Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your desktop gadgets

Desktop gadgets are mini programs that offer information at a glance and provide quick access to frequently used tools. But did you know that there are lots of ways to make your gadgets more efficient, useful, and fun? Here are a few tips and tricks you can try.

Tip: Resize gadgets to get more information

You've heard the expression "less is more," but that isn't always true—especially when it comes to information. You can resize some gadgets to get even more info, like news headlines and weather, on your desktop.

  • Right-click the gadget that you want to resize, point to Size, and then click the size that you want the gadget to be.

    (Not all gadgets can be resized.)

  • Try this with: The Weather gadget and the Currency gadget

Picture of the Weather gadget in its small size and its large size
The large Weather gadget shows more information.

Trick: Sneak a peek at your gadgets

You can use the Show desktop button to take a quick look at your gadgets even when they're buried under a pile of open windows. No need to interrupt your train of thought (or even minimize any windows).

  • Point to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar. The open windows fade from view, revealing the desktop.

    To make the windows reappear, move the mouse away from the Show desktop button.

Picture of the Show desktop button
The Show desktop button
  • Try this when: You want to peek at your gadgets then go back to what you were doing.

Tip: Change the face of your gadgets

Don't like the look of some of your gadgets? Many of them can be customized. For starters, you can change the pictures in the Slide Show gadget and the Picture Puzzle gadget. Or you can change the appearance of the Clock gadget entirely.

  • Right-click the gadget that you want to change, and then click Options.

    (Not all gadgets have options.)

  • Try this with: The Clock gadget and the Picture Puzzle gadget

Picture of the Clock gadget's options
You can change the look of the Clock.

Trick: Hide gadgets for a cleaner desktop

Have you ever wished you could make all of the clutter on your desktop go away? In Windows 7, you can hide the gadgets on your desktop when you feel the need to tidy up your PC and then bring them back whenever you want. Your gadgets are restored the way you left them, with their options and locations on the desktop intact.

  • Right-click the desktop, point to View, and then click Show desktop gadgets to clear the check mark.

    (Note that hiding your gadgets doesn't remove them from the desktop.)

Want to learn more about desktop gadgets? Check out Bureaubladgadgets aanpassen, Bureaubladgadgets: veelgestelde vragen, and Give your PC some personality with desktop gadgets from Windows Live Gallery.