Microsoft is now starting to roll out widget notifications on the taskbar to all Windows 11 users, the company announced this week. The feature has been in testing with Windows Insiders in both the Dev and Beta channels, and you might have assumed they were part of Windows 11 version 22H2, but instead, they’re rolling out as part of an update for the Windows Web Experience Pack.
Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has been experimenting with new ways to add new capabilities to Windows without having to require updates to the core of the operating system. If you’ve looked at your download history on the Microsoft Store, you might have noticed updates for the Windows Feature Experience Pack or the Windows Web Experience Pack, which can enable certain features in the OS. It’s never been explicitly clear what features can be added via these methods, but we did know that the Windows 11 Widgets relied on the Web Experience Pack.
As to what these notifications are, they’re basically updates from your widgets or breaking news shown directly on the taskbar, assuming you have the widgets button enabled. Generally, this button displays the current weather in your location, but now, if an important update happens in one of your other widgets – such as sports or finance – or if there is breaking news, the icon will temporarily show you this new information directly on the taskbar. If you choose not to interact with it, the icon will go back to showing the weather after a while.
If you want to get this feature, you’ll need to check for updates in the Microsoft Store to make sure you have the latest version of the Windows Web Experience Pack. If you still don’t see it, it may be simply because of a gradual rollout. In due time, all Windows 11 users should be able to see the new widget notifications. If you’re waiting for something a bit more exciting, it was reported earlier this week that Windows 11 version 22H2 is a little over a month away, and that will bring a ton of new features.