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8gadget Returns Gadgets to Windows 8


Don’t you hate it when Microsoft gives us some cool feature in one version of Windows and then cancels it in the next version?  For instance, I change my wallpaper and screensaver every night before bed.  I love to have new pictures to look at all the time.  That’s why I loved the Dreamscene feature of Windows Vista Ultimate.  This allowed you to use videos as wallpaper.  So of course, since people loved it, Microsoft had to kill it in 7.  Although Microsoft never revealed the real reason that this feature was killed, it is generally believed that it is because it was a resource hog.  Yes, it sometimes slowed my system down, but I still loved it.  I also think that they killed this feature too soon.  A new generation of more powerful computers was right over the horizon.  I think that today’s computers wouldn’t have any problem at all handling Dreamscene.  Alas… two versions later and Dreamscene is just a dream. 

The other thing that I liked… after a while, I’ll admit, was Windows Sidebar and Gadgets, also introduced in Vista.  This was a dock for a group of desktop doodads, including different types of clocks, world clocks, traffic reports, weather, system monitors, puzzles, slideshows and other fun and useful tools. 


What really won me over to using Gadgets (an almost carbon copy of Yahoo’s “Widgets”) was that they could be removed from the dock and “floated” around the desktop.  I don’t have any icons on my desktop aside from my recycle bin, and enjoyed having four or five Gadgets in the corners (and sometimes center) of my screen.  These included weather reports for the places that matter most to me. 

Citing security issues, Microsoft stopped supporting Gadgets in 2011.  Soon after that, they released a “fixit” to disable Gadgets on all versions of Windows, and strongly encouraged users to stop using them.  Some of us didn’t listen, because we have a good anti-virus and are of the opinion that Microsoft should maybe work on fixing security problems with their programs instead of removing features that everyone likes to cover them up…


Gagdets and Sidebar were officially discontinued in Windows 8.  But for those of us who HAVE 8, and would like to have our gadgets back, I share with you  This easily downloadable and easy to use program basically restores Windows Gadgets to 8 almost exactly as it was in Vista and 7.  It looks like this:


The biggest difference is that there are only about 50 Gadgets, with no new tools being added.  These are classic Gadgets, though.  Above you can see the first screen that you see when you right-clock on your desktop and click GADGETS, as well as the weather and system resource Gadgets that I use. 

They also offer a version for Windows 7 if Microsoft has disabled your Gadgets there called 7sidebar that can be downloaded from the same website.

Enjoy having your Gadgets back!

~ Randal Schaffer

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3 Responses to “8gadget Returns Gadgets to Windows 8”

  1. Mr. Jon W. Spead says:

    Like many of your previous tips for Windows 7 it does not work. What a waste.

    • cynthia says:

      Jon, not sure what the issue is, many folks have told us they’ve enjoyed restoring their gadgets. What issue are you having with 8gadget?

  2. Mark says:

    I had the sidebar in Vista and loved it, still can’t figure why everyone hated Vista. I had the 7sidebar in Win7. I skipped 8 and 8.1 but have Win 10. The 8gadgetpack works in Win 10. I have a lot of gadgets like the weather, ejection, Yellow Pages, sticky notes and a volume control but my main gadgets were and still are the All CPU Meter, Clipboarder and the App Launcher.

    The CPU Meter is great for keeping an eye on what’s going on with your CPU, if your computer slows down you can look at it and see what’s going on plus a double click on it brings up your Task Manager, very handy.

    The Clipboarder took a while to get onto but ended up being one of my most useful gadgets. Taking a picture of your desktop used to involve hitting the Print Screen button then opening a bit map and pasting it in. Now I just hit the Print Screen button and it saves it to the Clipboarder. You can hit the Print Screen several times in a row and it takes a picture every time which is a heck of a lot faster than the other way. It also keeps a copy of any text you want to save.

    My favourite is the App Launcher. I have a couple of dozen programs and utilities that I access quite often. To have short cuts to all of these on my desk top would take up a lot of room. The App Launcher takes up very little room, has them organized into categories separated by dividers and takes only one click to open them.

    I had quite a problem with the App Launcher when I installed it on Win 10. Whenever I tried to modify anything on it in the Options it would shut down on me. After playing with it for a while I discovered if you right click on it and open the 8Gadgetpack tools and then click on ‘Reset all gadgets’ then restart it, open the options, drag your short cuts onto it and then assign icons to each short cut it will work perfectly. It’s a bit of a tedious process but I find it’s worth the while.

    Finally I love the Side Bar itself because you can have so many gadgets on it and when it’s full it just adds another page so you can scroll through them. That’s a lot of things going on in such a small area. Plus you can have more than one side bar, I have one on each of my 3 monitors. The Sidebar plus the Nexus Tool Bar at the top of one of my monitors for access to my most used folders keeps everything neat, organized and right at my fingertips for easy access. I don’t understand why Microsoft would give such a great utility such a short life. Long live the Side Bar!

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