How-To Geek

Bring Gadgets back to Your Desktop in Windows 8 RTM with 8GadgetPack

Are you someone who loved using desktop gadgets in Windows 7 and Vista, but felt disappointed when learning they were removed in Windows 8 RTM? Then 8GadgetPack is just the app to put those gadgets back on your desktop!

The good folks over at 7 Tutorials have a nice little write-up about 8GadgetPack with all the details you need to get those gadgets up and running once again. Just browse on over using the link below…

How to Use Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8 with 8GadgetPack [7 Tutorials]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 09/19/12

Comments (12)

  1. Mister Know-IT-all(most)

    Seems a little pointless to add in a desktop gadget when there’s already a charm in the start screen. I mean, without even a start button/orb there’s not much reason to even be looking at a desktop.

    I’m sure someone will want it. And thanks for the info. But I’m betting that Windows 8 will be a bit of a disappointment for a lot of people on so many levels – not just for Microsoft either. So again, why bother customizing a desktop that Microsoft seems to think isn’t even necessary?

  2. Romberry

    So, this workaround to bring back a feature that apparently very few use, it addresses the security concern with desktop gadgets that was an issue under Vista and Win 7 that led MS to advise the disabling of desktop gadgets? (See for more.) Or is this not an issue in Windows 8?

  3. Fantasm

    I think windows 8 will be a dead loss. Anyone who jumps on this, is going to feel they wasted their time and effort…
    I’ve installed, tested and run windows 8… you know what? At the end of it all, I put windows 7 back on my system…
    Windows 8 just had no interest to me… Looked ugly as hell on my big screen and refused to co-operate well with my multiple monitors… i’m sure it’s a great concept…. But it doesn’t work for me at any level…
    And it seems like every article for customising Windows 8 is about restoring windows 7 look or functionality and or disabling windows 8 “features”…
    In the long run, seems easier to pass on windows 8. I think it’s going to be very short lived…

  4. Asian Angel

    @Romberry – If a person intends to add additional gadgets beyond the ones that come with this pack, then the same level of caution is advised on trusting third-party gadgets that are not officially from/by/through Microsoft as with any gadgets that have been added to the sidebars in Vista and 7 over the years.

    Also, the sidebar and gadgets included in this pack cleared VirusTotal without any problems before I wrote the post up:

    File Scan:

    URL Scan:

  5. Romberry

    @Asian Angel, the issue isn’t whether these gadgets are clean. The issue is whether or not having gadgets enabled at all opens up potential attack vectors in Win Vista, Win 7 and (maybe…’cause I really don’t know for sure) Win 8. The MS hotfix for the gadgets issue works by disabling gadget functionality entirely. We’ve implemented that hotfix on every machine we deal with. For me, opening that vector back up seems…questionable.

  6. hickory

    I ended up removing the gadget features in Windows 7 because I found it useless. Additionally, I disabled it due to the fact that Microsoft released a security bulletin about the vulnerabilities of using Windows Gadgets. The primary reason why Microsoft ended up removing Windows Gadgets in Windows 8 because of the vulnerabilities it causes.

    If you really want to know more about the vulnerability in Windows Gadgets, go check the link @Romberry’s first comment.

    Windows Gadgets may be a cool feature for some people, but I don’t want to open up a gaping hole to the security of Windows.

  7. Ciprian

    @Fantasm The reason why many tutorials and articles on Windows 8 are about making it look or behave like Windows 7 is that because people hate change and want things to be the way they were, so that they don’t have to learn something new.

    These articles were wildly popular with each Windows edition. And I should know because I am blogging for many years now. People wanted Windows Vista and Windows 7 like Windows XP. Now they want Windows 8 like Windows 7.

    This has nothing to do with how good or bad a given operating system is. Only… fear of change, laziness, etc.

  8. Asian Angel

    @Romberry – The disabling of the sidebar and gadgets in Windows 7 and Vista (i.e. the advisory) along with its removal in Windows 8 still all goes back to people adding gadgets from untrusted sources wherever, whenever across the internet.

    All this does is add back the components that Microsoft removed (albeit from a pre-Win 8) version of Windows. As long as a person sticks with this and only this they will be ok…if they go hunting wherever, whenever across the internet for other gadgets then yes, it could be a problem.

  9. r

    Nobody really knows what Win 8 (retail) will finally look like or do until public release, which is in late October. The OS has been undergoing market testing & user feedback since long-before its Developer Preview last September. Microsoft has been evaluating issues, concerns & complaints & determining what the final product will actually be. I imaging that by now, between Developer, Consumer & Release Preview, they have come up with a product that is suppose to make them & their shareholders smile.

  10. UUUnicorn

    I am still EXTREMELY disappointed that Windows Desktop Gadgets have been discontinued! I’ve been using Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit lately. If I knew of where I can find these Gadgets (the last/latest version of WeatherBug and the lunar phases Gadget), I’d love to know!

    I even wrote an e-mail to Microsoft concerning this issue.

  11. UUUnicorn

    I almost forgot–would this work in Windows 7, too?

  12. Asian Angel

    @UUUnicorn – Unless you have done something to specifically disable the sidebar and gadgets in your Windows 7 installation, they should still be there and ready to go. ^_^ Just right click on your desktop and select ‘Gadgets’ to start the sidebar and gadgets up.

    As for gadgets you might check here…

    The Best Remaining Desktop Gadgets for Windows 7

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