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Top 10 Free Programs for Windows

Arnox

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These are the programs I definitely use the most in my day to day computer use. If anyone has something better to recommend, please let me know down below! List will be in alphabetical order.

1. 7-Zip

EASILY one of the most used free programs I use next to my web browser and my media player. There are innumerable uses for an archival program, and chances are, if you browse the net at all, you're going to need one. This one's fast, accessible, and powerful.

2. Audacity

I don't use this one, or really any sound editor very much, but when I need it, I need it. I've also done a touch of sound remastering in it, so it's great for that too. You can also use to "download" any song that comes through your speakers/headphones/whatever. Make sure to download the sound drivers for your motherboard to do that though. And also make sure to download the lame_enc.dll file so you can work with MP3 files!

3. Everything

Normally, I'd just use Windows' built-in search, but it really can be ass sometimes if you're trying to find a file with keywords that AREN'T in the beginning of the file name and the file doesn't have spaces or somesuch to separate the words. That's where this tool really shines. It can do other things too, but I mostly use it to search through my hoards of pictures and gifs.

4. Firefox/Waterfox

Another of my, obviously, most used free programs. I used to use Chrome but it's just been steadily becoming more shit, so I bit the bullet and just transitioned over to Firefox. Haven't really had any problems since. You may want to use Waterfox though which is a fork of Firefox as I've heard Mozilla can be shady as fuck. Just what I heard though.

5. GIMP

The automatic go-to choice for anyone who wants to ditch Photoshop. And it's only gotten better over time. ESPECIALLY with the 2.10.x editions. There are two big problems with GIMP and that is that it's not entirely industry supported yet (or at least, not that I'm aware of) and it's... Not great for casual photo editing due simply to the learning curve it has. It's a very powerful photo-editing program, but hard to recommend if you just need to do simple things with it. Still, the Resynthesize plug-in you can download for it is INDISPENSABLE. It's worth getting just for that. It allows you to make GIMP auto-fill any selected part of an image with what it thinks should be there. It doesn't do a perfect job of course, but oftentimes, it's a LOT better than having to redo it all by hand, and you can edit out any small mistakes it makes if you need to.

6. Media Player Classic - Black Edition

Haha, you thought I was gonna put VLC on this list, didn't you. No. I mean, don't get me wrong. VLC is powerful. But I'm starting to REALLY not like it nowadays due to the simple fact that it now keeps bugging out over something every week or so. And I've had it do this on multiple computers, so I know it's not just my system. MPC just seems to work where VLC doesn't. And I think it reads just as many formats, but I could be wrong about that. Never seen a media format it couldn't play yet.

7. OpenOffice

LibreOffice is starting to take precedence, but when I used it, its kerning was awful. OO isn't perfect either, but I do think it's better. Microsoft Office seems to have the best kerning but that's not free, so this is what we got.

8. Paint.NET

The Notepad++ of Paint. When you need to do some quick image editing, but you don't wanna use the tinker toy variant that is Windows Paint or the complex behemoth that is GIMP. Paint.NET strikes the perfect balance between features and accessibility along with being just as modifiable as GIMP. Just make sure that you don't expect too much out of it and you'll be fine.

9. SyncToy 2.1 (x64)

This program was actually made a long time ago by Microsoft as part of their free "PowerToys" bundle for XP. Updates for it stopped finally in late 2009, but surprisingly, it looks it doesn't need them at all since it still works flawlessly with Windows 10. I use it all the time as an easy and quick backup tool for my personal files. It may not have as many features as other dedicated backup programs but I'm of the firm opinion that most users don't and won't ever need that kind of control anyway. I certainly don't at least.

10. qBittorrent

Like Audacity, I don't have all that much use for a torrent client, but when I need it, I need it. Unfortunately, the long ago trusted Bittorrent client has become INFESTED with ads that you can't shut off, so fuck 'em. Just use this instead. Does the job. Works great.

Honorable Mentions
Blender
FileZilla
ImgBurn
Inkscape
Notepad++
Open Broadcaster Software
Rainmeter
VeraCrypt
VMWare Workstation Player
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Messages
683
EDIT: Ok, I have a little more time to mention some of my favs that you skipped over.

1: Greenshot - It's the Windows Snipping tool, but done awesome. You can send your snips straight to Imgur if you want, as well as edit the pictures with a very nice picture editing tool. If you want to circle/box a part of the screen for your recipients, the box tool as a gorgeous drop shadow effect that makes the whole thing look very professional. Every time you use it, it's only a matter of a few clicks to get exactly what you want. It also auto-names your snips, so you can just keep snipping without taking breaks. Windows Snipping tool always defaults to the exact same file name, so you have to stop to rename or you're just going to overwrite what you needed.

2: Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP) - To extend off of Arnox's favorite media player, CCCP uses the same player, but it comes with basically every codec under the sun. After installing CCCP, the only time I've need an extra codec is if I'm doing some of my own transcoding, and it needs a better deinterlacer or something.

3: Resilio Sync - This keeps a folder the same on multiple computers, using bit torrent technology. I use it to "Cloud save" my emulators, as well as other games that don't have legit cloud support. I was considering suggesting setting it up for our community game nights, because I could just have a folder to dump a game in and everyone will get it.

4: OBS - Streaming software. I found both Steam and Nvidia offered some pretty easy one-click options to getting my gameplay online, so OBS takes just a little more effort, but it's still super easy to use and super powerful. I've heard of people using it for things it's not at all intended to do, but it will still faithfully do it because of how customizable it is. Since Steam only works some of the time and only for Steam users, and Nvidia now requires you to register your email just to use the service, OBS is the obvious choice.

5: Xvid4PSP - Originally made as a transcoder tool for putting working videos on your PSP, it ended up allowing you to transcode anything to anything. Using it, I recently was able to rip the audio track from Starship Troopers, dump it into Audacity, add in a track from Rifftrax, and then used it again to merge the audio back into the video. It's super easy to use too. Though, I've had some issues with the later releases because he changed the UI to be even easier to use, but then I get it to fail the jobs constantly too.
 

Epyc Wynn

Outlander
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Top 10 Windows 8.1 Programs:

1. AVCFree: Lets you easily burn, download, and convert videos from most sites as well as discs and files into nearly all known formats.

(Note: Suffers from some bundleware. Won't hurt your computer but it's annoying so having a Malwarebytes or Bitdefender type of adware-blocking application could be useful.)

2. OblyTile: Application for Windows 8.1 users that lets you create custom tiles for programs/folders, as well as links if you look up how.

3. Everything: Program that lets you search all files and folders on your computer by typing what you want; Windows does not by default properly fully do this, and takes a long time anyway whereas Everything is instant.

4. WinDirStat:
Program that lets to explore what's taking the most memory in your computer; known to lag hard but it's second to none.

5. Defraggler: Speeds up your computer by fixing corrupted files/memory in your computer.

6. Malwarebytes: Must-have malware-stomping program. Recommended to use in tandem with Bitdefender.

7. Bitdefender: Must-have virus/malware-stomping program. Recommended to use in tandem with Malwarebytes.

8. YoWindow: Temperature is shown in your taskbar; shows weather and weekly weather upon being clicked on.

9. Borderless Windowed: Lets you set buttons which make any window you're on go full screen, followed by fullscreen borderless, followed by going back to normal full screen. This can cause games/videos with forced borders or no fullscreen mode, to be borderless while taking up the full screen.

10. T-Clock: Gives you full customization control over your taskbar's clock, letting you change font style, size, color, and whether it shows time, date, day of the week, and in what ways.
 

Signa

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683
Oh shut, I forgot about windirstat. Defreaggler is great too, but with the rise of SSDs, it's becoming irrelevant.
 

Arnox

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Signa said:
EDIT: Ok, I have a little more time to mention some of my favs that you skipped over.

1: Greenshot - It's the Windows Snipping tool, but done awesome. You can send your snips straight to Imgur if you want, as well as edit the pictures with a very nice picture editing tool. If you want to circle/box a part of the screen for your recipients, the box tool as a gorgeous drop shadow effect that makes the whole thing look very professional. Every time you use it, it's only a matter of a few clicks to get exactly what you want. It also auto-names your snips, so you can just keep snipping without taking breaks. Windows Snipping tool always defaults to the exact same file name, so you have to stop to rename or you're just going to overwrite what you needed.

2: Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP) - To extend off of Arnox's favorite media player, CCCP uses the same player, but it comes with basically every codec under the sun. After installing CCCP, the only time I've need an extra codec is if I'm doing some of my own transcoding, and it needs a better deinterlacer or something.

3: Resilio Sync - This keeps a folder the same on multiple computers, using bit torrent technology. I use it to "Cloud save" my emulators, as well as other games that don't have legit cloud support. I was considering suggesting setting it up for our community game nights, because I could just have a folder to dump a game in and everyone will get it.

4: OBS - Streaming software. I found both Steam and Nvidia offered some pretty easy one-click options to getting my gameplay online, so OBS takes just a little more effort, but it's still super easy to use and super powerful. I've heard of people using it for things it's not at all intended to do, but it will still faithfully do it because of how customizable it is. Since Steam only works some of the time and only for Steam users, and Nvidia now requires you to register your email just to use the service, OBS is the obvious choice.

5: Xvid4PSP - Originally made as a transcoder tool for putting working videos on your PSP, it ended up allowing you to transcode anything to anything. Using it, I recently was able to rip the audio track from Starship Troopers, dump it into Audacity, add in a track from Rifftrax, and then used it again to merge the audio back into the video. It's super easy to use too. Though, I've had some issues with the later releases because he changed the UI to be even easier to use, but then I get it to fail the jobs constantly too.
Nice. OBS is already listed BTW.

Epyc Wynn said:
Top 10 Windows 8.1 Programs:

1. AVCFree: Lets you easily burn, download, and convert videos from most sites as well as discs and files into nearly all known formats.

2. OblyTile: Application for Windows 8.1 users that lets you create custom tiles for programs/folders, as well as links if you look up how.

3. Everything: Program that lets you search all files and folders on your computer by typing what you want; Windows does not by default properly fully do this, and takes a long time anyway whereas Everything is instant.

4. WinDirStat:
Program that lets to explore what's taking the most memory in your computer; known to lag hard but it's second to none.

5. Defraggler: Speeds up your computer by fixing corrupted files/memory in your computer.

6. Malwarebytes: Must-have malware-stomping program. Recommended to use in tandem with Bitdefender.

7. Bitdefender: Must-have virus/malware-stomping program. Recommended to use in tandem with Malwarebytes.

8. YoWindow: Temperature is shown in your taskbar; shows weather and weekly weather upon being clicked on.

9. Borderless Windowed: Lets you set buttons which make any window you're on go full screen, followed by fullscreen borderless, followed by going back to normal full screen. This can cause games/videos with forced borders or no fullscreen mode, to be borderless while taking up the full screen.

10. T-Clock: Gives you full customization control over your taskbar's clock, letting you change font style, size, color, and whether it shows time, date, day of the week, and in what ways.
Have you heard of Rainmeter out of curiosity? And oh crap, I should have put that in the honorable mentions as well. And Everything is also already listed in the OP.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
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683
Clipx I wish I had more use for this in my daily life, but God damn is this the best thing ever when you're working IT. It's a clipboard manager, so you can save and recall many, many clipboard entries (25 by default) as well as set stickies for those lines you use every day, if you have the correct plugin.
 

Epyc Wynn

Outlander
Messages
13
Arnox said:
[snip]
Nice. OBS is already listed BTW.
[snip]
Have you heard of Rainmeter out of curiosity? And oh crap, I should have put that in the honorable mentions as well. And Everything is also already listed in the OP.
Rainmeter requires too much memory for a normal computer to make good use of it, so I'd recommend not using it unless your computer's specs are top-notch. But if you have the specs for it, it's good.

As for Everything, I was making my own personal list of what I consider top 10 independent of what the OP thinks. We just both happened to like Everything.

Also in regards to OBS, the program was too laggy for me to keep around. I think it's because I have a 2.4ghz computer.
 

Chimpzy

Warning! Contains Ba(Na)N⁴S
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63
Arnox said:
1. 7-Zip

2. Audacity

4. Firefox/Waterfox

5. GIMP

6. Media Player Classic - Black Edition

7. OpenOffice

10. qBittorrent
I'm using seven out of ten. Not bad, assuming we're keeping score. Am considering trying Everything, because the out-of-the-box search function in Win10 is kind of toss. Might just be me, but it feels significantly worse than the one in older versions, to the point of being nearly useless.

Epyc Wynn said:
4. WinDirStat:[/b] Program that lets to explore what's taking the most memory in your computer; known to lag hard but it's second to none.
Aye, useful for when GBS of disk space suddenly vanish and you want to figure out what's eating those.

Guess I should add some stuff too:

Rename Us
A simple tool that lets you rename or copy multiple files at once according to your own user-defined rules. Usefull for quickly creating stuff like music/video playlists or image collections. There's probably better out there, but Rename Us is very lightweight and it gets the job done well and quickly.

CCleaner
Not the best file cleaner, but it's easy to use and can get rid of a lot of temporary files, cookies, browser junk and other crap clogging your disk space and also help clean up your registry.
 
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