New PC? 12 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First
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Software is the backbone of any computer installation. Whether you’ve just purchased a new PC or reinstalled Windows, the first thing you’ll do is likely install all sorts of useful programs. While there are dozens of amazing Windows programs The Best Windows Software The Best Windows Software Windows is swimming in a sea of free applications. Which ones can you trust and which ones are the best? If you're unsure or need to solve a specific task, consult this list. Read More , knowing which tools are essential makes setting up a new installation easy.

In no particular order, let’s step through twelve Windows apps everyone should install right away, along with alternatives for each category.

1. Internet Browser: Google Chrome

Our top pick in this category is Google Chrome. It’s still super-speedy, includes little conveniences like instantly searching Google for an image, and hosts a great library of extensions. Throw in cross-platform syncing that lets you open your desktop tabs on your phone and vice-versa, and you’ve got a fantastic browser for all purposes.

Chrome isn’t without its faults, however. Plenty of people dislike Chrome, but the good news is that you have plenty of other fantastic browsers to choose from. Firefox lets you customize everything, Opera is criminally underrated, and lesser-known contenders like Maxthon Nitro are worth a look, too.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Edge doesn’t deserve a place as your default browser yet.

2. Cloud Storage: Dropbox

Once a novelty, storing information in “the cloud” has become an everyday occurrence. Dropbox is the cloud app you should install. The 2 GB of free storage isn’t much, though you can increase that by referring friends and other small tasks. Dropbox offers an app for every major device so you can take your files anywhere.

It’s also super easy to share files with others, and the service sports a great interface on the web and desktop. Whether you use it for backup, as a cloud flash drive, or for setting up shared folders with others, you can’t go wrong with Dropbox.

You can take advantage of alternative cloud services in conjunction with Dropbox to get more free space and separate your files. Google Drive (our guide) offers an impressive 15 GB for free, and you can upgrade to 100 GB for only $2 per month. OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud software, comes installed on Windows 8 and 10, and while Microsoft cut the free storage significantly, OneDrive remains a solid choice, too. Whichever you choose, make sure you read our tips on using cloud storage creatively or in ways you might not have thought of.

3. Music Streaming: Spotify

Years ago, listening to music on your desktop meant painstakingly importing and organizing a collection of MP3s. No longer; music streaming services eliminate the need for buying individual albums physically or digitally.

There are several music streaming services in the market, but we recommend Spotify. Its ad-supported free plan lets you listen to as much music as you like, and the $10 Premium upgrade is definitely worth it for avid listeners. Spotify also has a dedicated Windows app (and a great web app), while Apple Music requires the bloated iTunes and Google Play Music is web-only.

If you’re invested in Apple or Google’s ecosystems, check out Apple Music or Google Play Music, respectively. Both are similar to Spotify Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? While there are lots of music streaming services around, there are three major ones that stand out above the others: Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. But which is best? Read More , so a totally different service like Napster might suit you better. Don’t even bother with SoundCloud Go Is SoundCloud Go Worth It? Everything You Need to Know Is SoundCloud Go Worth It? Everything You Need to Know SoundCloud Go is a new premium music streaming service designed to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, but is it worth paying for? Read More , though.

4. Office Suite: LibreOffice

Chances are, you’ll need a tool that lets you work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations at some point. You might think that paying for the latest version of Microsoft Office is the only way to do this, but that’s far from the truth 6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It 6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It Do you need Microsoft Office, but don't like the price tag? We show you free alternatives, including free trials and light or mobile versions of the Microsoft Office suite. Read More .

No Windows user should be without LibreOffice. It’s a completely free and powerful office suite that includes alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and more. Once you get used to a few small aesthetic differences from MS Office, you’ll be flying through your work with LibreOffice.

Note that OpenOffice, a popular alternative, is basically a dead program at this point, so you shouldn’t use that one. If you don’t want to use LibreOffice, try FreeOffice or WPS Office. For those who can’t get by without Microsoft Office, look into Office 365. It offers a much better deal than buying Office 2016 on its own Don't Buy Office 2016! Here's Why You Don't Need It Don't Buy Office 2016! Here's Why You Don't Need It Should you buy the standalone package version of Office 2016? We present our case why we think you shouldn't and show you what you can do instead. Read More , including a terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage.

5. Image Editor: Paint.NET

Whether you want to try your hand at image manipulation, need a way to blur sensitive info from photos, or want to recolor/retouch old photos, everyone should have an image editing program installed. You probably think of Photoshop as the gold standard for this, but there are plenty of free tools that are more accessible for the average user.

Paint.NET is our top choice. It’s far more powerful than Microsoft Paint, but doesn’t overwhelm you with all sorts of confusing icons and choices. You can easily blur out parts of an image, auto-level photos to make them look better, and add text and shapes to your pictures in just a few clicks. Plenty of plugins allow you to expand its functionality, too.

If you find Paint.NET too basic, GIMP is a more advanced solution. For more choices, have a look at the best photo editing programs for novices.

6. Security: Panda Free Antivirus

While you can take steps to protect your PC without an antivirus program, it’s smart to keep one installed. There’s plenty of debate about which antivirus is the best, and no tool is perfect. However, some rise above the rest.

For most users, we recommend Panda Free Antivirus. It’s a cloud-based solution, so it doesn’t bog down your system resources. Setup is quick and easy, and if you want to set up scheduled scans or exceptions, you can. People who just want a set-and-forget solution, though, won’t even have to touch Panda once it’s set up.

After you’ve installed it, take a minute to disable the promotional ads. You can do this by opening the app, clicking the three-bar menu at the top-right, and choosing Settings. Under the General tab, scroll down and uncheck Show Panda news, and you won’t hear from Panda unless there’s a problem.

If you don’t like Panda, check out Avira Free Antivirus or 360 Total Security. We used to advise against using Microsoft Security Essentials, but the revamped Windows Defender got a big boost in Windows 10 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. Read More , so it’s worth a try if you don’t like any other options.

Further, in this category, we recommend a blended solution The 8 Best Security Software for Windows 10 Malware Protection The 8 Best Security Software for Windows 10 Malware Protection Want to tighten security on your PC? It's a good idea, so take a look at these fantastic antivirus choices for Windows 10. Read More . In addition to your normal antivirus app, you should keep a copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free installed for occasional deep scans.

7. Media Player: VLC

With YouTube’s popularity, you probably do most of your video viewing in a web browser. However, you should still keep a solid player around on your desktop for when you need to play media files locally.

For this task, nothing beats VLC Media Player. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of media players, capable of playing nearly every format imaginable. Whether you need to play videos recorded on your ancient cell phone or in some weird format you’ve never heard of before, VLC will get the job done. It’s also capable of playing audio, along with all sorts of other tricks.

You might not break it out often, but give VLC a download and save yourself the hassle of messing with video codecs or using the awfully insecure QuickTime.

If you don’t like VLC, there are several other awesome media players 5 Free Media Players for Windows: Which Is Best? 5 Free Media Players for Windows: Which Is Best? Strong media player apps always rise to the top and it's not important which one you use. The best media player for you is the one you most enjoy using. We suggest the following... Read More to choose from.

8. PC Cleaning / Management: CCleaner

Over time, Windows builds up cruft and useless files that take up space. There’s only one tool you need in this category to keep your system lean and clean. CCleaner is our favorite disk cleaner and the foundation to a clean Windows 10 system The Best Way to Clean Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide The Best Way to Clean Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide If your Windows 10 PC needs cleaning, here are the tools and a step-by-step process to get it squeaky clean again. Read More , but it packs so many more useful features inside its toolkit.

Aside from cleaning the caches of all kinds of software, CCleaner lets you easily disable startup programs, find which files are taking up the most space, clean up your messy context menu, and create a quick text file of all installed programs.

You should stay away from the useless Registry cleaner, but everything else CCleaner offers is top-notch.

9. Screenshots: ShareX

Screenshots are useful for everything from recording funny moments to having a record of information, so you need a better tool for the job. Windows’ basic Snipping Tool for grabbing screenshots, however, only provides a barebones feature set.

You won’t find a better free screenshot tool than ShareX. With tons of capture methods, a powerful built-in editor based on Greenshot, automated steps after you take a screenshot, and extra tools like a color grabber and ruler, ShareX has an impressive feature set for no cost.

We recently compared the best screenshot tools for Windows 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. Read More if you prefer something a bit slimmer. Though we missed ShareX, it deserves the #1 spot as it supersedes Greenshot in features and options. Whichever you choose, read our guide on taking the perfect screenshot How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows The best way to take a screenshot depends on the version of Windows you're on. We show you the subtle differences, give troubleshooting tips, and reveal the best keyboard shortcuts and tools. Read More to become a master.

10. Backup: CrashPlan

The default Windows backup solutions 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! Read More aren’t great. Since you don’t want to lose your precious data, it’s essential to use a backup service 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know We never tire to remind you to make backups and keep your data safe. If you're wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More .

It’s worth paying for a backup app, but if you want to go free, we like CrashPlan. It lets you back up your computer to an external drive, another computer on your network, or a friend’s computer over the internet for free. You can configure multiple backup locations and everything runs without your monitoring. With the premium plan, you can also back up to CrashPlan’s servers for maximum protection.

If CrashPlan doesn’t fit your needs, have a look at some of the other great backup software 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. Read More . Backblaze is a great alternative if you don’t mind paying; it backs up everything so you don’t have to pick individual folders.

11. File Compression and Extraction: PeaZip

Windows includes native support for some zipped files, but anything beyond the basics requires a more powerful tool. While these aren’t super exciting, they’re important for working with any kind of archived files you might encounter.

PeaZip is a great choice for your compression and extraction needs. It’s much more attractive and user-friendly than its competition, and includes useful features like repairing damaged archives and converting their file formats.

For an alternative to PeaZip, check out the other top compression tools 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. Read More .

12. Messaging: Franz

Chances are that you use at least one messaging service to stay in touch with your friends during the day. With so many options to choose from, there’s no way we could pick the best messaging service, because it all depends on what your friends use. So, why not pick all of them?

Franz is our pick for the best messaging app on Windows. It lets you add accounts from dozens of popular messaging services, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Telegram, GroupMe, Hangouts, Discord, and many more.

Franz simply adds a new tab for every service you use, letting you keep up with every group in one window. It’s easier on battery than using browser windows for these apps, and you can close it when it’s time to focus.

Check out more awesome messaging apps if Franz doesn’t support your favorites. If you primarily use older services like AIM and MSN Messenger, Pidgin is the app for you.

Odds and Ends: Five Other Awesome Tools

As a bonus, there are five other programs we think everyone should install. These don’t fit into any of the above categories, so we’ll mention them briefly here.

  • Unchecky automatically watches checkboxes during software installation and makes sure you don’t install any “recommended” junk. Everyone misses these sometimes, so it helps to have a second set of eyes.
  • Ditto Clipboard Manager increases the usefulness of the Windows clipboard many times over. With it, you can keep dozens of copied entries close at hand and search through your clipboard history.
  • F.lux automatically filters blue light from your PC’s screen when the sun goes down, allowing you to continue working at night without a blinding light in your face.

  • Everything provides near-instant search to your entire Windows system. If you need to locate a file and the default search isn’t doing the job, Everything can find it.
  • TreeSize Free allows you to quickly analyze your hard drive usage and see which folders are taking up the most space.

Which Tools Are Essential for Everyone?

Now you know which apps to install right away on a new computer — and they’re all free! If you don’t prefer one of our favorites, you’ll find a suitable alternative without much trouble. We think most users will get plenty of use out of these programs.

Now that you’ve got a solid selection of great software, make sure you remove bloatware How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed apps that take up space on your device and aren't easy to remove. Sounds like bloatware, doesn't it? We show you how to remove these apps. Read More for an optimized system!

Which software do you think is a must-have right away? Share your favorite software, or alternatives to the above, by leaving a comment!

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  1. m-p{3}
    September 19, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I would strongly advise against CCleaner now that Avast owns it as it now includes pop-up ads and no tracking opt-out in the free version.

  2. Jes
    August 24, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Super great article! Informative, direct, smart. Thanks!!

  3. tjommie
    July 27, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Firefox and Opera
    Plex Media Player
    Samsung Magician
    MSI Afterburner
    IOBit uninstaller

  4. Sailor Jo
    May 5, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Thanks for the list of highly recommended SW. It sounds very much like what I do all the time though I use some professional graphics programs, from Corel to ashampoo.
    As I am a geek I need a good file manager and my choice is FreeCommander. Furthermore, when I use the phone while at my computer I take notes and I like Notes++ for the purpose.

  5. Victor
    January 18, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    What a bullshit!

  6. Miguel
    January 15, 2018 at 11:40 am


  7. Miguel
    January 15, 2018 at 11:40 am


  8. Miguel
    January 15, 2018 at 11:39 am


  9. Alan
    January 11, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Back Blaze instead of Crash Plan as CP is no longer available for home users

  10. Alan
    January 11, 2018 at 4:42 am

    Crash plan as far as I know is no longer available for non commercial users I would recommend Back Blaze

  11. Laxmidhar padhiary
    November 24, 2017 at 8:14 am

    AVG antivirus is good or not

  12. Japie
    November 22, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I like this very much. It is very interesting. I like to receive more via newsletters please. Japie.

  13. laszlo
    October 3, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    first i need the zip program, i like bandizip, cause its good (and i got the same family name :D), honeyview is good too, they got great free apps
    driver programs , usually big ones, free if i dont have internet
    i like to have ultraiso to be able to mount .iso files
    for videos i prefer potplayer which is an adfree version of km player, seems to play better the matroska files than vlc, and nice interface
    for audio i like aimp3, not the 4th cause the interface is weird. same with listary, i like the 3.5 version over the 4th. quick acces to my files and folders
    also terracopy to copy faster, better, from shell send files, bookmark folders
    snagit for taking pictures and videos simply
    there is the search engine "everything" which is like google for windows
    stardock fences to make my desctop cleaner
    filebot for renaming serial episodes
    clipx to manage my copy-paste
    sublime text for coding/txt edit
    webroot as antivirus, is light and secure enough, usually free trials
    tixati for torrents
    chrome, discord, skype, spotify with last fm etc.

    got a lot of programs which i only use when needed or somebody asks for it but this are the usual ones, and of course drivers, directx, net framework and visual studio cause gaming usually needs it

    i still looking for a good pdf/epub reader which is light on resources and has a good zoomin/flip page, and light on resources

  14. Adam
    June 28, 2017 at 3:44 am


  15. Adam
    June 28, 2017 at 3:42 am

    KODI is a must have. everything is free and you can do so much. use google to find awesome plugins. best media player out there

  16. Techleprechaun
    April 22, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Great list, covers lots of salient points. Couple personal recommendations, though yours is far from broken.

    2. Go OneDrive though I also use Office. Ties so well into Windows and Office. (see 4)
    3. I just use the SiriusXM online package. Have thought about trying the Spotify though. Extra $3 or $4 if you already have it for your car.
    4. Office365. $100/yr, 5 computers AND 5 devices AND 5 accounts with 1TB OneDrive storage. Better than almost any paid cloud service plus 10 full always up-to-date Office installs.
    6. Avast, personally, but Pepsi/Coke.
    9. Win+PrtScr and Paint is simple enough, but I might try it.
    10. OneDrive integration is key here, especially with the 1TB from office. You can set the folders directly very easily. All I've used for years.
    11. 7zip. Over a decade it hasn't failed me.

  17. Reporter553
    April 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Good suggestions. I like 7Z more than PeaZip as the latter uses multiple screens.
    Ultrasearch is good to add as Win's sucks.

  18. Prakash Gupta
    March 28, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Top windows apps and websites

    - Ninite for installing s/w
    - Ccleaner. Must have
    - VLC for music
    - LibreOffice for alternative to MSOffice
    - Spotify. You can also stream from Pandora if you can create stations of your choice
    - Notepad++

  19. Matthew
    January 24, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Why not just use it has most of the apps listed here and better all in one installer just click and installs in one package.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Yep, Ninite is a great resource for installing a lot of apps at once with no junk. This article serves to let people know which ones people should choose :)

  20. Michael
    January 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Most of these comments are years old.....

    • Tina Sieber
      January 29, 2017 at 10:35 am

      We have completely rewritten and republished the article. We should have removed the old comments, thanks for the heads-up!

  21. arrbeejay
    January 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I would add a password manager. Personally, I like 1Password, but it's not free ($3/month billed annually). There are free ones out there - whichever one fits your budget, get one!

  22. Doc
    January 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I prefer the K-Lite Codec Pack and Media Player Classic to VLC - it includes x265 playback, and MPC has a nicer layout than VLC. It also doesn't have a "fake 200% volume level." once had a 50GB free level FOR LIFE by signing in from Android...making it a lot nicer than the 2 and a little bit that Dropbox gives you.

    I've loathed Google Chrome ever since finding out its "extensions" were horribly crippled (and often leaked memory like a sieve). With Firefox switching to a "Web Extensions" that will wind up being likewise crippled, I've switched to CyberFox - native 64-bit support, no ucky Australis theme, and continually being updated.

  23. Ron Ablang
    January 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    A freeware antivirus program (like Avira or Avast) and Total Commander.

  24. Jouni "rautamiekka" Järvinen
    January 21, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Dunno if it still has it, but the asshole called Paint.NET at least used to require a completely closed ring so you wouldn't affect areas outside it, which is absolutely unforgivable until fixed. Moreover, it's strictly Window$.

  25. Delane Cunningham
    January 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Is it possible to obtain a printable version? This is the best advice i have read...need to save it

    • Ben Stegner
      January 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      I'm so glad this was useful for you! You can print this article to PDF using a free service like

      • Reporter553
        April 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        You also can use Foxit phantom printer to save it as PDF file!

  26. JonoDaGr3at
    February 13, 2015 at 1:52 am

    +VLC Player does work ???? Or am I missing sumit!!!!!!
    Jonodagr3at aka

  27. JonoDaGr3at
    February 13, 2015 at 1:49 am

    You can't fault the outsiders, the dark horse that's never been seen biging it's self up!

    VLC: Video power 2 U & Me!

    CCleaner: Piriform is a absolute gem! System resources for me nothing else but clean honest what it says on da tin bud!
    Sorry but
    WinRAR: the dogs doda's when it comes to packing, compressing & SFX'in mmmmmwwwaaaahhh!
    OneDrive: it's from da same firm as yA O/S peeps! Think about it… free storage upgrades not monthly subscripts "muller muller & more muller" free n easy surprisingly across many platforms 2! Big up Bill gates n crew! Lol

    • Richard
      January 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Glary Utilities is far superior to CCleaner and no spam. Glary DOES offer a malware program as part o the install but completely OPTIONAL if you want to install it or not.

      • laszlo
        October 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm

        yeah ccleaner deletes some important appdata files sometimes, like program options and game savefiles

  28. Luis
    September 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Chrome? No, Firefox or Opera or Comodo Dragon
    OpenOffice is discontinued so replace with Kingsoft Office or LibreOffice
    Steam? No
    Add avast! or BitDefender Free Edition or MSE
    Glary Utilities > CCleaner
    All I need is Win7's Paint, no need Paint.NET
    Add Revo
    Dropbox only has 2GB while MS SkyDrive has 7GB

    • Doc
      January 25, 2017 at 5:35 am

      OpenOffice is NOT discontinued, LibreOffice is a fork. The Apache Foundation took over OpenOffice after the break with Oracle.

  29. Axlelottle
    September 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Google chrome is
    one big piece of google spyware.

    5 seconds after launch it calls home,
    then it starts reporting back to google analytic's
    information about every website you visit
    and what you did while you were there.

    a unique number is created when you first use google chrome
    that is used to identify you personally over the internet.

    all of this info about you is made available to anybody that requires it.
    advertisers mostly use this info to target you personally
    with ads based on the type of sites you visit.

    Stop using google chrome.

    try using
    comodo dragon >
    it is a chrome browser without the (legal) google spyware.

    Google chrome has far too many other issues to go in to here.
    if you got sucked in to using it
    you must just love commercial crapware.


    • Sailor Jo
      May 5, 2018 at 1:33 am

      Google may be the biggest data thief there is and I despise their products. The only reason I recently installed Chrome is that is makes certain translations easier. I can, for instance, look at a German web site and it all translated into English. There were very few errors in what I was looking at.
      For searches I use DuckDuckGo

    • Sailor Jo
      May 5, 2018 at 1:40 am

      One very important program for me is a VPN. I decided to license a European program as I trust the Europeans more when it comes to privacy. I licensed a TV viewer (also from Europe) that needs a VPN so that I have a virtual presence in Europe when watching programs that are licensed for Europe only.

  30. Purshotham M
    July 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hello i have bought a new windows 8 pc, I also purchased bitdedender antivirus plus new edition and installed it. So is that enough to secure m pc, do i really need a antimalware software along with this? If so which is the best?

    • Glump
      January 23, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Bit defender is an antimalware software.

  31. Matthew Unwin
    June 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Only ones I find essential are
    There are many programs that are useful but it depends on what you do. e.g. gamers will get steam

  32. anomoumous
    June 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I do not agree with the first few ones
    Chrome is to intrusive

    Spottify exposes ourselves
    All clouds are exposing , dangerous, slow
    and better by a few 2 tera drives and be more safe

    And the first one I ALWAYS install the first second is

    Evernote on my phone is a horror
    they send me multiple mssgs about 'insription' what I dont want

    ( what is the most simple notepad for phones today ? )

    it s preventing over 1000 intruders to place their marks

    VLC is great for Slow Motion but their Zoom is lousy
    BSPLAYER WAS so much GREATER but no more

    Malware is probably OK

    What I miss is a good program
    which existed under DOS 3 already

    It made a kind of catalog
    of every stocking device you had

    so that I could find easily
    on my many DVD's and memory sticks
    where my stuff is

    • Glump
      January 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Use "Cathy" for cataloging your DVDs, CDs, Thumb drives, &'s free..

  33. Teodoro V
    June 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

    How about downloaders? I would recommend iWisoft free video downloader if you visit non-you tube sites.

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      i prefer internet download manager, it has frequent updates and works every time, fast download speeds, as for youtube, i watch e-sports from pot player, just drag the link into it, prebuffers video and is nice quality

  34. Muhammad Ahmad0
    June 23, 2013 at 4:00 am

    and definitely a skype and pdf viewer like adobe pdf.

    • Mthoko
      April 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      I'm surprised adobe reader or flash is not included in the good article like this.

      • Ben Stegner
        May 1, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        I wanted to keep this to programs that nearly everyone can benefit from. Modern browsers can open PDFs now, which is sufficient for casual users. And Flash is integrated into Chrome and will be phased out in 2020. Combined with its security issues, I didn't find either of those to be essential programs.

        Thank you for weighing in, though!

  35. Nahum Larios
    June 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Great advise, I have not tried steam but I will give it a try.

  36. Todd New
    June 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Evernote is my GoTo app ... everything from Windows to iOS helps me keep info indexed AND instantly available - where & when I need it.

  37. Emmanuel Asuncion
    June 22, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Good write-up, learned a lot especially with programs posted here that I've never heard about.

  38. etnguyen03
    June 21, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I prefer Firefox instead of Chrome.

    I completely agree with Malwarebytes and 7zip.

    An alternative for Dropbox is Skydrive (from Microsoft). It gives you 7 GB of storage and you can make office documents from your browser!

  39. Mitzumi Kare
    June 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    My list is a little different since I only had to do this once. A big thing to note is that I prefer portable apps over anything else so I dump portable apps into dropbox and the install packages into dropbox for the non portable ones as well.

    I had a long list of things and explanation but I am going to shorten it. n order:
    FireAlpaca [so I can draw though I have Sai and Photoshop on portable though]
    Microsoft Security Essentials
    ExtractNow [a lovely small universal file extractor that is really speedy]
    Picasa [simple image editing and viewing]
    Notepad++ [editing theme code for tumblr]
    Skype [I use the portable version since I am far to lazy to fully install it]
    Winamp [I prefer foobar2k when on the move but this lets my wirelessly put music on my android phone so that's that]
    VLC/Media Player Classic [depends on if I am going to watch anime first]

    Anything else like drivers, photoshop brushes, fonts, specialized programs I use come later but those are the ones I MUST have on the computers I work on. I agree and disagree with evernote being on the list: I do use it but I am more partial to the mobile version and in a pinch, the web version before I even think of installing it.

    I don't need a office suite [but I do have MS Office 2010 on portable backup just in case] since I use Google Drive but if I need to type something out, I rather use Windows Live Writer or the Microsoft Works suite instead of Open/Libre Office since I have no experience with the latter.

    As much as I want to agree with CCleaner, I think a compuination of WinDirStat and iOBitUninstaller does the job a lot better.

    Nice post though. It certainly got me thinking and now I am off to clean out my dropbox folder.

    • rk
      January 23, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      May I ask how you have Photoshop on portable? Unless you mean portable to be an external HD?

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      iobit is malware/spyware, annoying sometimes
      geek uninstaller works best, simple, free and fast, as for speedup i liked system mechanic, the older versions

  40. Roberto Beseler
    June 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Spotify is not available all over the world. Only 35 countries. Non of them in Southamerika. Please notify if the software is available all over the world or not.

  41. Ehab Mohamed Nasr
    June 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Wht is the difference between malware bytes and any anti-virus ?

  42. Christian Ampoloquio
    June 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Among the lists only Google Chrome, 7Zip, CCleaner and VLC are the ones i always download whenever i reformat. :) But great suggestion for others. Noted! :)

  43. Hisham Sliman
    June 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Is ccleaner better than advanced system care or ashampoo-winoptimizer???????????????

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      its free, but this kinds of programs should have a database of safe to delete things, not just based on file format, cause if you use programs which write into appdata temp files, you need to set them up again and again or check what ccleaner wants to delete

  44. Vlado
    June 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Dopbox, VLC, 7-Zip - I Agree brilliant apps.
    Browser - Firefox!!! (I love it. Much better than Chrome. My personal opinion)
    Office - LibreOffice
    Batch processing of images - Digital Photo Professional (DPP by Canon)
    Image editor - GIMP (No better free softare)
    Good resident scanner - Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
    And so on...

  45. bpcan
    June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I also recommend Avast and always utilize the password feature. I like to couple it with MalwareBytes for a second opinion if I need to hunt for malware, but on a new machine, it should not be necessary.
    I prefer Peazip over 7-Zip because of the UI.
    PotPlayer has now become my first choice, otherwise I use VLC with a skin.
    I also endorse TeamViewer. It is getting better and is free for private use.
    My 1st choice browser is IceDragon (Comodo's version of Firefox) - Like it a lot.

  46. TalkingBee
    June 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Spotify is very limited (~10 hours cap a month) outside of the USA.

    I would also suggest Cloud Antivirus as a free cloud-based virus scanner or if one has money then Webroot.

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      sadly, only thing which works with if im not mistaken, lastvj was a great online app which let to play my reccomendations

  47. Onaje Asheber
    June 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Great Apps!

  48. Eli Miron
    June 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    1. Add Avast free
    2. Add Win Patrol free - ESSENTIAL
    3. I prefer SugarSync to Dropbox (more free space, more convenient)
    4. I prefer Xnview to Irfan view (a matter of habit or taste)

  49. Andrew B
    June 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Besides Chrome Browser I prefer Comodo Dragon Browser.

  50. likefunbutnot
    June 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    1. Browsers: I install both Firefox and Chrome.
    Firefox is better for users who like to keep lots of tabs open and has the incredibly compelling argument of Chrome's process model is better for small numbers of tabs, but I continually find that its plugin selection is limited at best.

    1a. Adblock Plus with Easylist and Fanboy's List goes on every browser. IE 9/10 can use tracking list protection to get the same up to date ad blocking lists. (Google "IE TPL Gallery" and go take a look).

    1b. Head over to the Mycroft Project to pick up a selection of searches to add. I like making sure all my browsers can search Google, Google Images, Google Shopping, Wikipedia, Amazon and Ebay.

    2. I generally do cloud storage with Google Drive and/or Skydrive even though I technically have some ungodly amount of Dropbox space (150GB?), simply because a lot of that space was promotional pricing due to some product I bought. But Skydrive is built in to Windows 8 and Google Drive integrates so well with all of Google's other offerings that I feel they're both much better choices.

    3. Spotify? Whatever. Don't care. Music is something everyone has to discover on their own. I do prefer WinAmp for music playback on Windows because it's very lightweight compared to Media Player or most of the other usual suspects.

    4. Evernote? Again, don't care. If I wasn't able to assume that every system I build, support or sell will wind up with Microsoft Office I might care. Or I might just make links to the relevant portions of Google Docs. I'd probably lead people away from it just because it's one more thing they have to sign up for.

    5. Openoffice? Nope. No way. Google Docs. MAYBE LibreOffice. There are way too many ways to get Microsoft Office on a computer. Some of them are even legal. Office 2010 Starter (basically Word and Excel with some small UI mods and none of the document sharing features) was available free of charge off Microsoft's web site for a couple years for example.

    6. 7zip. Finally. We agree on something.

    7. Malwarebytes is a malware removal tool. It works very well, but it needs to be paired with both an antivirus applications (I suggest Avast's Free option) and a good set of immunization tools such as Spywareblaster and Spybot's Immunize function.

    8. Irfanview. I like XnView better, but I think Picasa is probably a better overall picture management application for most people and that's what I choose to install.

    9. Ccleaner. I install it. I don't necessarily tell end users it's there.

    10. Steam. Personally, I don't like Steam and won't use it but moreover it wants to autostart with Windows and relatively few people play those sorts of PC games. This is an actively bad idea.

    11. VLC. Fine. Personally I like Media Player Classic better but I don't have strong feelings either way.

    12. Paint.Net. Few people need it or would know how to use it. I don't think it belongs on every computer. I do think it's incredibly useful otherwise.

    What's missing:

    Hijack This. Just put it on the computer.
    Crossloop. Something for remote support. Teamviewer also works. Whatever.
    SpaceMonger/WinDirStat. Something for examining drive space.
    An updated HOSTS file. For more ad blocking. Windows 8 users remember to disable the Windows Defender service to make Windows actually use the Hosts file.
    PDF Reader. Firefox and Chrome both have one built in, but Foxit or NitroPDF are both good choices for people who want a stand alone program.
    Calibre: Free Ebook management. I don't think this is all that important, but it's straightforward install and it does something that I get asked about often enough that I install it on home machines by default.
    FormatFactory: Free media conversion. Supports batch operations.
    Handbrake: Tiny app for DVD ripping.

  51. Rickey Shortt
    June 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I'm sure this won't work for a lot of people, and I myself disregarded it for the longest time - but I'm finding more and more that between Evernote and Google Docs (which is accessible offline in Chrome), I really have little or no use for either Open Office or Libre Office. I'm not yet comfortable with uninstalling the latter, but at some point I may decide to do so, and only retain a portable version for the increasingly rare instances I need it. I just haven't decided if that should be in a local "portable apps" folder, in a Dropbox folder, or on a thumb drive. I have noticed with certain portable apps installed on a thumb drive, that there is some noticeable slowness, probably related to using cheap thumb drives.

  52. MikeVertx
    June 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    good post, covered the basic installs for every new pc spot on

  53. Steve K
    June 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I'm surprised that Decrapifier was not on the list it will, uninstall many of the common trialware and annoyances found on many of the PCs from big name OEMs. You get to see the list of items it detects and then choose what will be removed automatically.

  54. macwitty
    June 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    What I miss is a password manager - otherwise a very good list to start from

  55. Olivertwist
    June 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    As for chrome - it may be powerful/fast but why rush into things when security is more important!
    1. Firefox - Addons are powerful

    Security and Privacy Essentials:
    ADP (AdBlock Plus) - Blocks: Popups, Webpage Banners/ads - This is 1 powerful and gamechanging addon
    Ghostery - Tracker and cross-site scripts control.
    No Script - Javascript/flash media control.

    Other essential utilities:
    Ant Video Downloader - convert streaming media to your HDD for future viewing.
    Session Manager - Save your Current Browser session for future viewing! (saves much time and hassle)
    Chatzilla - MIRC Chatroom emulation
    Epub Reader - Drag E-books into your browser - very useful.
    Spellchecker - Probably my most utilised add-on but least thought about.

    2. Dropbox - Does the job.

    3. Pandora - Streaming music, learns what you like and dislike. Randomly selects music depending on what you liked/disliked previously. Very good for finding new music!

    4. Sticky-notes - Comes with Windows 7.

    5. MS Office - Unfortunately this is not free but is the best in this category.

    6. 7-zip is good - free and less annoying than winrar.

    7. Malwarebytes is good. My main anti-malware utility is Superantispyware: Many useful utilities for system recovery & malwarebytes for alternative scanner.

    8. CCleaner is fine.

    9. Steam - Has it's technical problems but is still quite useful as a gamer platform.

    10. VLC - a cornerstone of modern PCs.

    11. - awesome for a free image editor.

    Other game changers: - quick installer of popular ulities. Downloads and automatic install with default settings all at once.


  56. Guy McDowell
    June 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I totally agree with all of your recommendations. Chrome only became my browser of choice in the last 6 months or so - love it. Except on my older laptop. It's a resource hog there for some reason.

    Gotta try Spotify and Steam though. Haven't yet. I've been told many times to check them out though. Thanks!

  57. Neil
    June 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Before any of them, I install Keepass 2. How else can I remember all my passwords? Otherwise, Spotify is not too good if you live in a rural area; OpenOffice is too bloated and slow; still use Firefox as my main browser as Chrome doesn't have all the add-ons I use.

  58. zoniweb
    June 18, 2013 at 7:11 am

    IrfanView? Better is XnView.

    CCleaner? Agree!

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      check honeyview , also qttabbar thumbnails are great

  59. zoniweb
    June 18, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Chrome? No, Firefox is still better choice.

    Dropbox? I use it just as web-app, I don't need it installed on my PC.

    Spotify? Never tried. I used to use Grooveshark, but in last year or so I use only Foobar2000 with small playlist of favorite online radio stations.

    Evernote? Never tried.

    OpenOffice? I would prefer LibreOffice + free MS Office Readers.

    7-Zip? Agree!

    Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware? I prefer SuperAntiSpyware "portable".

    Steam? Never tried, but I like small portable games from time to time.

    VLC Media Player? Well, not bad, but my choice is PotPlayer (or MPC-HC).

    Paint.NET? Agree!

  60. Charlie Brown
    June 18, 2013 at 6:40 am

    To Craig,
    I mean this only in the most constructive way. Make Use of is a place I turn to, when I'm interested in learning something new. Yet your list is plain vanilla (I had to double check the date written). Not that each program listed isn't good, they are (I've used all but Steam). I guess MUO has set the bar high & I expected at least something fresh. I learned much more from the posted comment by ANKUR T's despite it's lack of tact. I mean this due to the 'all caps', not due to imperfect writing. If I had to guess I'd say English is not this person's native tongue and I applaud Ankur for being confident enough to open himself up to criticism while bringing some fresh ideas to the table. If one has a new PC I'd think they would want to install the best, lightest and most secure available to date - not the status quo. Also with the NSA's PRISM making headline news, I would think more folks would be interested in alternatives to Chrome, Dropbox & any other program that may be involved; I know I am. Just because I don't have anything to hide in my laundry basket doesn't mean I am OK with the anyone rooting through my dirty laundry. Lastly, although improved, an alternative to Adobe Acrobat is essential for this list. It is just too cumbersome compared to some very good, light and nimble alternatives that exist. Good list for my parent's but they wouldn't be on MUO's site in the first place. Again, no disrespect I just had greater expectations.

  61. IceWolf
    June 18, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I agree with most of the applications on this list, but I chose Daum Pot Player instead of VLC. VLC used to be a lightweight media player but lately its getting bigger and bigger (and i receive some errors in the latest version I've tried). Also, Pot Player has a native 64bit version. I agree with Dave here - Teamviewer should be on this list. And, although I use Dropbox with my phone camera upload (very useful) I noticed the new player on this field - - it's give you 5GB online space for each referral (I have 128GB now).

  62. ??????
    June 18, 2013 at 4:35 am

    I honestly wouldnt pick most of these.

    1/ Dropbox... with the space/price lowering every year and the big e-mail providers I'd rather use quality encrypting software to send files over net. 8-15 megs are quite enough for the most things I'd not take on flash drive.
    2/ Evernote... nope - requires constant I-net connection and I don't like that!
    3/ Open office... Microsoft have released a viewer for most of their apps, so I wont really bother instaling it. If I absolutely have to work at home I prefer Remote Desktop over VPN.
    4/ 7Zip... nope... really bugy and user unfriendly, and WinRAR is shareware, but it doesnt stop to function after the trial period is over. There is alot of really good freeware archivers out there - like IZarch for instance.
    5/ Malaware bytes... I have nothing against that software. It's just I don't need it as I think the best protection from viruses is personal awareness. Be smart about it and you will never have problems.
    6/ CCcleaner... I really don't like that. It doesnt clean most problems, but it does clean most personal preferences on "non-standart" applications. Yes, thats mostly the apps fault, but the resoult is the same...
    7/ STEAM... same as Skype. It's so heavy that adds typicaly like 3-8 seconds loging time on system startup on old PC's. Not my favourite...

    • Rick
      June 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Evernote doesn't require a constant internet connection - at least not in the sense that you need it to access your notes. They are all stored locally on your PC and always accessible. The connection is only needed for synching to the cloud - a very useful feature of course! But you can have all the local, unsynched notebooks and notes you like.

  63. Paul Prakash J
    June 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I still stick with Firefox instead of Chrome. 7-Zip, CCleaner, Dropbox/Google Drive are few others I installed first.

  64. PseudoCC
    June 18, 2013 at 2:54 am

    A couple things

    1. OO (it's okay, MS Office Suites are superior)
    2. Spotify (I think they still use 128kbps.. it's not a great service)
    3. 7-Zip (When was the last time you saw a .7zip archive? WinRAR is best)
    4. Evernote (I tried to get into this multiple times, but the GUI and compatibility is just lackluster or tries to do too much. I get by with Pocket/Google Keep/other apps.

    I agree with everything else though, and would probably ad a few more.

  65. Daniel J. Karas
    June 18, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I'm going to have to try out Irfanview. It's annoying to me to be browsing a folder of media files in different formats, and having to use a variety of helper apps to figure out just what they are (or if I want to keep them handy and not in backup)

  66. Adly Asraf
    June 18, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Nice collection.

  67. On Wong
    June 18, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Kingsoft Office, IrfanView, 7-zip, Dropbox, VLC, Avast!, Foxit, Teamviewer, Chrome.

    • ReadandShare
      June 18, 2013 at 3:43 am

      +1 on Kingsoft Office (if like most people you don't use database).

      Compared to the behemoth that is Libreoffice -- which opens up even slower than the beast that is Microsoft Office -- KO is smaller, much faster, and more renders more faithfully to MS formats than Libreoffice. I switched to KO after more than a year of using LO exclusively.

      For those with 'modest' word / spreadsheet needs, I really believe KO is the best free alternative out there presently. The FREE Android version is also tops!

  68. Cynthia Sebring
    June 18, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Avast Antivirus! Curious as to why you didn't include an antivirus in this list.

  69. ReadandShare
    June 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Yes, Chrome, but don't install it naked! Make sure to add:

    1. Adblock -- to block annoying ads, banners and popup's.

    2. ClicknClean -- allows you to designate which cookies to keep and which ones to delete when closing your browser.

    3. Ghostery - blocks a ton of tracking cookies -- but allowing you to whitelist as well.

    • Rick
      June 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Ghostery is good, but Disconnect is even better.

    • null
      June 25, 2013 at 2:24 am

      Adblock? You should thank MakeUseOf by not using it.

    • laszlo
      October 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      ublock origin is the fastest and doesnt have annoying popups

  70. Matthew
    June 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    HoneyViewer3 > IrfranView

  71. Danny
    June 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    VLC Player? Oh please... It is nice, but so minimally boring.

    Alternative: JetAudio by Cowon.
    It has all the codecs you'll ever need, and it has a beautiful interface unlike VLC Player's Windows 95-era UI.

    • PseudoCC
      June 18, 2013 at 2:57 am

      GUI isn't important in full-screen. They've also improved features/options a lot recently. Being able to record and save sections of a video or other media file is one of the most useful new features in VLC.

  72. Dan
    June 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    * SkyDrive over Dropbox. More free space. Better syncing (but slower to upload).
    * Softmaker FreeOffice over OOo or LO. Faster and better than any open source office suite. Way better MSOffice file format support. And less bloat.
    * Avast over Malwarebytes. Sorry, but real-time scanning is still better.
    * Media Player Classic Home Cinema over VLC. Better playback, more functional seek bar, faster to load and play, can play damaged files that VLC can't.
    * Spotify, Evernote, and Steam are not "must have".
    * The rest are ok.

  73. David C
    June 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    LibreOffice FTW!

  74. GreatPhones
    June 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    No on everything except VLC and possibly steam.

  75. Henk van Setten
    June 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I use most of the software listed here myself, so (unsurprisingly) can agree with the list. I'm especially happy with your mention of, as I find that the great potential of is often underestimated by Gimp users. With some of its easy-to-install plugins, can do nearly everything Gimp does, with a much easier, less confusing interface!
    A few remarks on the list:
    (1) Instead of Chrome, I would recommend SRWare Iron. This is a Chrome clone with exactly the same interface and the same core engine, and accepting all the Chrome extensions from the Google store. It's really just Chrome - except that Iron doesn't have the rather unpleasant phone-home privacy issues that are built into Chrome. SRWare is kept current with the latest Chrome updates, too.
    (2) Instead of OpenOffice, I would recommend LibreOffice. This is a branch of LibreOffice that in the last two years has surpassed the original, and it gets relevant updates both more often and sooner.
    (3) IrfanView is certainly OK for an all-purpose image manager, but if you use it mainly as a viewer, then I myself would prefer XnView which is just a little better tweakable.
    Well, I intentionally wrote this comment before reading what others had to say, which is what I'll be going to do now...

    • Rick
      June 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Picasa is another great candidate for a photo viewer/editor, especially if you like to upload photos to Picasa Web Albums or Google+ Albums. And it's built in viewer is very fast and minimalistic if you use it as your default.

  76. wale
    June 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    great write up

  77. wale
    June 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Great write up . they are useful , just what i need

  78. GF
    June 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    In my PC I would install even a program (or more programs) to copy the registry of Windows.

  79. Mihai Triboi
    June 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Heh... Now who I am if I don't install any of these after the clean install? :D

  80. John Ludlow
    June 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    The SysInternals suite should be on the list - particularly Process Explorer

    • G Thompson
      June 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

      If your going down the route of Sysinternals the Nirsoft utils should also be installed. Even better place them all in one complete menu'd package by using the free WSCC

      • John Ludlow
        June 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

        Agreed, the Nirsoft tools are pretty good, and worth a look.

        The WSCC package is something I've looked at in the past but it was flagged as a security risk by our AV package (I think some of the tools it packages have been flagged somewhere) so I removed it.

  81. Nez
    June 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Very nice list, close to exactly what I use, with a few differences. I'm still a big user of Firefox, I'd switch to Chrome if it wasn't for the way it handles tabs/addons etc. Just too big of a system resource hog for me.(Personal preference). I think I'll give a shot again(been quite a while), I typically use GIMP.

  82. J Enrique F
    June 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    first things I install:

    chrome... you can sync all your apps, bookmarks, and themes in windows, android, and ubuntu... idk about mac.

    dropbox... love dropbox because i can access it on the go on my android.

    foxit reader... small program that is better than acrobat reader and opens fast.

    microsoft office... still the best

    7-zip... the best

    starcraft :D... because I like playing sc2 after installing all these programs...

    • J Enrique F
      June 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      teracopy... it's fast!

  83. AriesWarlock
    June 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Libre Office is a better option than Open Office at this point.

  84. Juan
    June 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I like to install Fox It for PDF files, and avoid Adobe Reader.

    Also to keep an eye on my PC, I like to install CPUID HW Monitor and CPU- Z. When I have a fresh system to play with.

  85. Brian Curtis
    June 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I do a lot of moving files around and I found xplorer2 from zabkat to be excellent. It is a dual pane "Explorer" which make the job of moving and copy & paste much easier. Also it is well worth the money.

  86. casey
    June 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm


    The rest are CRAP!

    • Luis
      September 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

      How do you browse the web? You didn't mention a web browser that isn't crap for you.

    • Casey
      September 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

      True - but all they mention is Chrome, which is nasty.

      FFox/Opera are the way to go.

      I didn't say a browser because people tend to be very polarised over browsers.
      I've seen Opera choke on a site that FFox breezes into, and the reverse also.

      I was wrong about my "crap" designation though - malwarebytes is good, is rubbish, Steam is not at all essential if you don't play their games.

      Mpc-HC is a lot better than VLC (VLC used to be good, but they buffered it up with bloatynesss and just stupid decisions over "features".

      I suppose what my "crap" was really saying was that 1/2 of those are so far from "must have"...
      7Zip, irfanview, CCleaner, etc are pretty much essential - everyone needs an archiver program, we all look at photos, we could all do with "CCleaning" our systems every so often.

      But the rest are only "must have" if you actually use/need them - must have for you, not for everyone.

    • Kimble
      February 28, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      steam is THE most reliable gaming server next to AMD gaming evolved and there are plenty more on this list that are fantastic, it is a great list and has provided me with a line up of resources for my PC well done. i would have also mentioned a gaming engine for creating games although that isn't a necessary feature for everyone :/

    • Kimble
      February 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      aaaaannd is brilliant in coherence to a graphics pad or a bamboo pad and is an alright program for picture editing, although i use the full version of adobe Creative cloud and therefore use Photoshop and illustrator as well as other applications so i realise that doesn't fall under the category of a top line image editor it is pretty damn good, i also pay $600 dollars a year for adobe creative cloud and is free so it isn't exactly the worst choice.

  87. MK
    June 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This is a good list.

    I would add that the Adobe pdf reader is bloatware and should be replaced with Foxit.

  88. Luis Flores
    June 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm


  89. ANKUR T
    June 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm


    • Sebastian Hadinata
      June 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Whoa.. all caps comment, you need to chill down (if you know what I'm saying) :D

      • Nahum Larios
        June 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

        I would like an aknowledgement from Craig

    • Sebastian Hadinata
      June 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      My personal favorite: Libre Office, Avast, and Pea-zip, also Thunderbird for email client and Wunderlist for to-do list.

    • andrewchay
      July 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I have to say, the best pdf reader is xchange-viewer if you are using Windows platform. It's simply too powerful and too fast loading. The only time I use other pdf viewer is when I load pdf files from internet, I set the default pdf viewer in chrome as adobe.

    • Luis
      September 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

      @Ankur T, relax, don't shout LIKE THIS.

  90. vineed g
    June 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    great softwares ,,,i have been using all of them for a long time.they all perform best as per their service

  91. Rudi Niemand
    June 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    For me one of the first to be installed on a new computer it MagicDisc - for mounting iso files to install everything else I have, saves having to swap out discs between installations. Another couple to add alongside Dropbox for me is GDrive and SkyDrive, I use these a lot more than the likes of Dropbox, Box, etc. And maybe BitTorrent sync?

    • Jayden
      June 18, 2013 at 5:43 am

      Windows 8 does virtual iso loading out of the box. Just double click, and you're plenty set without an extra program.

      • Rudi Niemand
        June 18, 2013 at 8:10 am

        Note: this reply has turned into an essay, I apologise.

        That's good to know - but I'll still be using Windows 7 until its support runs out, as Windows 8 is still a bit too buggy for gaming's sake. Especially considering that I still play some Windows 98, early XP-era games that are buggy enough under 7. I'll give gaming a try on Windows 8 once I know that there are some sure-fire drivers available for my systems for it to work as well as it does on 7, because at the moment some of the bits are still in beta I think (Both Gigabyte and AMD state that their respective components that I use are "Windows 8 Ready" - that to me says they're still trying it out before fully supporting it). For that same reason I only switched to Windows 7 (first 32-bit, now on 64-bit) for gaming a little under 2 years ago (trying out Ubuntu inbetween). Some argue that you should just keep your hardware up-to-date, but with only a handful of money spare every month it's not something I can easily do - I always build a computer once every 5 years or so to last and be fast for at least 2 years, then once it becomes slow compared to the market I start overclocking to keep up. It's worked for me since 2001, and I'm only just on my 3rd PC.

        For what it's worth, I prefer the Windows 8 start screen as I use my computer on my main television, and at 40" it would look a hell of a lot better than just a plain old desktop.

  92. Dave
    June 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    You should install or teamviewer, too. It makes remote access much easier if there's a shortcut on the desktop!

    • Nahum Larios
      June 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      there is also VNC as an application of Chrome and its very neat.

  93. willrun4fun
    June 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I prefer Libre Office.

    I have no idea what Steam is LOL. Not a gamer.

    Add a virus scanner like Avast on with Malwarebytes.

    Complete agreement on 7zip, that software is just a regular Swiss army knife. Opens anything!

    • the0therMike62 .
      June 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

      i was a fan of libre office until kingsoft's newest updated version came out.