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.

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.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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

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

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


  3. 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~

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.


  8. 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

  9. 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 😉

  10. 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,

  11. 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!!!

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

  13. 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.


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

  15. 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 !

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.




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