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We want Windows 11 desktop widgets, say Windows Central readers

Windows 11 desktop search bar
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The latest Insider build of Windows 11 features a new search box.
  • Microsoft is experimenting with different types of interactive content on the desktop.
  • 66% of our readers want widgets on the Windows 11 desktop, according to a recent poll.

Microsoft recently started testing new types of interactive content on the Windows 11 desktop. The first new feature in this class was a search box that sat right in the middle of a person's home screen. That box appeared in Windows 11 Build 25120 (opens in new tab), and it sparked a discussion about where people want widgets on their PC.

In a poll we ran over the weekend (opens in new tab), just under two-thirds of voters said they'd like widgets on the Windows 11 desktop.

Of course, Windows 11 (opens in new tab) already has a widgets panel, but it sits off to the left of the desktop and has to be summoned with a swipe or click. Desktop widgets, such as the search box seen in Build 25120, place interactive content front and center.

Since comments are temporarily unavailable on Windows Central, we pointed people to Twitter and Discord to discuss desktop widgets. 

"I'd love to see official widget support on Windows, but only if we aren't roped into Bing and Edge like we are with the current widgets," said GodSponge.

At the moment, the search box on Windows 11 uses Bing and Edge, even if you have a different browser set as your default. This raised concerns from many and wasn't the first time Microsoft forced Edge on people.

Others weren't so keen to see widgets make their way to the desktop. "I hate widgets. I love simplicity and consistency and don't like 2, 3, or 4 ways to do the same thing, whether it's in operating systems or web pages," said Major9th. "One place to click for an app. One consistent place and way to open, close, etc."

We'll have to wait to see what Microsoft has in store for widgets on its new operating system. Back in February, the tech giant said that it planned to try out a few new features to get feedback from users.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.