How-To: Install Gadgets for Windows 8.1 (really...?)

WARNING: THIS SOFTWARE IS A 3RD PARTY PROGRAM AND INSTALL AT YOUR OWN RISK Some of you avid Microsoft fans may still be mourning the loss of the notorious desktop clock (or raving in joy), or the much loved RSS Feeder. Well now there's a way to get them back, unofficially of course. Using a nifty little download, you can emulate the same much loved (or hated) feature that was present in the previous operating systems.

This software isn't exactly new and I'm sure a lot of you will already be aware of the program, this is just a guide for those who haven't had the time or effort to search for the software.

Head over to 8gadgetpack.net and download the installer that's on the front page (beware of the ads, they can look deceiving, its the one on the right hand side.)

Run through the download, then right click on the Desktop when complete - you should see the "Gadgets" button in the menu. Enable this, and a stock version of the program should appear.

Feel free to tweak the settings, I prefer removing the background the app comes with, leaving just a transparent background. All the original gadgets should now be available including some extras that the developer has thrown in. You also have the ability to change individual opacity's of gadgets, as well as size and other options.

In the advance of live tiles, surely Gadgets are useless, and maybe even a hinderence, what do you think about Gadgets? leave a comment below!

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I've been using this, along with Classic Shell, on my Win8 and now Win8.1 desktop since Win8 first came out. I never even see the "Start Screen". As others have pointed out, I can do what I am doing, whether that is web browsing (with Firefox) or working with Word or Excel and glance over at the gadget showing the weather or the clock. Oh, and I can have multiple windows showing on the desktop (the browser, some folders, the Word doc). Why would I want to use the "Start Screen" where I can only see ONE of those things at a time, constantly having to switch from one to another just to glance? Why bother having a 27" monitor when you can only view one app at a time?

I have some Gadgets that I made years ago, which I can't live without, but haven't yet had time to turn them into metro-style apps. I've been using this solution since Windows 8.1 came out.

I can't understand the hate (or the security risk) targeted against a simple clock display in the top right corner of my desktop, that I can glance across at from time to time while working.
I miss it on my Win8 laptop and would like it back.
Yes, I've looked at rainmaker - far too elaborate for this simple task.

Why in the world anyone needs that stupid desktop clock is WAY beyond me?! Don't you know there's already a clock in the task bar?

One of the first things I do on any computer is disable those stupid "gadgets" Have absolutely no use for any of them!

Definitely wouldn't use any 3rd party software to get them on my computer either!

cork1958 said,
Why in the world anyone needs that stupid desktop clock is WAY beyond me?! Don't you know there's already a clock in the task bar?

Don't you know that how someone else wants to use THEIR computer is none of YOUR business or concern?

Some people like a different clock because it's their style, or it's pretty, or it matches their wallpaper, or...a million other reasons that don't have anything to do with your desire to run what they might consider a more spartan, ugly, or boring desktop.

This isn't Apple here. Windows is supposed to be for the 95% who actually do Think Different(ly).

cork1958 said,
Why in the world anyone needs that stupid desktop clock is WAY beyond me?! Don't you know there's already a clock in the task bar?

Yes, of course I know there's a clock on the taskbar.

But I hide the taskbar to keep it out of the way. And the clock there is too small to catch my peripheral vision. And I like an old-fashioned clock with hands. And I like it at the top right.

And so I would like it back in Windows 8 and I cannot understand how a clock can be a security threat. Or why I can't have it just because you don't like it.

Shouldn't this just be in the software section?...and personally have no use for them. Used them a little in Vista to try out but never used them in Windows 7.

Funny. Gadgets were so cool back then, supposedly, then again, so was Vista, supposedly, and the same old people who screamed how good they were, screw their face up at the very thought of them returning

Rainmeter is an extremely popular app, the aim of the article was to allow those (if in the minority) to install the Gadget feature if they so wanted. On the whole the widgets are useless, processor consuming icons, the article was merely stating their existence for Windows 8 ! Thanks for all the comments - Dan Hull

Vester said,
If you have to use something try Rainmeter... No point though in all honesty just tap your windows key..

Exactly; I have Rainmeter with a clock on my Desktop.

Vester said,
If you have to use something try Rainmeter... No point though in all honesty just tap your windows key..

Yeah, because bringing up an entire separate screen of 99% wasted space makes sense when you just want to glance over at your clock, or CPU, or Network Traffic, etc.

i like gadgets. still use win7 on my desktop and have clipboard, clock, and cpu/memory usage gadgets.

I don't miss the gadgets at all. It was one of the many vista flops. There's better free alternatives like Rainmeter.

disabling gadgets is the first thing i do on a fresh windows 7 install, and someone wants to bring this useless experiment back?!

Wow, Neowin's standards are slipping! "Some of you avid Microsoft fans may still be mourning the loss of the notorious desktop clock, or the much loved RSS Feeder, well now there's a way to get them back"... 'much loved RSS feeder'??? 'notorious desktop clock'??? Wow! I'm missing my notorious desktop clock from 'the previous operating system, Windows 7'!

statm1 said,
..... wouldn't they be behind what you were working on and not really be a detriment to your work?

Handy... I have to fill my entire screen with the start screen just to see the weather. Something I could have done with gadgets by looking to the right.

I still use Rainmeter for all my desktop information that gadgets provide (clock, monitoring, weather, etc.).

However, the one Windows gadget I still use on Windows 7 is the slideshow one. I modified the script to increase the size, rendered the background/frame image transparent, and it remains the best desktop slideshow window widget to date.

All of the others you can download either have a problem switching from landscape to portrait or stretch/crop the image to fit a predefined window, etc.

One of my monitors has six of these frameless slideshows going (atop a live video Dream background), each pulling from separate directories, and it works quite well. Nothing else ever released works without the problems I detailed above.

If someone has found one that does work, I'd love to see it, because I am sure this Vista/7 widget won't transfer over to Windows 8.1/9.

Live tiles on desktop would be cool. Like i have said before i leave my metro screen to show on login as it shows what the weather is like and the news along with social media feed in one place (just nice to see first thing in morning it's a nice catch up what's gone on while asleep.).

After i checked this ofc i go right to Desktop never to return to Metro until next restart. Would love the metro tiles i use on the desktop 100% though.

Vester said,
Live tiles on desktop would be cool. Like i have said before i leave my metro screen to show on login as it shows what the weather is like and the news along with social media feed in one place (just nice to see first thing in morning it's a nice catch up what's gone on while asleep.).

After i checked this ofc i go right to Desktop never to return to Metro until next restart. Would love the metro tiles i use on the desktop 100% though.

That might happen in Windows 9 or at the least you'll be able to have tiles in whatever the new menu is.

Never liked widgets on the desktop. Just never found a use for them. I always use a widget on my phone tho. Mainly just a weather widget.

One would just have to find the newspost where gadgets are being announced for Vista and look at the posters wetting the floor in excitement. Perhaps find a name in common, or two, suffering from serial self-satire.

I thought Microsoft withdrew "Gadets" citing that they were a "security risk"... so does this mean they're no longer a security risk then?!

GreatMarkO said,
I thought Microsoft withdrew "Gadets" citing that they were a "security risk"... so does this mean they're no longer a security risk then?!

This isn't a Microsoft program, whoever made it doesn't give a **** about security.

A good idea, gone horribly wrong. Microsoft had a great thing going here for 7 users, but third party widgets were horrible, and there were so few to choose from.

I liked the gadgets, but not miss it. The MS gadget website, horrible, and I had most of the times problems with the language, e.g. install an english gadget on a german OS.

Live Tiles pinned to the Desktop would be fantastic. I always used to keep my workflow laid out to keep a peak at the weather gadget. Would be nice to have that option again with a live tile.

You currently have to go to the start screen in order to see live tiles though. I cant just have a window with whatever I'm doing in it with the performance manager to the right with a live tile. If you could pin them to the desktop then sure that would be a good but I just looked on the store and I can't see any similar products using live tiles.

So no, in the case of a performance monitor live tiles are not much better.

M_Lyons10 said,

This. I do not understand why anyone would want gadgets instead...

If you live predominantly in the desktop environment, it could make sense.