Rainmeter is a free, open-source application for Windows PCs. It is a platform that enables skins to run on the desktop.
Rainmeter displays customizable skins, like memory and battery power, RSS feeds and weather forecasts, right on your desktop. Many skins are even functional: they can record your notes and to-do lists, launch your favorite applications, and control your media player – all in a clean, unobtrusive interface that you can rearrange and customize to your liking. Rainmeter is at once an application and a toolkit. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.
Rainmeter is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU GPL v2 license.
What isn’t Rainmeter?
Rainmeter is just one of many different tools that you can use to customize your Windows PC. It includes a powerful and flexible set of features, and we are continually surprised by the creative ways that those features are used. However, it is important to understand what Rainmeter does not do:
Rainmeter does not change your Windows visual style. It cannot change the appearance of your taskbar, Start button, desktop icons, file explorer, or other built-in Windows components.
Rainmeter is also not a window manager. It does not keep track of your open windows; it cannot maximize or minimize other application windows; and it does not enable “workspaces” or manage multi-monitor setups.
Rainmeter does not replace other applications that it interacts with. For example, an “iTunes” skin may let you pause, play or skip to the next track in your iTunes media player. But iTunes must still be running in the background for the skin to work.
In short, you cannot usually download and apply someone else’s amazing desktop transformation in one click. Most customizers are courteous enough to provide links to the myriad programs, plugins, icons, wallpapers and other materials that they have used.
Top Rainmeter Themes
Gnometer demonstrates some of the best features of Rainmeter allowing you to keep an eye on key information at all times while having more detailed information available with a short move of your mouse.
The suite contains over nearly two dozen skins:
- Battery, Clock (and Calendar), Disk, Facebook, Feeds, Google Calendar (Gcal), Google Mail (Gmail), Network, Notes, Recycle Bin, System, Twitter, uTorrent, and WOTD (Word of the Day)
- Media Player skin that supports iTunes, WinAmp, Spotify, VLC, and more
- Application and Folder launcher
- Settings skin that allows easy access to common settings such as colors, font size, and various skin settings
Enigma is for the minimalist, putting powerful customizing
tools in a smooth and organized package.
Enigma’s features make it unique among Rainmeter suites:
- A neutral, minimalist design that goes well with a wide range of themes, wallpapers and color schemes.
- Over 100 customization options in a user-friendly panel, no programming skills required.
- Up to 7 variants for each skin, including “Sidebar” and “Taskbar” styles that stack neatly and snap together.
- Support for “stylesheets” – third-party modification packages that completely change the look and feel of the entire suite. New stylesheets can be installed and turned on or off in seconds.
- Three pre-made themes that fit your computer screen right out of the box.
ABP is a full featured suite with a very elegant interface in both dark and light versions.
Included skins are:
- HTC style clock
- iTunes music player with album art
- System information including CPU, disks etc.
- Easy to change application launcher
- Network and traffic information
- Yahoo Weather
- Configurable RSS feeds
- Image viewer / slideshow