The Four Best Weather Widgets For Windows 7

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weather widgetsKeeping the tabs on the weather isn’t the most exciting activity in the world, but let’s face it – it’s usually a necessity. While a small number of people have the luxury of living in areas with a very stable climate, many of us live in areas where a sunny day can be lost to a thunderstorm in just a few minutes. Ignoring the weather forecast is a good way to end up with a soggy picnic.

There are many ways to find out about the weather, and one of them is your computer. Having an active desktop weather widget is great for checking the forecast before heading out, particularly if you’re old-fashioned (like me) and still haven’t bought a smartphone.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Windows 7 weather widgets for keeping tabs on mother nature.

Weatherbug

weather widgetsIn the past Weatherbug had a pretty poor reputation. I remember having to frequently uninstall it from my grandmother’s computer because it caused problems whenever she booted into Windows. It seemed like I had to take it off on a weekly basis because it was piggy-backing on other programs and websites that she was using frequently.

To be honest, I don’t know what the state of Weatherbug’s current program is, but I can say that the Weatherbug weather widgets didn’t cause my computer to explode, cough or otherwise malfunction. It looks like they’ve gone legit.

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And that is a good thing, because the Weatherbug widget is comprehensive. The main section, Live Conditions, shows the current temperature, wind direction and provides a simple forecast. The Forecast section provides a three-day forecast and links to a seven-day forecast, a weekend forecast and current temperature map (these open in your browser). The third screen displays a basic radar and the fourth screen will display a weather camera if one is available in your area.

I also noticed that the Weatherbug widget seems subjectively faster than the other weather widgets available. Windows 7 widgets have always had a tendency to feel slightly unresponsive, but the Weatherbug widget feels smooth. I don’t know what secret sauce they’ve used, but I’m glad they took the time to make sure their widget isn’t clunky.

Weather Center

weather widgetsWeather Center is, unlike other weather widgets, not affiliated with any major weather website. That means you obtain the luxury of choice. Weather Center can take data from The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, Weather Underground, MSN, The Weather Network, Weatherbug and NOAA.

You also gain the benefit of choice when it comes to the information you want to have displayed. The interface of Weather Center is about the same size as that of Weatherbug. The name of the city whose weather you’re watching displays a the top, along with the temperature and current conditions.

Below you’ll find four smaller entires. By default these are Feels Like, Wind, Humidity and Precipitation, but you can choose between 12 other options including Visibility, Dew Point and UV Index.

free weather widgets

At the bottom of the widget is the forecast for the current day. Unlike some other weather widgets, Weather Center does not have the option to display an extended forecast. You will also not find a link to additional information that will open in your browser, as is the case with other widgets.

MSN Weather Widget

free weather widgetsThe simple MSN Weather widget isn’t the one to pick if you’re looking for features. The default view simply shows the name of your city, the temperature, and a graphic that indicates current weather conditions and time. If you click on the name of the city you will open up the MSN weather page in your browser, while clicking elsewhere on the widget will open a five-day extended forecast. You can, if you desire, make the five-day extended forecast show up at all times by changing the settings.

There are no options to show information like humidity, wind speed, or a radar. Depending on what you want, however, that may be fine. Basic though this widget may be, it is worth noting that this is the only Windows 7 weather widget listed here that will display a full five-day extended forecast without forcing you to open your web browser.  It also takes up the least overall desktop space while using the smaller display setting.

Weather Channel Widget

weather widgetsThis widget can be large. While the smallest display setting is of reasonable size, the medium setting is about two and half times as wide as The Weather Channel widget and about as tall. The larger display setting is four times the size of the Weather Center widget. This is not the widget to download if you are using a low-resolution monitor.

Fortunately, The Weather Channel widget doesn’t completely waste space. The medium display setting shows an extended three-day forecast that is relatively large and easy to read. The more interesting function, however, is the radar that appears when you make the widget huge. While it takes up a lot of space, the upshot of that is that the radar mode on this widget is actually readable. You won’t be able to zoom down to street-level, but you’ll at least be able to see if the big blob of green-and-yellow representing rain shows is near your city.

The Weather Channel widget also includes buttons for hour-by-hour and ten-day forecasts as well as the option to enlarge the radar or view it in motion. These options all direct you to the Weather.com website, which is annoying. There is also a complete lack of options for configuring the widget. Still, if you want an easy-to-read widget with clear radar data this could be the one for you.

Conclusion

These are far from the only weather widgets to choose from. They are, however, the only ones that I think are worth using. I tried other widgets – such as those from Weather Underground and ProWeather – and found them to be clunky or difficult to use. I could be wrong, however – post a comment if you have a favorite widget that I missed.

Image Credit: Bitzcelt

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Comments (24)
  • Brent Rossiter

    Oh Wow. I just tried another provider (Wunderground.com) on the umbrella one, and it stuck and stayed on my city when set. That’s the umbrella one. Its actually a very nice weather gadget. Maybe my new favourite.

  • Brent Rossiter

    Hmm. The Umbrella one did eventually load. I remember this one now, and I think I have had it working before. Its the one that has multiple providers to choose from. Forceca was the one I liked, but its not there now. Accu seems to work, but I see what you mean. Its set to my city, but still says NY??. But the other one works good. Weather Center. Its the same one listed here near the top of this webpage. The 2nd one.

  • Brent Rossiter

    Hi Heather. (Dunno if youll see this, as your name has no reply option).
    Im not sure which one you are trying, but I just now downloaded the latest 8Gadgetpack and installed it on my W8. It has more gadgets than before even (60), and 4 weather ones that I can see. On the last page Of 4, are 3 weather gadgets. 1st is the original W7 one, the last umbrella one I cant get to load, but the middle one, “Weather Center” is my favourite. Lots of info. On Page 2 on the bottom line, is one called “My Weather”. That works great too, and is a very small basic stripped down one. Works great too. Good Luck.

  • Brent Rossiter

    That’s good. Just keep all the comments about gadgets that DONT work and KEEP links up that are LONG defunct.
    But disallow the comment with actual gadgets that WORK and are CURRENT.
    Yeah. Good one!!

    • heather

      Hi someone pasted your comment into her reply adn I saw it!
      THANK YOU!!! I used your link and got a weather gadget on my desktop. Not perfect, but at least I have one now. I had a laptop that was stolen and replaced, so I still have windows 7 (and like it) but when I set up the new laptop Gadgets no longer worked. I searched and tried a few things to get my weather back with no luck until I found your links. So I have 1 choice with what I installed for weather and it displays my city and temp. Any way to get my sun, clouds, rain, etc on that small widget? if not,, I am just happy to have the temp on there!!! THANK YOU again.

      Brent Rossiter
      April 4, 2015
      There are a few options about now. I have tried 2 of them, and found them to be just as safe and the same as the W7 gadgets. Gadgetsrevived was the 1st one, then I used 8Gadgetpack, and it has about 4 times as many, and several different weather choices. The Weather Center one listed here is included in Gadgetpack. It works very well. http://8gadgetpack.net/

    • heather

      I have an issue with this new weather widget. It works!!! BUT….
      I changed my zip/ city and *C to *F and it shows in the setting it is changed, but the widget still is showing New York and *C. If anyone has a fix for this please let me know.

  • Sue

    I like MSN weather gadget the best-the 5 day forecast. Recently purchased a new laptop and installed MSN weather gadget on it also. I have several on my desktop for different areas. One won’t obtain exact town on new laptop but did on old laptop. Both are windows 7. Help.

    • heather

      please tell me how you did that as Windows 7 no longer supports gadgets. I recently replaced my stolen laptop and have windows 7 and would like weather back on my desktop. I have not been successful at finding anything that will work.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.