Fix for Gadget Display Issues After IE11 Installation on Windows 7

Have you noticed any missing or problematic desktop items after upgrading your Windows 7 PC to IE11? This might help fix it …

When I reviewed the Internet Explorer 11 final release for Windows 7, I never expected it to become this popular. The core reason for this was not the availability of the latest version of IE11 on Microsoft’s most popular operating system Windows 7, but the fact that a lot of users had issues with it. Several users reported that desktop widgets were missing or not displaying properly anymore after the browser was updated to Internet Explorer 11.

The browser did not cause any issues on Windows 8 in this regard, which is understandable considering that Microsoft did remove the gadgets option from the desktop part of the operating system.

So what is the fix? Apparently, gadget display issues are caused by DPI settings that are not set to default values.

internet explorer 11 dpi issue

DPI setting Windows 7

You can check your system’s DPI settings in the following way (on Windows 7):

  1. Right-click on a blank spot on your desktop and select Personalize from the context menu that opens up.
  2. This opens the Personalization control panel applet.
  3. Click on Display in the lower left corner of the screen under “See also”.
  4. The page that opens highlights the selected DPI setting.

If you have selected Medium or Larger, or modified the DPI in the Registry for even higher values, you will run into gadget display errors on the system.

To test if this is really the cause switch the setting to 100% and log off and on again. The gadgets should display fine now on the system. You can modify the setting again at any time though.

So, the core fix is to change the DPI setting to the default value. While that makes the gadgets appear again in the right location and without display issues, it may also reduce the usability of the system for you.

It seems possible to modify individual gadgets instead to make them compatible. The core reason for them not being displayed properly on the system appears to be DPI locking.

The Fix

Ghacks reader DrDivan55 found a way to resolve the issue for individual gadgets without having to modify the system’s DPI setting in the process.

  1. Close the gadget you want to modify from the sidebar. No need to kill the whole sidebar process. Copy the original gadget.xml file to a temporary folder of your choice. Open it with notepad.
  2. Find & entirely delete the row containing the tag:
    Do not leave an empty row in the script, just delete the whole row that has that tag. Setting the tag to autoscale (e.g. (autoscaleDPI)true(/autoscaleDPI)) will not help unless someone wants to play around and modify the whole gadget script which includes modifying the other files in that folder. I will experiment with that when I have the time & if I succeed I will post a solution.
  3. Use a program like Unlocker to rename the original file adding a “.bak” extension (e.g. gadget.xml.bak). Unlocker couldn’t find the locking process for me, but asked what I wanted to do with the file, so I chose rename. Once you do that, Unlocker seems to unlock the whole folder. So it’s easy to go to the next step now.
  4. Move the modified file back to the original folder. If access is denied just use Unlocker again-this time to move the modified file.
  5. Start the gadget you modified. It should display correctly now, but in a smaller size than the other gadgets that were not affected.

If someone has custom language packs installed, don’t forget to modify the XML file in the corresponding language folders.

Official site for Unlocker:

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