macOS Sonoma desktop widgets not working? 11 Ways to fix!

macOS Sonoma desktop widgets not working

Have you got stuck sprucing up your Mac with the sleek and functional Sonoma desktop widgets as they are not responding? Well, you’re not alone. The beauty of customization sometimes comes with its own set of challenges. But fear not! Here, I’ll unravel why macOS Sonoma desktop widgets not working and how to fix this quickly.

  1. Check device compatibility
  2. Allow location access to specific widgets
  3. Ensure internet connectivity
  4. Remove and add widgets again
  5. Allow your Mac to use iPhone widgets
  6. Disable Low Power Mode
  7. Reset Notification Center
  8. Force quit widgets
  9. Update all widget apps
  10. Remove and reinstall the apps
  11. Restart your Mac

1. Check device compatibility

It may sound silly, but ensure your device can run the latest OS features without hassle. This turned out to be a significant problem among users who downloaded macOS Sonoma on their devices one way or another, even though their devices might fail to comply.

Hence, ensure that you’re equipped with one of the following:

  • Mac (2019 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • MacBook Air (2018 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 or later)
  • Mac Mini (2018 or later)
  • Mac Studio (2022 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or later)

2. Allow location access to specific widgets

There is a high chance that the widget you’re trying to pin on your desktop may require real-time location access to function correctly. So, if you don’t grant location permission, the widgets will appear blank or not be showing up on your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple logoSystem Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Privacy and Security menu.
  3. Click Location Services to proceed.

    Click Privacy & Security, Location Services
  4. Toggle on Location Services and the respective app’s switch whose widget is not updating.
    If it is already enabled, try disabling and re-enabling it to refresh the settings.

    Toggle on Location services

3. Ensure internet connectivity

If your desktop widgets are stuck on loading or slowly loading the app data, maybe your internet connection is the culprit. Certain Mac widgets like weather or mail need active Wi-Fi to update and load real-time data. Therefore, check and make sure Wi-Fi is working on your Mac.

4. Remove and add widgets again

If your favorite widgets are stuck on loading, it can be a simple system glitch. So before trying any complex troubleshooting method, remove the respective widget from your desktop and add it again from the Edit menu.

  1. Double-click or right-click the widget from your desktop.
  2. Click Remove Widget when prompted.

    Click Remove Widget
  3. Now, double-click or right-click anywhere on your desktop home screen to summon the Content Menu.
  4. Click Edit Widgets to proceed.

    Click Edit Widgets
  5. Select the widget you want to add back → Click Done.

    Click the Widget, Done

This will remove the previous widget settings and set the defaults. Before adding it to your macOS Sonoma desktop view, you may also customize any settings or preferences.

5. Allow your Mac to use iPhone widgets

If you are experiencing issues with iPhone widgets not working on Mac in macOS Sonoma, you have enabled the correct permissions. Also, check if the app is compatible with macOS. Simply,

  1. Click the Apple logo → Access System Settings.
  2. Go to Desktop & Dock → Toggle on Use iPhone Widgets.

    Tap Desktop & Dock, Toggle on iPhone

Tip: Also, ensure the On Desktop box is ticked beside the Show Widgets option if widgets are not showing up on your Mac.

Besides, in some cases, you must put your iPhone near your Mac or connect them to the same Wi-Fi to allow seamless integration between your iPhone and Mac’s widget system. You may also try deleting those malfunctioning apps from your iPhone and reinstalling them to give a fresh restart.

6. Disable Low Power Mode

One potential solution to address the issue of Sonoma desktop widgets not responding is to turn off Low Power Mode on your Mac. When Low Power Mode is enabled, certain functions and features may be limited to preserve battery life.

  1. Navigate to the Battery section within System Settings.
  2. Access the drop-down menu against Low Power Mode.
  3. Select the Never option to conclude.

    Click Battery, Never

This will effectively allow widgets to work seamlessly on the Mac desktop. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable to reboot the system after applying these changes.

7. Reset Notification Center

If you’re facing difficulties with your macOS Sonoma desktop widgets not working, there is a simple solution to fix the issue. One potential fix is resetting the Notification Center and clearing all desktop notifications.

  1. Press CMD + Space to summon Spotlight on your Mac.
  2. Access the Terminal to proceed.

    SpotLight Terminal
  3. Now, paste the command defaults delete; killall NotificationCenter.
  4. Hit Return to run the program.

    Enter command in terminal
  5. Click Allow if prompted.

    Click Allow in Terminal alert
  6. This will reset the Notification Center of your Mac in a jiffy.

Next, performing a quick reboot of your system, you should find that your macOS Sonoma desktop widgets start functioning correctly once again.

8. Force quit widgets

Probing ahead, if widgets are still crashing or not loading, then let’s dig deeper. A possible solution to rectify this problem is to forcefully quit all running widgets applications from Activity Monitor. Follow these steps to comply:

  1. Search for Activity Monitor in Spotlight and hit Return.
  2. Click Activity Monitor to proceed.

    Look for activity monitor in terminal
  3. Head to the search bar and type widgets.
  4. Now, simultaneously hit CMD + A to select all files.
  5. Click the Close icon to kill all running widgets.

    Clear all active widgets
  6. When prompted, select Force Quit to conclude the process.

    Click Force Quit

This procedure should refresh your desktop widgets and restore their functionality like before.

9. Update all widget apps

For those who do not seek a solution that does not involve complexity and still wish to rectify desktop widgets not working on macOS Sonoma, heads up.

First, update all apps installed on your system. The latest app versions include bug fixes and compatibility enhancements. To do so,

  1. Go to the App Store → Head to the Updates menu.
  2. If any, click make sure to run the update.

    Click Updates in App Store

While you’re at it, check for any available software updates for your macOS Sonoma itself, as these updates may address known issues with widgets.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve any compatibility issues causing macOS Sonoma desktop widgets to malfunction effectively.

10. Remove and reinstall the apps

As we move to an ending, there is one more trick that can help you with any issue underlying this problem. A simple kill and revive. This is particularly useful for third-party widget apps.

Additionally, check if any conflicting third-party apps might be interfering with widget operation and consider disabling them temporarily to see if that resolves the issue.

Also, the Mac system often continues to show blank widgets. Thus, try removing and reinstalling the relevant apps responsible for these widgets. There is a high chance that this could eliminate all bugs within the app and give the widget a fresh start.

11. Restart your Mac

Last but not least, this golden solution comes very close to being perfect. If nothing seems to go your way and the desktop widgets are still giving you a hard time, run a quick restart. This could potentially get rid of minor bugs or errors that are preventing the optimal performance of the system.

Kicking this solution up a notch, you could also perform a system reset. Starting from scratch could also help resolve any temporary glitches preventing widgets from working correctly.


Why are widgets not loading on Mac?

Mac desktop widgets like Reminders and Notes sync the latest content from your iPhone or iPad using iCloud. So, if your iCloud storage is full, it can’t load new data. You must free up iCloud space to resume the syncing.

What if resetting widgets doesn’t work?

If the issue persists, consider checking for system-wide problems, such as corrupted system files or conflicts with other software. A comprehensive system diagnostic or seeking help from the Apple Support community might be necessary.

Bring back the dead!

And there you have it, a desktop jazzed up with a symphony of widgets. So go ahead and make your macOS experience uniquely yours. Until next time, may your desktop be tidy, your widgets lively, and your tech troubles few and far between.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to drop any thoughts in the comment section below.

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