How To Customize Your Desktop

How would you like to make your computer desktop look awesome like this? Customizing your computer can be confusing at times, so with this simple guide I will show you how to make your desktop look amazing in minutes. Very little technical knowledge is required.

Step 1. Finding A Wallpaper

The first step to customize your desktop is to find a wallpaper that you like. This is the fun part! If you would like to use the same wallpaper displayed above, it can be found here.

Finding a good wallpaper can take time and a lot of searching. If you’re having some trouble, check out some of these websites that allow you to download wallpapers:

To activate a wallpaper, save it to your computer, then right click the file and select “Set As Desktop Background”. 

Step 2. Download & Install Rainmeter

This is the program that makes the magic happen. Download Rainmeter here.

If you have any trouble using Rainmeter, you can find a full guide here.

Step 3. Download & Install Skins

If you would like to make your desktop look like the one pictured above, download these skins:

To install the skins, simply open the .zip files and drag the entire folder contents to the rainmeter skins file on your computer (usually located at: “C:\Users\Yourusername\Documents\Rainmeter\Skins”).

If you would prefer something different, check out these resources.

Step 4. Download & Install Rocketdock & Custom Icons

To get an awesome dock like the one pictured above, you will need to download Rocketdock.

Once you have downloaded Rocketdock, you will need to download some custom icons.

Next, open the .zip file which contains your custom icons and drag them to Rocketdocks icon folder (usually located at: “C:\Program Files\RocketDock\Icons”). You will want to replace the existing icons.

You can add new icons to rocket dock by right clicking and selecting “Add Item”. To select a custom icon, right click on the icon and select “Icon Settings”. Chose the icon you want and press “OK”.

For a more in depth guide on how to customize Rocketdock, check out this youtube video.

Step 5. Customize Rainmeter

This is where the fun begins. To begin customizing, open Rainmeter, right click the Rainmeter icon in your taskbar, and select “Manage”. Your screen should look something like this:

First, in the left hand column you will see a drop down option which says “Active Skins”. Click it, and select the first option. Then, on the right hand side, select “Unload”. Do this for all the options in the drop down box.

You should now have no skins active.

Setting Up The Clock & Calender

First, select your theme on the left hand side (In our case we want to select “Serenity”). Open “Group1″, then “Date”. Click on the file called “Date.ini”, and select “Load” on the right hand side. You should now see the date on your desktop.

To place it where you want it, select “Draggable”, from the bottom right hand side of Rainmeter. You can then click and drag the date to where you would like it on your screen. Once you find a good spot, un-tick “Draggable” to lock it in place. 

Next, set up the time using the same method, ensuring you load the “Clocke.ini” file.

Setting Up The Weather

Using the same technique as setting up the time and date, select the theme “VeryFlatWeather”, from the left hand side and load “weather.ini”. Your desktop should now display the weather. To customize the weather for your town follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://weather.msn.com
  2. Search for your location (e.g. Lodon, United Kingdom or New york, NY, United States)
  3. Look at the URL, it should look something like this: http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?wealocations=wc:UKXX0085&q=London%2c+GBR” The Weather code is UKXX0085 
  4. Copy the weather code
  5. Open Rainmeter, right click on weather.ini and select “ Edit”. 
  6. Paste your weather code in the area that says “Location”, making sure to delete the default weather code and leave no spaces.
  7. Click File > Save then close the document. 
  8. Click “Refresh” in Rainmeter. Your weather should now display correctly.
If you have any trouble setting up your weather icon, you can find some more in depth help here

Setting Up System Information

Using the same method for the above options, select the Serenity Theme, then select System-compact and load “Compact.ini”. Ensure that it is draggable, then place it where you would like it on your screen.

Step 6. Hide Your Taskbar & Recycle Bin

The last step is to hide your Windows Taskbar and recycle bin. First, right click on your taskbar and select “Properties”. Then, un-tick “Lock the Taskbar”, and make sure that “Auto-hide the taskbar” is ticked”.

You can then drag your taskbar to any side of your screen. (I like having mine in the left handside).

Next, right click your desktop and select “Personalize”. Then, on the right hand side select “Change Desktop Icons”. Un-tick “Recycle Bin”, and select “OK”.

So there you have it folks! Congrats on your amazing looking desktop! If you have a custom desktop that you are particularly proud of, please share it with us in the comments!

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