Apple’s macOS Sonoma has brought a bunch of interesting new features to Mac users, and among the most useful are desktop widgets. As the name implies, you can now drag and drop widgets straight onto your desktop, giving you quick access to to-do lists, local weather forecasts, smart home controls and more. Here we will show you how to use them.
The best part about macOS Sonoma widgets is their interactivity. Now there is no need to open the widget to use the connected application. Instead, you can easily tick your reminders or play music directly from your desktop, simply by interacting with your widgets. It’s a great time saver and works with a variety of widgets, including those made by Apple and third-party developers.
The widgets are now housed in a new widget gallery, which you can access by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Edit Widgets. You also don’t need to have the widget installed on your Mac to run, as it will be available if it’s on your iPhone (provided it’s running iOS 17 or later). Just make sure both devices are using the same Apple ID and Wi-Fi network, and that the iPhone is close to your Mac.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to place widgets on your desktop, how to interact with them, and how to change their settings in just a few clicks. Once you master this feature, you’ll have a great new way to use macOS Sonoma to get things done.
Add widgets to your desktop
Step 1: To add a widget to your desktop, you first need to open the widget gallery by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Edit widgets. Or open the Notification Center and select Edit widgets at the bottom of the window.
Step 2: This hides your open windows and opens the widget gallery which contains all your available widgets.
Step 3: To add a widget, select the app name on the left sidebar and drag the widget to the desktop.
Step 4: You can place your first widget wherever you want. For the following widgets, you’ll see an alignment box appear as you move the second widget close to the first. This helps you tie your widgets together neatly.
Step 5: If there are files or folders on the site that you want to drag the widget to, they will wrap around your widget when you place it on the desktop.
Step 6: Apart from the desktop, you can also move widgets from the widget gallery to the Notification Center.
Step 7: After you finish dragging the widget to the desktop, select Done in the widget gallery or simply click on the desktop or Dock.
Interact with your widgets
Step 1: You can interact with some widgets on the desktop without opening the app they belong to.
Step 2: For example, place a widget from the Podcasts app on your desktop. You’ll notice that you can play and pause podcasts directly from the widget, without having to open the Podcasts app to access these controls. Or try adding the Reminders widget — and it’ll let you check off your tasks from your desktop.
Step 3: If you hit a non-interactive area of the widget — like its background, for example — the app itself will launch.
Step 4: If you select a non-interactive widget area whose app is installed on your iPhone but not on your Mac, you’ll see a message “Open [app name] on your iPhone to continue.”
Edit widget settings
Step 1: Once the widget is placed on your desktop, there are various ways you can customize it to suit your needs.
Step 2: To resize a widget, right-click on it and select a size from the context menu that appears.
Step 3: Similarly, to remove a widget, you just need to right-click it and select it Remove Widget in the menu. Alternatively, you can open the widget gallery and click – button in the upper left corner of the widget.
Step 4: Some widgets have settings that can be edited (although you can’t do this for every widget). For customizable widgets, right-click the widget, then select “Edit [app name].” This will bring up the settings window. For example, in the Weather widget, you can change the location used for weather results.
Step 5: If you open the System Settings app and select Desktop & Dock in the sidebar, you’ll see some more options below Widgets title. For example, you can change whether widgets fade when you’re using another app. Or set the widgets to disappear until you hide other windows and show the desktop. You can also disable iPhone widgets when using your Mac.
Interactive widgets are a neat addition to macOS Sonoma and should save you a lot of time and clicks in the long run. Place a few of your favorite widgets on your desktop and it will be much easier to get things done than it was in the past.
Links: How to add and use desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma – Tekmonk Bio, How to add and use desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma – Kungfutv, How to add and use desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma – Blogtomoney