The best free software – 17 utilities needed for PC – Part 1
Sometimes, if you use software, you can solve problems easily, but you do not always realize that. So, in this article I will choose the best free software for Windows (also available on other platforms), focusing on three distinct categories.
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- Link homepage: http://www.7-zip.org/
- The first application I would like to introduce to you in this article is 7-Zip. This is a great compression and decompression tool on the internet today. Maybe you think that you do not need it because Windows also has the ability to create and extract ZIP files by default, but 7-Zip has many other benefits. It supports a lot of file formats: it opens most of the compressed files on the internet, which includes very popular RAR files. It also allows you to browse and extract files from ISO image files, VDI, VHD and WIM, installation files such as CAB and MSI, even giving you access to the macOS DMG file.
- Another advantage of 7-Zip is its ease of use. After installation, the application adds a submenu to the right-click menu in Windows Explorer, meaning you can compress and decompress files and folders with a single click. For more professional users, this utility also has a command line interface.
- The best feature of 7-Zip is better compression than Windows, especially when you use its default compression format of 7z. According to the developers, the efficiency of file compression is up to 70% better than the normal ZIP compression format. A self-extracting compression format means that your colleagues can open compressed files without installing 7-Zip. Another factor is the “AES-256 encryption tool” for the password, so if compared to the built-in compression / decompression tool of Windows, 7-Zip is a lot better.
2. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker
- Link: http://rammichael.com/
- You do not necessarily have to use the Windows taskbar, because 7+ Taskbar Tweaker gives you many more great options. Taskbar Tweaker has three main sections: “Taskbar Items”, “Grouping and Combining” and “Other Taskbar Options”. And this is the second application I would like to introduce to you in this article.
- The first item includes the ability to change what happens if you right-click or hover a thumbnail icon. The second item determines how the application is grouped on the taskbar, with the option of disabling grouping or browsing through windows by clicking the left mouse button. The third item contains a shortcut option when you double-click an empty spot on the taskbar to pop up the Task Manager or Start menu, switch back and forth between auto-hide / hold the taskbar and open the Taskbar Inspector. The Inspector displays all information about what applications are running, plus you can hide the Start button and display “seconds” of the clock in the clock interface.
- Link download: http://voidtools.com/
- The third application I would like to introduce to you is Everything. This is one of the simplest software in this article. Everything is a fast way to find files and folders on your PC. According to this site, the software takes only a second to create an index for 70,000 files, so 1 million index files only take about 1 minute. And the preliminary test also says this. You can also narrow down your search by filters. As you can find just the document file, audio file, compressed file, executable file, image, video or just the directory. While the asterisk (*) will represent a group of characters. For example, if you search for “t * m” for a file, the result is a series of files with the first letter “t” and the last letter “m”. Or you can use the Boolean AND (space), OR (“|”) and NOT (“!”) to filter the search. Simple, fast, efficient is what Everything can search for instead of the integrated search engine of the operating system.
- Link download: http://www.piriform.com/
- The fourth application I would like to introduce in this article is Ccleaner. To speed up your Windows or Mac computer, CCleaner is a neat little tool that has a very powerful engine. The CCleaner tool is usually divided into two lists for you to choose from: Windows and Applications. Applications include standard features such as the Recycle Bin, deletion of temporary files created by the system, and deletion of cache data of the Microsoft Edge browser.
- The good thing about the tickbox ticker system is that you can exclude individual files or programs that are not cleaned by CCleaner, and it also tracks how much space is left over the window. You can also run an analytics tool before the files are deleted, to make sure not to accidentally delete any unwanted files.
- Registry cleanup is similar and very easy to use, allowing you to completely remove software, files, paths, fonts, ActiveX issues and redundant installers. Again, CCleaner is very useful to users thanks to the “Scan for Issues” button. This button will list the problems that the system encounters and has the option to restore the registry to ensure that the system is stable.
- If you are still not satisfied with what CCleaner offers, you can go to the Tools tab to uninstall programs and applications directly, plug in the browser, analyze the drive, wipe the drive, and remove the restore point system. The free CCleaner does not have a user management option or a scheduled cleanup feature, but the free features of this tool are also very valuable.
6. MiniTool Partition Wizard
- Link homepage: http://www.minitool.com/
- The fifth application I would like to introduce to you in this article isMiniTool Partition Wizard.
- We often have to split a drive into several different partitions, or have to clean a new partition on the drive to hold important documents and videos, so that if the operating system partition is affected, the data is still safe.
- Microsoft has an integrated disk partitioning tool, but why the MiniTool Partition Wizard is mentioned here? The main reason is that it is very easy to use, very different from Microsoft’s cumbersome and confusing tools. Maybe that’s why the partitioning tool built on Windows is always a hidden feature, only suitable for users who understand this operating system only. Meanwhile, the MiniTool Partition Wizard has a very user-friendly interface, including advanced options for you. Plus, it’s free for personal use.
- Link: https://ninite.com/
- The sixth application I would like to introduce to you in this article is Ninite. When you’re done installing the new operating system, the next thing you need to do is install a lot of applications on it, but the first set of applications may be the free applications you need. Ninite simplifies this process for you and saves you time. Ninite also helps you to avoid mistakes when visiting fake websites.
- To get started, go to ninite.com and browse through the free apps it lists. You just select the application you need to install, then click “Get Your Ninite” button to download the file named ninite.exe. Once downloaded, just run the file so that the program automatically installs all the applications you have selected on the Ninite website. Very neat and convenient. Updating the free software version is simple, just pick and download the nineteen installation file.
- Link: http://paper2pdf.net/
- You may prefer the OCR character recognition software that comes with all-in-one printers, but these software is sometimes very basic and not very handy. Paper2PDF is a handy utility that reduces the time it takes to convert a PDF file into a single click.And this is the 7th application I would like to introduce to you in this article.
- You can easily add multiple PDF pages to the back of the original PDF, and set PDF attachments automatically to outdate Outlook emails after the PDF has been created, saving you a lot of time and effort. The tool also has an option to open the PDF in the default PDF viewer of the system. Paper2PDF’s handwriting recognition function is also quite good. So this is a great tool for users or small businesses who often work with PDF scans and often have to email PDFs to partners, customers or archives and want to be able to search later.
- Link homepage:http://neorouter.com/
- The 8th app I would like to introduce to you in this article is NeoRouter. This is an interesting freeware, like a virtual network. You can install it on Raspberry Pi or even on a router, and it allows you to connect SSH / VNC (even WakeOnLAN packets) to computers on the network without setting up dynamic DNS. This is a very convenient tool if you want to make Raspberry Pi in distant places or difficult places to access the network.
- The 9th application in this article is Speccy. Piriform is famous for its free tools, and Speccy adds that reputation. See Speccy as a health tool for your computer. Speccy opens the Summary tab, which tells you the basic operating system, CPU, RAM, motherboard, graphics card, hard drive, optical drive and audio. Each component has a detailed list. For example, RAM tabs detail memory usage and DRAM clocks. Or the Storage window shows you the speed of your hard drive and SMART parameters such as read error rates and spin-up startup times.
- Speccy does not stop there. It has two sub-categories, Peripherals and Network, that give you details about which peripherals are connected to your PC or device, and lists Wi-Fi networks. The Network feature is also useful because it displays both external IP address and connection speed, saving you a lot of effort if you want to know the two. You can also capture images of these system parameters, posted online with a single URL path to share. Although it does not include any personal data, careful users can save data in XML format, plain text files, or printed information.
- Like other Piriform free products, Speccy digs all the important information on your PC and organizes them in the most easily understandable, easy-to-share order.
- Link: https://rufus.akeo.ie/
- The 10th application that I would like to introduce to you in this article is Rufus. This is a tool for creating bootable USB flash drives. This is a very useful tool for creating new operating systems such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu, or you may want to keep a Windows installation as a backup. Simply pointing to the Rufus ISO image file and pressing the “Start” button, the application will quickly complete the job as you wish.
- Rufus can create a USB flash drive for booting with FreeDOS, which is fully command-line based, open-source, fully MS-DOS compatible. This feature is useful when performing low-level disk maintenance tasks, or with tools such as firmware updates that require direct access to the device.
- Rufus is not just a bootable USB flash drive, it’s the fastest, at least in the opinion of many experts, compared to some other competing tools. Rufus can also create UEFI-compliant USB flash drives, which you can boot as soon as your PC or laptop does not have the “legacy” boot mode. Remember to turn off the Secure Boot function so that the system can boot from the USB you created with Rufus because it lacks the cryptographic signature.
To be continued… Pls read the “The best free software – 17 utilities needed for PC – Part 2” here: http://www.onlyrealfreestuff.com/best-free-software-17-utilities-needed-pc-part-2/