Useful And Free Windows Applications

Little bit of a filler / linkbait post… listed below in no particular order are a bunch of links to free applications for Windows which I have found useful in the past.

System Tools

  • CCleaner – Windows cleanup tool, features hard drive and registry cleanup tools and well as simple and fast interfaces for managing installed applications and startup programs.
  • CPU-Z – Provides detailed hardware information.
  • Virtual Box – For management of virtual machines
  • WinRar – Required for the common .rar archive format. Trial version, but can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with it.
  • 7zip – Open source archiver

Media Players & Tools

  • Ashampoo Burning Studio – DVD and CD burning / ripping copying software including imaging (watch out for crapware included with this one.
  • CDex – Music CD ripper, including ODBC support.
  • VLC – Media player, works for almost all video with a large range of codecs available.
  • Winamp – The classic media player, good for music, not so much for video.
  • GOM Player – Another media player, nicer interface than VLC but without as much support.


  • Libre Office – A complete office productivity suite with support for open document formats as well as Microsoft proprietary formats
  • Notepad++ – Like Notepad, only better. Features tabbed files and sytax highlighting.

Networking & Internet Tools

  • FileZilla – FTP Client and Server.
  • inSSIDer – Wi-Fi scanner, find a channel with low congestion.
  • PuTTy – The ubiquitous SSH and Telnet client.
  • Wireshark – Network protocol analyser (network packet sniffer).
  • XAMPP – Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl, perhaps not the best, but def one of the quickest ways to get a development environment running.
  • VNC Viewer – A client for remote desktop connection to machines running a VNC server / X desktop.
  • Google Drive – Cloud file storage from Google with 5Gb free / paid options, nice integration with other Google products
  • DropBox – Another popular cloud storage tool, good for some extra free space / integration with the WordPress Backup To DropBox Plugin
  • Git – Distributed version control, if you work in dev and don’t use Git then get on it. There is a full Git Book available online to get you started

Web Browsers

  • Google Chrome – The best browser of the moment, especially for development.
  • Lynx – Text Browser, useful for testing accessibility.
  • IETester – For testing legacy versions of Internet Explorer
  • During development testing, the other big players in the browser space are often needed, however I could never recommend Firefox (as it’s bug hell) or Safari (because it’s Apple and also likes to break stuff like fonts) or IE (because, well it’s IE) for main use.

If there is anything I have missed / you think I should try then please do tell. Meanwhile I promise that the next post will be full of Linux goodness :P

About Ingmar Boddington

Codemonkey, Sheffield, UK
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