Get Dashboard OS X Widgets on Your OS X Desktop through WidgetRunner

Widgets are part of any modern operating system out there. They are very useful, help you to glance quick on your stock investments, weather, even do some basic operations like currency conversion, calculations or gallery. Apple was one of the first company to bring the concept of widgets on to it’s OS X operating systems. Some of the widgets available on OS X are pretty cool and useful. Unfortunately with the introduction of OS X Lion, widgets are relegated to dashboard. Now in OS X Mountain Lion, widgets are relegated to separate space called the dashboard and you need to go to it, either moving to the left most space available or press F4. No more does widgets occupy your desktop / spaces. So what do you to get OS X Widgets back on the desktop of your mac?

One such user was frustrated at the lack of widget support in desktop of his mac. Also the hack that’s available online to bring widgets back onto desktop wasn’t really helping the cause, as widgets stay on top of all windows. He developed an app called Widget Runner to circumvent the problem.


Widget Runner is basically an OS X application that can run widgets on your desktop. It easy to setup and pretty straightforward to use. Head to the Widget Runner page to download the zip file. Extract it and then move the “” file to the Applications folder. As simple as that. No configuration required.

Using Widget Runner

Now to have widgets on your desktop, click on the Widget Runner icon on the Applications folder. You will notice that no window pops up. To create a widget, simply click on the Widget Runner menu icon on the top left, and select “New Widget”. There on Finder popup, go to /Library/Widgets and select the desired widget. Now you have a widget created right on your desktop!

Widget Runner - New Widget

You can also choose to position these widgets to be on Top of all Windows, Normal or only on the Desktop. In the Normal mode, the widget acts like any other application, so you can use Command + Tab to get to the widget. The Desktop position, on the other hand, restricts the normal behaviour and you can see the widget only when you turn to the desktop, that is when all the windows are hidden or minimized.

Widget Runner - Selecting Widgets

Is it good?

For the most part, it works. Widget Runner acts like any other application, so you do need to add the application to the Login items list to make sure it loads on every machine startup. It has it few quirks here and there. In my experience, the Calendar widget failed to load properly. But I did not have much trouble with other apps.Also since it acts like any normal application, you can accidentally close it, like it happened to me quite a few times (I close the applications with Command + q).

Widget Runner - Position

But it does work and saves a lot of trouble to go to the dashboard and view the widgets. You can check out this hack if you prefer to not have a Application mode to get around this problem, although as I mentioned earlier the widgets tend to come on top of all windows. And I did not find any dip in performance while using Widget Runner, so it is a safe application.

You can download Widget Runner here. Let us know your thoughts through comments.

Sources: Make Use Of