Widgets put a lot of handy info at your fingertips, from news to traffic reports to weather. Learn how to control and customize the widgets feature in Windows 11.
Windows 11 offers a widgets option through which you can view news stories, weather reports, stock quotes, photos, and other content. To take full advantage of widgets, though, you’ll want to customize the feed so that you see the most relevant and useful information. Toward that end, you can add and remove widgets, as well as select or deselect specific interests and sources. Here’s how to manage your widgets.
SEE: Windows 11: Tips on installation, security and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
To view the widgets sidebar, hover your mouse over its Taskbar icon. If the Taskbar is right aligned, the icon appears all the way to the left. If the Taskbar is center aligned, the icon appears amid the other icons. By default, the widgets pane shows specific content at the top, such as the weather forecast, stock quotes, sports scores, and photos. News stories appear below. A search field at the very top allows you to search the web for specific topics (Figure A).
Scroll down the pane to see additional news stories. Click a link for an item to view and read the entire story in your browser (Figure B).
You can now start customizing the feed to control what you see. Scroll back to the top of the pane. Click the three-dot icon next to a widget you want to manage. From the menu, you can opt to change the size of the widget among small, medium, and large. You can remove the widget entirely or customize it (Figure C).
If you opt to customize the widget, select or type the information you want to see. For the weather widget, enter the name of a city. For the stock widget, enter a ticker symbol or company name for a stock you want to follow. And for the sports widget, type the name of a specific team or league to follow (Figure D).
Next, you can add more widgets at the top. Click the button for Add Widgets. Click the plus sign for any widget you want to add (Figure E).
To arrange the widgets at the top, drag one to a different position. Then drag the other widgets to organize them all into your preferred order (Figure F).
Scroll down through the news stories again. If there’s a specific story that doesn’t interest you or that rubs you the wrong way, hover over it and click the X button. Select one of the choices. Selecting Not Interested In This Story will hide this story and similar stories. Selecting Hide [name of source] will hide all stories from this particular outlet or publication. And selecting Report An Issue lets you report a story as irrelevant, misleading, outdated or offensive (Figure G).
To further control the news stories you see, click the ellipsis icon at the lower corner of a particular story. Select the option for More Stories Like This or Fewer Stories Like This depending on whether you like or dislike the content. Choose to hide news stories from the source if you don’t want to see any more stories from that source or publication. Select Save For Later if you want to save the story for future reference. And select Report An Issue to report an issue with the story (Figure H).
You can manage your overall interests to better determine what types of stories appear. Click the ellipsis icon for any story and select the option for Manage Interests. The resulting webpage displays all the available interests, such as news, entertainment, money, lifestyle, travel and local. Select a specific interest to see its topics. Click the plus icon for a topic you want to follow (Figure I).
Click the entry for Followed Interests to review all the topics you follow. To follow an interest not listed, type its name in the search field and select the result (Figure J).
Click the entry for Followed Sources to see any sources you already follow. Type the name of a publication, website or other new source you wish to follow and select the result (Figure K).
Finally, you can fine-tune your interests and sources. Click the entry for Tune Your Feed. Select the icons for the publishers and sources you wish to follow. Click Done when finished (Figure L).