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Add Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets to Windows 8

Replace XP & Windows 7 features missing from Windows 8

If you used of any of the desktop Gadgets available in Windows 7, you will notice that they have all gone once you've upgraded to Windows 8. This is because Microsoft has ceased support for Gadgets under the new operating system. Here's how to re-install Windows 7 Gadgets when you are using Windows 8. See also: How to add Windows Media Center to Windows 8.

There's no official way to re-install them, but you can get them back by installing a free utility called 8Gadgetpack, available from http://8gadgetpack.bplaced.net.

Installing this utility will create a gadget sidebar to which you can add any of the gadgets you had previously installed on Windows 7 without having to download them again. All user settings should also be preserved. If you don't like the sidebar, you can close it and place the gadgets directly on the desktop as before.

You should be aware the Microsoft cites security as a reason for removing the gadgets, although you'll be no less secure as you were using them under Windows 7. As always, do some research before installing any gadgets you may find online, especially as the official Microsoft Gadget repository is now gone. (See also: Windows 8: the complete guide.)

You can also run XP Mode in Windows 8. It's a bit more involved, but we show you how in our article: How to migrate Windows XP Mode to Windows 8.

For more on the changes in Windows 8 and how to use them visit Windows 8 Advisor. For detailed advice on installing Windows 8 Release Preview, read our article: How to install Windows 8.

Desktop Gadgets

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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