Please Mom, don't download that weather widget from Cnet.
February 10, 2015 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Desktop widgets in Windows Vista/7 appear to be disabled because of security problems. Is there any application or other way to display weather info on the desktop in Windows Vista/7 in a constantly updated widget like way?

I can't remember whether my mom is running Vista or 7, but I believe the underlying OS hooks are the same.
posted by to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Best answer: Depending on her level of computer savvy, your mom may not be comfortable setting it up, but if you're willing to set it up for her Rainmeter has some lovely widgety ways of doing that, depending on your skin choice.
posted by Lafe at 8:05 AM on February 10, 2015

Desktop widgets in Windows Vista/7 appear to be disabled because of security problems.

Security Advisory 2719662 warns that gadgets may have exploitable vulnerabilities, and contains a link to article kb2719662 that features downloadable Fixits for both disabling and enabling Windows Sidebar as a whole.

The Security Advisory specifically states that the sidebar-disabling Fixit is a workaround, not a security update. I think the contributor to this thread who claims that the Sidebar has been "removed from the operating system" on the basis of that Security Advisory has simply misunderstood it.

I don't currently have access to a Windows box with a working Weather gadget from which to gather the files listed in sting251's reply in that thread. I can probably track them down if you need them. They're only config files, so I don't think I'd be breaching copyright by posting working ones somewhere.

If the reason your mom can't use the inbuilt Weather gadget is because she's disabled the Sidebar for fear of vulnerabilities, my advice is to enable it again, uninstall any gadgets that weren't supplied with Windows, and use the inbuilt Weather gadget.
posted by flabdablet at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2015

Response by poster: this is long distance troubleshooting. it appears to be not working, any other information is unknown and possibly unknowable. for all I know the email from my mom originated in Nigeria and is the beginning of some deep phishing... im going to try and see if she can install rainmeter... thanks. (I also don't have a windows machine to test anything on...)
posted by at 2:04 PM on February 10, 2015

Not answering the question but possibly helpful anyway, Teamviewer makes long distance troubleshooting much easier. You can see what she sees and take over if necessary. And, it's free. It's helped me dig my dad out of malware a time or two.
posted by irisclara at 3:13 PM on February 10, 2015

You don't mention what type of computer this is but my Dell work laptop has a number of performance setting levels some of which disable the Sidebar widgets.
posted by tommasz at 3:21 PM on February 10, 2015

Response by poster: mom was able to install rainmeter and a weather widget with some help. thanks!
posted by at 6:57 PM on February 16, 2015

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