How to Use Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8 with 8GadgetPack

In one of our previous articles, we mentioned that Windows 8 has removed a few features from Windows 7, even though they were used by quite a few people. One of the most important missing features in Windows 8 is desktop gadgets. Therefore, I searched for a way to restore gadgets to Windows 8 and found one. With the help of a tool created by an enthusiast named Helmut Buhler, you can use desktop gadgets in Windows 8. Let's learn how it works.

Restore Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8 with 8GadgetPack

8GadgetPack is a free piece of software you download and install to restore the desktop gadget functionality in Windows 8. As shared in this article - 9 Windows 7 Features & Applications That No Longer Exist in Windows 8, desktop gadgets are one of the nine Windows 7 features that were removed from Windows 8.

8gadgetpack - Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8

Obviously, this piece of software will work only in Windows 8 as Windows 7 or Windows Vista already provide this functionality.

You can download it from here: 8GadgetPack - Gadgets for Windows 8.

What Do You Get with 8GadgetPack?

8GadgetPack will give you access to desktop gadgets that worked in Windows Vista and Windows 7, in Windows 8. I have tested also a few of the gadgets we covered in this roundup - The Desktop Gadgets Recommended by 7 Tutorials and they worked well in Windows 8.

8gadgetpack - Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8

Another important feature of 8GadgetPack is that it provides support for the six main languages on which desktop gadgets used to work: Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Japanese and Russian. Also, the software is set to use English as the fallback language, if an unsupported language is used in one of your gadgets.

Caveats of 8GadgetPack

As you might expect, there are some caveats to this tool, considering that it is mostly a hack put together by a passionate programmer and not an official tool from Microsoft.

The first caveat is that the implementation is that from Windows Vista: you have a sidebar with gadgets that can be placed on the left or right of your Desktop.

8gadgetpack - Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8

You can add gadgets until you fill the sidebar. Then, you must remove some of the existing gadgets to add others. You cannot simply add gadgets to the Desktop like in Windows 7 and move them around as you see fit.

Another downside is that the application is a port of an older tool developed by the same person. Therefore, some of the configuration windows have not been updated to include the new application name and they mention the old application. This will confuse you at first but the application does function correctly.

8gadgetpack - Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8


Even though there are a few minor caveats to this tool, 8GadgetPack definitely gets the job done. And all desktop gadgets should work with it. If you are looking for some nice gadgets to install and use, don't hesitate to read our recommendations below.

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