If you want to find great free software that is well supported, annoyance free, and works well, then start here.
Any person setting up or cleaning up a Windows PC should take a look at the list below.
- Ninite: This site / tool is great! You just tick off all the great free software you want to install, then download the installation tool. This little program will download and install all of the software you ticked off, skipping unwanted toolbars, ads, and other annoying stuff. It will also automatically skip things that you have already installed. The programs in Ninite that I reccommend are:
- Firefox Browser
- Sumatra PDF – PDF Reader
- LibreOffice – for editing / viewing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc (Similar to MS Office)
- CDBurnerXP – for burning CDs / DVDs
- TeraCopy – Great copy tool
- Glary – Windows cleanup tool
- MalawareBytes – a different sort of malware detection / scanning software. I usually check things with both an anti-virus program and MalawareBytes
- Music Bee – Excellent music manager and player
- VLC – video / audio player that doesn’t require any Codecs to be installed
- Audacity – if you want a good sound file editor (MP3, Wav, etc)
- Handbrake – Converts videos to many formants
- WinRAR – great for creating / opening compressed files of many types
- Avast – Decent anti-virus software thats not too annoying. Just remember to turn off the sounds!
- Windows Defender / Essentials – antivirus that works well, very unintrusive. Built in to Windows 10
- qBittorrent – do you have to ask…. ?
- Steam – Great platform for browsing / buying games. Lots of free games on there too.
- DropBox – my preferred web storage too. Integrates very well into Windows 7 / 8 / 10
- Inkscape – Handy vector drawing program, similar to CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
- Krita – Great image editing and artwork drawing application
- Blender – Top 3D creation tool
- HTC Home: This is a stylish weather / clock for your Windows desktop
- LastPass: Excellent password manager. Can take some time to set up and understand how it works, but it is worth it. Once you have put your passwords into LastPass, you can then clean them up to improve your digital security
- Light Adjusting Wallpaper Changer: Manage all of your wallpaper images more effectively, with many features that improve on standard wallpaper changers
- Rest Relax Reminder: An advanced alarm reminder program that will encourage you to take regular breaks
- Moonlight Game Streaming: Stream your games across your network. Very fast and lightweight. Needs an nVidia video card, and works best on a 5G wifi network.
- Playnite: Excellent game library manager that combines your game libraries from all of the main game services, into one organisable library. Steam, Battle.Net, GoG, Origin, uPlay, Twitch, Epic, Bethesda, and itch.io are all supported.
- emClient: Very handy and lightweight email application that has features comparable to the top applications (eg. Outlook, Thunderbird, etc)
Pro Tip: Re-run the Ninite installer you downloaded, and it will update all of the listed applications with their newest version (skipping ones that are current).
If you have any suggestions on any other great free software to add to the list, please let me know in the comments below.