How to add or remove widgets from Android: All you need to know

Widgets can be incredibly useful, so it makes sense to know how to add or remove them from your Android smartphone. Widget stands for "window gadget." Android widgets are interactive and provide data, while also acting as gateways to apps. This tutorial shows you all you need to know on how to add or remove widgets from your Android's Home screen:

NOTE: For this tutorial, we used an ASUS ZenFone Max Pro device running Android 9 Pie. The procedures are similar on all Android-powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you have a smartphone from Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, or some other manufacturer. If you do not know your Android version, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet.

How to add widgets to your Android's Home screen

You shouldn't confuse widgets with Android Home screen shortcuts. While both widgets and shortcuts can be used to launch an app, a widget is interactive, displays data, and usually takes up more space. Your Android smartphone comes with its own built-in widgets, such as the Android Clock widget - which makes it a convenient choice to illustrate this tutorial.

To add a widget, you first need to access the widgets drawer. Tap and hold on a space on your Android smartphone's Home screen to bring up a menu, and choose Widgets. On some devices like those from Huawei, you might have to pinch the Home screen with two fingers in order to bring up the menu.

Tap on Widgets from the Home screen menu

The widgets drawer opens, showing you all the available widgets, categorized by their corresponding apps. Scroll through the list to find the widget you want to add to your Home screen. We are looking to add an Android Clock widget and there are two of them available: Analog clock and Digital clock. Tap and hold on a widget to enter the placing mode.

Find the widget you want to add

In placing mode, drag your widget to any place you want on your Home screen. Then, lift your finger off the screen to finish placing it.

Find a place on the Home screen for your widget

The widget is now ready to use on the Home screen.

In our case, the Android Clock widget offers data about the time and date, and tapping it opens the Clock app.

The widget is placed on your Home screen

To move the widget around, press-and-hold on it. When you release it anywhere on your screen, the widget's edges become highlighted. Tap and hold on an edge to grab it, and then drag it to resize the widget.

Drag the edges to resize a widget

TIP: Widgets can also be used to save time when you want to fast dial a contact. To learn how to do that, read How to create a shortcut to fast dial or direct message a contact in Android.

How to remove widgets from Android

It's easy to figure out how to remove widgets from Android. The process is the same for all the elements used to personalize the Home screen of your Android smartphone or tablet. Press-and-hold on a widget to grab it. You can see the Remove option displayed at the top of the screen. Move your finger to drag the widget onto Remove.

Drag and drop the widget onto Remove

The widget is removed from your Android's Home screen. You can add it back at any time by following the steps illustrated in the first section of this tutorial.

TIP: You can also uninstall the app associated with a certain widget to get rid of it. To learn how to do that, read 4 ways to uninstall apps on Android.

What widgets appeal to you?

We think widgets represent a major advantage of Android smartphones over iPhones, and, if you like, you can read more about the differences between the two. The Android Clock widget is among the first we add to our screens. What about you? What widgets do you find necessary? We are always looking for new ideas, so leave a comment below with the names of your favorite widgets.

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