While Windows 10 itself is a very capable OS, with hundreds of tools and options, there is no shortage of programs that let you customize it, add powerful new features, or tweak existing options. Here is a brief list of the best software to improve your Windows 10 experience.
These programs perform a variety of tasks, from extending the capabilities of the operating system to protecting your computer from malware, to letting you enjoy a variety of multimedia on your PCs — there’s something for everyone in this guide.
- Antivirus Security
- Backup & Restore
- Antimalware Protection
- Password Manager
- Document Reader
- Web Browser
- System Utilities
- File Management
- Software Management
Many antivirus programs are bloated with features you don’t need, turning them into resource hogs. Panda Antivirus keeps things lightweight and simple, pulling its virus definitions from the cloud rather than downloading them, ensuring protection is always up to date.
Windows Defender is in-built antivirus protection for Windows 10 but it is just not enough to deal with threats. Third party antivirus, preferably with low footprint should be preferred for computer security.
BACKUP AND RESTORE
Your best bet for free backup software, this program not only creates and keeps copies of your files and folders in a specified location, but it also syncs them up, so any changes made to either folder are mirrored in the other. A very capable tool that provides you with plenty of control.
Dropbox – Cloud Storage
With a name that is almost synonymous with cloud storage, Dropbox is what you need to browse, organize, search, share all your files and in the cloud. They provide 2 GB of storage space for starters, and its Windows app offers an impressive and streamlined combination of features.
Miscreants like adware, spyware and viruses drag your PC performance down, but MalwareFox offers you advanced capabilities to catch anything that invades your computer. Features like fast scanning and ransomware protection make up this lightweight package that detects and removes threats real-time
With the advanced threats emerging on the web, second opinion malware scanner is a must. It deals with adware spyware, browser hijacker and ransomware.
Windows 10 Privacy Fixer
If you are concerned about the liberties Windows 10 takes with your privacy, then Privacy Fixer can plug these holes. It provides details and explanations of each privacy setting, so you can confidently decide which box to select.
The biggest name in password management, LastPass provides you with a secure vault, protected by a master password, that can store an unlimited number of account logins. It also completes forms automatically and has the ability to generate strong passwords for you, which it then stores.
LibreOffice is the first name that springs to mind when thinking about a proper and professional product that is comparable to Microsoft Office. Completely free, it offers nearly the same look and feels to the classic version of Office, with a remarkably robust set of features.
What Sumatra PDF lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in usability. This light and fast PDF reader supports a range of formats, including both EPUB and MOBI, and even more obscure ones like XPS, DjVu and CHM. Its interface is centered around a simple toolbar with all the commands you need.
When choosing a web browser, most people tend to stick with the bigger names like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, or even Edge. But Vivaldi is an excellent choice for a fast and stable web experience, with a clean interface, ability to stack and tile tabs, annotate web pages, and more.
Ellp – Automation
Ellp is the program you need if you want to save time by automating common tasks. Only 20 cards are provided at the moment, with more coming soon, but tasks like opening a favorite website when turning on your PC, downloading a Facebook photo when you are tagged, for example, are all here.
Ditto – Clipboard Manager
One of the best clipboards around, this program captures and stores text, images and web addresses. Clipped items are searchable, and can easily be inserted into documents. The default setting can store up to 500 items, though this limit can, of course, be increased.
Howard Email Notifier
A throwback to the old days of MSN Messenger, Howard E-mail Notifier is a nifty piece of software that sits on your taskbar and continually checks your inbox for new messages. Multiple service providers are supported, and everything about the program can be customized, from sounds to icons.
VLC – Video Player
Undoubtedly one of the best multimedia applications ever created, VLC Media Player not only plays all kinds of audio and video files on your PC, but it can also play and record streaming content from the web. Support for a range of formats is offered out the box in this blazingly fast program.
Dopamine – Music Player
If you would rather have a music player with a little bit more of a personality, then Dopamine is a recent arrival on the block. This open-source program brings with it a clean and modern look, with an evolving feature set that helps you organize and play your music with style.
Krita – Image Editor
As much a true digital paint program, as it is a photo editor, Krita is one of the best free editors you can find. It is actively developed, and frequent releases bring along a range of new tools. The interface is slick, making it perfectly capable for handling complex art designs or simple image touchups.
Advanced SystemCare Ultimate
A popular cleanup tool removes junk files from your PC to free up space, can tidy up the registry, uninstall programs, and streamline startup. The clean, flat interface makes these maintenance tasks a breeze, and newer versions also watch out for junk left behind Windows 10 apps.
This easy-to-use program can automatically detect and update all the missing and outdated drivers on your PC, preventing system errors. Backups are created prior to updating, and only driver versions made specifically for your model and operating system are downloaded and installed.
XYplorer – File Manager
This refined alternative to the built-in File Explorer on Windows 10 offers a familiar interface with a tree-based navigation, tabs for folders, and file-search functionality. A phenomenal selection of configuration options is available that let you change default views, colors, and more.
Everything – Search
With a refreshingly reverse approach to search, this blazing fast tool lists every file on your hard drive and filters out the irrelevant ones as you type. Worth a mention that since Everything does not search the content of files, it is best used alongside another search tool.
7-Zip – Archive Manager
Although Windows 10 can create and extract ZIP files natively, this premier file-compression tool has its advantages. It can open almost anything you find online — including RAR archives — and can also browse and extract content from ISO, VDI, VHD and WIM discs, as well as CAB and MSI installers.
10 Apps Manager
As the name gives away, this useful little tool is basically a single screen that lets you remove apps and shortcut live tiles in the OS that you do not want to use. It does not install itself on your system, and once you tidy up, you can simply remove the folder, without anything left behind.
For those of you that regularly install software, this is small tool can come in real handy. It helps prevent accidental acceptance of third-party sponsor offers during installation, automatically unchecking any unrelated offer. It’s a lightweight program that runs as a background service, monitoring all installations.
Although Windows already offers the ability to uninstall software, IObit Uninstaller provides a very thorough implementation that removes every minute trace of a program after uninstalling it. The latest version not just removes programs, but can also get rid of Windows updates, apps, and even toolbars.