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There’s no end to customizing Windows Your Complete Guide To Windows Customization Your Complete Guide To Windows Customization You decorate your office – why not your computer? Find out how to make Windows look just the way you want. Make your computer your own, with free tools. Read More . From Taskbar tweaks to icon management, there’s always something to change. For the hardcore desktop enthusiast, Rainmeter has been a long-time friend Make Your Computer Truly Personal With These Top Customization Tools Make Your Computer Truly Personal With These Top Customization Tools What does it mean to customize your computer? Does it mean to have the coolest looking desktop? Well, that’s part of it, but not completely. First off, you want your desktop to be functional. Not... Read More .

Unfortunately, Rainmeter also suffers from a large amount of outdated skins; Rainmeter applets which float freely on your desktop. These skins may make your desktop look worse, not better, than default. That’s why we scoured the Internet looking for the best Rainmeter skins and suites to make any desktop look impressive. Here they are!

VU Meters

Volume Unit (VU) meters create a display of the audio playing on your computer. Most VU meters have settings which will change the color, size, and breadth of the lines displayed. VU Meters are a great desktop enhancement How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop You just upgraded to Windows 10 and you're wondering how you can customize and personalize it. We help you turn your desktop into a virtual Windows experience, one step at a time. Read More if you have a multi-monitor setup and enjoy using your PC as a music device.

The best way to make use of your VU meter is as a 3D backdrop Make Your Desktop Stunning with an Interactive Live Wallpaper Make Your Desktop Stunning with an Interactive Live Wallpaper Nothing makes your desktop stand out like a live interactive background. It's also one of the greatest exercises in customizing your Windows setup. We'll show you how to do it easily with Rainmeter. Read More , as is the case with silver4ever’s desktop example below. This effect is simple to achieve and will create an impressive desktop background.

vu_meter

Fountain Of Color

Fountain of Color is a highly rated VU meter for Rainmeter, and my personal favorite. Fountain of Color’s settings allows for extensive customization, and the skin’s fountain effect adds a smooth look to the meter.

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fountain_of_color

VisBubble

If you want to create a circular VU effect, VisBubble is perfect. Visbubble’s settings are similar to Fountain of Color’s, and it provides a simple interface to change the radius and color of the visualizer.

planet_gif

Frost

If you’re looking for a subtle, cinematic look, check out Frost. Frost has the same functionality as the other VU meters, but uses a fog-like visual, rather than the typical lines for a smoother visual effect.

frost

System Monitor

System monitors 5 Vital System Tools Every Windows User Should Know About 5 Vital System Tools Every Windows User Should Know About Not sure why your computer keeps crashing? If you've been afraid to poke around your system and figure out how to maintain it, don't fear: it's simpler than you think. There are plenty of articles... Read More are an excellent resource to have on your desktop. I use them to keep tabs on GPU temp readings and CPU activity. System monitors are rather useful when it comes to tracking an overclocked PCs Overclocking For Gamers: Everything You Need To Know Overclocking For Gamers: Everything You Need To Know Here’s every a gamer needs to know about overclocking – and how to do it. Read More stats and fan speed configurations How To Get Your PC's Fans Running Cool & Quiet With 3 Simple Cheap & Fast Tips How To Get Your PC's Fans Running Cool & Quiet With 3 Simple Cheap & Fast Tips Have you ever got tired of cleaning out your PC’s dust bunnies? Or have a rattling fan that just ruins your concentration? Believe it or not, fixing both problems can cost just dollars and the... Read More .

Illustro Monitor

First to bat is a program which uses monitoring stats provided by your Task Manager 10 Windows Task Manager Tricks You Didn't Know 10 Windows Task Manager Tricks You Didn't Know If the only time you open the Task Manager is when an application is frozen and needs to be killed, you're overlooking some of its more powerful features. Read More , Illustro Monitor. Illustro Monitor is a simple skin that provides real time stats of CPU usage, HDD space, and Network performance.

system_monitor

Minimal System Info

A fan favorite for system monitors is Minimal System Info. This skin provides a small interface for displaying system information.

minimal_system_info

Mii System Skin

Some system monitors use third-party applications like MSI Afterburner or CoreTemp for their readings. The Rainmeter skin Mii System Skin 2 requires two tweaks before working: MSIAfterBurner.dll and a skin edit.

msi_after_burner

Configure System Monitor Skins

You’ll need to install MSI After Burner onto your computer if you want to track your stats using Mii System Skin 2. Rainmeter will then use the information received by your After Burner application. Afterward, download the appropriate 32 or 64-bit .dll file available in this forum. Ensure whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system and download the appropriate file.

after_burner

Move the .dll file into your Rainmeter plugins folder, located in C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Plugins. Then, edit your skin by right-clicking the Rainmeter skin > Edit skin.

By default, the Plugins parameter for Mii System Skin 2 is set to MSIAfterBurner.dll. Change this parameter to Plugins\MSIAfterBurner.dll. Remember to right-click the skin and select Refresh skin, and you should be able to read your fan speeds, GPU temps, and more.

Clocks

Clocks skins don’t just provide the time. They also set the tone for your Rainmeter background.

Elegance 2

The first is Elegance 2, a more manageable version of the popular Elegance skin. The appeal for this clock skin is its broad appeal. The thin font provides a nice, simple design for any style of Rainmeter background.

elegance_clock

LIM!T

LIM!T provides a slight color twist to the sleek Elegance 2 design. As the minutes fill an hour, so does the skin.

limit

La Campagnie des Ombres

Prefer a clock that comes with both date and time? There’s no better skin than La Campagnie des Ombres.

LCDO

Configure Clock Font

To change the font, install whatever font you’d like use How To Download Free Fonts & Manage Them In Windows How To Download Free Fonts & Manage Them In Windows Fonts are the building blocks of digital aesthetics. Since Windows doesn't come with a font manager, we've looked at third-party alternatives. Read More onto your computer. We’re looking for a parameter named FontFace, which is how Rainmeter knows which font to use in its skin. In the case of Elegance 2, you can locate this parameter under C:\Users\[your user name]\Documents\Rainmeter\Skins\Elegance2\Config\Styles.inc.

font_face

Locate the FontFace parameter and replace #LocalFontFace# with your installed fonts. Be sure to use the font name as it is in your Windows Font folder. You can access your Font folder under Start > type font > Fonts.

big_noodle_font

Save your file and refresh the skin to enjoy the newly edited time skin.

edited_elegance

Other clock skins, like the popular Simple Media skin, include the FontFace directly on the edit option. The same process applies to most skins when it comes to font change.

refresh_skin

Music Players

Music player skins allow you to view and skip tracks on your desktop without having to use the program. These skins also work for a wide variety of music players.

Monstercat Visualizer

The most widely used music player on Rainmeter is Monstercat Visualizer. The music player package includes a simple visualizer and music player. You can configure it with VLC, Spotify, iTunes, and other media players. Its simple design and wide compatibility makes it the perfect music player for your desktop.

monstercat_visualizer

Cleartext

If you’re more into the typographical design, swap the Monstercat Visualizer for Cleartext. Cleartext allows you to change the font and the style of the skin, along with providing next and previous track controls for your music player.

clear_text

Weather

Use these skins to have a handy weather forecast on your desktop. To have these skins access your location’s weather, you’ll need to modify the files.

Do I Need A Jacket

One of the most popular skins on Rainmeter is Do I Need A Jacket, which tells you whether you need a jacket based on that days forecast.

doineedajacket

Genteel

If you prefer deciding yourself whether or not you need a jacket, minimal skins like Genteel are perfect. Genteel’s design is sleek and it summarizes the weather you can expect outside.

genteel

Google Now Weather

For a weightier weather skin, Google Now Weather provides a beautiful three-day forecast for your desktop.

google_now_weather

Configure Weather Skin

Weather skins are tricky on Rainmeter because they require editing the skin file. They use weather codes — a code particular to your location — to keep track of the weather in your area. To adjust the skin to your location, right-click on the skin and select Edit.

You can find your location code by searching your location on weather.com and copying a segment of the URL.

weather_link

The developer will usually make this process as simple as possible. Where the skin file asks for a weather code or weather link, replace the default parameter with your location’s code.

weather_code

Save the file and refresh the skin to activate.

Program Launchers

Program launchers may be the most useful skins to add to Rainmeter, and there’s been a lot of work put into some.

Honeycomb

The most popular Rainmeter launcher is Honeycomb. Honeycomb uses polygon buttons to open files and folders. The default skin has several popular programs to choose from.

honeycomb_rainmeter

Honeycomb + GLL

There’s also a Honeycomb version online titled Honeycomb + GLL , which will create a live background effect on mouse-over.

honeycomb_plus_gll

Circle Launcher

Want circular shapes for your icons instead? Circle Launcher will provide you with high quality icons. Circle launcher also provides mouse-over features already pre-built into the skin.

circle_launcher

Configure Program Launchers

Before using a program launcher, you might need to configure your skin settings. I will give an example with the Honeycomb skin, but this method applies to all launchers.

Right-click on the skin and select Edit. You should see a LeftMouseUpAction parameter, which directs to a program.

firefoxexe

You have to replace this location with the actual location of the program. To find this location, search for the program in your Start menu. In my case, I will search for Firefox. Once found, right-click > Open file location. Then, right-click file > Properties.

file_location

Copy the Target parameter of the file and paste it into the LeftMouseUpAction parameter inside the quotations. Your file should look like this.

firefox_icon_edited

Save the file and refresh the skin to finish configuration.

Rainmeter Suites

Rainmeter suites take the hassle of finding and configuring several different skins out of the equation. They take a fair amount of configuring, as most suites have many types of skin files. If you take the time to configure them, they provide a simple and useful desktop look.

NXT-OS

NXT-OS is a promising Rainmeter suite that takes the concept of skins to another level. This suite provides a sleek interface, notifications, commands, gaming repository, widgets, and more. NXT-OS also provides an easy-to-use interface to guide you through installation.

nxt_os

Overwatch

The creators of NXT-OS also created an Overwatch skin, based off the popular Overwatch game. Not as impressive as NXT-OS, the Overwatch theme is the perfect Rainmeter suite for fans.

overwatch

The suite comes with a clock, HDD bar, RAM / CPU Usage bar, and program launcher. If you enjoy Overwatch, few Rainmeter skins can compare to this suite.

July Flat’ish

July Flat’ish is something of a hidden Rainmeter gem, but it’s a sure-fire way to enhance the look of your desktop quickly. Certain features like note-taking and email management are unique to this suite, along with the flat, square look.

july_flatish

Google Now

The Google Now collection for Rainmeter provides an official-looking desktop with weather, search, and monitor features. For the Rainmeter user who doesn’t want to bother using different skins, which may not fit well together, the Google Now suite provides a professional look within seconds.

google_now

Rainmeter Reigns Supreme!

New Rainmeter skins are produced regularly, but it takes a while to find ones that suit your taste. Minimal is always in, and minimal skins will often be the greatest looking skins you’ll find. For further inspiration, the subreddits /r/rainmeter and /r/desktops provide daily desktop modifications you can check out.

Have a favorite Rainmeter skin? What about a Rainmeter suite? Let us know in the comments below!

  1. Dick
    August 18, 2016 at 7:56 am

    That face in the background is H3H3. Got a good laugh

  2. Pablo
    August 11, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    First class article. Thanks for this.

  3. Chazz
    July 9, 2016 at 2:54 am

    Need to add Origami to this list.

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