How to customize Windows desktop using Rainmeter

Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. It can customize your desktop skins, along with applications such as Windows Media Player. Rainmeter has thousands of skins which you can access via DeviantArt. There are all sorts of skins available, be it Jarvis or your favorite anime.

Installing skins via Rainmeter isn’t hard, but customizing skins according to your taste could prove to be a bit harder.

In this tutorial, we’ll be learning how to

  • Install Skins for Windows Media Player (WMP)
  • Install Desktop Skins
  • Customize Skins
  • Use Rainmeter Settings

 

Installing Skins via Rainmeter

  1. Click here to download Rainmeter + Alienware Invader (Skin)
  2. Install Rainmeter
  3. Opening Rainmeter now should open an information tablet in the middle and some widgets at the left side of the screen. Right Click and select “Unload Skins” on the tablets and widgets to make them disappear.
  4. Open Alienware Invader Skin
  5. Rainmeter should automatically detect the skin and install it for you.
  6. Once installed, open Windows Media Player.
  7. If the skin has been installed successfully, your windows media player should look like the picture below.

Installing Desktop Skins

Desktop skins are different from WMP skins because they can be customized.

  1. Click here to download NoName Skin
  2. Open the downloaded file
  3. Check Load Included Skins when installing.
  4. Your Desktop should now have a completely different interface than the previous one, unless you haven’t checked the “Load included skins” option
  5. Unload the skins that you do not need by right clicking and selecting “Unload Skin” option.
  6. You can also exit Rainmeter to return to your old desktop.

There are cases where checking “Load included skins” option doesn’t work, hence you will have to load the skins manually.

Loading skins manually

  1. Go to your system tray and double click Rainmeter
  2. Open NoName
  3. Open Clock
  4. Double click Analog
  5. Click on Analog Clock.ini
  6. On the right side of screen, click “Load”
  7. Go to your desktop and you’ll see a clock somewhere.

Load all the skins you’d like, you can also unload them if they’re not needed.

 

Customizing Skins

Customizing skins means setting the skin up depending on your needs or taste. For example, the NoName skin has launchers which will launch an application, but it won’t work unless you set it up.

NoName is a great skin that can be used as an example for those who are new to Rainmeter, since it contains a configuration menu by default.

Let’s say we’d like our launcher to open chrome when we click on “Google Chrome”

  1. Go to your system tray and double click Rainmeter
  2. Double click NoName
  3. Open the configuration drop down, click on configuration.ini and on the right side of the screen, click “Load”
  4. The configuration menu will contain Launcher 1 and 2 along with Mini Launcher and spectrum etc.
  5. Go to the launcher that you’ve loaded and change the name, App1, to “Google Chrome”
  6. Click on the folder icon located at the left of “Google Chrome”
  7. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application and open “chrome”
  8. Go to desktop and refresh the launcher that you’ve just edited by right clicking and selecting “Refresh Skin”
  9.  Click on Google Chrome and it should open.

To sum it up :

All you have to do is to locate the file that you’d like to open via the launcher and then change the name of the launcher apps from “App1” to “Desired Application/File Name”. In case you do not know where your desired application is located, right click on the icon, open it’s properties and the location should be written in the general tab.

 

Themes like NoName already have a configuration menu, but there are many skins without the configuration menu. To edit such skins, you will have to right click on the skin and click on “Edit Skin”. That should open the skin in notepad and you’ll have to edit the name and location of the intended file manually.

Using Rainmeter Settings

Rainmeter has some settings which can be accessed by opening Rainmeter through the system tray. All of the settings are very important when you’re trying to customize your desktop. Features such as “Click-through” can turn skins that display information un-clickable unless you disable it from the Rainmeter interface.

  1. Load – It will load a skin on your desktop
  2. Refresh – It will refresh a skin, be sure to always refresh after editing a skin.
  3. Edit – It will open the skin in notepad for you to edit it manually.
  4. Coordinates – Enter the coordinates of where you want it to be placed, this feature is usually used when moving the skin a small distance
  5.  Position – Positions the skin automatically
  6. Load Order – It loads the skin after “x” number of skins have been loaded.
  7. Transparency – Turns the skin transparent depending on your percentage
  8. On hover – It will fade in or hide when your mouse cursor is on the skin. “Do nothing” is the default option.
  9. Draggable – If you uncheck this, the skin won’t be able to move when you click and drag.
  10.  Click through – Skin becomes click through
  11. Keep on screen – Keeps the skin on the screen all the time (except when you’re not on desktop)
  12.  Save position – It will save the position or coordinates of the skin so you don’t have to move it every time you restart Rainmeter
  13.  Snap to edges – Creates an outline so two skins cannot be on top of each other.
  14.  Favorite – Used to mark your favorite skins

Please comment below if you have any questions regarding this post

 

 

 

 

 

 

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