You think the default Windows icons are underwhelming and you long for something more unique?
Rainmeter, arguably the best customization tool for Windows, is great for creating custom icons. Rainmeter icons range from immersive to regular. What you can do with these icons is really only limited by your imagination and experience with the software.
The best part about Rainmeter icons? Whether you’d like to use the fantastic fan-made icons already at your disposal or want to create custom icons yourself, everyone can experience the satisfaction of custom desktop icons with Rainmeter. Here’s how!
Creating Rainmeter Icons
Rainmeter icons are some of the simplest skins to make, but can also have the most substantial impact on your desktop. No more would you need to search for programs, which may not appear using default Windows search options.
Yet, it’s often best to learn how to create an icon before beginning to download and install icon sets. Since Rainmeter skin settings are text-based, learning your way around Rainmeter skins will help you get the most out of your skins. That way, you can download and edit skins at your leisure instead of relying on already-made ones. Rainmeter has a very active user base, after all!
Creating Your Icon
You’ll need two items to create a Rainmeter skin: an image file and a Rainmeter (INI) skin file. Head to the Rainmeter folder within your Documents folder, which is created by default when you install Rainmeter. Then, create a folder within this directory to hold your icons. Name it whatever you’d like.
You’ll need to place your two files within this folder. Double-click your newly created folder, right-click an empty space within this directory, and select New, then Text Document. Input the following:
[Rainmeter] Update=1000 LeftMouseUpAction=["[address]"] [Background] Meter=Image ImageName=[image file name].png W=[width] H= PreserveAspectRatio=1
Save this document with the INI extension (for example, muologo.ini) and not with the usual TXT extension. This will allow Rainmeter to recognize your skin. You’ll have to replace the three bold parameters above.
- [address] — Place the address of your choice here, within the two quotation marks. The LeftMouseUpAction parameter signifies the action is committed whenever the user left-mouse clicks the icon.
- [image file name] — Place the name of your image file, which should be in the same directory as your INI file, here. This will allow Rainmeter to call the image for your icon.
- [width] — Place your width, measured in pixels by default, next to your W parameter. Since our PreserveAspectRatio parameter is set to 1, your width will determine both the width and height of your icon. If you leave width blank, your image will appear as its native resolution.
Your Rainmeter folder should look something like the following.
Icons can, of course, be considerably more complex (especially if they provide a large icon library and additional functions). What’s been presented, however, is the basic format by which Rainmeter icons are created.
Placing Your Icon
Now that you’ve created your icon, it’s time to place it. First, ensure that you have your INI and image file in the same place. Next, click Refresh All in the lower left-hand side of your Manage Rainmeter window.
Then, find your newly created icons folder. This folder should be located under the Active skins selection in your Rainmeter window.
Click on the drop-down menu beside MUO Icon, as written in the example above, and you should see your INI skin file.
If you don’t see this file, ensure you’ve added the INI extension to your file. Once you’ve found your INI file, double-click the file or select Load from the Rainmeter window. You should now see your skin on the desktop: if not, remember to ensure your files are both placed and configured correctly.
That’s how to create icons in Rainmeter!
Ready-Made Icon Sets
While it’s great to know how to create icons, you don’t have to create them all from scratch. This is a list of the top icons sets available online for Rainmeter.
For the beginner Rainmeter guru, Honeycomb is a must. Honeycomb provides stylish, high-quality hexagonal icons for various programs, folders, and websites.
The library is extensive and is continually being refined to create more complex and feature-packed icons. Additionally, Honeycomb + GGL will provide users with similar, custom Rainmeter icons with an additional mouse-over effect. The mouse-over effect will add a background to your desktop reflecting the icon you choose.
If you need a few Rainmeter icons to spice up your desktop, Honeycomb is a great way to go.
Another fantastic, simple icon is Circle Launcher. If you don’t appreciate the definite line aspect of Honeycomb, Circle Launcher should definitely be your go-to icon set.
It does everything you’d want from a beginner icon set, and nothing you don’t.
Silmeria Dock — Honeymoon
A simple-yet-sophisticated drawer icon set, Silmeria Dock — Honeymoon provides a simple interface for users to add, take away, and rearrange their icons.
Remember, you can then change whatever aspect of these icons/icon docks you prefer.
A magnificent new addition to the Rainmeter folds, Vivid Launcher is a highly customizable icon launcher with a neat mouse-over effect to boot.
Vivid Launcher’s icons, along with its mouse-over feature, are easy to change as well. Simply right-click the skin and select SETTINGS to modify.
Icon Image Sets
The following are not Rainmeter skins. At least, not yet. When you begin creating your own custom icons, you’ll need plenty of icon images. That’s where websites like Flaticon come into play.
Flaticon provides users with beautiful, often free, icon images of all shapes and sizes. Best of all, they provide multiple image formats for any and all icon projects you take up.
Rainmeter, the Iconoclast
Rainmeter allows for users to create and customize their icons, offering endless possibilities. That includes options for laymen and code-monkeys alike. Create your own icon and share it, or use someone else’s: that’s what makes Rainmeter fantastic. You’ll also find using icons is only half the battle: implementing skins in unique ways is what makes a desktop really shine.
Which other Rainmeter features or applications would you like to explore? Let us know in the comments below!