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Windows Desktop Gadgets was introduced with Windows Vista and could be used for Windows 7 as well in order to increase productivity. These were really popular around 10 years ago. The desktop gadgets could do things like display the time, weather, sticky notes and even CPU speed. These could be arranged anywhere on the desktop and even behind your main apps. Unfortunately, the arrival of Windows 8 also coincided with the abandonment of the feature. The additional features were incorporated into live tiles on Windows 8, and to a lesser extent of, Windows 10.
The departure from the Start Screen-first approach and a return to a desktop-dominant system on Windows 10 means gadgets and tools like these are being restored.
The reason why gadgets were slowly eased out had a lot to do with vulnerabilities in its gadgets allowed the running of Remote Code Execution which allowed remote attackers to gain access to your PC. Hackers could exploit vulnerabilities in legitimate Gadgets or trick you into installing a malicious gadget to run code under your account profile. This could open doors for other malware or even hijack your PC.
The following options are quite prominent when it comes to making gadgets available on Windows 10:
This is available on the Microsoft Store. Widget HD allows you to put widgets on the Windows 10 desktop. All you have to do is install the app, run it and choose the widget that you want to see. Widgets can be repositioned on the Windows 10 desktop.
Similar to Windows Vista, hovering over the widget reveals an X button to close it and a Settings cog that allows you to make customizations.
Although it is free, the app offers in-app purchases of additional widget types which include news feed, picture gallery, internet speed test and much more.
Windows Desktop Gadgets
Designed to work with multiple languages which can be chosen in the installation wizard, Windows Desktop Gadgets are very light on the resources.
The Desktopgadgetsrevived-2.0.exe has to be extracted from the downloaded ZIP file and after being installed, the old school Windows Vista/7 style gadgets can be accessed by right-clicking desktop and accessing Gadgets.
What you will observe is that gadgets will now have been added to Control Panel. This can be accessed through Appearances and Personalization under Control Panel. You can add the gadgets to the desktop by clicking and dragging them to the place that you want them to be in.
What's the most interesting to note is that this feature is a replacement for the original gadgets.
This is another lightweight option and allows users to run gadgets in Windows 8.x and Windows 10. To get your hands on the 8Gadget Pack, you have to visit the link and download the MSI file through the link that is available on the right side of the page, and then install it. Once it is open, click the + button to open up a list of gadgets and drag the gadgets to your desktop.