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How to Add WordPress Widgets in Accessibility Mode

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Do you find it hard to use the drag-and-drop interface when adding WordPress widgets?

You may not be aware that WordPress has an accessibility mode for adding widgets. This lets you add widgets to your sidebar by clicking links instead.

In this article, we will show you how to easily enable accessibility mode and add WordPress widgets without using drag and drop.

How to Add WordPress Widgets in Accessibility Mode

Why Enable Widget Accessibility Mode in WordPress?

A drag-and-drop interface is used to add widgets in both the block-based widgets editor introduced in WordPress 5.8 and the classic widget editor that was offered in earlier versions of WordPress.

However, some users find it difficult to add different widgets to their WordPress website using drag and drop.

The classic widget editor offered an accessibility mode that allowed you to add widgets simply by clicking links, with no need for drag and drop. You can still enable that same mode by using a plugin if you are using WordPress 5.8 or later.

That being said, let’s see how to easily enable widget accessibility mode on your WordPress site, step by step.

How to Enable Widget Accessibility Mode in WordPress

First, you need to install and activate the Classic Widgets plugin. For more details, see our beginners’ guide on how to restore classic widgets in WordPress.

Upon activation, head over to the Appearance » Widgets screen in your WordPress admin area. Here, you will notice that you now have the classic widgets interface.

Enable Accessibility Mode for the Classic Widget Editor

Now, simply click the ‘Enable accessibility mode’ link at the top right corner of the screen.

Activating the accessibility mode will reload the Widgets screen with a new interface. This new interface will now allow you to add available widgets using the ‘Add’ link next to the widget title.

Add a Widget by Clicking the Add Link

When you do that, it will open the widget on a single page where you can configure widget settings. You can start by giving the widget a title and then choose any other options you wish to enable.

In the bottom half of the page, you can choose the sidebar or widget area where you want to add your new widget.

Next to it, you will also see a position dropdown, which allows you to choose the position of this widget in your selected sidebar.

Configure the Widget and Choose a Sidebar

For example, to place the widget at the top of the sidebar, you will need to select ‘Sidebar’ from the list on the left and then choose ‘Position 1’ from the drop-down menu on the right.

Once you are satisfied, press the ‘Save Widget’ button to be redirected back to the widget screen.

Accessibility mode will also enable ‘Edit’ buttons next to active widgets, like this:

Edit a Widget by Clicking the Edit Link

Clicking on the ‘Edit’ button will take you to the same screen as when you added a widget.

Here, you can edit your widget settings and even delete the widget by selecting the ‘Inactive Widgets’ option at the bottom of the page.

Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to click the ‘Save Widget’ button to deactivate the widget.

Choose inactive widgets option

Bonus: Remove Inactive Widgets in WordPress

Once you have added the accessibility mode for widgets, it is also important to remove the inactive widgets on your WordPress blog.

When you switch your WordPress theme, some of your active widgets are placed in the inactive widgets section. This is because there is no matching widget area in your new theme. 

These widgets can then clutter your site, making it a good idea to remove your inactive widgets. To do this, visit the Appearance » Widgets page from the WordPress dashboard and scroll down to the ‘Inactive Widgets’ area.

Here, you can click the ‘Clear Inactive Widgets’ button to remove them permanently.

Click clear inactive widgets button in classic editor

However, if you are not using the classic widgets, then you can see our tutorial on how to remove inactive widgets in WordPress.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to add WordPress widgets in accessibility mode. You may also want to learn how to get a free email domain or check out our expert picks for the best WordPress themes to make your site aesthetically pleasing.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

9 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Sheena says

    Hi, I enabled this feature. However I cannot see any add/edit buttons, I also cannot revert this option/or see the disable option. I am now stuck as to how to edit/amend my widgets. Please help

      • juber says

        i do not working that option so how can i disable accessibility mode.Please help me i am very Tired to this……..

  3. Joseph says

    This option seems to be eliminated in the newer versions of WordPress. Do you know how I can get it bak?

  4. Dale Reardon says

    Thankyou ever so much for this article. I am blind and was always getting my wife to do the widgets for me.
    Didn’t know this existed.

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