Disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 actually saves system resources

Feb 3, 2022
Windows 11 News

There has been a lot of debate about the usefulness of the stock apps in Windows 11, specifically the Widgets and Chat apps. The latter has been criticized as an unwanted variant of the Teams app, since it is a watered-down version of the original program.

Disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 saves system resources

Both apps are enabled by default in the new operating system, as part of the core experience. We have shown you how to remove the Chat and Widgets buttons.

Disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 saves system resources

Do these applications have a negative impact on the computer's performance? It appears so. The findings of Developer/IT Admin, Michael Niehaus, reveal that the Chat and Widgets app rely on processes running in the background.  The report, spotted by ArsTechnica, mentions that the two apps create multiple instances called msedgewebview2.exe. As the name indicates, these are related to Microsoft Edge. WebView2 is essentially the company's alternative of Electron, both of which are built from the Chromium source. Speaking of which, the Edge Bar panel also relies on the same technology.

The Widgets and Chats apps open these instances as soon as you sign in to the OS, without any input from the user. Naturally, with such overhead, there is some usage which affects the system's performance. But how bad could it be? Screenshots that have been posted at the Out of Office Hours blog, show that the processes related to these features take up a couple of hundred megabytes of memory.

Niehaus writes that he observed that the number of msedgewebview2.exe doubled when the Widgets app was accessed from the Taskbar. Does that mean this can be prevented if you don't click the icon? Yes, but it will still have the original set running. Plus, if you open and close the Widgets panel, the newly created set stays in the background. Hiding the Widgets button stops it from creating its own set of WebView2 instances. The blog post also states that the Teams client can be prevented from starting if you disable the icon, sign out and sign in to Windows 11 again.

There you go, it has been proved that disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 not only removes them from the taskbar, but will also save some system resources. Right-click on the Taskbar, select the only option that appears, Taskbar Settings. Disable the toggles for Chat, Settings, and it will remove the icons.

disable the chat and widgets icons in windows 11

You could argue that unused RAM is wasted memory. But, if it is taken up by programs or features that you don't use, does that actually benefit the user? You may want to free those system resources for other applications instead. And if you want to use Teams, you can install the real program.

Microsoft Edge on Windows 11 is also using resources in the background

Niehaus also discovered that Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 uses up system resources when the OS boots. This feature, called Startup boost, helps the browser launch quickly. You may disable it from the browser's settings page. edge://settings/system

microsoft edge startup boost

This also applies to Windows 11. Turning the option off might help you shave some seconds off the logon process, and of course prevents it from consuming some resources.

If you're looking for tweaks to improve the Windows 11 performance, these toggles could help you, particularly if you have a low/mid-range computer.

Share your tips to improve the Windows 11 experience.

Disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 saves system resources
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Disabling the Chat and Widgets icons in Windows 11 saves system resources
You can save some system resources by removing the Chat and Windows buttons in Windows 11.
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  1. KERR said on February 9, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Win11 = few (if any) pros over Win10, yet many cons. The Windows (both desktop and server) teams have lost the plot long ago. QA is non-existent. It’s always 1 or 2 steps forward, but 1 or 2 steps back, too.

  2. censor_fcracks said on February 4, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    No $heet! m$hoot 11th windows has a view of a bloating boat!

  3. OldGamer said on February 4, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks.. Always send links to this forum to Microsoft. C0m.. Keep those evil-doers busy.. There is actually a great possibility that sooner, maybe {not} later, that people’s bad experiences with MS products will be resolved.. This is the only way.
    I tip my cap to Martin and he’s associates for bringing these matters up.

  4. John G. said on February 4, 2022 at 4:45 am

    Thank you very much @Ashwin for teaching us how to get rid of these chat & widgets in two great articles, a must have that I am sure all users are gratefully happy to applied! :]

  5. DarkPattern11 said on February 3, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    This is well known since Windows 10. All the new webview/shell is bloated trash. Its even worst now with Windows 11. The days of Windows being fast and efficient died after Windows 8. Microsoft will continue to destroy Windows with these horrible server side connected web trash built into Windows shell.

  6. pHROZEN gHOST said on February 3, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Also …

    “????????? ??????? 11 ???????? ????? ?????? ?????????”

    Just sayin’ …

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on February 3, 2022 at 6:10 pm

      Translation …

      “Disabling Windows 11 actually saves system resources”

      1. Anonymous said on February 4, 2022 at 5:56 am

        Better Translation

        Disabling whatever bloatware you can hopefully disable saves system resources

  7. PaulBG said on February 3, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Windows is barely usable after a thousand of tricks and tweaks. What a bussiness model!

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