.
Updated a bunch of gadgets. Removed intrusive window that appeared after major Windows Update. Glassy Network Monitor now scales the graph according to the maximum visible value. 8GadgetPack no longer overwrites Win+G per default. If you want to keep using Win+G for gadgets, go to 8GadgetPack Tools and reenable it there. Or use Win+Shift+G.
- 2016-09-28: Version 21.0 released.
Fixed a bug that made gadgets freeze on Windows 10 Anniversary Update (thanks to Ron Foo for giving me reproduction steps!). Improved LibreOffice support in Clipboarder. Fixed rendering issues in the Volume Control Gadget. Updated a few gadgets.
- 2016-08-04: Version 20.0 released.
Made many gadgets work on Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Fixed a bug in Clipboarder that prevented Dropping of files onto Clipboarder on Windows 10. Added a bugfix by Sergey Shkurov to make the buttons in the Slideshow Gadget work again.
- 2016-06-14: Version 19.0 released.
Fixed a bug in Clipboarder that caused it not to start up correctly. Fixed some bugs in the installer. Made it easier to disable the window-manager if activated by mistake. Fixed bug in DriveInfo gadget that caused high cpu and memory usage over time. Fixed an autorun issue. Improved compatibility with upcoming Anniversary Update of Win 10. Changed default Weather gadget to My Weather. Improved gadget shutdown performance. Updated several gadgets.
- 2016-01-22: Version 18.0 released.
Fixed a transparency bug in 7 Sidebar. An errormessage “gadgets are not responding” shouldn’t appear anymore. Updated several gadgets.
- 2015-12-04: Version 17.0 released.
Fixed an issue with the flyout of the Microsoft Feeds Gadget. Improved performance of the Glassy Network Monitor. Fixed a bug that caused the sidebar to be white. Also the transparency can now be enabled in high contrast mode on Windows 8 and later. Added a workaround for a bug that caused the gadgets to be always on top temporarily when you press Win+D, then open a Modern app on Windows 10. Fixed a hang in 7 Sidebar that occured on Windows 10 when explorer.exe hangs and the window-manager was open. Fixed a bug that caused the clock to display its hands off center. Made the gadget “Remove Drive Safely” high-dpi compatible and fixed a bug in the gadget that caused high-cpu usage over time.
- 2015-10-31: Version 16.0 released.
The default-theme of the clock is now crystal clear in high-dpi configurations (up to 200%):
Left is the old, right the new clock on 125% dpi.
Added a workaround for an issue that occured on Windows 10 Insider that caused high cpu usage and prevented some gadgets to open. Added the Sticky Notes gadget by Microsoft that was included in Windows Vista as an alternative. Removed the Microsoft weather gadget from the package. It is extremly unreliable and there are plenty of alternatives included.
Clipboarder now lets you search the internet for a copied text with a single click. Added a How-to on this page. Improved HUT Time Gadget. Updated some gadgets.
- 2015-08-30: Version 15.0 released.
Improved Windows 10 support. Created a new icon to fit Windows 10 style:
(if installed on Windows 7 or 8 it will keep the old icon). Win+G now works in Windows 10 to switch between gadgets. (You can disable this in 8GadgetPack Tools if you want to use the game bar). 7 Sidebar now adjusts its style to the Win10 taskbar. The window-manager in the sidebar now supports the new virtual desktops in Windows 10 and hovering over a thumbnail to peek into a window works again. Fixed a crash that occured when using flyouts in certain gadgets (e.g. Launch Control). Added high-dpi support for these gadgets: Custom Calendar, Digiclock, Launch Control and My Weather. Added an option in 8GadgetPack Tools to disable/enable the sidebar (because many people don’t seem to realize that it is just a gadget).
- 2015-05-29: Version 14.0 released.
Added on option to 8GadgetPack Tools that allows to change the size of gadgets. Improved Windows 10 support. Added a fix that makes the Microsoft weather gadget more reliable. Added MSN Weather alternative. Improved DPI scaling with some gadgets. Fixed a bug in the CPU Gadget that occured on Non-English systems.
- 2015-01-31: Version 13.0 released.
Finally added high-dpi support. Gadgets shouldn’t appear too small anymore. Added a separate uninstaller tool (here) to fix broken installations. Started to work on Windows 10 support. Most of the gadgets work on Windows 10, but not all. Updated outdated gadgets. Added iBattery gadget and a japanese calendar gadget (only visible on japanese Windows versions).
- 2014-08-23: Version 12.0 released.
Added a workaround to make gadgets stay visible when pressing Win+D or when using the Show desktop button under Windows 8.1. Fixed a bug that prevented access to gadgets by touch. Due to high demand, it is now possible to install 8GadgetPack on Windows 7. Improved startup reliability. Improved multi-monitor support in 7 Sidebar. Updated outdated gadgets and added a new gadget (that I made myself): Glassy Network Monitor.
- 2014-03-26: Version 11.0 released.
Fixed a bug that often caused a crash at startup. Updated outdated gadgets.
- 2014-02-27: Version 10.0 released.
Cleaned up the 8Gadgetpack Tools. Fixed a bug that caused gadgets to appear multiple times in startup tab of taskmanager. Also fixed a bug that caused not to load all gadgets on startup. And another bug that caused “library errors” and errors involving “d3d9.dll” was fixed (this bug was my fault for a change, and not Microsofts). Added skin support in Clipboarder and fixed a bug that prevented it to open clipboards in Modern App Programs. Added a few gadgets and updated the outdated ones.
- 2013-12-11: Version 9.0 released.
Startup is more reliable now hopefully. Added a few gadgets and updated the outdated ones. The sidebar is now not always on top by default and accessible by keyboard.
- 2013-08-22: Version 8.0 released.
Fixed a bug that prevented to start all gadgets at startup. The crash on startup should happen way less often now. Also fixed a bug that prevented the installation of 3rd party gadgets when the temp directory was not on the systemdrive. Added a few gadgets and updated the outdated ones.
- 2013-07-22: Version 7.0 released.
Added Windows 8.1 compatibility. All gadget settings will remain during the update to 8.1 if you install this version. The new Internet Explorer in 8.1 is really buggy in combination with gadgets. It was really a lot of work to workaround that, so I hope you appreciate this. If you have a high DPI setting the gadgets will look smaller on Windows 8.1.
- 2013-05-05: Version 6.0 released.
I hopefully fixed a bug that caused the gadgets to crash at startup or prevented gadgets to show up. Also made autostart more stable. Fixed a bug that prevented flash gadgets to work. Updated outdated gadgets and added a few. Added silent install support (see FAQ).
- 2013-01-20: Version 5.0 released.
Resolved a bug preventing the gadgets to start. Updated a lot of gadgets and added a few. Improved install time and installer compression. Changed the weather gadget that appears on first start-up to WeatherCenter
- 2012-11-13: Version 4.0 released.
Resolved an error message preventing to install when an uninstall previously went wrong. Added several gadgets and updated a few. New users will get a message now that the sidebar is closable and that gadgets still can be moved to the desktop.
- 2012-10-29: Version 3.0 released.
Resolved an error message appearing when opening event viewer. Fixed a bug preventing the installer to work when windows is not installed on C:.
- 2012-08-30: Version 2.0 released.
Added 30 languages. Basically every major language is supported now. The Microsoft gadgets support only 6 languages (Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian) though, but they will fall back to English, so you can still use them. Contact me if you want a specific language added.
- 2012-08-23: Version 1.0 released.