Great Windows 7 Gadgets You Should Try

June 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

The Windows 7 desktop, like Vista before it, allows you to add various useful gadgets that can assist you in the day-to-day use of your computer. You might have a requirement for a larger clock or an analogue clock on your desktop, and thanks to the gadgets provided with Windows 7 and various additional ones available from Microsoft you can select from any number of clocks, not to mention tools for displaying information about your computer, accessing major search engines, checking currency valuations and even Twitter.

All of these tools are free, and the following list features some particularly cool and useful suggestions, which can all be found either in Windows 7 or downloaded via Microsoft’s website.

To add a gadget, right-click a blank portion of your desktop and select Gadgets. In the resulting screen you will be able to choose from ten or so default gadgets, each activated by right-clicking and dragging to your desktop. From here, they can be positioned as you see fit, space permitting. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, hit the Get more gadgets online link, and browse the selection on the Microsoft website, using Download > Install to add the gadget to your desktop.

Great Windows 7 Gadgets You Should Try

Unmissable Windows 7 Gadgets

Social Networking is as popular as ever, and this is proven by the popularity of Twitter and Facebook. Both of these networks are well-represented among Windows 7 desktop gadgets, and you might find it tricky to find the right ones. Use the search tools to find “Twitter Explorer” and “Fb Explorer” to add these two great gadgets to your PC.

If you’re interested in keeping an eye on your computer’s current resource use, the default CPU Meter is a great choice, displaying RAM and CPU use. If you would prefer something more suitable for your computer, however – such as a tool that displays the use of a multi-core CPU – then you should take a look at All CPU Meter.

I’m based in the UK, and as a writer on tech websites such as DeviceMAG I often get paid in dollars. As such, having a usable, easy to access currency exchange tool comes in very handy. The default Currency tool fulfils this task well, and enables me to quickly work out how much I can make from various freelance projects.

Getting paid in dollars is just one aspect of the global village, and the shrinking of our world via globalization and the Internet. Another example of this is the need to be more able to communicate with people who speak different languages. While most Europeans and Americans can speak at least two languages, there are those of us that don’t – and often two languages isn’t enough. To make this easier, the Translator gadget for Windows 7 can be used to read text written in a different language.

For hardcore online gamers and fans of the giant MMO World of Warcraft, the WoW Explorer gadget is a prime example of what happens when a great idea is packaged into a small desktop app that makes it easy to check the latest information on realms in the US and EU. There are many game related gadgets for Windows 7, and if you’re more interested in casual gaming than big MMOs then you should be able to find a considerable choice of small gadget-based games that can easily be opened and closed when you have a few spare minutes.

Do you have any favourite Windows 7 desktop gadgets? Leave a comment below if there are any you think we should have included!

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