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Windows 11 adds taskbar alerts for widgets

While this appears to be a welcome development, it does raise concerns about distraction.

windows 11 logo
Image: Microsoft

Starting this week, you’ll begin to notice a new taskbar notification system in Windows 11. This is because Microsoft is rolling out changes to its Windows Web Experience Pack, which controls how widget notifications work.

This means that the weather widget, which was previously removed, then restored, will now display animated notifications instead of the old static notifications.

This new feature can be handy in warning you of impending bad weather when planning a trip or an outing. The change is also coming to widgets like Finance and Breaking news.

The new Windows 11 widgets

The new Windows 11 taskbar notifications system with dynamic content was announced in a Microsoft support article.

Apart from the animated weather widget notifications, you can also expect to see live content from other widgets. These notifications can include stock market announcements or live scores from a soccer match.

This way, you don’t have to leave your current task to catch up with the stock market or the sports game. All you have to do is simply check your widget notifications.

windows 11 widget screen
Image: KnowTechie

While this appears to be a welcome development, it does raise concerns about distraction. As of the time of writing, there’s no good way to mute these notifications.

What you can do, however, is ignore them if you can. If you do, they’ll go away. Alternatively, you can drag your widget board to a location where the notifications won’t distract you. You may also try working offline for a bit.

Not for everyone, though

According to Microsoft, these changes will not be available for Windows 11 SE. For supported versions, however, keep your eyes peeled for the new changes as they will become available in the coming days or weeks.

Early last year, similar changes to the weather and news widgets were announced for Windows 10. This was months before Microsoft restored the weather widget in Windows 11.

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