In Windows Vista, I’m a little confused about the “gadgets” on the side of my desktop. What’s the purpose of these and is there any way I can get rid of them? Please explain!
When you install Vista on your computer, you will first see just a few of the gadgets Microsoft picked for you on the right hand side of your desktop. But, the good news is that you can change them and choose your own as you go along with the Vista experience. The gadgets you can choose from are: Calendar, Clock, Contacts, CPU Meter, Currency, Feed Headlines, Notes, Picture Puzzle, Slideshow, Stocks and Weather. They all do their own thing while being very helpful.
Just as an overview, I’m going to go over some of my favorites, but I think they will be popular among you all as well. If I don’t cover one that you particularly like, you can always take this information and learn more about the others. The directions are pretty much the same for all of them. Here we go!
First up is the calendar. With this, you can see a full calendar for each month of the year. Of course, it will display the current month, but you can easily change it to see another month if you need to. You can also have it set to show you just the current day of the week, along with the date number. All you have to do is click the calendar once to change between the views.
Another of my favorites is the clock. This one is cool, because you can change the design of your clock to whatever you want it to be. There’s a normal looking clock, a flower clock, a blue one, a red one and several others. You can even give your clock a name. I personally have the flower clock with my name written on it. I love it! To change the view of your clock, go to the clock gadget and click on the little wrench icon. With that, you can change whatever you want within any of the gadgets.
Another helpful gadget is the feed headlines. There are four different Microsoft feeds that you can choose from. There’s Microsoft Feeds, Microsoft at Home, Microsoft at Work and MSNBC. You can either have a couple of them or all of them all at one time. Once you choose what you want, they will all be right there for you on your desktop. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that! To pick your feeds, once again, just click on the wrench icon and make your selections. The slideshow gadget is also very cool. This one isn’t really as necessary as some of the others might be, but it’s neat to look at. If you pick this as one of your gadgets, you’ll constantly have a picture slideshow on your desktop to view. Now, it won’t fill up your whole desktop, but there’s an array of beautiful pictures that will show up on your Vista sidebar. There’s everything from flowers to animals and so on.
The last one I’m going to talk about is probably my most favorite out of all of them and it’s the weather gadget. Yes, there are several other weather downloads you can get that will show the current weather conditions on your computer screen, but I like this one better. It’s bigger and it shows you the temperature and the current conditions (sunny, cloudy, etc.) very clearly. For example, it’s cloudy and 49 degrees in Toledo right now! To change the area you want to see the weather for, just click on the wrench icon and type your zip code or city and state in the search box. It will appear for you automatically and you’ll never have to wonder about the weather again!
Okay, so those are just a few that really caught my eye right away. Like I said, there are several others to choose from and you can have at least up to five gadgets on your desktop at one time. You can interchange them every day if you want as well. To access all the gadgets, click on the plus sign (+) in the upper right hand corner of your desktop and click on the word Gadgets. Then, to select whichever one you’d like, just double click it and it will appear on your screen for you. Also, like I said before, to make any changes to any of the gadgets, just click on that little wrench icon and go to town. Here’s an example of what your desktop may look like when you are all done.
There are also some gadgets that you can download from the Internet. To check those out, just click on the link that says “Get more gadgets online.” You can search through all of the choices and customize your desktop just the way you want it. Now, if you want to get rid of all the gadgets, right click on the word Gadgets in the upper right hand corner and just choose Close Sidebar. That way, all of the gadgets will disappear and you will have your full desktop space back again.