I have a few computers in my house and almost all of them run XP mainly for its simplicity and ease of use. The one gripe I have is that XP doesn’t sport the most appealing UI in the world. Its dull, block-like, basic shapes stick out like a sore thumb and aren’t aesthetically pleasing at all.
I decided I needed a change. After some research, I choose to fashion my desktop based on OS X’s user interface. Blasphemy, I know, but Apple’s interfaces have always managed to amaze me with simplicity. Just because I choose not to use the hardware doesn’t mean I can’t admire the other parts, right?
While this process isn’t going to give you all the features of a Mac, this is still a handy way to change the way your desktop looks and behaves. If you’re looking for a video tutorial on how to do this: iPawdTouch has a helpful guide following the same steps.
It was with his special permission I was allowed to write this, so if you would take a look at his channel it would be greatly appreciated – he’s definitely one of my favourite YouTubers for technology reviews and tutorials!
Now, on with the article!
First up, you’ll want a Mac wallpaper. This is not a requirement – just a nice little touch. The most high quality wallpaper I could find can be obtained here. You could really choose any wallpaper depending on your specific preference – I just feel a Mac centric one brings the whole UI together.
Making this your wallpaper is pretty self explanatory – so I’m not going to show that.
Next up, you need to get your dock at the bottom of the screen to hold all your icons in a secure location. To get this done, we’re going to use Rocket Dock.
This handy link should get you to where you need to be and download the software. A note of caution, RocketDock doesn’t work on some versions of Windows, but does work on the majority – hopefully you won’t have any problems.
Installation should be a cinch and once done, a dock like this should appear at the bottom of the page. This will be the default layout – not the Mac OS.
This can be maneuvered around using the dock settings. The hammer icon allows you to change where it appears on the screen, how it layers and a multitude of other options.
For now, we’ll focus on creating a Mac-like layout. A very attractive skin that’ll make this happen for you can be found here.
A skin will be structured like so:
You’ll now need to go to your program files – I’m sure you know how to find these. My Computer – Local Drive(?)- Program Files – Rocket Dock – Skins . Then, once you’re in the correct directory, simply drag the “Mac OS X Leopard” folder from Winrar/Winzip/what have you, into the skins folder – it’s that simple.
Next, go to your dock settings (one of the icons on your dock) and click on style, then follow the drop down menu until you find Mac OS Leopard – it should be there. Click OK and you’re done.
You should now have a dock which looks a bit like this. It’s very customizable – so have a play around till it takes your fancy.
Now that you have your dock finished, you now need your theme and taskbar. We’re going to use: WindowsBlinds to make this happen.
This is an application which allows you to change all of your interface elements. If you don’t feel like paying for this software, don’t worry – I wouldn’t recommend it. The easiest way to do this is to download the 30 day free trial. Once this ends you can always uninstall and reinstall – taking about 2 minutes out of your day. Cunning, I know!
After downloading, which you may need to restart for, you need to acquire the specific interface for Mac. To do this, you need to load up WindowsBlinds. Once loaded, there will be a range of interfaces there for your use, but, we need the Mac one (unless any others take your fancy.) For this you need to select “Get More Skins” at the top of the application – as I’ve shown below.
This will take you to a page like so:
After navigating to this page, type “Mac” into the search bar. When the search results come up you will have to choose between two (both pointed to below). One by “Steve Grenier” and the other by “kensil811.” Personally, I prefer Steve’s version, this is because it’s more professional and more realistic. However, I’ve used both and they were each very adequate. Links for Steve and Kensil versions are here and here.
Once downloaded, you should get the option to open up the skin directly through WindowsBlinds. If not, go to the place where you downloaded the file (normally downloads) and click on the “wbload file” and this should automatically work. After this, go back to WindowsBlinds and Mac OSX Tiger should of appeared along the bottom, select this and it should load up.
Your finished product should look something like this!
Step Four – Additional Cursors
So basically, you’re done! Except there is one other customisation option you could choose to use: Cursors. If you like Apple’s cursor layout follow this link and you’ll be up and running with spiffy new cursors in no time flat!
Hopefully, you now have a UI that resembles the Mac OS Layout. If you had any problems or queries along the way please feel free to comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
Of course, this may not really be your cup of tea in which case, thanks for reading thus far!