CPU Meter Gadget Review

It's simple, free, and useful. Install it in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

The CPU Meter gadget is our favorite system utility gadget for Windows 7. It's easy to read, responsive, and isn't complicated by a hundred and one options.

This Windows gadget displays the status of two major system resources you might want to track on your computer: your CPU and memory usage.

If you're looking for a simple and attractive gadget to keep tabs on these basic system resources, add the CPU Meter gadget to your desktop.

The CPU Meter gadget is available for Windows Vista in addition to Windows 7.

CPU Meter Brief Description

  • The gadget provides a live reading of CPU and memory usage
  • Minimal configuration makes it uncomplicated—both a pro and a con
  • You can change the size of the gadget between small and large
  • The opacity level can be adjusted anywhere from 100 percent (totally visible) to 20 percent
  • The gadget can be set up to always be on top of other windows so that it's always a glance away
  • CPU Meter is included by default in any Windows 7 or Windows Vista installation
  • The CPU usage is located at the bottom, so the memory monitor is the one at the top

CPU Meter Gadget Pros and Cons

The name of this gadget implies its functionality, and it doesn't disappoint.

What We Like
  • Included by default with Windows 7 and Vista

  • Very attractive display

  • Simple to use

  • Very small footprint (doesn't require much RAM or CPU to run itself)

What We Don't Like
  • Supports only one CPU

  • No advanced configurations whatsoever

How to Install the CPU Meter Gadget

Getting the CPU Meter gadget on your computer is as simple as dragging it out of Gadget Gallery.

Here's how to install it in Windows 7 or Windows Vista:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop.

    In Windows Vista, right-click Sidebar. If you don't see Sidebar, find its icon in the notification area by the clock, right-click it, and then click Open.

  2. Click Gadget. If you're using Windows Vista, select Add Gadgets instead.

  3. Drag CPU Meter onto the desktop. Another option is to right-click the gadget and click Add.

    Screenshot showing how to get the CPU Meter gadget in Windows 7

Reinstall CPU Meter If It's Been Deleted

If CPU Meter is no longer on your desktop, and you want it to be, just follow the steps above. However, if you don't see the gadget listed in Gadget Gallery, then it's been uninstalled for some reason.

Microsoft no longer supports gadgets, so you can't download CPU Meter from Microsoft's website. However, Windows has a built-in ability to restore previously uninstalled gadgets.

While Microsoft no longer hosts gadget downloads, you can get CPU monitoring gadgets from other places like Win7Gadgets.

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu.

  2. Search for restore gadget (Windows 7) or sidebar (Vista).

    Screenshot of the option in Windows 7 Control Panel to restore all the default desktop gadgets
    Restoring Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets.
  3. In Windows 7, click Restore desktop gadgets installed with Windows.

    In Windows Vista, open Windows Sidebar Properties, and click Restore gadgets installed with Windows.

Following these steps will reinstall all the default gadgets that came with Windows, but it will not remove any third-party gadgets you installed yourself.

More Information on the CPU Meter Gadget

The CPU Meter gadget is a great pick for very obvious reasons—it works well, it looks good, and it's included with Windows 7 and Vista by default. It's the only system utility gadget included with Windows, so it's no surprise that it tracks CPU and memory use.

You'd use CPU Meter if you like to keep tabs on your CPU and RAM use. The gadget is valuable in that it shows you in real-time whether a program you've just opened or are using right now is utilizing lots of memory and/or processor power.

This gadget lets you avoid opening Task Manager just to check system resources when your PC is slow. Just glance over at the CPU Meter gadget on your desktop to see these two stats.

Admittedly, it's even fun to just watch the dials go up and down, but it also satisfies that bit of computer geek in all of us.

If you want to delete the CPU Meter gadget from Windows 7 or Windows Vista, right-click the gadget from the desktop or Sidebar and click Close gadget. Remember that this doesn't remove the gadget from Gadget Gallery, but instead just closes it down. Reopening CPU Meter is as simple as following the installation steps above.

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