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How to Keep a Rainmeter Skin from Hiding When You “Show Desktop”

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One of the biggest complaints with previous versions of Rainmeter was that your awesome desktop widgets hide when you use Win+D or the Show Desktop shortcut to see your desktop—defeating the purpose. Here’s how to make them stick there.

The new setting is part of more recent versions of Rainmeter, and the default Gnometer skins are already set to use the new parameter—the problem is that older skins aren’t necessarily updated, so we figured we’d show how it works.

Using the Context Menu

You can simply right-click on any skin and choose Settings –> Position –> On Desktop. It’s as simple as that.

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Editing the Skin Manually

You can edit a skin manually by right-clicking and choosing Edit Skin, but to get your hands on the On Desktop variable, you’ll need to edit the Rainmeter.ini file—you can open up RainBrowser and click the Edit Settings link under Global Actions.

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Or you can just paste this into your Start Menu run box to get straight to the file:

notepad %appdata%\Rainmeter\Rainmeter.ini

Once you’re there, make sure the AlwaysOnTop variable is set to –2 so it will stick on the desktop.

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You can do a search and replace for anything set to –1 and change it to –2, which can be handy if you’ve got a bunch of skins and you don’t feel like manually selecting them all.


This is the third part in our series explaining how to use Rainmeter. If you haven’t already, make sure to read the previous two parts in the series:

Got any specific Rainmeter questions you’d like answered? Leave your question in the comments and we’ll see if we can help.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/2/10

Comments (5)

  1. Hatryst

    Very nice. A well anticipated one ;)

    But i have a question. “1″ means true or ON, and “0″ represents false or OFF. That’s binary, got it…
    So what is -2?

  2. Sepehr

    @Hatryst:
    -2 means that it’s on desktop
    -1 means that it’s on bottom (hides if you press show desktop
    0 meansthat it’s like a window
    1 means that it’s over most of the programs
    2 means that it will be always the top most program (other topmost programs won’t be over it)

    It has nothing to do with the binary numbers

  3. Phasair

    Thanks a lot! I always really hated this problem, I had no idea it was this easy to fix. These kinds of articles are the reason I keep an RSS-feed of howtogeek.com as one of my rainmeter skins ;)

  4. Fede

    That’s nice.
    I used to work around the problem using Win+M(inimize)

  5. ian

    still not working for me, it will work for 4-6 times then it starts to minimize the meters again.

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