Windows is one of the most popular operating systems. Currently, it’s installed on 1.4 billion devices. Microsoft had a great year growing Windows users by 100 million compared to 2021. Meanwhile, Apple’s macOS remains a distant second with a 15% desktop device share.
Windows is a universal operating system. Hardheaded advanced tech-pros will go for Linux every time. On the other hand, those passionate about design quality will choose MacBooks. But most will use Windows because it provides solutions to most tasks. Whether you’re a programmer, content creator, or professional gamer, you’ll find numerous valuable Windows assets to make your job easier.
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It is easy to get lost among thousands of available apps and new ones popping out daily. Moreover, Windows regularly rolls out significant updates with new features. According to Windows chief product officer Panos Panay, their “work is never done to ensure Windows evolves and adapts to you.”
Below you’ll find six important tools for Windows users. You might find something you missed out on, from design improvements to cybersecurity essentials. Let’s start with the recent major Windows 11 update.
Windows 11 rolled out in October 2021. Almost a year later, in September 2022, they released the first major OS update. But before we dive into that, a quick notification. You don’t have to rush switching to Windows 11. Microsoft will support Windows 10 until 2025 October 14th. Right now, they are gradually updating Windows 11 systems. If you still didn’t get the update, don’t worry. Microsoft is prioritizing newer hardware, so not everyone gets it at the exact same time.
Here are several improvements to look for:
- New video editing app. Last year Microsoft acquired a popular video editing software Clipchamp with an excellent 4.5 Trustpilot score. The purchase proved to be highly successful, and now Clipchamp is included for free in the update. It will help you to apply filters, trim videos, remove watermarks, etc. You can upgrade to a paid version to get unlimited exports, 1080p HD resolution, logo management tools, content backup, and more. It’s especially attractive to new content creators because it offers high-quality features on the free version.
- Smart app control. Microsoft buffs up the security toolkit with a new addition. Smart app control will automatically stop you from opening an infected file or malicious application. Windows 10 and 11 have an in-built AntiVirus, but hackers find ways around it. If they trick you into downloading a virus, this feature will be your second line of defense.
- Design improvements. Remember when Windows 8 removed the start menu? It’s back with significant improvements. Now you can create pinned app folders by dragging and dropping one unto the other. It will save space and lets you personalize the setup. It will also improve the screen layout. You can fill your screen with dedicated zones to drag-and-drop windows to appear on the screen in fixed locations. These are quality-of-life changes that many will enjoy.
Windows is rolling out some impressive features, but there are excellent apps by other developers. Here are some crucial tools essential for a safe and comfortable Windows experience.
- Password managers. Password management is of utmost importance for all active Internet users. Hackers developed numerous methods to hack passwords. Moreover, people use many paid apps that can be stolen and resold on black markets. Passwords protect all of them. To avoid using easy-to-guess passwords, install a password manager. It will help you create dozens of complex passwords and store them in a safely encrypted vault. It will also autofill them on websites, enhancing the browsing experience.
- Speccy. Speccy is a lightweight, comfortable app with one crucial function – to provide device information. To upgrade your system, you need to know what type of RAM to buy and what CPUs are compatible with your motherboard. The same applies to downloading drivers. Speccy will scan the device and comfortably organize the information.
- File recovery. Deleting a file by mistake is a bad experience, especially if it’s important, like your master’s degree thesis! Apps like EaseUS or Recuva will restore your lost files. What’s more, they provide free limited versions. But assuming you don’t lose critical data often, it might be enough.
Windows is an excellent OS that keeps improving. Sometimes you just overlook significant changes or aren’t up to date with the latest security issues. Since most of our mentioned tools come with free versions, you don’t have to shake out your wallet. We hope this concise list of Windows essentials will enhance your online experience!
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.