How to Make Cinnamon More Like Windows

Get a Windows-like Linux desktop

black and white keyboard and laptop

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The Cinnamon desktop is the default found in Linux Mint. Out of the box, it should immediately feel familiar to nearly any user. However, you might want to give it a tweak here or there to make Cinnamon like Windows.

Fortunately, this process isn’t terribly challenging. In fact, anyone of nearly any skill level should be able to make these changes. Once you’re done, you should find the Linux Mint desktop to look considerably more like Windows 10.

For the purpose of this article, we used Linux Mint 19.1 with Cinnamon 4.0.10. As long as you're using a release of Mint released within the last year, you shouldn’t have any problem re-producing these results.

How to Download the Basic Windows 10 Cinnamon Theme

The first thing to be done is to add a Windows 10-like theme. This won’t be an exact match for what you find on Windows, but it's very close. This new theme will not give Cinnamon a Windows 10 tile-like flavor, but it will make it appear as a cross between Windows 7 and Windows 10.

  1. Open Firefox and go to the Win 10 Theme page.

  2. Select Download, then download either the light or dark theme.

  3. Save the file to your Downloads directory.

  4. After the download completes, open the file manager and navigate to the Downloads directory.

  5. Right-click the downloaded file and select Extract Here.

    Screenshot of the Exract Here menu entry.
  6. Right-click the newly extracted folder and select Copy.

    Screenshot of the Copy menu entry.
  7. Select Home.

    Screenshot of the Home button.
  8. Navigate into the .themes directory. If you don’t see .themes in Home, press Ctrl+H to reveal the hidden directories (directories that begin with a “.”). If you still don’t see the .themes directory, right-click and select Create New Folder, type ".themes," then press Enter to accept the new name.

    Screenshot of the Create New Folder menu entry.
  9. Right-click within the .themes directory, then select Paste.

How to Apply Your New Windows 10 Cinnamon Theme

  1. Open the Cinnamon menu and type "theme."

  2. Select Themes.

  3. For each option, select the theme icon, then select the newly-installed Windows-10-2.1 theme.

    Screenshot of setting the newly-installed theme.

Make sure to apply the theme to everything but Icons and Mouse Pointer, as the theme doesn’t include either icons or a mouse pointer option.

How to Make Your Icons Look Like Windows Icons

The next step is to add a Windows-like icon pack. This is done in similar fashion to adding the basic theme.

  1. Open Firefox and go to B00merang Windows 10 Icon page.

  2. Select the Clone or Download drop-down, then select Download ZIP.

  3. Save the file in your Downloads directory.

  4. Open the file manager, navigate to the Downloads directory, right-click the file, then select Extract Here.

  5. Right-click the newly-created directory and select Copy.

  6. Navigate to Home > .icons.

    If the .icons folder doesn’t exist, create one with the same method you created .themes.

  7. Right-click within the .icons directory and select Paste.

  8. Now that you have the icons folder in its proper place, go back to the Themes window and set the Windows-10-master as your icons collection.

How to Use a Windows 10 Wallpaper on Cinnamon

This is the easiest part. All you have to do is search for Windows 10 wallpapers, find a picture you like, then right-click the image and select Set as Desktop Background.

Screenshot of setting a new image as the default wallpaper.