How to Make Windows 10 More Like the Mac OS X
Diehard fans of Apple and Windows have been locked in mortal combat for years over which system is better. Despite all the arguments and all the controversy, each platform has attracted its own core of die-hard fans who just wouldn’t have it any other way, and that’s all right. However, lots of Windows fans will admit that Mac OS X has a lot of neat user interface features that just aren’t available in Windows 10. For example, OS X includes the Dock (an alternative to the taskbar), folder stacks, Exposé and Launchpad.
However, there’s some good news: there are few software packages out there that let you effectively replicate those features in Windows 10. You can also add Mac OS X icon sets and wallpapers to Windows 10. In this article I’ll describe some of these third-party programs that let you add some OS X features to your Windows 10 install.
Add the Mac OS X Dock to Windows 10
The first thing to check out is Aqua Dock, software that adds an OS X Dock replica to any Windows platform from XP through Windows 10. Open this page on the Softpedia website and click Download to save its setup and install the program. Then run the software to open the Dock directly below.
Now you’ve got an OS X-style Dock on the Windows 10 desktop. It’s not an exact replica, but it’s a pretty good match with its metallic background and Mac icons. The Dock also has the same magnification animations when you hover the cursor over its shortcuts.
Drag and drop shortcuts from the desktop to add them to the Dock. Drag any shortcut off the Dock to remove them. To expand or reduce the Dock, hover the cursor over it, hold the left mouse button and move the mouse down or up.
To open the Customize Aqua Dock window below, right-click the Dock and select Customize. Then you can move the Dock by clicking the Position tab. Click Top, Left or Right to reposition the Dock on the desktop. The window also includes settings to configure the Dock’s animations, fonts, background and transparency.
Add the Mac OS X Launchpad to Windows
The Launchpad is the Mac OS X’s app launcher, which you can add to Windows 10 with the WinLaunch Starter software. This is a program that replicates the Mac OS X Lion’s Launchpad GUI in Windows. Click the Download button on its Softpedia page to save the Zip. Open its compressed folder in File Explorer and click Extract all in File to unzip it. Then run the launchpad in the snapshot below from the extracted folder by clicking WinLaunch Starter.
To add new shortcuts to the WinLaunch, press F to open its window mode. Then drag and drop shortcuts onto it from the desktop. Once you’ve added a few shortcuts to the dock, you can drag and drop one over another to organize them into folders as shown in the snapshot below. To delete a shortcut, right-click it and select Remove.
Add new backgrounds and themes to WinLaunch by clicking the + button at the bottom left of the launchpad. Then select Settings to open the window in the shot below. Click Design and the Synchronize with desktop wallpaper check box to include the desktop’s background on the launchpad. Deselect that option and click Load background to choose an alternative image for the background, which must be a PNG file.
To choose an alternative theme, select Design and Images. Then click the CurrentTheme drop-down menu and select a theme from there. WinLaunch Starter has 11 alternative themes for the launchpad’s images. Press the Done button to apply selected settings.
Add Exposé to Windows 10
These days Exposé is a part of the Mac OS X’s Mission Control. Exposé effectively displays open programs as thumbnail tiles scattered across the desktop so you can quickly switch between their windows. Add Exposé to Windows 10 with the BetterDesktopTool program. Open this page and click Download – BetterDesktopTool Version 1.94 (32/64 Bit) to save its setup. Install the software (select the Private Usage option in the setup wizard), and open the window shown below.
Now select the Keyboard drop-down menu for Show all Windows to choose an Exposé hotkey. Select Ctrl + Tab from that menu. Then close the window, and press the Ctrl + Tab keyboard shortcut to open Exposé as shown in the shot directly below.
Exposé is comparable to the Alt + Tab switcher as you can switch between windows with it. The main difference is how it displays the thumbnail previews. Now you can open a window from there by selecting it with the cursor. Alternatively, press the arrow keys and Enter to open a software window.
Stack Folders and Files in Windows 10
Mac OS X users can stack folders on the Dock so they can open their contents in a stack or grid by clicking them. Windows 10 doesn’t really have anything comparable for the taskbar, but you can add folder stacks to it with 7stacks. That’s a program which replicates Mac OS X stacks in Windows, and you can save its setup and install it from this Softpedia page. Then open the Create a new 7stack window below.
Click the … button for the Folder to use for stack text box to choose a folder to stack. Then select Vertical Stack from the Stack Type drop-down menu. Click Create a Shortcut on Desktop button to add the folder to desktop, and click Close to close window.
Next, you should right-click the stack folder on the desktop and select Pin to taskbar. You can delete the folders from the desktop after pinning them to taskbar. Now click the pinned folder stack on the taskbar to open it as shown directly below. It opens as a vertical stack from which you can open files and subfolders. Click anywhere outside the stack to close it.
Grid is another stack type you can select from the Create a new 7stack window. You can switch the vertical stack to grid by right-clicking its pinned taskbar icon and selecting Edit this stack. Click Grid from the Stack Type drop-down menu and press Edit this stack’s shortcut to switch it to that as shown below.
Adding Mac OS X Icons and Wallpaper to the Windows 10 Desktop
To further replicate the Mac OS X GUI in Windows 10, add OS X icons to the desktop. To add some new icons to Aqua Dock, click the Download button on this page to save a Mac OS X icon set to Windows. Extract the Zip folder, and move the icons from there into Aqua Dock’s icons folder. Then add them to the Dock by right-clicking one of its shortcuts and selecting Customize Icon. Press the Change Icon button to select one from the icons folder as below.
Note that those icons are PNG files that can’t be desktop icons unless you convert them to the ICO format. Open the IconArchive site to find some Mac desktop icons. Then type ‘Mac OS X’ into the search box there to find a plethora of OS X-style icons. Click an icon there and press the Download ICO button to save it to Windows. You can then customize the desktop icons by right-clicking them, selecting Properties and pressing the Change Icon button.
You can easily find Mac wallpapers for the Windows desktop from this site or by entering ‘Mac OS X default wallpapers’ into Google. Then click Images to open thumbnails of the default space, landscape and Apple wallpapers for the OS. Add one to your desktop background by right-clicking it and selecting Save image as. Choose a folder to save it to, and then add it to the desktop as shown below by selecting Personalization > Background > Picture and Browse in the Settings app.
So now you can have the OS X Dock, Launchpad, Exposé and folder stacks in Windows 10. Seer, which this article covers in more detail, also adds Mac OS X file previews to Windows 10. With some extra Mac OS X icons and wallpaper on top, you can transform the Windows desktop into a working copy of Apple’s flagship operating system!