Desktop Gadgets Not Displayed Correctly After Upgrading to Internet Explorer 11

After installing Internet Explorer 11, some of your desktop gadgets may not render correctly. The gadgets may appear transparent with pink border and text, as in the graphic below:

And here is how it’s supposed to appear:

This has to do with a bug in Internet Explorer 11 RTM, which breaks some desktop gadgets, if the user has set custom DPI settings (>100%). In my case, gadgets stopped rendering correctly if I set the DPI to a value higher than 115%. In order to make the gadgets display correctly, you have two options.

Option 1. Revert back the DPI settings to 115%. If that doesn’t work, set it to 100%. (via Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display)

Option 2. If you want to retain your custom DPI settings and still want gadgets to work correctly, edit the protected file gadget.xml located in the following folder:

C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

The trick is to set <autoscaleDPI> setting to false, inside the XML file. By default, the auto-scaling is enabled in the gadgets configuration, which means the Zoom feature (of Internet Explorer) scales text and images for this gadget to match the DPI settings of the current user. Since IE11 has this bug with higher DPI, disabling the automatic scaling feature for that gadget is a nice workaround.

Detailed instructions to do so are provided in the MSDN forum thread titled Gadgets not working with IE-11 Win7.

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.

5 thoughts on “Desktop Gadgets Not Displayed Correctly After Upgrading to Internet Explorer 11”

  1. Hi Windows IE 11 seems to break in a lot of situations, to the point where I cannot use it to do My banking anymore because it constantly errors and then the bank throws Me out. IE says “an error has caused IE to close and has reloaded the page” The bank of course sees this as an attempt to defraud it.

    I have another problem, this one with Windows seven as follows: In the start Menu I have set it to display the last 20 run programs. However it will only show 10. it used to work fine, but all of a sudden, about the time IE 10 came online it stopped working. HEEELP!

  2. Thx my dpi was 125% and gadgets were wrong not displaying, set it too 100% and all is well again, LOL when i restarted my screen showed about 30 clocks, anyway all deleted now and just 1 clock and cpu-ram clock, Thx for your fix.

  3. How to fix gadgets broken by IE 11 when desktop magnification is higher than 100%.

    [You have to be a local admin to do this]
    1. Copy the original gadget.xml file from C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\[Gadget you want to fix]\gadget.xml to a temporary folder of your choice. Open it with

    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.
    3. Reboot and strike the F8 key during reboot to get to the Safe Mode screen.
    4. Choose ‘Repair my computer’.
    5. Log on with an administrative account.
    6. Choose ‘Command Prompt’ from the bottom of the list of recovery options.
    7. Now copy your edited gadget.xml file to C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\[Gadget you want to fix]\gadget.xml (example syntax: Copy c:\temp\gadget.xml “C:\Program

    Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Clock.Gadget\en-US\gadget.xml”)
    8. Reboot and you should be seeing the gadgets once again.
    I was very pleased to get my clocks back!!!!!!!!!

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