The Best Windows Software

On this page you will find the best Windows software for all your needs. Over 95% of listed apps are free. We’ve taken the effort to categorize the apps and picked only those we believe to be the best ones and which will most likely be useful to you.

Anti-virus


avast! Free Antivirus

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Expect great all-around protection against viruses and trojans.

AntiVir Free Version

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Lightweight and solid. Good ratings. Worth looking into.

Comodo Internet Security

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Free security suite with cloud-based antivirus.

Malware Removal


Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

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Easy-to-use, simple, and very effective anti-malware application.

Spybot S&D

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Detects and removes spyware. Compliments anti-virus apps. Has a very good reputation as the best Windows software for malware.

Superantispyware

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Lightweight scanner to detect and remove spyware, adware, trojans, and other threats.

Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool

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A free tool for the removal of a variety of different viruses and malware, presented alongside virus-specific tools.

Dr.Web CureIt!

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A standalone virus removal tool that can be used alongside your existing virus scanner with no installation required.

Should I Remove It?

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Points out adware, bloatware, crapware, and helps you decide which programs to purge.

Firewall Apps


Comodo Firewall (standalone)

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Long been considered one of the best free firewall tools available.

TinyWall

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A great free firewall solution and considered the best Windows software that puts you in charge of whitelisting applications in a non-intrusive manner.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

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Provides the best overall firewall protection for advanced users.

PrivateFirewall

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Easy on your system resources, comes with three network profiles and simple to set up.

PeerBlock

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Control/block your PC's communication with ad or spyware servers. Secures P2P activities.

Rewards


Deskman

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Lock down your Windows desktop with advanced security management features for multiple accounts. Perfect for home users and small offices that need better desktop security.

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This software provides all the tools necessary for building a budget and provides advice as you work to save money and meet your goals.

Breevy

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Breevy is a text expander lets you create custom abbreviations that, when entered, expanded to whatever phrase or sentence you desire.

LastPass Premium

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Secure plugin to store and synchronise login passwords across browsers. Comes auto-login and form filler.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware+ Pro

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A full-featured security suite. This edition will protect one PC for one year.

IObit Advanced SystemCare

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One-click approach to help protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC.

IObit Malware Fighter Pro

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Advanced malware & spyware removal utility. The Pro version comes with some really cool features.

RightNote Pro

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Create multiple types of notes; organize, store, schedule and even sync them with Evernote. $59.95

Glary Utilities PRO

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The premium version of Glary Utilities, costs $27.97. Adds background automation, 24/7 technical support and commercial use.

CyberGhost Premium

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VPN client that obscures your IP address. 1-year Premium subscription ($69.99) with access to premium servers

Bitdefender Internet Security

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Anti-virus protection, 2-way firewall and parental controls. 1-yr, 1PC subscription worth $49.95

Switch

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Switch lets you schedule shutdowns or shutdown remotely; reboot, enter sleep mode and more.

Crashplan+

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One of the best backup solutions for home users. Backup 10 GB od data to the cloud.

PhotoMarks

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The easiest way to watermark hundreds of photos in batches.

Postbox 3

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An awesome desktop email client for Windows and Mac.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Suite

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Partition, clone, backup, recover and migrate your hard drives with ease.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10

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Schedule maintenance procedures on your Windows computer for optimal performance.

BatchPhoto

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The easiest way to edit and add filters to hundreds of photos at once.

@Max SyncUp

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@Max SyncUp is an advanced utility for backup and data synchronization over the Internet or a local network. There's no easier way to sync files between multiple PCs!

Hard Disk Sentinel

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Detects and repairs hard disk problems on SSDs and HDDs. Monitors drive health and performance.

Defragging


Defraggler

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Another excellent defrag tool. Portable. From the same guys behind hugely popular CCleaner.

IObit Smart Defrag

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Extremely easy to use. Works continuously in the background.

File Recovery


Recuva

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Very effective in restoring deleted files. Extremely popular.

FreeUndelete

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No frills, just focused on the zen of file recovery.

ADRC Data Recovery Software

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The Renaissance Man of free data recovery. Not as popular as Recuva but still has its own fans.

Pandora Recovery

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An easy to use yet powerful file recovery application.

PhotoRec

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Designed specifically for the recovery of lost photographs, PhotoRec is very powerful free software.

TestDisk

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Incredibly powerful and considered one of the best Windows software applications recovering whole lost partitions and making non-bootable disks bootable again.

Uninstallers


Revo Uninstaller Free

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Fast and very effective at uninstalling just about anything. Popular choice for the purpose.

GeekUninstaller

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Tested by MakeUseOf to be one of the most effective uninstallers out there.

IObit Uninstaller

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New kid on the block. Gaining popularity. Boasts a bunch of features not found on other uninstallers.

Backup Apps


Mozy

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Incredibly smart, highly secure, set-it-and-forget-it backup solution. Backs up data to web.

FBackup

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Easily backup important files and documents, personal settings and plugins.

Clonezilla

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Live CD to completely clone your hard drive.

SyncBack Freeware

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Selective synchronisation, local and remote backup to an FTP server.

FreeFileSync

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Open source folder comparison and sync tool. Optimised for speed and usability.

DriveImage XML

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Easily Backup or copy entire disks block-for-block directly to another drive without the need to reboot your computer to run the cloning process.

Cobian Backup

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A backup program that supports scheduling on both local and networked machines.

SugarSync

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A multi-platform syncing tool that features 5GB of free space and mobile compatibility.

ToolWiz Time Freeze

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One of the best Windows software apps for creating cloned restore points for testing changes without risking your own system.

Todo Backup

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Able to backup the entire operating system, program settings, browser data, emails and other data.

PC Maintenance


CCleaner

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Scores high points all around. The most popular choice at the moment. Not as many features as in others.

Soluto

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Speed up Windows boot time by removing unnecessary apps from startup. Very effective.

Secunia Personal Software Inspector

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A free utility that scans your PC for outdated programs in need of updates.

D7

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The Swiss army knife of Windows utilities, D7 is powerful professional-grade software for diagnosing a huge variety of problems.

CPU-Z

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A simple tool for detecting a huge range of hardware information about your PC and the components inside it.

GPU-Z

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Get detailed information about your graphics card including memory type and speed, software versions and temperatures.

Process Explorer

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An advanced version of Windows Task Manager from Microsoft for a more detailed look at what's running on your PC.

WinDirStat

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A free tool for visualising your disk space usage.

Speccy

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A complete system information tool for your Windows PC, Speccy tells you exactly what hardware you've got under the hood.

ToolWiz Care

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A complete maintenance program for Windows, with a ton of features for optimizing and cleaning up your PC.

SpeedFan

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A free utility for checking the speed of fans, as well as system temperatures.

CPUID PC Wizard

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The big brother to CPU-Z, PC Wizard is a complete benchmarking tool for your PC and its components.

SUMo

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Software Update Monitor does exactly that - monitors software for available updates and downloads them for you.

Browsers


Google Chrome

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Google's minimal design browser that took the web by speed.

Firefox

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More than 6,000 add-ons for every possible feature. The most customisable browser to date.

Opera

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The fastest and most advanced browser available today.

Email Clients


Thunderbird

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Increasingly popular email client from the same guys behind Firefox browser. One of the best email clients for Windows.

Postbox Express

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A simple, yet powerful, new email application for Windows. Check it out.

Communication Tools


Skype

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The most popular cross-platform VoIP application. Must-have for everyone online.

Pidgin

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Easy-to-use, cross-platform, multi-protocol chat client. Supports all major chat programs.

Digsby

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An alternative multi-protocol instant messaging app. Cross-platform. Extremely popular.

Trillian

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Popular multi-protocol instant messaging client.

Raptr

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A social network and messaging service for gamers to keep in touch.

TeamSpeak

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Built with the gamer in mind, TeamSpeak is a popular VoIP solution that works across a range of desktop and mobile devices.

Mumble

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Intended for use with your favourite multiplayer game, Mumble is a great open source cross-platform low-latency VoIP client.

Dolby Axon

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A free VoIP program for gamers from Dolby, allowing for a unique surround-sound setup - a must try!

Free Video Call Recorder for Skype

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Just like the name says the best free Windows software for recording video and audio conversations on Skype, Windows 8 ready.

Image Viewers


FastStone Image Viewer

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One of the best image viewer, converter & editor bundles.

IrfanView

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The Swiss Army knife of image viewers/editors. Extremely popular.

XnView

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A small utility for viewing and converting images that reads around 400 formats.

Image Editors


Paint.NET

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Strong candidate as a potential substitute for Photoshop for beginner/intermediate users.

GIMP

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Very capable graphic editor with Photoshop-like features. Often labeled as free Photoshop alternative.

PhotoScape

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Another good free and easy-to-use photo editing application.

Inkscape

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An open source vector graphics editor that uses the Scaleable Vector Graphics (.SVG) format.

RIOT - Radical Image Optimization Tool

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A free tool that makes light work of optimising images for the web while maintaining quality and small file sizes.

XnConvert

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Easily batch convert, resize and apply effects to images with this open source software.

Zoner Photo Studio Free

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Tweak, fix, manage and share your precious memories with Zoner, software that rivals paid software.

Google Picasa

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Powerful photo manager software from Google. Includes 1-click photo retouching features. Easy online photo sharing.

Audio Tools


foobar2000

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Advanced audio player for Windows with highly customisable user interface.

Audacity

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Very popular open source software for recording and editing audio tracks and sounds.

MediaMonkey

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Powerful tool, packed full with features to cull and manage massive music libraries.

Winamp

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Well-known, lightweight, small-footprint media player.

iTunes

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Music player and video library organiser. Hosts the iTunes Store.

CopyTrans Manager

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Alternative iPod manager app. Sync and transfer music & files to iPod, iPhone, iPad.

TagScanner

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A multifunction program for organizing and managing your music collection.

MusicBee

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A basic music player with a few thoughtful additions, including tag completion.

Tomahawk

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A social music player that can pull content from a range of sources including YouTube and Soundcloud.

Spotify

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Streaming music service client complete with Facebook integration and iDevice management.

AIMP

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Another full-featured audio player expandable with skins and plugins.

Video Tools


VLC Media Player

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Extremely popular cross-platform video player that can play almost any video file. Highly recommended by many.

Handbrake

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Open source, cross-platform, video converter that can convert video files between many video formats.

VirtualDub

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Open-source and portable video editor.

Media Player Classic

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Replica of WM Player. Includes only the most basic controls but can play pretty much any video.

Freemake

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Free video converter & DVD burner that supports over 200 filetypes and is easy to use.

Format Factory

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Multifunctional audi and video converter. Supports MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, SWF, RMVB and lots more.

PotPlayer

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From the creator of the original KMPlayer comes PotPlayer, a faster and improved media player.

CamStudio

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A high quality freeware screen capture utility with support for lossless video output.

XBMC

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A powerful, mature open source media centre that rocks.

Plex

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A great looking media centre solution that also works remotely and with mobile devices.

UMPlayer

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A light video player with some great features and over 270 in-built codecs.

Miro

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A feature-packed alternative to iTunes for managing video, music and podcasts with ease.

Files and Drives


FileMenu Tools

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Customise the right-click context menu of Windows Explorer. Adds lots of useful functions and utilities.

FreeCommander

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Free file browser and Windows Explorer replacement. Two-pane browsing, secure file deletion and more.

TeraCopy

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Copy and move files at maximum speed. Pause and resume file transfers.

EASEUS Partition Master

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All-in-one, easy to use disk partition manager. Create, resize and merge partitions.

Unlocker

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Can't delete a folder or a file? Getting an error that it's being used by another program? Unlocker can easily delete it.

TreeSize Free

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Shows you where your precious hard drive space has gone to. Easily view how much space is being used by each folder.

DropIt

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Tiny tool to automate categorizing files and folders. Drag a file on top of it and it will place it for you where you need it. Portable version available.

Free Opener

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An easy way to quickly open over 80 types of file types using one tiny program.

SyncToy

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Free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations.

Filezilla

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A free, lightweight and robust FTP client for transferring files to and from the web.

zeZebra

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A cross-platform tool for sending and receiving files with absolutely no size limit.

MultiCommander

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A feature-packed alternative file manager to Windows Explorer that uses a dual-panel layout.

AxCrypt

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A fuss-free encryption solution that also doubles as a deletion tool for eliminating any traces of a file.

Online File Storage Tools


Dropbox

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Must-have for everyone. Sync folder with docs and files to web or other PCs / Macs. Share documents.

Google Drive

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The evolution of Google Docs keeps your documents synced between the cloud and your PC.

OneDrive

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Microsoft's cloud storage solution comes with 7GB of space for storing documents and images.

Text Editing


LibreOffice

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Microsoft Office alternative. Open source professional productivity and office suite.

Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2013

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Free Microsoft Office alternative with a tabbed interface and other cool features.

Notepad++

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Popular open source text editor. Favoured by many, including programmers.

VIM Text Editor

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Highly configurable text editor.

Windows Live Writer

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Compose then publish your blog posts with a click straight from Windows Live Writer.

PDF Tools


FoxIt Reader

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Really light alternative to Adobe Reader. Open PDF files.

doPDF

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Easily convert documents and pictures to PDF files from any Windows program with two clicks.

PDF Xchange viewer

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Desktop and portable PDF viewer. Lightweight and fast.

Nitro PDF Reader

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Read PDFs, create PDFs. Extract content, annotate and fill PDF forms.

PDFTK Builder

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Free graphical interface version of PDFTK. Merge, split, decrypt, encrypt, watermark PDF files.

PDFsam

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Easily split and merge PDF files.

MartView

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Read PDFs and eBooks on your PC in style from MartView's attractive interface.

Kindle

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Amazon's Kindle app lets you read and manage your eBook collection from your Windows PC.

Productivity


Fences

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Provides rectangular containers for your desktop to visually organize your icons. Very handy!

Rainlendar

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Very easy to use and lightweight calendar for your Windows desktop.

Evernote

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Save your ideas on the go and instantly take notes. Access notes from anywhere. Highly recommended!

VirtuaWin

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Gives you multiple virtual desktops to organize your workflow. Highly customisable.

Launchy

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A powerful keystroke based program launcher that lets you open program and files really quickly.

Send to Toys

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Enhances the right-click 'Send To' system menu. Personalise and configure the Send To menu content.

Dexpot

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Create virtual desktops to separate different running apps and Windows. Comparable to Spaces on Mac OS X.

Q-Dir

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Free multi-pane file manager to save you time. Portable version available.

ClipX

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Tiny, free clipboard history manager. Access up to 1024 items in your clipboard's history.

Bruce's Unusual Typing Wizard

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Gain typing speed and accuracy with its unique touch-typing teaching program.

SendToSendTo

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Easily add new entries to the right-click “Send To” menu.

Ditto

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Saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you access to any of those items at a later time.

Wunderlist

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A multi-platform list syncing app for keeping track of your todo lists from any device.

FreeMind

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An open-source mind mapping solution written in Java that can be as simple or as complex as you need.

ResophNotes

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A very simple and fast - one of the best Windows software for note-taking that supports online sync with Simplenote.

Visual Understanding Environment

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VUE is a free and open source mind map application comparable to similar paid products.

AutoHotkey

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Fast scriptable desktop automation with hotkeys. Allows you to create custom apps and macros.

Archive Managers


7-zip

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Takes care of most of your archive extracting/compression needs. Supports ZIP, RAR and many others formats.

Universal Extractor

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With over 50 supported file formats, Universal Extractor is superb.

PeaZip

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User friendly, free and open source archive manager with enough features to satisfy power-users.

Hamster Lite Archiver

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Another freeware archive manager with a bold interface and good compatibility.

Optical and Disc Image Tools


ImgBurn

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CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray burning tool. Also, lets you easily create image files from CDs and DVDs.

CDBurnerXP

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The most popular free alternative to Nero Burning ROM. Burn CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs.

bitRipper

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Back-up your DVDs as AVI files or MPEG to your hard drive. Excellent backup tool for DVDs.

CDex

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Open-source digital audio CD extractor. Saves CD tracks as MP3's.

DuBaron CD2ISO

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A great tool to extract ISO images from CDs or DVDs. Very simple and easy to use.

Virtual CloneDrive

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Mount a virtual drive to open and playback ISO image files (CD/DVD images).

DVDShrink

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The easiest and one of the better free DVD ripping and backup tools.

Exact Audio Copy

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The most accurate and error-free audio CD extractor. Can extract MP3s from a CD.

DVD Flick

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Easy-to-use DVD creation software. Allows adding subtitles and making DVD menus as well.

WinCDEmu

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Mount ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, IMG images by simply clicking on them in Windows Explorer.

DaemonTools Lite

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Lightweight and free disk virtualization software for installing virtual drives and mounting disk images.

Download Tools


µTorrent

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Speedy, efficient, and free. The most popular BitTorrent client.

Deluge

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An awesome but unappreciated cross-platform BitTorrent client.

Free Download Manager

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Open source download accelerator and manager. One of the best Windows software apps for downloading. Increase download speeds and resume broken downloads.

Jdownloader

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The most popular download manager. Quickly and efficiently download files from sites such as Rapidshare, Megaupload and many others.

FlashGet

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A download manager that supports HTTP, FTP and BitTorrent protocols amongst others.

MiPONY

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A download manager designed to facilitate downloading from file lockers like Rapidshare.

Others


TrueCrypt

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Free open-source, cross-platform disk and data encryption tool. Encrypt and hide sensitive files.

TeamViewer

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Request remote technical assistance. Connect to remote computer. Zero setup required.

Sticky Password

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Free password and identity manager. Browser add-on for automatic login and form-filling.

KeePass

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Free, open source, lightweight and easy-to-use password manager.

Hiren's BootCD

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All-in-one bootable CD providing an alternate boot environment to troubleshoot Windows problems.

Eraser

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Advanced security tool to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive.

iPrint

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Print multiple pages on each sheet of paper, delete unwanted pages. Lowers printing costs.

Antirun

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Protects your PC by blocking viruses and malware from infected USB thumbsticks and flash drives.

Everything

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Locates files and folders by name instantly.

Game Booster 3

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Speeds up your PC for faster gaming.

DriverPack Solution 11

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Makes the job of finding and automatically installing drivers really easy.

XAMPP

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Easy to install Apache distribution with MySQL, PHP and Perl. No manual setup required!

Calibre

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Free open source eBook management software with support for conversion and syncing.

Rainmeter

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A desktop customisation tool with support for functional skins.

Rocketdock

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An elegant dock solution for Windows with support for add-ons.

VirtualBox

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Free virtualisation software for creating and running virtual machines.

TunnelBear

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Need to access a website that's restricted to the US or UK? Try TunnelBear - one of the best Windows software apps for this.

f.lux

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This small program adapts your PC's display to the time of day in order to reduce eye strain and fatigue.

Connectify

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Easily create your own adhoc wireless networks to share your ethernet internet connection wirelessly. Free and commercial ($25 yearly or $40 lifetime) versions available

Classic Shell

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Upgraded to Windows 8 but missing the Start Menu? Classic Shell is the freeware software you've been looking for.

VMWare Player

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Run virtual PCs with ease using VMWare Player, simple virtualisation software that is free for personal use.

ObjectDock

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Like the Mac OS X dock but using Windows? ObjectDock is free for personal use.