still hanging onto Windows XP
years after it stopped receiving updates? If so, you’ve probably noticed that major software is also dropping support for the archaic operating system (OS). If you need to use XP for work or another purpose, it’s important to make sure you’re using the best software possible.
5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice
5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice Nearly 30% of computers are still running Windows XP. It was a stable and reliable system for years, but all good things come to an end. Almost no good reasons to keep using Windows XP...
We obviously can’t review every piece of software, but let’s take a look at some major app categories and see what works and doesn’t work anymore on Windows XP.
Note: Some of these apps are offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. In all likelihood, your copy of Windows XP is 32-bit
. Thus, you should make sure to avoid any 64-bit downloads on these sites.
What Is the Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows?
What Is the Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows? Do you know whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit and does it even matter? Yes it does! Let's take a look at where these terms come from and what they mean for you.
Let’s start with one of the most important categories. We’ve written an entire piece on
the most secure browser to use with Windows XP
. Check that for full details, we’ll summarize here.
Which Browser Is Most Secure on Your Old Windows XP System?
Which Browser Is Most Secure on Your Old Windows XP System? Windows XP remains a risky OS for surfing the web. The best thing you can do is ditch Internet Explorer. We'll show you the best browsers for Windows XP.
Internet Explorer and Google Chrome have both dropped support for Windows XP, so you should avoid them. Firefox’s extended support release version will support Windows XP until June 2018. Opera also continues to update an older version of its browser for XP users. If you’re willing to try something different, Maxthon’s current version is available on XP.
So if you avoid the dead browsers and stick to the few that still have support, your browsing is still safe on Windows XP — for now.
Download: Firefox | Opera | Maxthon Office Suite
Next to browsers, an office suite is probably one of the most important programs you use.
If you want to stick with Microsoft Office, you can’t use any modern version on Windows XP. Office 2013 and 2016 (and by extension
the always-updated Office 365
) only work on Windows 7 and newer.
An Introduction to Office 365: Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model?
An Introduction to Office 365: Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? Office 365 is a subscription based package that offers access to the latest desktop Office suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money?
The latest Microsoft Office version that works with Windows XP is the 32-bit edition of Office 2010. Microsoft will support Office 2010 until October of 2020, so it’s still valid for a few years.
Image via Keynote Support
Office 2007 and earlier are compatible with Windows XP, but Microsoft no longer supports them. Support ended for Office 2007 in October 2017, and dinosaurs walked the Earth
when Office 2003 was current
You Can Still Buy Microsoft Office 2003 Online & We Show You Where
You Can Still Buy Microsoft Office 2003 Online & We Show You Where While Office 2016 is being rolled out, some people are still longing for Office 2003 instead. Here's how to get your 2003 fix.
Microsoft allows you to
download Office 2010 if you have a valid product key
. If you don’t have one, you can purchase an Office license online, but you should be careful when doing so. Copies of Office 2010 on Amazon are ridiculously expensive, and there’s no guarantee that a key purchased from eBay or other sources is legitimate.
How to Legally Download Office 2016 & 2013 Free From Microsoft
How to Legally Download Office 2016 & 2013 Free From Microsoft If you own a product key for Microsoft Office, it's really simple to download the installation files direct from Microsoft and it's free. We'll show you all your options.
If you don’t mind using an alternative, the latest version of LibreOffice still works with Windows XP. LibreOffice is
an excellent open source office suite
that provides a comparable experience to MS Office at no cost. We recommend giving it a try, since paying for Office 2010 on an ancient computer doesn’t make much sense. If you hate it,
Is LibreOffice Worthy of the Office Crown?
Is LibreOffice Worthy of the Office Crown? LibreOffice is the king of free office suites. It's unlikely to replace Microsoft Office in a business environment, but it's an excellent alternative for casual users. Here's what's new in LibreOffice 5.1.
give Office Online a try
Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online
Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Office Online is the free and cloud-connected version of Microsoft Office. Limitations are compensated by features, useful even to users of desktop Office. Best of all is its
VIDEO Download/Access: LibreOffice | Office Online Antivirus
Microsoft’s official antivirus, now
integrated into Windows 10 as Windows Defender
, was known as Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP. Unsurprisingly,
4 Reasons to Use Windows Defender in Windows 10
4 Reasons to Use Windows Defender in Windows 10 In the past, Windows Defender was overshadowed by other options, but now it's quite a contender. Here are a few reasons why you should consider dropping your security suite in favor of Windows Defender.
the company no longer supports it
, so you’ll have to install a third-party solution instead.
What's Next? Support Ends for Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP
What's Next? Support Ends for Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP When Microsoft stopped supporting XP in 2014, they also announced that Microsoft Security Essentials would no longer be available, with updates for existing users available for a limited time only. That limited time has now...
One of the best options is Panda Antivirus, which still supports XP. It’s a cloud antivirus, which means most of the heavy lifting is done on the company’s servers instead of your PC. As long as you disable the “Panda News” option to hide ads, Panda doesn’t nag you all the time either. If you don’t like Panda, you can also try Avast Free Antivirus. Avast packs a ton of extra bloat in that you don’t need, though, so we recommend Panda.
As a supplement, you should also download Malwarebytes. This features an on-demand scanner and still works with XP. It’s a great secondary option to remove malware that your antivirus doesn’t catch and get an extra opinion.
For other solutions, check out our list of
the best Windows antivirus programs
. Some of them might still work with XP, but there’s no guarantee. For example, Bitdefender 2017 does not support XP and its special XP security suite isn’t free.
The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs
The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs You must know by now: you need antivirus protection. Macs, Windows and Linux PCs all need it. You really have no excuse. So grab one of these ten and start protecting your computer!
Download: Panda Free Antivirus | Avast Free Antivirus | Malwarebytes Backup
Windows includes solid backup options built-in
, but Windows XP’s backup solution is pretty bare. You can still use it by visiting
The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide
The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide We've summarized every backup, restore, recovery, and repair option we could find on Windows 10. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again!
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. If it’s not good enough for you (which is likely), an alternative will better protect your data.
Our pick for the
best backup software for beginners
is AOMEI Backupper Standard, which still works on Windows XP. It’s free and backs up only to external drives, not cloud locations. This is a simple way to make sure your XP files aren’t
The Best Backup Software for Windows
The Best Backup Software for Windows Your data is fragile – it only takes one small accident to lose everything. The more backups you make, the better. Here we present the best free backup software for Windows.
lost to ransomware
12 Tools You Can Use to Help Beat Ransomware
12 Tools You Can Use to Help Beat Ransomware One of the biggest issues facing computer users is ransomware. And while a ransomware infection is notoriously difficult to fight, it isn't impossible. See how these tools can help.
Windows XP Security Risks: They're Real And Heading Your Way In 2014
Windows XP Security Risks: They're Real And Heading Your Way In 2014 Given the extensive coverage, you could easily think Windows XP end of support was just a hype. Sadly not. Without security updates, the aging operating system becomes a Trojan horse in your home or business.
The all-around performer EaseUS Todo Backup Free also works fine on XP.
A long-time name in backup, CrashPlan, is phasing out its home plans, so you should
jump ship if you use that service
. If you don’t mind paying and want to back up your files to the cloud, Backblaze is an excellent option for just $50/yr.
CrashPlan for Home Shuts Down: What Now for Online Data Backups?
CrashPlan for Home Shuts Down: What Now for Online Data Backups? CrashPlan is a popular cloud based backup provider. Their recent announcement to close the Home solution has left users in the cold. But here's what you can do next to safeguard your data.
Download: AOMEI Backupper Standard | EaseUS Todo Backup Free | Backblaze Miscellaneous
Let’s briefly take a look at several other important categories of apps that still work on Windows XP.
For local media,
nothing beats VLC Media Player
— it plays every kind of audio and video imaginable.
The 5 Best Free Media Players for Windows
The 5 Best Free Media Players for Windows The best media player for you is the one you most enjoy using. Here are the best media player apps to consider on Windows.
Music streamers will be disappointed that Spotify has dropped support for Windows XP, but you can still use the Web Player (even though
it has some issues
Everything Wrong With the New Spotify Web Player
Everything Wrong With the New Spotify Web Player Did you know Spotify has now given its Web Player a makeover? Well, we say "upgrade," but this feels more like a downgrade. Here's why.
other streaming services
, like Google Play Music and Pandora, have a web player that should work fine in a supported XP browser.
How to Pick the Best Music Streaming Service for You
How to Pick the Best Music Streaming Service for You Do you use a music streaming service? If so, how do you know you're using the best one for you personally?
Download/Access: VLC Media Player | Spotify Web Player | Google Play Music | Pandora Image Editing
One of the best easy-to-use editors, Paint.NET, no longer supports Windows XP. Thankfully, the latest version of GIMP, another
popular image editor
that’s open source, works fine on XP.
GIMP vs Photoshop: Which One Is Right for You?
GIMP vs Photoshop: Which One Is Right for You? Photoshop is the most popular image editing app out there and GIMP is the best free alternative to it. Which should you use?
You can also try a browser-based solution like Sumo Paint.
While you’re at it, you should install the excellent image viewer IrfanView. It’s much better than Windows Picture and Fax Viewer and offers tons of extra features.
Download: GIMP | Sumo Paint | IrfanView Cloud Storage
Dropbox, perhaps the biggest cloud storage platform, does not work at all on Windows XP. Microsoft’s own OneDrive service also no longer works on XP. Unfortunately, Google Drive’s desktop app (now named Backup and Sync) is a no-go too.
Thus, to interact with your cloud storage, you’ll need to sign into the web portals and use them in your browser. It’s not ideal, but at least you can still access your files.
Access: Dropbox | OneDrive | Google Drive Utilities
Two of the
best file compression and extraction programs
, PeaZip and 7-Zip, are still going strong on Windows XP. PeaZip is more aesthetically pleasing, while 7-Zip is a Windows classic.
The Top 3 File Compression & Extraction Softwares
The Top 3 File Compression & Extraction Softwares Need to compress a large file? There's no shortage of file compression and archiving apps for Windows. But which file zipper is best for you? Here are our three top picks.
Adobe Reader only offers version 11 (not the newest Acrobat Reader DC) for Windows XP. Thus, if you
need a dedicated PDF reader
, Foxit Reader is a great option. Don’t forget that
The 6 Best PDF Readers for Windows
The 6 Best PDF Readers for Windows Adobe Reader isn't always the best choice for viewing PDFs. Here are the best PDF readers for Windows 10 to consider.
modern browsers can open PDFs
PDF Reader vs. Browser: Which PDF Viewer Is Best for You?
PDF Reader vs. Browser: Which PDF Viewer Is Best for You? A PDF reader is often one of the first tools people install on their new computer. It's not glamorous or sexy, but it's a vital tool in your productivity arsenal. Or is it?
excellent cleaner utility
, still works on XP as well. It’s a great way to free up space on an old, tiny hard drive.
6 CCleaner Tips and Tricks to Effectively Clean Your Computer
6 CCleaner Tips and Tricks to Effectively Clean Your Computer CCleaner is a must-have tool for every Windows user, but are you using it effectively? Here are six awesome things CCleaner can do that you might have missed.
Windows XP doesn’t have the built-in Snipping Tool to take screenshots, so you can install ShareX or PicPick
to take screenshots
The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows
The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows Are you often taking screenshots? Upgrade your tool to one that meets your needs. We put several free tools to the test and present the best ones for ease of use, editing, and sharing screenshots.
Download: 7-Zip | PeaZip | Foxit Reader | CCleaner | Sharex | PicPick What Windows XP Software Do You Use?
Now you know which software
still works on an old XP system
and which no longer receives support. Considering it’s been over three years since Microsoft dropped support for the OS, it’s amazing how much popular software still works with Windows XP.
Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon
Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon People cannot let go of Windows XP. In businesses and homes the world over, it will stick around. We spoke with three Windows XP users from different generations and backgrounds to find out why.
However, do note that the developers behind any of these apps could drop support at a moment’s notice. Remember that they’re all running on an insecure operating system, so you’re not safe from security holes.
install many of these tools at once
How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk
How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk A mass installer or uninstaller can save you heaps of time. Remember the last time you set up a new computer? We are going to teach you how to do these tasks in a flash.
Ninite, which makes it a cinch. And now that you know what software to use, make sure you’ve made Windows XP as safe as possible
in other ways too.
How to Tweak Windows XP and Stop Worrying About the Apocalypse
How to Tweak Windows XP and Stop Worrying About the Apocalypse Are you forced to stay with Windows XP? Using an unsupported operating system is risky, but don't despair! We show you how you can carry on running Windows XP, if you must.
Which software are you using on your Windows XP computer? Is there another big app that works on XP that we missed? Share what you have installed down in the comments!
Image Credit: undrey/ Depositphotos
Explore more about: Antivirus, Data Backup, Microsoft Office 2010, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Browser, Windows XP.