Unfortunately, Rainmeter also suffers from a large amount of outdated skins; Rainmeter applets which float freely on your desktop.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!
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 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, as is the case with silver4ever’s desktop example below. This effect is simple to achieve and will create an impressive desktop background.
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.
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.
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.
System monitors 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 stats and fan speed configurations.
First to bat is a program which uses monitoring stats provided by your Task Manager, Illustro Monitor. Illustro Monitor is a simple skin that provides real time stats of CPU usage, HDD space, and Network performance.
A fan favorite for system monitors is Minimal System Info. This skin provides a small interface for displaying system information.
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.
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.
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 skins don’t just provide the time. They also set the tone for your Rainmeter background.
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.
LIM!T provides a slight color twist to the sleek Elegance 2 design. As the minutes fill an hour, so does the skin.
Prefer a clock that comes with both date and time? There’s no better skin than La Campagnie des Ombres.
Configure Clock Font
To change the font, install whatever font you’d like use 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.
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.
Save your file and refresh the skin to enjoy the newly edited time skin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a weightier weather skin, Google Now Weather provides a beautiful three-day forecast for your desktop.
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.
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.
Save the file and refresh the skin to activate.
Program launchers may be the most useful skins to add to Rainmeter, and there’s been a lot of work put into some.
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.
There’s also a Honeycomb version online titled Honeycomb + GLL , which will create a live background effect on mouse-over.
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.
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.
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.
Copy the Target parameter of the file and paste it into the LeftMouseUpAction parameter inside the quotations. Your file should look like this.
Save the file and refresh the skin to finish configuration.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!