Introduction: How to Customize Your Desktop

Picture of How to Customize Your Desktop

Did you ever what your computer to look like Tony Stark's? Well its all possible thanks to an extremely cool and absolutely free software called Rainmeter! It allows you to make your desktop more artistic and functional with almost infinitely many possibilities to change its design!

Step 1: Get Started

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To start off you have to download and install the software. You can get the latest versions 100% free and safe at http://rainmeter.net/cms/. There you can also read all about the software.!Make sure you save it somewhere easy to remember and accessable, because you will have to save other things there later as well!  

Step 2:

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In order to understand how this software work, think of it like an additional mask you place over your desktop. Therefore the next step is to either download or make this mask or skin yourself. As they are pretty hard to make and thousands of different skins are already available for free online I would recomend to start with downloading one. The best and most reliable sites to do this are:
-http://www.rainmeterskin.com(my favorite)
-http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/skins/sysmonitor/rainmeter/?order=5
-http://www.flickr.com/groups/lifehacker-desktop-showandtell/pool/
-http://www.customize.org/rainmeter/skins?page=1

!Please be careful. These sites are open platforms that anyone can upload to. Do not download anything with comments disabled, and never run any .exe file to install a skin!

The best place to save these is in the designated folder which is provided in the software's folder named "skins".

Step 3:

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A drop shaped icon should have been added to your bottom left taskbar by the software which you can then use to launch Rainmeter.

Step 4:

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Once launched Rainmeter should open a window with a list of all of your downloaded skins on the left. In the folders should be scrips to activate certain parts of the skin. They are usually named in a way that allows you to guess what they will activate, but you should still try out all parts available, because sometimes they can be big surprises. You launch them with a double click and can also deactivate them the same way. You can easily switch between folders and activate different scrips from different designs and so build your own skin out of many others.

Step 5:

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Once you have activated all of the parts you like you can simply click and drag them to anywhere on your desktop. You are free to rearrange them anyway and as often you like.

Step 6:

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These were the basics and in most case all you need to make a cool desktop, BUT for more advanced users there are a couple more steps you can take to even further personalize your skins. To do this you need to find the place you saved Rainmeter and open the skins folder.  

Step 7:

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Then you select which ever skin you want to edit and open the specific folder for the icon you want to improve. Then simply open with any picture editing software and make the wanted changes. Then save it and on your desktop right click the icon you edited and click refresh icon, to see the changes you've made.

Step 8:

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The next step will allow you to edit the animations and functionality of the skin, but is fairly complicated and the slightest mistake can cause the skin to stop to work. Therefore is this step ONLY for advanced users. If I still haven't scared you off then you are either convinced of your skills or quitethe reckless one! Either way the way to do this is to open the script files. This will open a long programming script for the animation and the only places you can safely intersect without having to reprogram the whole animation is in the links. These links can be used to either open a website, which only requires you to have a standard browser and the address pasted into there or, or to open a program on your hard drive. For a program you will have to paste the data path with the complete name (a .exe file).    

Step 9:

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To find the data path and complete name of files which you only have a shortcut for simply right click and go down to the third option. 

Step 10:

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Once you have done all of your adjustments simply right click on the skins on your desktop and refresh.

Step 11:

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A last small adjustment you can make is to hide your task bar. Right click it and go to properties. Then select auto-hide task bar and all is done. 

Step 12:

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So there you have it, a fully customized desktop with near endless possibilities to change anytime you like.

Comments

lodrigue (author)2015-12-29

hi

MityManiac (author)2013-02-09

is it applicable for XP??

mumumon (author)MityManiac2013-02-11

Its works perfectly with XP,Vista,7&8, but not with Apple products.

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