For being in the tech field, it’s pretty sad that I just found out about Rainmeter. Rainmeter is apparently one of the most popular desktop customization programs for Windows. It’s free and it is very powerful. It’s basically like Windows sidebar gadgets, but way more customizable.
You can keep track of system resources like hard drive, memory and battery, view online data streams like RSS feeds, Facebook feeds, emails, weather forecasts and lots more. If you really want to tweak stuff, you can simply modify some code, which is also easy to understand.
If not, that’s ok. There are thousands of themes or skins for Rainmeter which will probably suffice for most people. Some of the popular themes even come with their own settings manager, so you don’t have to touch any code to modify the settings manually.
First, download Rainmeter and install it on your system. Make sure to choose Standard installation unless you are familiar with the advanced settings.
By default, it loads a skin called illustro to show off some of the features of the program. It looks pretty good straight out of the box and it uses only a small amount of resources to run, so it doesn’t slow down your system.
You can enable or disable certain parts from displaying by right-clicking anywhere on any of the items and clicking on the name of the skin. You will then see a list of items like Clock, Disk, Feeds, etc. Depending on the theme, there will be a different set of items that can be displayed on the desktop. If I wanted to disable the Recycle Bin, I would just go to it and click on Recycle Bin.ini to uncheck the file.
If you right-click on the particular item showing on the desktop, click System for example, it’ll say at the top illustro\System. If you click on that, it will open the actual settings file, where you can adjust the sizes, fonts and everything else about that particular object.
At this point, it’s all about customizing your skin to how you want it. They have great support for the program, which is probably why it’s so popular. You can read the manual and the tips and tricks here:
You can also download and install new themes that were made by others from here:
They have some pretty popular ones like Enigma and Gnometer that have tons of features and options to configure without having to edit any lines of code, which is nice. Just download and open the file to install it.
It’s that easy! You definitely want to download and play around with Rainmeter if you are interesting in customizing the task bar and desktop in Windows 7. It’s by far the most advanced system for doing this! Enjoy!