This is a question that a reader of mine asked in an email he sent me and it’s a great question because it highlights the functionality that WordPress provides it users that you may not necessarily know about. When you use WordPress long enough you’ve probably installed and changed your WordPress Theme more than once. In changing the WordPress Theme you go back to the system defaults for the new theme and this is where some people start creating new widgets on the new theme for things they have already created using widgets on old themes by picking widgets out of the “Active Widgets” section under “Widgets” in the “Appearance” section of your WordPress installation. However if you scroll down to the bottom of this page what you will notice is that there is a section called “Inactive Widgets“. What “Inactive Widgets” do specifically is that they hold widgets used on inactive WordPress themes.
Now for the fun part, to make an inactive widget active as you can see above, all you need to do is simply drag and drop the inactive widget and drop it into the active widgets section and once you’ve done this you can add it to the section of your WordPress site which saves you time and effort running and managing your WordPress website and it will keep the settings of the widget for future use.