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15 Essential Programs for Windows

Whether you’re a gamer, an enthusiast, a professional, a creator, or a casual, there are a ton of Windows applications out there to improve your usage. In this list, we give you the ones that we deem essential, and then some.

While each category of user has their programs specific to their own unique needs, these 15 free programs will be of good use to all of us.

1.) Google Chrome

If you are running Windows 10, then right out of the box, it will come with Microsoft Edge, the successor to the infamous Internet Explorer. However, you may want something else. Most of us have already gotten used to and loved Google Chrome over the years. It is a clean and fast browser that syncs your browsing data across all your devices, making for a seamless experience within the Google ecosystem. Not a fan? You can also try Firefox or Opera.

Chrome Desktop • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

2.) Malwarebytes

While not completely free, Malwarebytes is still a powerful security tool, even past its 14 day trial. Malwarebytes is a solid option for protection for malware and spyware, and even has a reputation for protecting against threats that other programs miss.

Malwarebytes • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

3.) PC Decrapifier

If you’re using a laptop, pre-built, or all-in-one, there is a handsome chance that your computer came with a bunch of bloatware. PC Decrapifier is the simple solution to clean up and remove all the bloatware that is effectively just slowing your system down.

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Pc Decrapifier • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

4.) CCleaner

Taking cleaning even further, CCleaner deletes unnecessary files, Windows Registry entries, duplicate files, and more, saving you some extra space.

Ccleaner • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

5.) VLC Media Player

Look no further than VLC for playing the various forms of multimedia files, and even Audio CD’s and DVD’s. Compatibility wise, it is miles ahead of Microsoft’s proprietary Movies and TV application, supporting a wider range of video formats.

Vlc • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

6.) Spotify

The world’s most popular music streaming app, the desktop version of Spotify is a very welcome addition to your suite of new software, especially if you are already using it on your other devices.

Spotify • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

7.) MusicBee

If music streaming isn’t your thing, or you still like to keep a personal digital music collection, MusicBee is a great music player. It’s simple, lightweight, customizable, and packed with all the features you’d need.

Musicbee • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

8.) TeamViewer

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Whether you’re the techie friend who fixes your friends’ computers, or you’re the latter, TeamViewer could save you a fixing trip. It allows you to remotely connect and control another PC that is also running TeamViewer.

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Teamviewer • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

9.) 7-Zip

While Windows can create and open .ZIP archives, it does not have the ability to do the same with archives of .RAR and .7z formats. With 7-Zip, you can create, open, and even encrypt archives of many different formats.

7Zip • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

10.) Sumatra PDF

Fast, light, and simple, Sumatra PDF is no less than a great alternative PDF reader to the clunky, and sometimes bothersome Adobe Reader.

Sumatra Pdf • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

11.) LibreOffice

While online office solutions like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, are becoming a better option nowadays, thanks to real-time online saving features, it is still nice to have an offline office suite. If your system didn’t come with Microsoft Office and you don’t want to shell out any cash, LibreOffice is a great feature-packed, 100% free alternative.

Libreoffice • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

12.) Paint.NET

While most don’t need an image editing program as elaborate as Adobe Photoshop, image editors may still be relevant to less advanced users. Paint.NET is a light, but powerful and intuitive image editing program with support for layers, special effects, and a variety of tools. It manages to do these while being free.

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Paint.net • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

13.) ShareX

Press the ‘PrtSc’ key, open Paint, press CTRL + V, save as JPEG. Sound all too familiar? ShareX makes taking screenshots easier, allowing you to capture one with a single keystroke. It can capture the entire screen, windows, or selected regions. Screenshots are saved locally, but can also be uploaded automatically to your image host of choice.

Sharex • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

14.) F.lux

We mentioned Twilight for Android in our previous guide. F.lux functions in the same way, quietly sitting in your system tray. It adjusts the color temperature of your display at night to filter out the harsh blue light it emits, making it easier on the eyes.

• 15 Essential Programs For Windows

15.) CPUID HWMonitor

This one is for the intermediate to advanced user, but is still a valuable tool. HWMonitor is a monitoring program that reads your computer’s vital statistics, the temperatures, voltages, and fan speeds.

Hwmonitor • 15 Essential Programs For Windows

If you took our advice and installed at least a few of these, your Windows PC is surely better optimized for performance, and you now have a few cool tools as well.

Did we miss anything? Be sure to leave a comment down below. We’d like to see the discussion continue.

Avatar Of Joey Maceda

Joey is YugaTech's Video Production Manager. He constantly puts effort towards his aspirations to be a filmmaker and journalist... when he's not riding his bike, playing games on his PC, watching anime, cooking, and petting his dogs.

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4 years ago

Silent hero… abe add to your list this powerful tool.

Harddisk sentinel

It will notify you once harddisk develop a bad sector and it can also predict your hard drive before it crash.

4 years ago

I used snipaste best alternative to snipping tool

4 years ago

OneNote is excellent for notes.

4 years ago

Where’s Clean Master? Possibly one of the best free apps out there for Windows.

4 years ago

I still use Winamp for my music and Windows Media Player Classic for the videos.

For me Windows Media Player Classic is much better and lighter than VLC.

For compression I used Winrar and for the Antivirus and Malware I used Semantic Endpoint Protection because it’s so effective in detecting a viruses and Malwares and also it protects you from harmful sites.

4 years ago

Rip winamp. Di na nakasabay sa pag-usad ng technology.

Tobey Valentine
Tobey Valentine
Reply to  Archie
4 years ago

Okay nga yung Winamp. The best para sakin yun!

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