16 free Windows programs everyone should have

1. Browser: Google Chrome

  • Alternatives: Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge.

Perhaps, the web browser belongs to the title of the most popular program for the PC. After all, it is in the browser that we spend most of the time working at the computer.

Chrome occupies the leading position in this category of programs. First, it supports a huge number of useful extensions that complement the standard browser capabilities. Second, Chrome is cross-platform and syncs user data across devices. In addition, the developers quickly implement support for all modern technologies. And therefore, it is reasonable to install Google Chrome as a browser.

Скачать Google Chrome →

2. BitTorrent client: uTorrent

  • Alternatives: qBittorrent.

The browser is not suitable for downloading large programs, videos and other large files: the download may break at any time and progress will be lost. And the speed is unlikely to please. For these purposes, other applications are intended that quickly download files of any size and are not afraid of connection problems.

A good example is the uTorrent program. It combines high speed of work and a large number of functions for customizing downloads. For this, you can even put up with built-in ads.

Скачать uTorrent →

3. Media player: VLC

  • Alternatives: GOM Player.

The preinstalled Windows player can handle most basic formats, but may not be able to handle some of the videos available on discs and on the web. In such a case, VLC player is worth trying as an alternative. This simple yet powerful player is a cross-platform media combine that plays a wide variety of multimedia formats, including video streaming.

Скачать VLC →

4. Music player: MusicBee

  • Alternatives: AIMP.
See also  Gimp 2.4.1: now stable for Windows too

If you are still listening to music downloaded to your computer, you need a good music player. Winamp was once the best option, but after its resale, the future of the project was in doubt and users had to look for a replacement. Choosing a clear favorite is not easy. But if you’re looking for a fast, beautiful and functional player, take a look at MusicBee.

Its features include syncing music between devices, playing podcasts and web radio, mini-player, changeable skins, media library, powerful equalizer and plugins for new features.

Скачать MusicBee →

5. Messenger: Telegram

  • Alternatives: Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger.

In recent years, Telegram has become one of the most popular instant messengers in the post-Soviet space. This fast, convenient and functional service is used for both everyday and corporate tasks. Telegram is capable of covering all communication needs, unless video is important to you. If its support is needed, you can additionally install, for example, Zoom.

Скачать Telegram →

6. Graphic editor: GIMP

  • Alternatives: Paint.NET.

A graphic editor is an indispensable tool for photographers and designers, which can be useful to any other person. If for professionals there is Photoshop and similar programs, for the tasks of a simple user, GIMP will suffice.

This convenient and fast editor will come to the rescue when you need to crop an image, resize it, correct colors or apply annotations.

Скачать GIMP →

7. Cloud Drive: Google Drive

  • Alternatives: «Яндекс.Диск», OneDrive, Dropbox.

Облачный диск решает две важнейшие задачи при работе с документами: делает файлы доступными для разных пользователей и устройств, а также создаёт их резервные копии. Одной из лучших программ в этой категории можно считать Google Drive. Диск удобен в использовании, бесплатно предлагает 15 ГБ для хранения документов в облаке и интегрируется со множеством офисных сервисов Google.

Скачать Google Drive →

8. Archiver: 7 ‑ Zip

  • Alternatives: PeaZip.

One day you may come across an archived document that you cannot open without a special program. So it’s better to play it safe and install 7 ‑ Zip on your computer. This utility should solve all problems with reading and creating any file archives on a PC.

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Download 7 ‑ Zip →

9. PDF Viewer and Editor: Foxit Reader

  • Alternatives: Sumatra PDF.

You can open a PDF file for reading in any modern browser. But what if you need to not only familiarize yourself with the content of the document, but also edit it – make notes, add comments, or convert to another format? A special PDF editor is suitable for this. For example, Foxit Reader, which offers a middle ground between feature set, ease of use and speed.

Скачать Foxit Reader →

10. System cleaner: CCleaner

  • Alternatives: IObit Advanced SystemCare Free.

As you use the PC, garbage inevitably accumulates in the system, which is why it starts to give errors and slow down. The CCleaner utility is a versatile, simple and effective OS cleaner.

It frees up space on your hard drive, removes temporary files from your browser and other programs, and tidies up the Windows registry. CCleaner works in semi-automatic mode and does not require a lot of setup.

Скачать CCleaner →

11. Uninstaller: iObit Uninstaller Free

  • Alternatives: Wise Program Uninstaller, Geek Uninstaller, Revo Uninstaller Free.

The standard software removal method is not always effective. After uninstalling some programs, their files may remain on the computer, and some utilities generally refuse to leave the hard disk. Therefore, there are special cleaners that erase programs without leaving any residue.

One of the best uninstallers is iObit Uninstaller Free. It quickly scans the system for installed programs and allows you to uninstall unnecessary software, including browser extensions, in batch mode. The program is free, but occasionally displays ads.

IObit Uninstaller Free Download →

12. Adware Cleaner: Malwarebytes AdwCleaner

  • Alternatives: Avast Free Antivirus (antivirus with a built-in cleaning module).

There is such a category of malware as Adware. Having penetrated the computer, such software opens unwanted sites or displays advertising banners. Getting rid of it can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are special cleaners designed to combat Adware.

A good example is Malwarebytes’ AdwCleaner. This is perhaps the most famous of these utilities. The program has established itself as a simple and effective tool for cleaning your PC from ad junk. It is always useful to keep such a tool close at hand.

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Скачать Malwarebytes AdwCleaner →

13. Office suite: LibreOffice

  • Alternatives: Google services (“Docs”, “Sheets”, “Presentations”).

If you have to deal with presentations, spreadsheets and Word files, you cannot do without an office suite. To avoid paying for Microsoft apps, you can use Google’s suite of online services. But if you need programs for comfortable work without the Internet, you should take a closer look at LibreOffice. This package is completely free and supports Excel, Word and PowerPoint formats.

Скачать LibreOffice →

14. Disk Space Analyzer: TreeSize Free

  • Alternatives: WizTree.

If you run out of disk space, TreeSize Free will tell you which files are taking up the most space. It lists all folders and documents, sorted by size. This way, with TreeSize Free, you can quickly free up the space you need.

Скачать TreeSize Free →

15. Password Manager: KeePass

  • Alternatives: Dashlane.

Password managers eliminate the need to remember and manually enter passwords for sites and programs. These utilities are secure encrypted storage. You just have to remember one combination – from the manager himself, and the rest you can always view and copy inside the program.

KeePass may not boast a modern interface, but remains one of the few completely free password managers. And thanks to open source code, the user community can independently verify the reliability and security of the program.

Скачать KeePass →

16. Data recovery tool: Recuva

  • Alternatives: PC Inspector File Recovery.

What if you accidentally deleted an important file? At such a moment, data recovery utilities come in handy. The Recuva program cannot boast as many features as its paid counterparts. But in most situations it should be enough. And thanks to the simple menu, you will quickly understand its interface.

Скачать Recuva →

Did we miss something important? You can expand the list in the comments!

Этот материал впервые был опубликован в январе 2017 года. В июле 2020‑го мы обновили текст.

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