Gadgets are small, useful tools available on your desktop providing information, utilities, and even games and entertainment. They were introduced in Windows Vista and displayed in a sidebar. Gadgets are also available in Windows 7 and were changed to be available anywhere on the desktop instead of only in a sidebar. There are many gadgets available online you can download and easily install.
We have written about how to backup your Windows 7 gadgets, uninstall and reinstall Windows 7 gadgets, turn off user-installed desktop gadgets in Windows 7, and how to completely turn off the Windows 7 gadgets platform. You can even use Windows 7 and Vista gadgets in Windows XP. Now, we will show you how to easily access your favorite website for downloading gadgets through the Gadgets Gallery window in Windows 7 and Vista rather than the default Microsoft website.
NOTE: In this article, we will indicate text you need to type in quotes. Do NOT type the quotes before and after the text.
The Gadgets Gallery window provides a Get More Gadgets Online link at the bottom of the window allowing you to access additional gadgets you can download and add to your desktop.
The Get More Gadgets Online link takes you to Microsoft’s Gadgets Gallery website by default.
You can change the Get More Gadgets Online link to go to one of your favorite sites for downloading gadgets by adding a key to the registry.
NOTE: We recommend that you backup the registry before making changes to it. Refer to the following posts for help in backing up the registry.
- How to backup specific keys in the registry
- How to backup and restore the Windows Registry
- Backup the Windows Registry with RegBak
To do this, enter “regedit” in the Search box on the Start menu.
The Registry Editor opens. Navigate to the following key.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies
Right-click on the Policies key and select New | Key from the popup menu.
A new key is added and the name is highlighted. Type “Windows” as the name of the new key.
Add another key below the Windows key by right-clicking on the Windows key and selecting New | Key from the popup menu again. Enter “Sidebar” as the name of the key. The full path should now be as follows:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Windows \ Sidebar
To add a value for the Sidebar key, right-click in the right pane and select New | String Value from the popup menu.
A new Name is added and the text is highlighted automatically. Enter “OverrideMoreGadgetsLink” as the name of the value.
Double-click the new OverrideMoreGadgetsLink name to change its value.
The Edit String dialog box displays. In the Value data edit box, enter the URL for the site you want to access when clicking the Get More Gadgets Online link. Click OK.
The URL you entered displays in the Data column for the new OverrideMoreGadgetsLink value.
To close the Registry Editor, select Exit from the File menu.
Now, the Get More Gadgets Link on the Gadgets Gallery dialog box will open the URL you specified for the new key in the registry.
To restore the default link, simply open the Registry Editor again and delete the OverrideMoreGadgetsLink string value. You can also delete the Sidebar and Windows keys you added, if desired, but it’s not necessary.
by Lori Kaufman