Free and Useful Windows Programs You Need to Try
In the early days of computing, we used to spend hours doing all of our computer tasks manually. But now, we’ve come a long way since the DOS days, and there are plenty of useful Windows programs that can help with organization, productivity, or just keeping track of things. Here are 12 free and useful Windows programs you need to try:
1. Avast!: for the infected
Avast is a free antivirus and anti-spyware program that can run on Windows 7, 8, Vista, and XP. If your computer is badly infected with viruses, it probably won’t take long before its performance starts going south. Avast can help keep your computer safe and running smoothly.
2. Comodo Backup: for the forgetful
Losing important files and media can be a nightmare, but Comodo Backup can help. It’s like an online hard drive that offers 10 GB of space for free, or 100 GB for $7.99 per month. The program runs on Windows systems as old as 2003.
3. WinDirStat: for the cluttered
If you’re running too many programs at once, your computer can start to slow down. WinDirStat is a program that can help you view your disk usage and clean things up if necessary. You’ll be able to see statistics as well as a visual display of your file types.
4. Lastpass: for the forgetful
We’ve all needed Lastpass at one point or another. The program recalls your important passwords by creating browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Never sit dumbfounded in front of an account login again!
5. Rainmeter: for the wallpaper junkie
Rainmeter is the perfect way to up the aesthetic value of your desktop and organize it at the same time. The program allows you to customize your desktop with memory and battery power, email, RSS feeds, weather forecasts, or whatever else you want to keep track of. Plus, they’re fun to build.
6. Defraggler: for the clean freak
Defraggler is your virtual spring cleaning program, sequencing “blocks” of content and freeing up space. It’s especially good to try if your computer has been running slow. Unlike most defragmentation programs, this one allows you to choose specific files instead of the whole drive.
7. Ultimate Windows Tweaker: for the customizer
This program will run on Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista, enabling you to “tweak” just about every feature you can imagine. Security, network, display, and other options allow you to set your computer up in the exact way you want it. This is great for those little annoyances you wish you could edit.
8. Breevy: for the timesaver
Breevy is certainly the product of a fast-paced, technological age. No longer do you have to type out full words and phrases that you use often. Just save an abbreviation in Breevy, and from then on you can type the abbreviation to make the full word or phrase appear. It also comes with a typo corrector and syncs with TextExpander (a similar program) via Dropbox.
9. CCleaner: for the hoarder
CCleaner is similar to Defraggler in cleaning and speeding up your computer. However, CCleaner wipes out your Browser’s temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, and autocomplete form history. Think of CCleaner as the poor guys who have to clean out a hoarder’s house. Think of Defraggler as the interior designers who go in afterwards and trying to make sense of what’s left.
10. XBMC: for the media junkie
XBMC is home theater software that allows you to view movies, shows, and pictures. You can also listen to music, play DVDs, and download an XBMC remote control on your iPhone. The program is open source with a 10-foot user interface (yea, get the popcorn ready). As of recently, you can even watch Netflix and download tons of other addons like weather forecasts, skins, and webscrapers.
Virtualbox is an open source program that enables you to run two operating systems at once. It’s useful for testing out new upgrades before installation, playing games, or running programs that are incompatible with your host system. With Virtualbox, you can use Windows as the host or guest system. There’s also a feature called Snapshots that allows you to revert back to a previously saved state.
Sometimes, Windows decides to be incredibly frustrating and not allow you to delete a file. Unlocker is the solution. Download Unlocker, right click those files, and select “Unlock” to get rid of them. That’s it!
In conclusion, these free and useful Windows programs can help make your computing experience smoother and less stressful. Avast can keep your computer safe from viruses, and Comodo Backup can help you keep important files and media safe. WinDirStat and Defraggler can help clean up your computer and keep it running smoothly, while Ultimate Windows Tweaker can help you customize your computer exactly the way you want it. Breevy can help save you time, Lastpass can help you remember your passwords, and Rainmeter can help organize your desktop. XBMC and Virtualbox can help you watch movies, shows, and pictures, and run two operating systems at once. And finally, Unlocker can help get rid of those pesky files that Windows won’t let you delete.
So go ahead and try out these programs. Your computer will thank you.