View Full Version : Desktop Widgets question

06-23-2012, 10:58 AM
How do I get Widgets on to my Desktop?
I can see and manage them in the Dashboard screen but cannot find a way to show them on the Desktop.
When I uncheck the "Show Dashboard as a Space" I don't see any Widget control.

What am I doing wrong?

06-23-2012, 07:46 PM
To add widget in desktop
One trick is to switch Dashboard into developer mode – the mode that widget developers use to create their widgets. To do this, open a Terminal window (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and type (all on one line):

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES && killall Dock

… then press Return. Your dock should disappear and reappear. Now hit F12 (F4 on newer keyboards) to bring up the Dashboard. To drag a widget onto your desktop, start dragging it in the Dashboard, then hit F12/F4 while dragging to dismiss the Dashboard. Now position the widget on your desktop and release the mouse button.

To put a widget back on the Dashboard, do the opposite: Start dragging it, hit F12/F4 to bring up the Dashboard, then position it on the Dashboard and let go of the mouse button.

As you might imagine, you can turn off developer mode at any time with:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode NO && killall Dock

If the idea of messing about on the command line doesn’t appeal, there’s a handy widget called DevMode that lets you flip in and out of developer mode at the click of a button. It even shows you what mode you’re currently in.

NOTE: Running widget on desktop consumes CPU all the time. I don't like it.

06-23-2012, 08:05 PM
To add to CebuCity's excellent advice, do note that Dashboard is intended to display your widgets on its own screen. They're not meant to sit on your desktop ala Windows 7ista. While you can certainly do as CebuCity suggests, you may also consider setting a "hot corner" for Dashboard, so that when you slide your mouse up to it, Dashboard pops up immediately. Or you can get into the habit of hitting F4 (on most new Macs), which should display Dashboard as well.

And finally, you can run them on your desktop via the dev mode, but as CebuCity wisely noted, that will keep the widgets running in perpetuity, which add load to the system and if it's a laptop, drain the battery faster than intended.

06-23-2012, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the info. As a new switcher I did was not aware that putting widgets on the desktop was not a standard procedure and required this little 'hack' if I can call it that.

And, now that I am aware that if they are on the DT they will be constantly running then I have had a change of heart and will go with the hot corners/F4 to get at any widget I need. I also do not like to have things continuously running in the background eating up resources. I have always disabled them on my PC's.

Thanks again for the help.

06-24-2012, 01:03 AM
I find setting up the 3/4 finger swipe to shift to dashboard (which has all my widgets) to be quicker for me than moving my mouse all of the time. Whatever makes your life easier.

06-24-2012, 04:36 AM
For the record, this doesn't seem to work in 10.7.4...

06-24-2012, 10:59 AM
For the record, this doesn't seem to work in 10.7.4...

I gave it a try as well with no luck dragging the widgets to the desktop.
I decided not to do that anyway so I never thought much about it. I am also running 10.7.4