The lesser-known apps that everyone should install on a new Windows PC
One of the best parts of buying a new computer is deleting all the bloatware and replacing it with your favorite programs. Of course, you probably have a list of apps installed by default. But if you only stick to what you know, there are probably some hidden gems you’re missing out on. Here are 16 such apps that everyone should download for their new PC.
First, the point
Some apps are so ubiquitous that it doesn’t take much convincing, so I’ll throw those out first. OK
- Firefox: Although Chrome and its derivatives have taken over the Internet, we still recommend Firefox for its excellent balance between new features and privacy. Get these accessoriesand you will never look back.
- VLC media player: If you watch videos on your computer, you should get VLC Media Player. It plays every video file you can and it’s been rock solid for decades.
- 7-Zip: This is the best application for compressing and decompressing files (for most people). 7-Zip is free and supports all popular compression formats such as zip, rar and 7z.
- Sumatra PDF: This is a fast and easy PDF reader. Get this if you don’t want your browser to open all PDF files.
- IrfanView: If you want an image viewer, look no further than IrfanView. It also has some basic batch processing and editing options.
Whether it’s a new machine or a clean install of Windows on your old computer, PatchMyPC obligatory. It shows you a list of useful applications and allows you to select the ones you want on your computer. Once selected, click a button and PatchMyPC will install all the apps at once.
It also installs these apps in the background, so you can continue working or playing on your computer without interruption. Even if you’ve already set up your machine, you can always use PatchMyPC to quickly update all your apps. It even automatically updates apps that require manual installation whenever a new version is released.
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Microsoft PowerToys is a set of tools that add advanced features such as window management, quick mouse cursor location, and Spotlight-like search functionality to your computer. Take the time to look through your toolbox to find the ones you use the most. We have a handy list to help you with thistoo.
Portmaster is a useful firewall app to prevent apps and services from calling home. In practice, it shows you a list of applications that communicate with various servers on the Internet and allows you to prevent them from doing so.
Some of these connections are made to check for application updates and other useful tasks, but some of these pings are unnecessary. You can easily check and block them with Portmaster. The app also lets you choose privacy-friendly DNS services like Cloudflare DNS or AdGuard DNS, which automatically block trackers and malware.
All is a free application that significantly speeds up searches on your Windows PC by indexing the names of all the files on your computer. Returns a result fast. If you remember a certain file name or file type, but aren’t sure where you saved the document on your computer, Everything helps you find it quickly.
Want an update to your Windows default screenshot tool? ShareX it’s all you’ll ever need. It doesn’t look great, but it works incredibly well and is very configurable. You can set up ShareX for complex workflows, such as uploading screenshots to multiple cloud locations at once, or simply save screenshots to the clipboard.
The app also supports screen recording, capturing GIFs, and scrollable screenshots. If you feel your devices are overloaded, see our guide to easily configure ShareX.
If you have a personal music library, you should check it out MusicBee. It’s great for managing and playing songs from your own music collection. I’ve been using it to stream hi-res audio files from a home server and it’s been a great experience so far. The app adds large libraries quite quickly and even scans the library quickly when adding new music.
Caliber the best app for bibliophiles, especially those with ebook readers. It can handle a large library of eBooks and convert them to formats suitable for almost any eBook reading device.
It works especially well with your Kindle and you may find yourself using it to send all your ebooks from your computer to your ebook reader. Caliber is also a suitable e-book reader app for those who prefer to read books on their computer.
If you want a good free writing app for Windows, give it a try Obsidian. It has a nice interface, including a handy, confusing font. The app supports Markdown, which makes it great for those who publish their words online.
You can also use Obsidian as a logging application and learn more about that this guide.
Everyone should use a password manager and On Bitward is the best free option for most people. Its free tier has almost every feature you could ever need from a password manager, and the app is available on all popular platforms, meaning your passwords will be available on all your devices.
If you’re not already using a password manager, you are it’s hard to find a better solution than Bitwarden. If you’re willing to pay for a better app interface on Apple devices, document storage, and better password sharing features, then 1 Password an excellent alternative.
FXSound is a great free equalizer and volume control app. It includes a lot of useful preset equalizers that optimize the sound output for different types of sounds. For example, movie presets automatically increase the volume of dialogue and decrease other sounds. Many modern movies have incredibly low dialogue volume for some inexplicable reason, and you can easily fix this with FXSound.
Always keep a bootable USB drive nearby because you never know when you’ll need it. If your computer is infected or your hard drive crashes, you can use a bootable USB drive to boot into your desired operating system and troubleshoot problems.
Ventoy is a great app for this because you only need to format the USB drive once. From there, you can copy as many OS image (iso) files as you want, and you’ll be able to boot into any of the OSes you copy to the drive.