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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- PuTTY will
let you SSH from your windows machine. Critical if you’re working with Linux
- FileZilla is an easy to use FTP client.