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Rainmeter A Simple Guide to Rainmeter: The Windows Desktop Customization Tool A Simple Guide to Rainmeter: The Windows Desktop Customization Tool Rainmeter is the ultimate tool for customizing your Windows desktop with interactive wallpapers, desktop widgets, and more. Our simple guide will help you create your own personal desktop experience in no time. Read More has long been my favorite Windows customization tool. It’s light-weight, free, and if used correctly can render your desktop unrecognizable. If you’re completely new to Rainmeter, follow the link provided to learn more about this fantastic software.

Not only can you create a truly spectacular desktop experience, you can create and share whole configurations with a few clicks of your mouse. Here’s how!

Rainmeter Themes and How to Share Them

Rainmeter themes range from simple widget configurations to complex, involved desktop experiences. While I prefer the latter, we’ve all got to start somewhere.

Skins

To begin, open your Rainmeter window.

On the left-hand side, you’ll note your Rainmeter skins. Rainmeter skins are created using INI file, text files which Rainmeter reads as widgets. To activate a skin, locate the INI file and double-click it or select Load from the top left-hand corner of your window.

rainmeter window

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Layouts and Themes

To save and load a whole Rainmeter theme, head to your Layouts tab.

rainmeter layouts

To save your layout, name your current setup’s layout and click Save. Your layout will be accessible in the Saved layouts section. Note that you can include your current wallpaper, or create a completely empty layout, by checking the options above the Name parameter.

Share Skin Package and Theme

To share your theme, you’ll need to create an RMSKIN file. You can find this option in the previous Skins tab.

rmskin setup

Click Create .rmskin package to open the Rainmeter Skin Packager. You can add skins, whole layouts and plugins (which allows Rainmeter skins to use program information, Spotify for example) from this window. You must name and provide authorship for your skin. It’s also necessary to provide a skin in your RMSKIN package.

You can save several skins within a new folder, name it whatever you’d like, and choose this folder as your skin. Once you’ve entered all necessary parameters, click Next.

create rmskin package

Then, select what you’d like the skin to do after installation. Remember to specify the Windows version to ensure compatibility. Finally, click Create package to create your RMSKIN file.

Creating a Rainmeter Custom Theme

Now that you know how to save and share a theme, let’s get to creating the theme. Your theme can involve whatever it is you would like. The best starting point for a theme is the wallpaper. I chose to create a theme around Kendrick Lamar’s latest album release, so I’ll use the following wallpaper.

kendrick background

Check to see if there are any immediate skins you’d like to use. DeviantArt is the typical choice to view and download Rainmeter skins. I enjoy having VU meters — visualizer bars which change according to the music — on my desktop, so I’ll add a few Fountain of Color visualizers along the black and white border.

vu meter lamar

Next, I’ll create and load a copy of the artist’s image and place it over the meter in order to create a slight 3D effect 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 .

You can use this effect with any image, so feel free to be creative with your Rainmeter layering.

vu meter lamar 3D

Since this is a music-based skin, it’s only natural to include a Spotify player in the mix. Cleartext is a fantastic choice since it’s simple, discrete and allows for a selection of options. In the following example, I also took the liberty of changing the skin’s default font to the font used in Lamar’s recent album art.

cleartext lamar

You can also include certain skins to integrate some utility in your theme. I typically use the Lucence pack as a go to weather, note, and resource monitor skins.

lucence skin lamar

I’ll stop there, but you don’t have to. Besides, you can spend hours creating one perfect skin with a program like Rainmeter. You could even add a parallax effect How to Create a Parallax Desktop Background With Rainmeter How to Create a Parallax Desktop Background With Rainmeter If you desire a live animated desktop wallpaper, look into Rainmeter! Here we'll show you how to create a unique parallax effect for your Windows desktop background. Read More to the above theme, taking it to a whole other level.

There’s no limit to the amount of skin and wallpaper combinations you can try. If you’d like to download the above Rainmeter layout yourself, you can download it here. Configure it to your own desktop.

Disclaimer: Since the theme provided essentially wraps all skins used into one folder, it has not been properly vetted to function within the default kendrick folder. To fix this issue, move all contents from this folder to the root Rainmeter folder — C:\Users\[PC Name]\Documents\Rainmeter\Skins — and then activate the kendrick layout via your Layouts tab.

Rainmeter and Third-Party Software

There’s themes, and there’s desktop experiences. Another great aspect of Rainmeter is that it works well in tandem with other programs as well. Take the following, for example.

lamar theme final

The differences between our Rainmeter example and the example above are as follows:

While examples like the ones above can be achieved within minutes, merging Rainmeter with third-party applications seamlessly will take a bit longer than solely using Rainmeter. How long it takes, and how deep you’re willing to go, is completely up to you.

Get to Customizing!

Rainmeter is the holy grail of Windows customization software: it’s lightweight, extensive, and easy to play around with. The more time you spend familiarizing yourself with both its features and code library, the better your themes will be. Best of all, it’s free. So what are you waiting for?

Ready to create your own Rainmeter theme? Which other Rainmeter tricks would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. 919263
    May 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    No freaking Link for the download... ????

    • Christian Bonilla
      May 2, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you for your comment: others may have that very question! Can you please specify which link you're referring to?