My Favorite Windows Software

My Favorite Windows Software

Tuesday April 24, 2018
Thoughts & Ideas


I recently had to reinstall Windows on one of my personal computers. Although I hardly ever use Windows anymore, I keep it around in case I need to run some software that isn’t compatible with Linux (my primary OS).

After reinstalling Windows, I needed to re-install all my favorite programs so things are there when I need them. In the process, I kept a short list of all the Windows software I like to have installed. Most of it is free or open source, so have a look. Maybe you’ll find something useful.

General Software

  • Google Chrome is probably the first software I install on any new computer. If you’re still using the default browser that comes with Windows, try Chrome. You’ll probably like it.
  • Mozilla Firefox is also very good if you want a browser that isn’t owned by Google.
  • VLC Media Player will play pretty much any media format you throw at it. I set pretty much all media file types to open in VLC when I double-click on them.
  • Adobe Reader, because you’ll probably need it.
  • 7-zip is a great program for working with archives. But probably its best feature is that it adds “Extract Here” to your right-click menu.
  • KeePassXC is a good password manager that works on pretty much any OS.

Image and Video Software

  • Paint.Net is a replacement for MS Paint that makes basic image editing tasks really quick & easy.
  • GIMP is like the free version of Photoshop. It can handle much more than Paint.NET, but it’s also more complex.
  • Greenshot is a screenshot tool on steroids.

Development Software

  • Atom is the free & open-source text editor from Github. It’s a great tool to have, since it supports (or has plugins for) most languages, and is completely free.
  • Notepad++ was my default editor for years, and I still like having it around. It’s great for quick text edits where I don’t want or need a more complete environment like Atom.
  • Git is an obvious necessity on any development machine.
  • PuTTY will let you SSH from your windows machine. Critical if you’re working with Linux servers.
  • FileZilla is an easy to use FTP client.

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