Rainmeter to Give Your Desktop A New Look

Rainmeter is a Windows desktop customization framework that decorates your desktop to give it a new look. It displays customizable skins which are many, like memory and battery powers, rss feeds, weather forecasts, disk usage, etc., right on your desktop, with a style. Whining about no more widget on Windows 8? No problem, Rainmeter is better anyway.

There are many skins available for free, some of them are even functional that you can use it as your notepad to jog down your notes, prepare your to-do list, launch your favorite application. The interfaces designed by many Rainmeter fan are just beautiful.

Rainmeter - demo

You can install Rainmeter on your computer in two options, either Standard or Portable. But to get the most out of the program, Standard installation is recommended, unless you just want to experiment how the program works.

Once Rainmeter is in charge, it sits in the system tray seen as a rain drop. Right-clicking it brings you up the settings you can change, including add or remove skins, change default layout, etc.

Rainmeter - system tray

You can also right click any of the widget on your desktop to bring up the similar Rainmeter setup menu. The Manage Skin is probably one that you will use most of the time.

Rainmeter - settings

There are just so many gorgeous skins available for you. The good start is to go to Rainmeter’s Discover page, and pick one of the 3 recommended skin suites. The best resource is probably on deviantArt that hosts the largest online repositories of Rainmeter designs. We actually covered one before that makes your Windows 7 desktop look like Windows 7 Phone.

When you have Rainmeter installed, loading up the skin pack is very easy. All skin packs have .rmskin as their extension name. You can just double click to launch the Rainmeter Skin Install program. I will suggest you choose those skin packs that have their own layout so you can launch the whole skin easily.

Rainmeter - skin installer

Rainmeter is an open source project hosted on GitHub, both source code and plugin SDK. For anyone who is interested in making its own skins for Rainmeter, here is a documentation for you to start with.

Lastly, Rainmeter works on all Windows platform, except Windows RT. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows are supported.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/28/2014

Posted in: Tools
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