21 Free Windows Software Applications You Should Know About

21 Free Windows Software Applications You Should Know About

Whether you’re a basic user or a power user, and whether you use your Windows PC for personal or work use, there are millions of applications on the internet designed to make your life better. You could spend hours browsing through them all. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of applications that I find incredibly useful and interesting that you may not know about. Some of these applications are already popular, and others are not. Hopefully some of these applications can expedite your work or make your personal computing experience a bit better. So, check out this list of my picks for the best Windows software applications that you should know about. Since they’re all free, you have nothing to lose. So, if you see an interesting one, give it a try!

My List:


F.lux is an awesome application for users that use their computer late into the evening. F.lux adjusts the color settings on your display automatically to match the natural colors that your circadian rhythm expects. For me and many others, f.lux makes it much easier to fall asleep soon after using my computer. F.lux also greatly reduces the strain on my eyes when using the computer for long periods. The only downside is that it can make colors look a bit funky and make some applications difficult to use, but you can always temporarily disable it in these situations.


7zip is a free compression and decompression tool that is lightweight and integrates nicely into the right-click menu. 7zip is an all-in-one tool that is compatible with .rar, .zip, .tar.gz, .7zip (of course), and many other compression formats. All around, 7zip is a great tool to have on your pc!


Notepad++ is my text editor or choice for its simplistic design, tab structure, and ability to switch language highlighting on the fly and based on file type. There are many text editors, but others that I’ve used take forever to load and seem to crash occasionally. Notepad++ has handled everything I’ve been able to throw at it, which makes it a recommendation application from me!


Foobar2000 is an open-source, ultra-lightweight music player that is playlist-based. Foobar is a favorite of many audio archivists and aficionados because it does not alter the music files it plays in any way. By contrast, other music players alter metadata like artist information and album art, changing the files permanently. Additionally, Foobar2000 can play every music file imaginable, including .flac, .wav, .ogg, and many others.

Exact Audio Copy

While on the topic of music, I’d like to talk about Exact Audio Copy. EAC is the go-to tool for extracting audio content from CD’s. With EAC, you can quickly and effectively archive your entire CD collection into lossless FLAC files on your computer.

Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader is my go-to pdf and e-book reader. Foxit has tons of features all for free, including highlighting, making notes, and fast searching. I have used Foxit to read textbooks, ebooks, and pdfs with no problems, and I always install Foxit for my pdf reader needs.


Windirstat allows you to visualize your hard drive use. I often find myself wondering how I am using a lot of my drive space, particularly when my drives are nearly full. It is nice to be able to visualize the directory areas that are using a large amount of storage.

boss detector

This software is quite interesting. It uses your webcam to detect movement behind you and hides windows and applications of your choosing accordingly. Though this could be a bit of a gimmick, it certainly has uses if you are legitimately trying to browse in a work or other private environment, which, let’s be honest, everyone does.


Soundswitch is a very popular program that allows you to map hotkeys to sound source changes. With Soundswitch, you can map your F-keys, for example, to change your audio source from your headphones to your speakers. Soundswitch makes changing audio sources way more convenient, and can definitely save you some clicks.

MSI afterburner

MSI afterburner is a diagnostic tool and overclocking tool, particularly for graphics cards. If you are a gamer or a PC builder, afterburner is probably a staple of your software list already. If not, definitely check it out! It’s the best for checking your voltages, your clock rates, and your temperatures.


While on the topic of diagnostic monitors, HWmonitor is a great lightweight and (potentially) portable software that will tell you the temperatures, voltages (if applicable), and fan speeds for all of your hardware. HWmonitor provides a great looking list of all of your hardware and is great for diagnosing overheating issues.


CrystalDiskInfo is a classic, widely used program that allows the reading of hard disk and solid state drive S.M.A.R.T. data. S.M.A.R.T. data reports lifetime statistics of the drives, such as time-on hours and re-allocated sectors. Some of these statistics can predict hard drive failure. CrystalDiskInfo will tell you if any of the S.M.A.R.T. data is concerning or if your dives are in danger. It could save you from catastrophic data loss by warning you if your drives are about to fail!


RUFUS is a must-have tool when creating bootable flash drives. Whether you are creating a flash drive to install Windows, Linux, or Mac-os, Rufus is a portable application that is direct to-the-point on transforming your flash drive into a bootable drive. Just download the iso, select it in RUFUS, and select the drive. It does the rest, no problem!

AOMEI partition assistant

AOMEI partition assistant is an awesome program that provides a GUI-based partition editor for all of your drives. I’ve even been able to change file formats on primary (boot) partitions with AOMEI. AOMEI can delete and create partitions as well. For any hard drive partitioning needs, AOMEI is the go-to application.

Google Chrome

Chrome has to be included in any useful application list. Chrome is my favorite browser, and it has a huge market share. Its popularity is definitely warranted; it is blazingly fast, has tons of extensions, integrates with all Google applications, and looks great. Chrome’s downside, of course, is that it uses tons of memory. Despite this, Chrome is definitely my recommended browser.


I use discord for all of my personal PC chatting and VOIP. Discord’s browser-like chat, emote system, and incredible channel creation system made it my instant favorite communication system with my friends online. Discord offers tons of features that would normally be premium with many other VOIP providers. So, if you haven’t already, make the switch!


I use discord for all of my personal PC chatting and VOIP. Discord’s browser-like chat, emote system, and incredible channel creation system made it my instant favorite communication system with my friends online. Discord offers tons of features that would normally be premium with many other VOIP providers. So, if you haven’t already, make the switch!


Malwarebytes is generally considered the best virus scanner available, and it’s totally free! In combination with Windows defender for real-time protection, Malwarebytes is the only virus protection that I use, and I’ve been using it for years.


Teamviewer is the best free remote administration tool on the internet, in my opinion. Though it is only free if used for personal reasons, Teamviewer is used by tons of enthusiasts to remotely control their computer, whether it’s from another room or another continent. It provides an easy-to-use interface and awesome connections. Whether you want to remotely control a computer or just access its files remotely, Teamviewer is amazing and it is totally free.

Everything search tool

The Windows filesystem search function is SO bad! It’s incredible that the Everything search tool offers such an immensely better search function, despite the fact that Microsoft has some of the best programmers alive on their payroll. I was honestly shocked at how well the Everything search tool works. If you’re not sure where a file is located, simply start typing some string that you think may be in the title and the tool instantly provides results. This tool seemingly works like magic.


KeePass is an open source password managing software. As this article on password security states, you definitely want to use a password manager to avoid attacks on vulnerable human-created passwords. In this day and age, you need every layer of protection you can get. Personally, I prefer KeePass because it is open source and provides all of the functionality that I need.


I hope that you’ve found some of this software intriguing and given it a try. It has taken me a decade of modern computing to compile this list of software that I use on a daily basis, and I tried to tailor some of the picks to regular users and some of the picks to programmers or power users. Whichever type you are, I sincerely hope that I have improved your computing experience and given you some insight into some awesome free Windows software applications that you can use every day.

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