Placement of desktop widgets in Sonoma

Is there any way to place a desktop Widget in macOS Sonoma in an arbitrary location, or are you limited to the suggested locations (the rectangles that appear when you’re dragging a Widget)?

From macOS Sonoma: The MacStories Review - MacStories - Part 2

Apple’s designers have come up with a clever tiling system to avoid your widgets becoming a jumbled, disorganized mess. When you drag a widget to the desktop near another widget, an outline appears, showing where it can be placed in relation to your other widgets. However, if you drag a widget to a spot far away enough from other widgets, you can drop it anywhere you want.

Thanks. Good article, and I learned something. But it’s apparently not the whole story, at least in my case. On my screens (side-by-side 27" monitors), I can indeed place a single widget anywhere I want unless I want to place it in the lower-left area of the left-hand monitor, or in the upper-right area of the right-hand monitor. These areas are about six inches in height, and 4 inches in width. In those areas, the dreaded rectangles appear, and I’m constrained to place the widget within one of them, even if it is the only widget on both desktops.

Well, what do you know? Apparently this was fixed in 14.1. I can now place my Widgets in any free area on the desktop.

Well, what Apple giveth…

After the 14.1.2 update, my Widgets all disappeared. I’ve restored them, but the old “only in the rectangle” problem is back for the lower-left corner of the left-hand monitor, and the upper-right corner of the right-hand monitor.

This morning I again woke up to no widgets on my desktop. Attempting to restore them, I couldn’t place any where I had been able to just the day before. What the…? Then that little voice popped into my head, “It’s almost like the ghosts of Widgets past are haunting those areas. What if I were able to completely reset the Widget system?”

A bit of additional research, and I think I have a permanent fix to this problem. Somewhat of a nuclear option, but to reset the widget settings altogether, I first force-quit all “widget” processes in Activity Monitor, then I entered the following Terminal command:

defaults delete; killall NotificationCenter

Voila! Now everything is working the way it’s described as it’s supposed to work. The first Widget on the screen (either monitor) goes anywhere you want. The second (and subsequent) do too, unless they’re close to an existing Widget, in which case you get the (now) helpful alignment rectangles.

Too early to tell how permanent this solution is, and whether there was any collateral damage, but so far, Widgets are working as Apple says they should, and as I wanted them too. Woo hoo!

(Credit to Clare Weaver of for the Terminal command.)