Fancy breaking out of a two-dimensional desktop? Here's how to set up a 3D desktop in Windows 11 and 10.
Windows has always stuck by a flat, two-dimensional desktop throughout its history. However, you can add a much more visually appealing 3D desktop to Windows with BumpTop. BumpTop is open-source software (acquired by Google) that turns the desktop into a 3D room with a top-down perspective.
Want to know more? Here is how you can transform Windows 11 and 10 with BumpTop.
Installing and launching BumpTop will add its 3D desktop to Windows. BumpTop’s setup process is quick and straightforward. Furthermore, the software weighs in at a relatively lightweight 57.3 megabytes. Thus, you probably won’t need to free up any hard drive space before installing BumpTop. You can download and install BumpTop as follows.
Now you’ll see the new 3D desktop in Windows 11 like the one in the snapshot directly below. That desktop is a 3D room with three walls and a floor. The room’s floor includes your desktop’s shortcut icons, but you can drag-and-drop them onto the surrounding walls with the mouse.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
You can double-click those icons to open their software packages just like you usually would on the regular 2D desktop.
You can return to the regular desktop by right-clicking BumpTop’s system tray icon and selecting Exit BumpTop. Alternatively, press the Alt + F4 hotkey for that option.
Aside from icons, BumpTop’s 3D desktop can also include sticky notes and other widgets. To add handy note reminders, right-click anywhere within the desktop and select Sticky Note on the circular menu. Then enter some text in the yellow note that appears, and click outside the notifier to save changes.
BumpTop has six other widget options. Right-click somewhere on the 3D desktop and select the Widgets option shown directly below. Then you can select to add photo frame, Send to printer, new email, Facebook, file sharing, and Twitter widgets to your desktop.
If you select the Add a Photo Frame option there, a Select the Photo Frame source window will open. To add a photo to the desktop, select the Local Directory or Image File radio button on that window. Then click the ellipsis button to choose an image to add, and press the OK button.
BumpTool has some handy desktop organization options. It enables you to set up icon piles and grids. Piling icons enables you to stack them according to type or time. The Grid option neatly organizes a selection of icons into a grid.
To pile some icons, select one icon to include. Then hold the Ctrl key to select multiple icons. When you’ve selected them, right-click one of the icons and select Pile by. Choose either the Pile by Type or Pile by Time options.
Then the selected icons will be piled as in the snapshot directly below. You can remove a pile by right-clicking it and selecting Break Pile. Or you can select a pile and press the Ctrl + B hotkey instead.
You can set up a grid much the same. Select multiple icons on the desktop with the Ctrl key. Then right-click a selected icon to choose the Grid option.
BumpTop has a few different room theme settings for you to choose from. To change the theme, press the Ctrl + Comma hotkey to bring up the BumpTop settings window. Click the Themes tab within that window. Select an alternative theme on the Themes Pack drop-down menu.
There you can also change a selected theme’s floor and wall images. To change wallpapers, click the Browse buttons for the Floor, Front Wall, Back Wall, Left Wall, and Right Wall options. Choose a different image, and press the Open button. If you want the floor to include the wallpaper from your regular desktop, select the Use my Windows background as the floor checkbox. Click Apply to save all your theme changes.
You can customize the desktop shortcuts in BumpTops by resizing them, changing their icons, and adjusting alignment. To resize an icon, right-click it with the mouse to select either the Grow or Shrink options for it. Alternatively, select a desktop shortcut and press the Ctrl + G or Ctrl + S hotkeys to enlarge or reduce it. You can restore the default size for a selected icon by pressing Ctrl + R keys simultaneously.
To change an icon, right-click a desktop item and select More. Select the Change icon option. Choose a different icon in the file navigation window, and press the Open button.
You can further customize icons from BumpTop’s settings window. Open that window by pressing the Ctrl + Comma keyboard shortcut for it. Select the Icons and Physics tab in the snapshot directly below.
The Icon Alignment bar there enables you to activate free-form icon rotation. Drag that bar’s slider to the far right to select Free-form rotation. With that option applied, you can fully rotate icons with the mouse. Left-click an icon and hold the left mouse button to rotate it.
You can also select an Enable tossing to Widget and Piles checkbox there. Selecting that option enables you to toss shortcut icons across the 3D desktop room by left-clicking them and quickly releasing the mouse button. If you toss them with another force, they’ll bounce off walls. Click Apply after changing any options on the Icons and Physics tab.
BumpTop adds an exciting new dimension to the Windows desktop, along with some handy icon features and widgets. Who knows, maybe one day it might inspire Microsoft to release a Windows 3D platform with a similar three-dimensional desktop experience.
Google has already shown a great deal of interest in the BumpTop project as a potential blueprint for a 3D Android OS. For now, however, you can see what 3D Windows could be like with BumpTop.10 Ways to Quickly Access the Windows Desktop Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorJack Slater(91 Articles Published)
Jack has been a freelance tech journalist for more than a decade. He has covered Windows Vista, 7, 10, and 11topics within a multitude of guides for Make Use Of and numerous other websites.MoreFrom Jack Slater
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