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45 Free and Useful Windows Applications

45 Free and Useful Windows Applications
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45 Best Free Windows Apps

Sometimes, the best things in life are free, and that's especially true in the software world. Between the explosion of freeware for the desktop and open source programs, there's a whole world of excellent free apps out there. Here are our favorite free downloads for Windows users, whether you're running Windows 8, Windows 7 or XP.

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  • 16 Hide
    MrBig55 , August 12, 2011 2:39 AM
    IZArc - 7zip does everything IZArc does, and it works in every OSes so no need for IZArc.

    TreeSize Free - WinDirStat does the same as TreeSize Free but is completely free and not a free version of a shareware.

    Defraggler - Sometimes does not defrag the hdd even though you want to defrag it cause it needs it. Furthermore there is no log options. So JKdefrag does a better job and has logging options. Also running it via command prompt gives more control than what defraggler can give you in command prompt.

    Audacity - For years I've been using Goldwave instead of Audacity. Also it have loads of functionality that audacity misses completely.

    Everything else is pretty much the best and they are NEEDED these days. You forgot CCCP as we all need every codecs for playback via VLC or any other software.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2011 7:31 PM
    Not a bad list. Paint.net and Notepad++ (for anyone doing any programming) are especially useful. I think I'd add Irfanview for image editing as well (it has excellent batch processing abilities if you want to resize or rename a large number of pictures). Media Player Classic - Home Cinema is also rather nice for playing videos.
  • 2 Hide
    mitch074 , August 11, 2011 8:07 PM
    MPC-HC, coupled with ffdshow, can playback almost everything VLC can. However, VLC can also stream video, convert them, dump broadcasts to file and even rip DVDs and be driven through the command line (ideal for a batch convert).
    I wonder though, why Paint .Net and not the Gimp?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2011 11:03 PM
    How about Secunia PSI to keep all of these customized apps updated with all the latest bug fixes and security patches?
  • 4 Hide
    WR2 , August 11, 2011 11:10 PM
    Hey Rico! you been peeking at my PC?
    I like your list. Good job putting this together so we can share it with others.

    That only one I might suggest adding is Windows Live Essentails 2011.
  • 5 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 12, 2011 2:09 AM
    +1 for unlocker.
  • 16 Hide
    MrBig55 , August 12, 2011 2:39 AM
    IZArc - 7zip does everything IZArc does, and it works in every OSes so no need for IZArc.

    TreeSize Free - WinDirStat does the same as TreeSize Free but is completely free and not a free version of a shareware.

    Defraggler - Sometimes does not defrag the hdd even though you want to defrag it cause it needs it. Furthermore there is no log options. So JKdefrag does a better job and has logging options. Also running it via command prompt gives more control than what defraggler can give you in command prompt.

    Audacity - For years I've been using Goldwave instead of Audacity. Also it have loads of functionality that audacity misses completely.

    Everything else is pretty much the best and they are NEEDED these days. You forgot CCCP as we all need every codecs for playback via VLC or any other software.
  • -8 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 12, 2011 9:00 AM
    Quote:
    I wonder though, why Paint .Net and not the Gimp?


    Don't know... maybe because Gimp has horrible interface and last time it took me 10 minutes to simply find where I need to change the resolution?

    Probably just me, though.

    P.S. K-Lite >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> VLC.
  • 4 Hide
    ElectroGoofy , August 12, 2011 2:33 PM
    Launchy... I think I'll just stick with my built-in start menu. Pretty much everything I need, other than searching.

    P.S. You don't have to click anyting to open the start menu... hit the Windows Key to open it and start typing (for Windows Vista and 7).
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 12, 2011 5:09 PM
    Got it, got it, got it, ooh something new to play with... :~) Seriously nice list tho
  • -5 Hide
    Horhe , August 12, 2011 6:04 PM
    I'd recommend PotPlayer over VLC.
    IrfanView is a good alternative to Picasa.
    I haven't used Defraggler, but MyDefrag (former JKDefrag) does a very good job.
    Notepad++ is the best text editor there is, though there are some things from SciTE that I miss.
  • 0 Hide
    Horhe , August 12, 2011 6:06 PM
    I forgot about TortoiseSVN, developer's best friend.
  • -4 Hide
    CaedenV , August 12, 2011 9:58 PM
    As great as VLC is on older OSs I find that WMP is better than VLC on Win7 and Visa systems. It just causes so many noticeable problems with interlacing, even on progressive content. It use to be the best thing out there... but now it takes longer to load, longer to mount a file to play, is weird about subtitle and audio tracks, and generally does not play back as smooth as other players out there. When WMP does a better job then you know you are in troubble.
  • 1 Hide
    hjominbonrun , August 13, 2011 11:19 AM
    Very useful list
  • 0 Hide
    c3h8 , August 13, 2011 5:52 PM
    7-Zip is my extractor of choice, It's rare to recommend an application to supplement it, but for pure file extraction throw in ExtractNow http://www.extractnow.com/ for a great light-weight batch extractor.

    No mention of Opera is sad, when you start packing on tabs it shines. Good research papers are by no means written with only one tab open for reference.
  • 0 Hide
    JackFrost860 , August 13, 2011 11:59 PM
    Can anyone recomend a free (or low cost) video editor? I would like to do some basic cut and splice of video clips i have films with my camera.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 14, 2011 4:58 AM
    You forgot WinDirStat and Avira Free Antivirus.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 15, 2011 5:04 AM
    MOZILLA FIREFOX 5.0... YES....I USE IT!
  • 2 Hide
    kittle , August 15, 2011 9:51 PM
    MrBig55 WinDirStat does the same as TreeSize Free but is completely free and not a free version of a shareware

    Thanks for the tip there. TreeSize fell over when I tried scan a networked drive. But WinDirStat is busily scanning away.
  • 0 Hide
    army_ant7 , August 16, 2011 10:08 PM
    Kind of concerned and unsure though of the media format patent issues with the media converters.
  • 0 Hide
    slicedtoad , August 18, 2011 2:00 AM
    i find myself pirating less and less as better prgms come out free. It's amazing that free programs like vlc, 7zip, daemon tools (you only need the light version), img burn and notepad++ actually work better than paid programs.

    Free AVs still need a lot of work though. Strangely, free AVs that only cover a portion of problems (MalwareBytes, SpyBot, etc) actually work quite well. Free avast/avg though... bleh.

    Word processors and the like also need work. I tried switching to open office about a year ago and didn't survive an hour.
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