Productivity Windows

7 More Default Windows Apps You Should Replace

Ben Stegner 14-04-2017

Do you hate some of the default Windows software? While there are some tools you have to live with, you can replace most with superior alternatives. We’ve taken a look at awesome programs to replace stock apps 5 Awesome Programs to Replace Default Windows Software and Apps Some Windows software just can't compete with superior alternatives. Here are five Windows default tools you should replace with free third-party apps. Read More , but those are far from the only ones.


Let’s explore more of best free apps that blow standard Windows tools away. These are total replacements — check out the best apps to enhance default features 7 Best Apps to Enhance Default Windows Features Windows has plenty of great default features, but some of them could be better. Here are seven awesome utilities to enhance anything in Windows. Read More if you just want to complement default programs.

1. Multi Commander > File Explorer

File Explorer, formerly Windows Explorer, has some great features like the Ribbon shortcuts and Favorites sidebar. While you can enhance it with lots of add-ons The 10 Best Windows File Explorer Extensions for File Management If you use Windows 10, you're using File Explorer. Try out these handy extensions to get more out of File Explorer! Read More , power users are better off replacing it with Multi Commander.

Multi Commander offers far more options than File Explorer. Its two-panel interface with tabs lets you quickly keep two locations open and move files between them without any extra software. You can quickly open a Notepad or Command Prompt window right from the app. A collection of buttons at the bottom of the window let you hide all folders, select all the images, or find duplicates Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools One of the fastest ways to clog up your hard drive is to store duplicate files. Most of the time, you probably aren’t even aware that you have duplicate files. They come from a variety... Read More .

multi commander windows app

And those are just the surface features. Dig into Multi Commander and you’ll find a robust search function, easy file renamer, and useful folder comparison options. It even includes a Registry editor right inside the app. If you browse the files on your PC with any regularity, use this tool and you’ll have so much more power while doing so. The File Explorer can’t compete.


DownloadMulti Commander

2. Mailbird > Windows Mail

Not everybody needs a desktop email app You Should Ditch Webmail for a Desktop Email Client If... A few years ago, webmail was all the rave. Wonder whether it's time to switch back to a desktop email client? Look no further. We show you the merits of a local mail service. Read More , since most webmail clients are solid. But if you prefer managing your inbox(es) from a dedicated app, the Windows Mail app is what Windows 10 provides out of the box. It’s a functional program, but doesn’t particularly excel in any area.

There are tons of desktop mail clients The 5 Best Free Email Clients for Your Desktop PC Want the best free email client? We've compiled the best email software for Windows, Mac, and Linux that won't cost you a dime. Read More , but we think Mailbird is a great choice. It’s slick, customizable, and lets you integrate many additional apps if you want. Link Mailbird with and you can organize your emails into tasks. Or bring in your existing Google Calendar events to keep track of everything in one place.

If you don’t think it will distract you too much Focus! 4 Best Tools To Temporarily Block Facebook & Co You're not alone, we have all done it - wasting hours browsing the web instead of getting stuff done. Need a spike in productivity? Find the best tools for escaping social media here. Read More , you can also connect your WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger accounts to chat with friends right from the app. It supports multiple layouts so you keep the most important information in front of you. You can add up to three accounts and manage them all in one big inbox if you like.


It’s free, with a $12-per-year Pro upgrade unlocking a few extra features. For those who live in their email, Mailbird gives you more than Mail ever could.


3. EaseUS Todo Backup > Windows Backup

Backing up your computer is essential 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 and if you’re not doing so, you run a huge risk of losing data. Thankfully, it’s not hard to set up a backup system at no cost.

On its own, Windows provides the File History tool and the old Windows 7 Backup and Restore. File History is basic and saves copies of your important documents so you can recover old versions. The Windows 7 tool is okay, but it’s clunky and doesn’t offer you many options.


You could choose from a lot of backup options 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 , but EaseUS Todo Backup is a great pick. It lets you create full, incremental, and differential backups. Novice users can get a backup running without much fuss — you can even back up to cloud storage if you prefer. If you’re migrating disks, you can back up an entire hard drive.

EaseUS Todo Free provides everything you need, and lets you manage your backups in a much more intuitive way than the Windows Backup.

DownloadEaseUS Todo Backup Free

4. IrfanView > Photos

Windows Photo Viewer was the standard tool for opening image files until Windows 8. After Microsoft introduced the new Photos app with a few tricks 10 Hidden Windows 10 Photo App Tricks You Must Know Windows 10's default Photos app can handle most photo editing tasks with ease. We'll show you where to find and how to use Photo's lesser-known features. Read More , Photo Viewer was sent to the background.


Photos is okay, but the best replacement you’ll find for working with images is IrfanView.

irfanview windows

This strangely-named tool has been around since 1996. It opens images more quickly than Photos, and lets you perform basic tasks like resizing, rotating, and cropping with keyboard shortcuts. If you need a little more, you can manipulate photos without opening Paint.NET or another editing app. Placing text, applying a variety of effects, adding an image border, and replacing colors are all supported.

Even with advanced plugins How to Edit Your Pictures for Free with IrfanView Plugins IrfanView is a free image viewer for Windows. With the right plugins, you can turn it into a powerful photo editor. We show you how you can use IrfanView to improve your photos. Read More , it won’t replace a powerful image editor like Photoshop, but that’s not what it’s intended for. IrfanView is snappier than Photos and gives you more options for editing images without ever leaving the viewer.


5. Panda Free Antivirus > Windows Defender

Gone are the days when you had to hunt down an antivirus for Windows right away. Since Windows 8, Microsoft has included Windows Defender as the built-in solution. It’s a decent tool and you can get by with it 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 , but there are better free antivirus apps available.

Many free antivirus apps The 10 Best Free Antivirus Software No matter what computer you're using, you need antivirus protection. Here are the best free antivirus tools you can use. Read More like Avira and Avast install a bunch of extra junk that you don’t need, which is annoying. Our pick is Panda Free Antivirus. As long as you skip the “sponsored offers” during setup and uncheck the Panda News option, you won’t see any nagging from the app. Since it’s a cloud antivirus, the work isn’t done on your machine — freeing up resources. It’s all topped off with a sleek interface and great protection.

panda antivirus windows

If you like to tinker, Panda lets you schedule scans, exclude files and folders, and vaccinate USB drives. Panda Antivirus is more powerful than Windows Defender without being overwhelming like some other tools.

DownloadPanda Free Antivirus

6. Process Explorer > Task Manager

The Task Manager gives you one place to see what’s happening on your computer. It collects what apps and services are running, how many resources are in use, and lets you manage active users. While there’s nothing wrong with the Task Manager 5 Powerful Alternatives to the Windows Task Manager The Windows Task Manager is good, but it lacks a few features. Try these alternative task managers for Windows instead! Read More , Process Explorer expands on everything it can do.

Open Process Explorer and you’ll see a similar window, but with so much more information. Processes are organized by app, so you can see the dozen instances of Chrome all in one place. Colors let you easily distinguish between services, your processes, and suspended apps. Right-click any entry to get more information on it, such as a quick Google search or the ability to bring the app behind a process to the front of your screen. You can even send a process right to VirusTotal to check for malware How to Handle Suspicious Windows Task Manager Processes CTRL + ALT + DEL aka three-finger salute is the quickest way to add to your confusion. Sorting through Task Manager Processes, you may notice something like svchost.exe using 99% of your CPU. So now... Read More .

It might overwhelm you at first, but take some time to learn how Process Explorer works and you’ll never go back to the Task Manager.

DownloadProcess Explorer

7. SpeedCrunch > Calculator

The Windows Calculator doesn’t get enough love 10 Neglected Windows Calculator Features That Are Super Useful The Calculator app for Windows 10 has lots of cool uses. Here are the best Windows calculator functions you should know. Read More . It includes several modes and even some quick forms to help you convert values.

This is fine for quick calculations, but the more powerful SpeedCrunch takes it up a few levels. Among other things, SpeedCrunch makes it easier to use parenthesis than the Windows Calculator.

speedcrunch windows

It also includes a host of built-in functions for calculating common values, so you don’t have to open a separate window to calculate absolute deviation. You can create your own functions and use variables, too. Auto-complete ensures you don’t have to type it all out.

Furthermore, the app includes common formulas and over 150 scientific constants. Add in syntax highlighting, full keyboard support, and a customizable interface, and you’ve got a calculator that doesn’t feel limited at all.


Have You Replaced More Apps?

For almost all users, these seven apps beat the default offerings. There’s nothing awful about any of these Windows programs, but why stick with inferior versions of the tools you use every day? Give these ones a try and you’re sure to find them more productive and powerful than what you’re used to.

Looking for more software recommendations? Check out the apps everyone should install on a new PC New PC? 15 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First Got a new computer or just reinstalled Windows? These essential apps are must-have software for Windows 10, no matter what! Read More .

Now we want to know which Windows apps you’re replaced with an alternate tool. Will you try any of these after reading about them? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Antivirus, Calculator, Data Backup, Desktop Email Client, File Explorer, Image Editor, Windows Defender, Windows Mail, Windows Task Manager.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. George
    April 28, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I use a program called CCalc from Zosoft for my calculation needs and was wondering if anyone knows if there is a way to change it to my default calculator as in by just pressing Windows+R and typing calc or ccalc, I'd like my calculator program to open.

  2. Morgan43
    September 4, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I'm using PhotoViewerPro, it's a great tool for viewing and editing photos.

  3. Alexander
    June 6, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Got it! Great Article. I can also suggest KrojamSoft PhotoViewerPro. It’s a simple but powerful photo viewer app

  4. Steve
    April 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    I find the program FastStone Image Viewer is great. Excellent batch conversion on photos. Better than irfanview, imo.

  5. Nadeem A Khan
    April 16, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Bingo!! It's just what I've been looking for. Great article:)

    April 15, 2017 at 8:47 am

    SpeedCrunch looks very exciting!

    • Ben Stegner
      April 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      I was happy to find it myself when doing research for this article and I love it! Much more freeing than the standard Windows calculator. It's on my Taskbar now!

  7. steve
    April 14, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Notepad++ > notepad
    Chrome > Internet Explorer, Edge, etc.
    Polarr > Photos
    FreeCommander > File Explorer
    Open Live Writer > Live Writer

  8. Ebbe K
    April 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Notepad++ > notepad
    HP41 emulator > calculator
    Chrome > Internet Explorer, Edge, etc.
    Take Command > cmd.exe (but it's not free)

    • Doc
      April 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      RPN calculator? Meh.

    • billdehaan
      April 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Take Command is not free.

      Take Command Light Edition (TCC/LE) is free., for those interested.