Microsoft has unveiled new settings for Windows 11's Widgets board, allowing users more control over the integration of news content. Insider builds now feature an updated User Interface (UI) that offers customization capabilities previously unavailable. Key to this upgrade is the option to disable the news feed, which users have criticized for cluttering the widget space.
A Streamlined Widgets Board
The Widgets board, initially introduced in Windows 11, is designed to streamline access to apps and features such as weather, calendar, sports scores, and more through the use of convenient mini-applications called widgets. Microsoft's intent to declutter the Widgets board aims to enhance user experience, emphasizing functionality over content aggregation. Users can now enjoy a cleaner interface by disabling the news feed using the new settings, which is accessible through the latest Windows 11 Canary, Dev, and Beta versions.
Customization Step by Step
To disable the news feed, users can open the Widgets board and navigate to the settings via a gear icon. Within these settings, there's an option to “Show or hide feeds,” where the Microsoft Start toggle can be turned off to remove news content. Alternatively, for those who may not see the required settings in their current build, downloading and using ViveTool—a third-party application available on GitHub—enables similar functionality. It's important to note that running third-party tools involves some inherent risk, and Microsoft makes no guarantees regarding these applications.
- Click the Weather icon on the left of the taskbar or press Win + W to open the Widgets board.
- Click the Gear icon to open the Widgets board Settings.
- Select the Show or hide feeds option.
- Turn off the Microsoft Start toggle and click Turn off to disable news.
The Widgets board can then be personalized further by adding preferred widgets, such as Family Safety or Outlook Calendar, using the “+” sign, without the distraction of a news feed. Microsoft's decision to expand customization reflects their commitment to improving user autonomy and satisfaction—a sentiment echoed by users who have shared positive reactions to the news-free Widgets experience on social media platforms.
As the technology continues to evolve, Microsoft's steps to refine Windows 11 suggest a keen awareness of user feedback and an ongoing dedication to align their products with consumer preferences.