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Windows 7 - Adding New Gadgets to Your Desktop

Windows 7 got rid of the Sidebar that was introduced with Windows Vista. Fortunately, however, Windows 7 still provides all of the same functionality in the form of desktop gadgets. Gadgets are little applications designed to be left running on the desktop. Because they only leave a tiny footprint on your system resources, they can provide convenient access to features and information that you want to have regular access to. Using the desktop gadgets is also fairly straightforward. Simply right-click anywhere on your desktop and click "Gadgets" to access this feature. Follow this guide to add new gadgets to your desktop.

1 – Adding Gadgets from the Web
Windows 7 only provides nine gadgets natively, but these include the most common functions such as a calendar, weather reports and a few more features. If you want to add more gadgets, you can do so by clicking on the "Get more gadgets online" link in the bottom-right of the Window.
You'll be redirected to Microsoft's website where you can browse through a collection of third-party gadgets. There are also other websites which provide larger collections. Download the gadget of your choice just as you would download any other file or program.
When you run the file, you may get a security warning. If you trust the website that you downloaded the file from, click "Install." The gadget should install almost immediately before appearing on your desktop.
Existing gadgets can be activated simply by dragging them out over the desktop from the gadget window. You can always change your mind later and close a gadget by moving your mouse over it and clicking on the cross which appears. You'll notice that some gadgets provide further functions when you move the mouse pointer over them. For example, the extra options on the weather gadget allow you to set your location to get updated local weather reports for your nearest city.

2 – Where Did the Notes Gadget Go?
If you used the Windows Vista Sidebar, you may remember the little notes gadget that was available. This has vanished from Windows 7 due to it being replaced by a separate application called "Sticky Notes." Sticky Notes, although not included in the gadgets list, functions in a similar way. You can access Sticky Notes from the "Accessories" folder in the "All Programs" section of your start menu. When you run the application, it will automatically reappear, along with any notes that you wrote, when you restart Windows.


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