Due to the popularity of my previous Help Desk Geek article titled 99 Ways to Make Your Computer Incredibly Fast, I decided to write another post with a 99-point list, but this time about free Windows programs that you might not be. heard.
If you search for â€œbest free programsâ€ or â€œbest free apps,â€ you get a lot of lists, but mostly with programs everyone has heard of: AVG antivirus, 7-zip, Firefox, OpenOffice, etc., and etc.
That’s all great, but what about all those little gem programs that work great but don’t get all the headers? In this article, I will try my best to mention as many free programs with small names as possible that will help you be more productive! This is a long list, so you can bookmark it and use it later.
They are written in no particular order! Again, I’m sure there are hundreds of programs I won’t mention, so if you feel like I really missed a great program, mention the name of the app and what it does in the comments!
In addition, some of the programs I mentioned have free versions that have some limitations or are limited in some way. I tried not to mention programs that are just free trials.
Note. Finally, it should be noted that I went through the entire list and ran each executable through VirusTotal (as of February 2018) to make sure the programs were free of malware or spyware.
2. What’s the best Notepad replacement? Notepad ++ right? We all know that! Here are nine more free text editors for Windows
3. If you are using Windows, then you know and love the Windows Registry! CCleaner may be the most popular system maintenance tool, but what about well, actually I only recommend it.
4. Have you ever accidentally deleted a file that you really need? You can try a program called Pandora Recovery to recover lost or deleted files, or Recuva, a useful file recovery application. But that’s not all! Have you ever heard of TestDisk?
5. Speaking of file recovery, have you ever accidentally deleted all pictures from a memory card !? This happens more often than you think. In such cases, check out my list of 5 photo recovery apps.
6. Have you ever forgot your Outlook password? Or your WiFi password? If so, you can use some interesting programs to reveal passwords and account information for various programs in Windows. You can also use these 10 programs to recover your lost PST password.
7. Speaking of passwords, have you ever had to remove a password from an Office document such as an Excel spreadsheet? There is a program for this.
8. Okay, so you’ve heard of Audacity, but it’s the best free audio editing software, so get it right.
9. Speaking of audio, if you are into music, you can use LMMS to create your own music tracks.
10. Do you have an ISO image and an older version of Windows that cannot mount ISO images? Try WinCDEmu and create unlimited virtual disks.
12. Enough passwords, let’s talk about media players! We’ve all heard about VLC media player and Windows Media player, but what about Kodi and Media Monkey? Both are excellent media players for Windows. Plus, GOM Player is good too.
13. If you need to stare at the screen for a long time at night, it is probably a good idea to use a program like f.lux to change the display color to a warmer one.
14. If you shoot a lot of home videos, you probably need to edit and stitch them together, right? Don’t worry about Adobe Premiere, you can use other free programs like Windows Movie Maker, a product from Microsoft. If not, you can also try LightWorks and HitFilm Express, two free professional-grade video editing programs.
15. Speaking of video, there are many times when you need to convert from one format to another. IMHO the best video transcoder is HandBrake
16. Is there any Windows process causing your CPU to spike or other problems. Use Process Explorer and Process Monitor to diagnose the problem.
19. Switching between themes, I’m sure you regularly back up your computer, right? If not, you should try Easeus Todo Backup, a free program that lets you back up and clone hard drives. Another program is Paragon Backup
20. If you just want to back up your data and not create an image of your entire hard drive, you can use Google Backup and Sync to back up files and folders to your Google Drive storage.
21. Whether you know it or not, you probably have tons of duplicate files on your computer! It just happens. You can use Duplicate Cleaner to find and remove these duplicate files.
22. If you want to save more space on your hard drive, you should look into a program that will analyze your hard drive space usage, such as TreeSize Other programs include Space Sniffer and WinDirStat
23. Want to see all the possible programs or drivers that are loaded when Windows starts? Check out Autoruns, a free tool from Microsoft.
25. Looking for detailed information about the hardware of your computer. Look no further HWiNFO It can also analyze and monitor your system.
26. If you are not using Windows 10 or do not like the default mail application, you can try Mozilla Thunderbird, which is still regularly updated.
27. Have you ever had to send a large file to someone, but your email client doesn’t allow more than 10-20 MB? You can share large files (up to 2GB for free) with friends and family using the WeTransfer program. Other programs include DropSend and pCloud
34. If you constantly use the same programs over and over again, it might be a good idea to download the Quick Launcher. One of my favorites is the search and launch robot.
36. Have you ever wanted to automate a specific task in Windows? Maybe you want your computer to shut down every day at 10:00 pm? Or certain keystrokes that you want to record and repeat over and over? Anyway, AutoHotKey is a great program for automating many tasks in Windows.
39. Want to protect your internet traffic with a VPN? The best free VPN right now is TunnelBear, which limits the bandwidth to 500MB.
40. In # 14 I mentioned two professional and free movie editing programs, but they are quite complex. If you want to create movies without that learning curve, check out Shotcut, VSDC Free Video Editor, and Avidemux
41. Have children? Need a parental control software? The best options are Qustodio and Kidlogger Obviously the free versions are limited. Also read my post on various ways to protect your computer from children.
43. I talked about VPN for secure browsing in # 39, but you can also use another browser like Tor to hide your identity.
44. If you recently bought a new computer, you can use PC Decrapifier to get rid of all those useless programs that come with your PC and slow down your work.
45. After you have a computer for a while, there will always be programs that you no longer use and can be removed. Revo Uninstaller will get rid of any program, whether it wants it or not.
46. ??If you want to play free games other than solitaire, download Steam They have a whole section of free games.
47. If you have sensitive data on your computer that you want to permanently and securely delete from your hard drive, I would suggest using a program called dBan
48. Do you read a lot? A great reading app on Windows is the Kindle app. It will also sync with your phone or tablet.
49. Do you like to use Instagram? Want to download a photo, video or story from Instagram? Check out 4K Stogram
50. Looking for a good screen capture program? A really good option is Screenshot Captor Of course, Windows also has many built-in ways to take screenshots.
51. We’ve all heard about Skype and WhatsApp, but what about Viber? This is another tool that you can use to communicate with family and friends around the world.
53. Do you have a lot of programs that are loaded when Windows starts? Will your computer start up in a few minutes? If so, try Startup Delayer, a program that delays programs from starting to make your computer boot faster.
55. Follow a lot of blogs on the Internet and still miss Google Reader? RSSOwl is a good alternative.
56. You’ve probably heard of TeamViewer for remote desktop sharing, but you can also use Join.me
57. Are you the one who prefers the supercharged Explorer interface? If so, try Total Commander, which has been around for decades and works with Windows 10.
58. If you think your computer has bad memory, you can check it with memtest86.
60. Are you a professional photographer who needs tools like Lightroom but don’t want to pay a subscription? Darktable is an open source photo manipulation application.
62. Are you someone who needs to write something, but who is easily distracted? Try FocusWriter and write without distraction.
63. One of the worst things that can happen to your computer is a spyware infection. HijackThis is a great program that you can use to find and remove spyware. However, it is no longer active. Another good option is AdwCleaner
66. Finally, if you cannot find anything in Windows, it is a good idea to run an offline virus scan. Windows Defender Offline is a good option.
68. If you ever need to burn an ISO image to CD or DVD, you should use a free program like ImgBurn.
69. Are you a real nerd and still use IRC? If so, HexChat is a great IRC client.
70. Have you ever faced a problem when you try to delete a file in Windows and it says that the file is already in use and cannot be deleted? You can use Unlocker to remove any file locked by the process.
71. Do you always think about something? Then you should probably use some free memory mapping software. Wikipedia also has a large list of mind mapping programs.
73. If you want to play with virtual machines, download the excellent free VirtualBox from Oracle. This is the safest way to view and test new software.
74. In # 19 and # 20 I talked about software for backing up your computer, but I forgot to mention DriveImage XML, a good program that you can use to create an image of your hard drive. Other good disk imaging tools include MacriumReflect and Clonezilla
75. Do you need accounting and finance software but don’t trust online tools like Mint and Quickbooks? GNUCash is free accounting and finance software.
76. Have you ever been in charge of Blender? It’s amazing and it’s free. It allows you to create 3D worlds, 3D animations and 3D games. Check it out.
78. While we are discussing this topic, FreeCAD is an open source parametric 3D CAD modeling tool.
79. For space lovers, I always recommend Stellarium, which is essentially a planetarium for your computer.
80. Looking for a really good partition manager? Try GParted, arguably the best partition manager that no one else has heard of. Other good options include MiniTool Partition Wizard and EaseUs Partition Master Free
81. Looking for a file on your computer? Does Windows search by default suck? Well, why don’t you try Everything, the best free file finder for Windows.
82. Do you want more than one item to be stored on the clipboard at the same time? You should try ClipX, ArsClip, and Ditto clipboard, three cool clipboard manager programs
83. DropIt is a nifty little Windows program that lets you drag and drop files into a folder and then process them according to your preferences.
85. Do you have a spare computer with additional storage? You can turn it into a NAS device using FreeNAS software.
86. Since we’re only talking about free software for Windows, you might be interested in Disk2VHD, a program from Microsoft that will allow you to convert your current computer into a virtual machine that you can then boot into Hyper-V.
87. Want to learn a new language? In my opinion, the best Windows program is Duolingo
88. Have you ever had to split a large file into a couple of parts? If so, try GSplit, an excellent utility for splitting and reconnecting files.
89. Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to compare two files and see the differences? WinMerge is a great program that lets you compare and merge two files. It hasn’t been updated since 2013, but a new version is due out this year.
90. Need to send extra confidential and secure messages from Windows? Your best bet is Telegram Messenger.
91. What about combining multiple PDF files together? If so, try PDFtk, a suite of tools that lets you combine, split and repair PDF files.
93. Want to print something at your parents’ house while on the other side of the country? Check out PrinterShare
94. Worried that the data you have saved in the cloud using Google, Microsoft, etc. might be compromised? Encrypt it all with Boxcryptor
95. Have you ever needed to calculate the RGB value or the hexadecimal value of the color displayed on your computer screen? ColorPic is a great utility that lets you define RGB hex color for everything on your screen.
96. If you have a lot of MP3 files, you probably need to edit the tags and metadata for everything to display correctly in iTunes or the music manager app. You can use MP3tag or TagScanner to edit MP3 tags.
97. If you have more than one monitor, you can use a program such as Dual Monitor Tools to customize each monitor to your liking.
98. Would you like to be able to use Find My iPhone with all other non-Apple devices? Prey might just be the answer.
Wow! It was probably over a hundred free programs, but I hope you enjoyed it. I’m sure there are many great programs that I missed, so if you have a favorite free app, please add it to the list via comments. If you like the list, please bookmark it! Enjoy!