Microsoft: More widgets are arriving for Windows 11

The arrival of third-party app widgets could make its Windows 11 widgets board a lot more appealing.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty Images/10'000 Hours

Meta's Messenger app is the first third-party widget to be available in the Windows 11 widget board -- but the support for third-party widgets is only for users running the latest Windows 11 preview. 

The widget system was one of the headline features of Windows 11. However, until now only Microsoft apps and content has featured in the panel, including Bing content, Windows tips, and Game Pass promotions. Microsoft enabled widgets for third-party developers via the WinAppSDK 1.2 released in November

Also: How to change your username in Windows 11

Meta's Messenger widget is a preview and the widget system isn't entirely stable at the moment, but the arrival of the Messenger widget should be welcomed by Windows 11 users as a first look at what developers could do in the future. 

Users need to install the latest version of Messenger from the Microsoft Store and then open the widgets board. There's a "+" at the top of the board that displays a widget picker from where users will be able to select Messenger to pin to the board.

Microsoft says users should expect more widgets in the future, but warns the current implementation could be a bit wobbly. The build with support for third-party widgets is Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25284.   

"You should expect to see additional new widgets as more developers create and release widgets for their apps," Microsoft said.

At present, the third-party widgets might vanish occasionally from the widgets board, but they can be added back by pinning them again from the widget picker. The widgets might also become unpinned when a user signs into multiple Windows devices. In addition, the undo button on the widget pinned and unpinned toast notification doesn't always work. 

Microsoft is also working on enabling support for third-party Progressive Web Apps, or PWA widgets, for its Edge browser. It's coming to a future Edge release and is currently rated as an experimental feature.

Also: How to control Windows 11 with your voice

Microsoft is testing another handy feature in Edge that allows users to split a tab into two screens, so users can compare content across two open webpages. 

Image: Microsoft
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