One of the new trends in computing is the use of desktop gadgets which are small applications that run on your desktop.  If you like desktop gadgets for work or play today we will check out the ones available from Google and how to get them.

The first thing you will need to do is download and install Google Desktop.  You may think of this as a free product offered from Google that will index email, files, and web history on your computer for faster searching and access.  While it does offer faster searching for computer items, when you install Google Desktop you’re not required to include the enhanced search features.  We will cover the indexing and other enhanced features of Google Desktop in future posts.

1 Download Google Desktop

search bar

For the sake of this article we are only going to install the Sidebar with Gadgets.  The desktop gadgets will work with a basic install and no additional features.

2 Installing GDesktop Features

After installation there will be a sidebar shown with some gadgets like an analog clock and notepad.  The bar can be minimized or placed on different areas of the desktop.  To find and install new gadgets for your interests Right-click and select “add gadgets”.

Sidebar add

This will pull up a menu of different gadgets available where you can browse through different categories or search for specific ones.  In this instance it’s adding the Music Player gadget.

3 Browse to add gadget

After choosing the gadget there may be a description and note and just click OK.

4 description OK

New gadgets will be placed in the sidebar and you can easily unlock them and move anywhere on your desktop.

5 run from sidebar 

anywhere on desktop

These can be a lot of fun and productive and for XP users it can really transform your desktop to a more modern look and feel.  Google Desktop Gadgets are also available for Linux and Mac OS X users.

google desktop

Download Google Desktop Gadgets for Windows, Linux, or Mac