Fix for Gadgets Not Showing Correctly in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Have you come across the problem where some of the Gadgets that you added to the Sidebar/Desktop are not displayed correctly? For example, the clock gadget may be displayed as a black square containing only the "seconds" hand. Other gadgets may show up as white rectangles with an information (i) icon and a plus sign. The settings button next to the gadget does not work, but the x to close does. Here are some screenshots:

Latest Update: If the desktop gadgets problem surfaced after upgrading to Internet Explorer 11, this has to do with a bug in Internet Explorer 11 with higher DPI settings. In that case, check out the article Desktop Gadgets Not Displayed Correctly After Upgrading to Internet Explorer 11.

The above-mentioned behavior is caused due to the following reasons:

  1. A subkey with foreign/ASCII character exists under the "Zones" registry key.
  2. XML registration is missing in the system.

Use these steps to fix the problem:

Fix for Case 1

1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press {ENTER}

2. Navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Internet Settings \ Zones

3. Under the Zones key, delete the subkey shown with an ASCII character:

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Logoff and login back to your user account.

Fix for Case 2

1. Open an elevated Command Prompt window. To open an elevated (admin) Command Prompt, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press ENTER:

regsvr32 msxml3.dll

3. Similarly, run these commands:

regsvr32 scrrun.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

You should see the DllRegisterServer in <filename> succeeded message for each command executed.

4. Logoff and login back to your user account and see if the Gadgets display correctly.

About the author

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

38 thoughts on “Fix for Gadgets Not Showing Correctly in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. For me the solution was the McAffee removal tool. None of the dll registration worked.

    I used the MCPR.exe utility from McAffee website to FULLY remove the product.




  2. i tried both the ways but neither of’em worked for me. When I right-click on the win7 desktop and click on gadgets, nothing appears!!

  3. neither of these options worked for me either, cpu monitor is still a box with information that is hard to read and the weather gadget only has the temp, no option to change the location and no box, all text is pink

  4. HI.. I tried both the ways but it didnt worked. I am using Win-7 professional 32 bit. In fist case there is no ASCII character. In second case I got all ‘DllRegisterServer in succeeded’

  5. HI.. I tried 2nd case but it didnt worked. I don’t know how to do the first case :(
    I am using Win-7 Professional 32 bit

  6. Trying case 1 Is the ASCII character you are referring to the Zone with a square – the one above the Zone 0 or a character within the zone information

  7. James Brown Thanks man uninstall IE9 Work perfectly i did all the trick that i found on the web and the only one that works was yours cheers.

  8. I tried all of these did not work ! The only thing that worked was uninstalling IE9, don’t know why but it worked. I have Vista Home Preium 32bit.

  9. Thanks, I had been trying to fix this for quite some time. I had a “L” for the ASCII. Deleted it and logged off and then back on, and it works fine now. Thanks again !

  10. thanks I’ve tried a dozen things before to no effect,
    case 2 worked
    I had no ASCII value for case 1

  11. regsvr32 msxml3.dll ran OK. Got “good” message.

    regsvr32 scrrun.dll did NOT run OK
    regsvr32 jscript.dll also did NOT run OK

    Got “Call to dllregister failed 0x80004005”
    Can’t find anything on the web about this for Win 7 only Vista.

    Now wha??

  12. Hi,

    Could you please help me?

    How to find a ASCII value in Zone(Registry Editor)?whethere we need to find using the type REG_BINARY?

    Please Advice to proceed further.


  13. thank you man, you so helpful, this helped my , i wasted my 2 hours on other sites, but only yours worked, again thanks!!!!!!

  14. Thank you for the info, I tried the first fix case 1 but didnt work. so I tried the 2nd fix case & typed this regsvr32 msxml3.dll and it worked!!! yoohooo! Thank you again. The numbers on my calendar showed up when I restarted the desktop. Was really confused when it went blank & didnt know what’s it causing to be like that.
    Now I’m thinking if updates are really that important, everytime there’s an update for the software something messes up. I’m thinking of turning the updates off, would that be advisable? anyway thank you very much!!!

  15. Great!. I tried allkind of solutions, un-registering and registering dll’s using command prompt. The solution for me was the graphic subkey

    Thanks again,

  16. Awesome! it’s rarely you find that any of these tips actually work. Thanks a lot i’d been looking for a solution to this very annoying problem fir day ;-)

  17. So what if you don’t have an ASCII character folder under Zones, but you’re still having the blank calendar gadget problem? Is there another fix? Is this problem due to a conflict with IE9?

  18. Thanks to RAMESH
    & ANTONY

    i needed individual steps of each of these to finally fix my problem… 100 % fixed after these steps individually…

    thanks to all three of u…
    love geniuses of computer

  19. Claudia, thank you very much. I tried all this elevated command prompt thing and turning the gadgets off and on via windows features screen, none of them worked. Your solution however worked like a charm and I am speechless as to how in the world the desktop gadget problem was related by a graphic subkey under the internet zone settings.


  20. This really worked for me after several unsuccessful tries:

    Start > Run > Regedit

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\
    (if you are not sure on how to do this or go about with it, I am pretty sure you can just ask anybody here…)

    Verify if you see a little graphic subkey (it appears like a letter L) between \Zones and subkey 0 (you have to left click the little triangle before Zones to display subkeys 0 to 5). If so, delete it. Restart your computer and verify how your Gadget are being displayed successfully.

    A million thanks! =) Cheers!

  21. Thank you so much – the registry change worked a treat!

    Would you mind explaining how this works and what is likely to have caused the problem please?

    I know it’s a bit cheeky to ask, but it’s fascinating to learn these things.

    Thank you again

  22. Unfortunately for me it doesn’t work!
    I did exactly what you said, but the gadgets remains “distorced” or displayed incorrectly just like you described.

    It’s worthwhile to say that recently I was “infected” by a malware/virus that after 2 days Microsoft Security Essentials has got it.
    I think there’s a connection between two events, but I don’t know how to fix it.

    Could you help me. Thanx in advance,

  23. For everyone who have this problem I advice to choose Jessie solution it’s simple and realy works with this display problem! It’s some kind of bug, worm or some other shit.

    Cheers Jessie!

  24. I tried absolutely everything to get my gadgets working again including all the .dll fixes, registry key deletings, and malware scans. But turns out my Internet Explorer was causing the problem. Of all things!
    In IE I opened up Tools>Advanced and reset all of the default settings.
    And my wonderful gadgets came back! Yay~

  25. Thankyou suhy,
    your solution worked for me :)!
    Tried reregistering dlls with no results, removed the key and all was well again.


  26. Thanks a lot for this, my gadgets are working again! Tried all kind of solutions offered on other sites, but this did the trick.

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