Windows 11’s Widgets Button Will Now Show Taskbar Alerts

Microsoft is rolling out a taskbar notification system to its Windows 11 widgets this week, The Verge reported. According to The Verge, Microsoft’s weather widget returned to Windows 11 earlier this year, it’s largely been a static experience that displays a sunny icon when the weather is good and an umbrella when its raining and “sucks to be outside”.

As of this week, Microsoft is now adding live animations to this taskbar widget. All Windows users will start to see these new widget notifications in the coming days and weeks, thanks to an update to the Windows Web Experience Pack that powers Microsoft’s widgets feature. The notifications on the taskbar weather widget, and include alerts for thunderstorms and even ticker alerts when stocks you’re following go up or down, The Verge reported.

Microsoft provided a support article titled “Stay up to date with widgets”. It explains that if you have the latest version of Windows but still don’t see all the widgets features below, it may be because some features are being rolled out to customers over several weeks and aren’t available to all customers at once.

Each widget is powered by a different app or service. To see what is powering a widget, select the More Options (…) in the upper-right corner of the widget, and look for the “Powered by” message at the bottom of the menu. Each individual widget is an extension of its corresponding app or service and is controlled by the settings for that app or service. This means the way to change your privacy settings for a widget is to change them for the app or service that powers that widget.

The support article also states that you can pin or unpin widgets and customize the widgets board to suit your needs.

Windows Central reported that the widgets will display alerts that could consist of severe weather warnings, stock changes, and breaking news.

According to Windows Central, the new widget functionality arrives in the form of a store update for the Web Experiences Pack, which is normally updated automatically, but users can manually search for the update by heading to the Microsoft Store app and selecting “Get Updates”. That said, it can take a while for all users to see the update.

Overall, it sounds like Microsoft is going to slowly roll out the new widgets to Windows 11 users. The Verge reported that Microsoft is planning to release its next major OS update on September 20. The update will include new app folders in the Start menu, drag and drop on the taskbar, new touch gestures, and more.