How to Disable the News and Interests Taskbar Widget in Windows 11

Reduce distractions and clean up the Windows desktop

What to Know

  • Right-click the Widgets button, choose Unpin from taskbar.
  • Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Show Widgets button.
  • Editing the TaskbarDa registry value is another method.

This article explains how to remove News and Interests (the Widgets button) from the taskbar in Windows 11.

How to Remove News and Interests From the Taskbar

News and Interests is a widget which sits on your Windows 10 taskbar to display the weather. Selecting it displays other stories, sports scores, and more. Windows 11 transforms this entire feature into a menu which opens on the taskbar via the Widgets button.

Aside from the weather widget not displaying directly on the taskbar, all the same items are available. To get to them, simply select the Widgets button and the panel will slide out from the left side of the screen.

Disabling the button will clean up your taskbar and prevent you from accidentally opening it. But doing so is a little different from how it works in the previous version of Windows, but still very easy to do. We'll step you through each method.

Use the Taskbar

The Widgets button sits on the taskbar, so removing it directly from there is by far the quickest and easiest way to turn off News and Interests. Simply right-click the Widgets button and choose Unpin from taskbar.

Unpin from taskbar button in Windows 11

Use Settings

The Windows 11 Settings is another way to edit what's visible on the taskbar. There are a few extra steps compared to the easier method above, but still very straightforward.

  1. Open Settings by searching for it or using the WIN+I (the letter i) shortcut, and then navigate to Personalization > Taskbar.

    Another way to get there is by right-clicking an empty area of the taskbar and choosing Taskbar settings.

  2. From the right side, select the button under Show Widgets button. It will immediately disappear from the taskbar.

    Show Widgets button toggle off in Windows 11

Use the Registry

If Windows 11 isn't activated, then there are some personalization settings you aren't allowed to access. The taskbar settings is one of those settings. But you can still disable the Widgets/News and Interests taskbar button from the Windows Registry.

  1. Open Registry Editor by searching for it or executing the regedit command.

  2. Using the folders/keys from the left panel, navigate to this location:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
    
  3. Locate the TaskbarDa value from the right panel. If it's there, skip down to step 5, otherwise right-click Advanced from the left panel and go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    New DWORD 32-bit value menu in Windows Registry
  4. When you're asked to name the value, type this, followed by the Enter key:

    TaskbarDa
    
  5. Double-click TaskbarDa and assign it 0 to hide the Widgets button, or 1 to make it visible.

    taskbarda registry value
  6. Select OK to apply the change instantly.

News and Interests Isn't Really Turned Off

It's common for something to be accessible multiple ways in Windows, and the Widgets panel is no different. The button on the taskbar is really just a shortcut to this feature, so it's no surprise you can still open the menu without using that button.

Disabling the Widgets button simply makes it inaccessible from the taskbar. Widgets can still be accessed by swiping inward from the left edge of the screen, or via a keyboard shortcut:

WIN+W

Despite the taskbar no longer having a Widgets button, pressing those keys together will still trigger the panel. It will slide out from the left side of the screen, making the weather, news stories, etc. accessible again, without needing to use the button.

There isn't a setting you can change to move the Widgets panel to the center like the taskbar buttons. To have the Start menu and taskbar icons positioned on the left, too, change the taskbar alignment to the left.

FAQ
  • Why does my taskbar only hide when I hit the Windows button in Windows 11?

    In Windows 11, you can make more room on your screen after resizing your taskbar icons by hiding your taskbar. Right-click the taskbar and move the toggle to the on position next to Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode. However, the taskbar will still appear when you place the cursor along the bottom edge of the screen.

  • How do I pin Internet Explorer to the taskbar in Windows 11?

    Internet Explorer is disabled for Windows 11. Microsoft Edge, the default browser for Windows 10, will take its place and feature an IE Mode option. To pin an available app or program to the taskbar in Windows 11, search for it from the taskbar search box and choose Pin to taskbar.

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