How to install and configure Rainmeter to give a personal touch to your desktop in Windows
We recently talked about the launch of the new Rainmeter 4.0, a great tool that has many years being the best alternatives to help us customize our desktop in Windows. Although over the years Rainmeter has become extremely easy to use and the process of installing themes is becoming simpler, there are still several things that it is difficult to understand at first.
So, if you’re a newbie to this customization and you like how cool some of the captures of any of the 20 tracks for Rainmeter we share recently, and you do not know how to make everything look just as perfect, Then read on to learn how to set up Rainmeter on your PC.
Download Rainmeter from the official website and run the installer on your computer. It is a simple program for Windows and you just have to press the classic “next following” until the process is finished. You have the option to use Rainmeter in a portable way, but it is not recommended, so select “Standard installation” to install all necessary libraries.
When you run it for the first time, Rainmeter will load the theme Illustro by default, and you will see a pair of skins already loaded on your desktop, with system monitor, date and time.
Enable and disable skins
If you like these skins you can leave them active, but if you want to get rid of them just right click on each widget and select the “Unload skin” option. You must repeat the process on each skin that you do not want to see on the screen. Luckily there are only 4 initial discomforts.
If you like that theme and want to try more of the widgets that it includes, just right click on any of the skins, navigate to the name, which in this case we know is called “Illustro” and see the menu cascade with All available options.
When the same skin has variants you can add them by right clicking on the widget and looking directly at “Variants”. You can also right click and choose “Manage skin” to access the special menu from which you can see all your active skins, all available, disable, refresh or edit them.
Install a theme
My favorite site to download Rainmeter themes is DeviantArt, from there you can get the best variety possible and the amount of options is impossibly great.
When you find a theme you like, download it, unzip the file if necessary and run the one with the .rmskin extension . If you already have Rainmeter installed, the system identifies the skins correctly and is seen with a green icon in the form of a drop.
Double click on the skin and when a box appears listing the details about it, press “Install” and be sure to check the “Load included skins” box so that it loads directly and appears on your desktop.
Let’s say you download a skin for the weather, but now you do not know what to do to display weather information for your city. Although some friendlier skins include a panel of options so that the user can enter the data or change things in a simple way, most do not, so you must edit the skin by hand.
I have downloaded this nice weather widget called MinimalOne Weather, but it shows the weather in Greensburg, so I have to change it for the one in my city. Once installed, you must right click on the skin and then select “Edit skin”.
This will probably open the Windows notebook with the skin code. Do not be afraid, what you will do is much easier than it seems. Search through all that pile of letters a section where something like ” # WeatherCode # ” appears. There you must place the code of the weather of your city.
The code you get on the weather.com website . Just search your city and enter the weather report. Look in the address that appears in the browser and there you will find an alphanumeric code like the one in the image below.
Now paste that code in the line we highlight above, erasing everything that is between “#” including that symbol. Save the changes and refresh the skin to see the information of your city. To refresh the skin just right click on it and choose “Refresh skin”.
The same applies if you want to change the unit in which the temperature is displayed. An “F” for Farenheint and a “C” for Celsius.
Positioning and transparency of skins
While you can drag any skin with the mouse to place it in the part that best suits your desktop, you also have several special options and quite useful to decide the behavior of each widget.
For example, if you click on a skin and choose the “Settings” option and then “Position” you can choose on which monitor the skin will always be displayed. You can decide whether it will always be above the other windows (Stay topmost), or the opposite, always at the bottom (Bottom). You have even more detailed options, such as adjusting the position on the X or Y axis by percentage.
You can choose to save the position, allow or not to be able to move the skin, hiding it when the mouse is passed over it, etc. You can also define the transparency of the skin in percentage.
Install plugin for Spotify
If you install a theme for the music player and want it to work with Spotify, you have to make sure of two things: the first is that the subject is in effect for Spotify, because many do not support this player. And, the second is that you must install the Spotify plugin for Rainmeter.
The format is the same of any skin, so you just have to run the .rmskin and immediately the information of the current song that you are playing in the Windows application of Spotify will appear immediately.