Display a Webpage on Desktop (Window Vista and Window 7)

On the previous post, “Display a Webpage on Your Desktop (Window XP)”, I had show you how to display a webpage on your desktop using Active Desktop feature under Window XP. For Window Vista and Window 7, Microsoft has remove this feature, and replace it by Desktop Sidebar Gadget. Therefore, to display a webpage on your Window Vista or Window 7 desktop, you will need to use this gadget called ActiveDesktop. You can get the gadget at the ActiveDesktop page, or download it from the end of this post.


After you download the Gadget file, simple unzip the file and run the .gadget file. The gadget should appear on your desktop after the installation. If it doesn’t appear or you accidently close it, you can enable it back from the Gadget list. Right click on your desktop and click Gadgets.



You should see the ActiveDesktop gadget under the list. To enable it simply double click the icon, or you can drag the icon of the gadget to your desktop. The URL of the default setting is “http://www.microsoft.com”.


To edit the setting of the gadget, click the Options icon at the top right of the gadget.


It will show a simple setting page where you can choose the URL, Gadget Width, and Gadget Height. Please take note that for the URL, you need to include the http:// at the front of the address. For example, if you put “www.bustatech.com” it will not work, you need to put “http://www.bustatech.com”. One thing I experience here is when you inserted the wrong URL, for example “www.bustatech.com” and you click OK, the whole gadget will be kind like hang, and you cannot close it, the only way to reset it is to uninstall the gadget under the Gadget List.


For the width and height, you can adjust according to the webpage you want. For www.bustatech.com, I put the width to 1000 and the height to 700.


Click OK, and you should have a nice page laying on your desktop. you can also drag the gadget by clicking on the Drag gadget at the top right of the gadget, and to close the gadget, simply click the “X”.


Another cool feature about the gadget is you can set the opacity, which means the gadget will become transparent if you are not focusing on it. Right click inside the gadget and set the Opacity.





Now, whenever your mouse leave the gadget, it will become 40% (this is my setting) transparent, which is quite cool.


And when you mouse is inside the gadget, it will become non-transparent.


Have a try!


ActiveDesktop Gadget

14 thoughts on “Display a Webpage on Desktop (Window Vista and Window 7)”

  1. Does this Active Dektop gadget work for .gif files? I can get webpages working no problem, but what about files that aren’t html? I want to know because of the transparency thing.

    1. Pisthetairos, it is possible to display a .gif file using this gadget. Simply put your gif file somewhere on your harddisk, for example under C drive, under a folder called GIF, and the file name “file.gif”. Then at the gadget, under the URL insert “file:///C:/GIF/file.gif” (simply add “file:///” at the front of the .gif file directory) then adjust the Width and Height according to the size of the .gif file and click OK. You should see the .gif file animating at your desktop. And for the transparency, you can click on the .gif image to adjust the opacity, and it works nicely. Have a try!

  2. When I try use incorrect address (without http://) – opened error web page and lost all gadget controls. I can’t change url or close gadget.

    1. Yes, you’ll have to uninstall the gadget under the Gadget List. After that try reinstall the gadget again to use it, make sure you use the correct address.

  3. Thanks! Now I have Jim Carrey doing his tutu dance via GIF on my desktop (and it was almost worth it!)…gee, think if I’d written Bill Gates about that he’d have responded? Naaahhh, prob’ly not.
    thanks again!

  4. Actually, there is a way to solve the problem that occurs when the URL is wrong. Go to start, type sidebar, list of active gadgets, or something like that, should appear(I’m dutch, translated what I saw). Click it, and close activedesktop. This way the URL as well as the width and height are reset, so you can start over without uninstalling, downloading again and reinstalling the gadget 🙂
    I hope I helped(and again, I’m dutch, so my english might not be perfect, sorry for that) 😀

  5. MS Forefront found two exploits in your gadget download, I thought you might like to know.

    Exploit:JS/Blacole.GB, alert level Severe
    Exploit.Java/Blacole.GN, alert level Severe

  6. Please keep this content and download available, it is the only place you can obtain this Gadget now as Microsoft have retired the Gadget repository. Thanks for the article, I’m sure it will remain popular 🙂

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