For years, Windows has consistently used a flat 2D desktop. Now, though, you can add a more visually appealing 3D desktop to Windows with BumpTop. BumpTop (acquired by Google) is open-source software that turns the desktop into a 3D room with a top-down perspective.
Next, let’s take a look at how to take advantage of BumpTop to transform your Windows 11 and 10 desktops:
How to Add a 3D Desktop With BumpTop
BumpTop is known for its simplicity and compactness, and you can easily install it without freeing up any hard disk space by doing the following:
1. Open the BumpTop website.
2. Click the Download link there to download BumpTop’s setup wizard.
3. Bring up File Explorer (press its Win + E keyboard shortcut), and open the folder that includes the BumpTopWindows-v2.5.exe file.
4. Double-click the BumpTopWindows-v2.5.exe to open that setup wizard.
5. Click Next to select I accept the agreement.
6. Press the Next button again to install the software.
7. Then double-click the BumpTop desktop shortcut to launch the software.
Now, you will see the new 3D desktop in Windows 11. This desktop is a 3D room with three walls and a floor. There are shortcut icons for desktops on the floor of the room, but you can drag and drop them with your mouse to the surrounding walls.
Right-click on the system tray icon of BumpTop and select Exit BumpTop to return to the regular desktop.
How to Add Widgets and Sticky Notes to the 3D Desktop
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 the 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.
How to Set Up Icon Piles and Grids
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.
How to Customize the Desktop Theme
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.
How to Customize Icons in BumpTop
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 gadgets. Google has shown great interest in the BumpTop project as a potential blueprint for the 3D Android operating system. Now, though, you can see what 3D Windows might look like through BumpTop.