With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest OS, around the corner it’s all the rage. Windows 8 was a monumental flop and this paved the way for Windows 7 to still be heavily used even after all these years. Windows 7 is Microsoft’s most successful OS after XP in my opinion, with its good and efficient design matched by its smooth and speedy performance. Many people and organizations will keep on using it for years to come.
One of the great but undervalued and underappreciated features of Windows 7 was the Windows 7 gadgets feature. Microsoft may have disabled the support for it now but there are still a lot of useful Windows 7 gadgets that were released by Microsoft and independent developers that are out there. And you can get them from third parties but do use caution as there are a lot of malware infected programs out there.
Here are our top 13 Windows 7 gadgets.
1) Weather Meter
It is one of the better Windows 7 gadgets that can display the current weather. After adding it to your desktop, change the setting to set it to your present location where ever in the world. It has a nice little graphic interface that shows sun, clouds etc. depending on the outside weather. It can also display visibility humidity and pressure and much more. This is a must try gadget.
2) Currency Meter
Currency Meter is one of the financial Windows 7 gadgets. You can use it to see the 149 different world currencies (6 at one time). It can also keep up-to-date with the value of silver, palladium and gold. The Currency Meter comes with a default refresh time of 10 minutes but you can bring it down to a minute if you choose so, in the settings.
3) Ultimate Explorer
This gadget gives you the ease of searching from your favorite popular sites like eBay, Digg, Amazon or Google and many more, directly from your desktop without going through the hassle of opening your browser. This gadget can expand too if you have free desktop space. There is also a functionality of “snap search” through which you can easily switch between search engines. A help section is also included.
4) Drives Meter
This is a good unique gadget among the Windows gadgets which lets you get complete information about couple of hard drives. You can use it to see the amount of disk space utilized the drive letter and the amount of free space. There is also a live scroll chart showing the disk activity so you can see when your disk is being lightly or heavily utilized. You can also set a low disk space notification and alarm and there is also an option in setting s to customize colors.
This is a real versatile Windows 7 Gadget that can show you a whole lot of different information regarding your computer. You can monitor battery power, system time, CPU Core activity, drive state, Wi-Fi state and Ram usage.
There aren’t many Windows 7 gadgets that provide you live streaming. This is especially good for news and there is a plethora of stations to choose from like NBC News, CNN, C-SPAN etc. There is also the option to either watch the streaming in small gadget window or choose a full screen display; which can be done by double click. You can also get out of full-screen display by double clicking.
7) Battery Meter
This is a no fuss, simple and straight forward gadget for monitoring the state of your laptop etc. battery. This gadget can display the battery life remaining and the total amount it can provide. There is also a low battery warning alarm, which can be accessed by clicking on the wrench like setting icon on the gadget. The colors of the gadget can also be customized.
8) Stream Portal
This is a free gadget that is a streaming media viewer for watching video broadcasts and live radio. There are some annoying ads you would have to content with on the side pane but overall it’s a smooth, easy and unobtrusive way for streaming media.
9) Clipboard Manager
The default clipboard gadget for Windows is not very extensive and quite less in functionality. It also requires Office app. The Clipboard on the other hand is good looking and packed with features. The background is customizable so you can make it fit your desktop. You can even add a photo in the background if you so prefer.
Up to 999 clips can be saved and sent to clipboard. They can also be deleted as well as sent to a Favorites list. There is also ability to timestamp the clips. Text as well as images can be copied. One last neat feature worth reviewing about Clipboard Manager is its privacy mode which prevents passers-by from seeing what you have saved to clipboard by not displaying the data on main gadget.
10) Open/Close DVD
The premise of this gadget is quite simple. Take a scenario in which your computer sits under the desk and you have to open or close the DVD player. This app eases that task; just click on open button to open DVD drive and close button to close the DVD drive. One downfall for this gadget is that if you have multiple DVD drives installed in your computer, then there is no option to select a particular one.
11) Network Meter
Network Meter can inform you of the signal strength of Wi-Fi hotspot that you are connected to or give you the speed of your desktop’s Ethernet connection. This is just the tip of the iceberg with this gadget as it can display much more information. There is also an option to enlarge this gadget as well.
12) Magic Folder
Guys don’t be fooled by this gadgets unprofessional looking icon. This is the first time I heard of a gadget that can sort out the files and place them in correct folders according to their extension. Many of us, being lazy end up with a lot of files sitting on our desktop. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of sorting out these files and placing them in a folder, just drag and drop the files onto this gadget. It will automatically send the files in the correct folder like .png into images folder, .doc into documents folder and so on. You can even add and delete file extensions and also customize the folder into which the specific file should be sent to. You can also turn on the option of the gadget telling you where to put the file before moving the file.
13) Remote Desktop
This gadget is for you people who are using a remote desktop connection through any of the compatible network supported by this gadget. It can easily help you connect and control the other computer. There is also a history option which provides you a list of you visited computers and also provides repeat logins.