Download the latest release or beta version from http://rainmeter.net. You may download and run the installer (.exe) version or manually install with the "portable" (.zip) version.
Rainmeter is fully Windows Vista / Windows 7 compatible. The file which Rainmeter uses to keep track of the skins you have loaded and how they are configured (Rainmeter.ini) is now in your "Application Data" folder, and all Rainmeter "skins" are stored in your "My Documents" folder. This means that you do not have to run Rainmeter as an "Administrator" or worry about conflicts with UAC (User Account Control).
Rainmeter automatically installs the suite of skins "Enigma" by Kaelri as well as the "RainBrowser" skin manager and "RainThemes" themes manager by JSMorley.
Normal InstallationRun the installer. By default Rainmeter will install in "C:\Program Files\Rainmeter", but you may install it in any folder you wish.
Rainmeter will install all required files and place shortcuts for the program, RainBrowser and RainThemes in your Start Menu. The installer will also offer to have Rainmeter automatically start with Windows, and will ask if you wish to install for just the current or all users.
When Rainmeter starts the first time, it will install the default skins and themes in the proper folder locations and load the "Enigma" suite of skins. Start by using the configuration tool in Enigma to configure your personal settings (like Weather location code and e-mail address), then RainThemes to load one of the pre-defined setups or RainBrowser to manage or load individual skins.
Manual InstallationTo install Rainmeter manually, download the .zip version of the program, and simply unzip it into the location from where you wish to run the program. This would normally be C:\Program Files\Rainmeter, but can be any folder location.
When Rainmeter starts the first time, it will again install the default skins and themes in the proper folder locations and you can use the program normally. You will need to create any Start Menu shortcuts you desire yourself and place a shortcut for Rainmeter.exe in the "Startup" folder if you wish Rainmeter to run when Windows starts.
If you wish to run Rainmeter from one folder, so it can be easily taken with you or even run directly from a removable drive, all you need to do is install the program using either the "Normal" or "Manual" installation as described above, then BEFORE you run Rainmeter for the first time, rename the file "Default.ini" you will find in the program folder to "Rainmeter.ini". This will tell Rainmeter that you wish to keep the program and all configuration data, skins and themes in the program folder. No files will be created in Application Data or My Documents. You may now use the program normally, but can easily take the application "on the road" by copying the entire \Rainmeter folder and sub-folders.
Notes on a "portable" installation - If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7 and have UAC (User Account Control) turned on, you must run Rainmeter with "Administrator" privileges if you wish to keep the application in "C:\Program Files\Rainmeter" and run the application "portable". (where all information is kept in the UAC protected "C:\Program Files" folder) If you do not, UAC will prevent Rainmeter from writing to Rainmeter.ini and no changes you make will be saved. An alternative for a "portable" installation is to install Rainmeter in a non-protected folder like "C:\Rainmeter".
Default File LocationsThe Program:
Windows XP: C:\Program Files\Rainmeter
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Program Files\Rainmeter
Your "Skin" files
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\My Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Users\YourName\My Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
Rainmeter.ini and your "Themes"
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Rainmeter
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Users\YourName\Appdata\Roaming\Rainmeter
UninstallingIf you installed Rainmeter with the installer you can uninstall it from "Add or Remove Programs". Otherwise just delete all the files you uncompressed from the zip-file
Note that if you have added to or changed any "Skins" or "Themes" you will need to manually delete these folders as described above to fully remove Rainmeter from your system
Ensure that Rainmeter is not running when uninstalling.