Useful Windows Apps

Useful Windows Apps

Anyone who has used Windows in more than one version knows that no matter how many features Microsoft adds to its operating system, there are always new apps and utilities to improve your experience. In last year’s edition, we highlighted a few good ones; this year, we have a few new ones to add to the mix. Consider installing some (or all) of these if you have a brand new system.


You’ll almost certainly want an image manipulation tool for your new PC, and while Adobe Photoshop remains the king in terms of capabilities, acquiring it means you’ll be locked into membership with Adobe. For some, that’s OK, but if you want a slim, competent photo tool that can be installed on as many machines as you want, Affinity Photo is a better choice. The UI is comparable to Photoshop, so veterans won’t be lost, and the developers of Affinity Photo are constantly adding new features.


It should go without saying that utilizing a solid password manager is one of the most crucial ways to avoid identity theft and keep track of all those hundreds of passwords you’ve set over the years. While there are many solid ones available, 1Password and LastPass are two of the most popular, and you can’t go wrong with either of them. Both will appear to save your passwords, both will instantly add your ID and passwords to your apps, and both will suggest different password combinations to keep bad actors guessing. You can test them both out and decide which one is better for you.


The amount of storage space on a hard drive is limited, and it can quickly fill up. You’ll try (and fail) to install something because something else is taking up space on your hard drive. TreeSize Free is an excellent free tool to have because it allows you to see exactly what is taking up the most space. It may inform you of things you already know, such as the fact that your photo collection occupies half of your hard disk. However, in other circumstances, it reveals some unused, dormant files that, if erased, can free up many gigabytes of space.


LibreOffice Writer is a good choice if you’d rather use a local client to produce your documents rather than a less secure online word processor — and you don’t want to pay for Microsoft Word. Over time, this free program has evolved into a sophisticated, very useful word processor with many, if not all, of the functionality found in more expensive professional products.


When I was still using Windows 8, I was infected with drive-by malware, which prevented me from rebooting or using my anti-virus program — or any other executable file. If I hadn’t had Malwarebytes on my hard disk, I would have been completely wrecked. It identified and totally removed the evil from my machine after I started it up (and yes, it did start up despite the malware). Since then, I’ve made sure to keep a copy on hand and run it every now and again just to be sure. It’s one of the most powerful anti-malware programs available, and the disinfecting version is free for personal use.


Opera GX is a modified version of the Opera browser designed to work better with games. The browser’s unique capabilities allow you to get the most out of both gaming and browsing.

GX Control; Do you require every ounce of power your system has to offer? There’s no need to shut off your browser. GX Control allows you to limit the amount of RAM and CPU your browser uses. This browser is a must-have especially if you like to play browser games like 20p roulette or others.


Although media players have considerably improved in the 20 years or so that VLC has been around, it is still my go-to for a simple, functional, and useful Windows player. (Macs, iPhones, Chrome OS, Android, and a number of GNU/Linux systems are also supported.) It’s easy to use, efficient, and supports a wide range of audio and video codecs. It just works.


Podcasts and other forms of audio entertainment have been increasingly popular in recent years. Audacity is a decent audio editor to install if you’re an audio maker or want to be one. It contains a number of recording and editing capabilities, as well as support for 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit audio, a number of plug-ins, and previews of the effects those plug-ins will have – all for free.


Some things are worth repeating, therefore we’re recommending Wox once more. Wox is a Mac-style launcher for Windows that allows you to rapidly find apps and folders as well as search the web. It’s very similar to Alfred on the Mac, and it’s a far more powerful search tool than Windows’ built-in search. Wox also allows plug-ins, allowing you to customize your search results and even translate languages directly from the launcher.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top