The best free programs for every day

The best free programs for every day

You don't always have to pay for quality, useful and functional software: many programs for various everyday purposes are distributed completely free of charge. Free programs can help you perform a wide variety of tasks, without lagging noticeably behind their peers. Payment. The review has been updated with new system utilities and, at the end of the article, some fun stuff.

In this article - about the best in my opinion and completely free useful programs that can be useful to all users. Below I deliberately do not list all the possible good programs for every purpose, but only the ones I have chosen for myself (or the ideal ones for a beginner). Other users may have different options and I consider it unnecessary to keep several options for a computer for one task (except in some professional cases). All the programs described will (or should) work with Windows 10, 8.1, and Windows 7.

Separate lists of the best paid and free programs for various tasks in

First, separate selections of articles with Windows programs for various purposes, followed by my personal choice and recommendation for the most typical tasks in the article.

Libre Office: work with documents, create spreadsheets and presentations

Some users even think of Microsoft Office as a free office suite, and are surprised when they can't find it on a newly purchased computer or laptop.

Word to work with documents, Excel spreadsheets to create presentations, PowerPoint to create presentations: you have to pay for all of them and these programs are not part of Windows (and, again, some people think otherwise).

The best totally free office software package that exists today in Russia is LibreOffice (OpenOffice could be included before, but no longer - package development, we can say, is finished).

The software is completely free (you can also use it for business purposes, for example in your organization) and it has all the functions you may need from office applications: working with text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, etc., including the ability to open and save Microsoft Office documents.

More information about Libre Office and other free office suites in another article: Best Free Office for Windows. By the way, in this same topic you may be interested in the article The best programs to create presentations.

VLC Media Player - watch video, audio, Internet channels

I previously pointed out Media Player Classic as the best media player, but for today my recommendation is the free VLC Media Player, available not only for Windows, but also for other platforms, which supports almost all common types of media content (it has codecs incorporated).

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With it, you can easily and comfortably play video and audio, even via DLNA and from the Internet, even to watch TV online.

At the same time, the player's capabilities are not limited to video or audio playback: you can use it to perform video conversions, screen recordings, and much more. More information on this and where to download VLC - VLC Media Player is more than just a media player.

DaVinci Resolve - Professional video editor available in a completely free version

If you need a free video editor, it is unlikely that you will find anything more functional than DaVinci Resolve in its free version. Yes, it is not the easiest software, and the Russian language is missing from the interface. However, if you master it from the video tutorials available and using other training materials, you can do literally anything. The free version has limitations, but it is very likely that no home user will find them out of hand (for example, it is doubtful that they will export video in 8K).

About DaVinci Resolve and other free video editors, including the simplest ones and in Russian, as well as links to download them from official sites in the review of best free video editors. It may also be useful: The best video editors for Android.

HandBrake video converter.

If you need a completely free video converter (without offering to buy anything extra), in Russian and very functional, with support for all imaginable formats, with the possibility of adjusting them and converting videos in bulk, my recommendation would be HandBrake.

A detailed review and on the use of the main features in the article HandBrake - the best free video converter.

OBS Studio for on-screen video recording

Whether you need to shoot desktop video for a tutorial, or want to record or stream a game, try OBS Studio to get started. It's functional, easy to use (once you get the hang of it), and it works well.

Detailed Review and Where to Download: Screen Video Recording in OBS Studio.

WinSetupFromUSB and Rufus to create a bootable (or multiboot) flash drive

The free program WinSetupFromUSB is also sufficient to create USB flash drives with the installation of any current version of Windows and for Linux distributions. It is necessary to write an antivirus LiveCD image to a USB flash drive - it can be done in WinSetupFromUSB and if necessary the drive will be multi-boot. More information: Download WinSetupFromUSB and instructions for use

The second free program that can be recommended to create bootable flash drives for installing Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 on systems with UEFI / GPT and BIOS / MBR is Rufus. It can also be useful: The best programs to create a bootable flash drive.

Programs to clean the computer of junk files and other rubbish

CCleaner was once the top recommendation for these purposes for most users, but that time has passed and today I can no longer unequivocally say which programs would be best for these purposes. But I have tried to write down its pros and cons in the articles:

XnView MP for easy photo viewing, classification and editing

Earlier in this section, Google Picasa was listed as the best photo viewer, however the company has discontinued development of this software. Now I can recommend XnView MP for the same purpose, as it supports over 500 formats of photos and other images, and makes it easy to catalog and edit photos.

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Learn more about XnView MP, as well as other peers, in a separate review Best Free Photo Viewers.

Paint.net graphic editor.

One in two Russian-speaking users, of course, is a Photoshop master. By hook or by crook, you install it on your computer to crop a photo one day. Is it really necessary, if a graphics editor is only required to rotate the photos, place the text, align a couple of photos (not for work, but just for fun)? Do you do any of the above in Photoshop, or is it just installed?

In my opinion (and I've been using Photoshop at work since 1999), most users don't need it, many don't use it at all, but want to have it, and have been planning to learn how to use the program one day for several years. Other than that, installing unlicensed versions not only tortures you, but also puts you at risk.

Do you need a quality, easy-to-learn photo editor? Paint.net would be a great option (of course some would say Gimp would be better, but it is not easier). As long as you don't decide to process your photos in a really professional way, you won't need more features than the free Paint.net. You may also be interested in being able to edit photos and images online without having to install any program on your computer: Best Photoshop Online.

R-Undelete and DMDE for data recovery

Among the best free data recovery programs, we can highlight two: R-Undelete and DMDE. Although there are other great tools for this purpose, you can read about them in the Best Data Recovery Software review.

R-Undelete is perfect for the novice user to recover deleted files from hard drive, flash drive, memory card or other storage device. Learn more about how to use this program and where to download it in R-Undelete's free data recovery guide.

DMDE, although it has a slightly more complex interface, can be very effective when you need to recover data after formatting, changing the disk partition structure, or damaging the disk file system. Please see the instruction How to recover data after formatting in DMDE.

I will highlight PhotoRec - despite the name, the utility can recover much more than just photos, but most of the popular file types from a variety of drives, and it supports not only the NTFS and FAT32 file systems, but also with ext3 / ext4 and other Linux file systems, which can be useful.

AdwCleaner to remove malware, adware, and malware

The problem of malicious programs, which are not viruses (and therefore are not seen by antivirus), but which cause unwanted behaviors, such as pop-up ads in the browser, the appearance of windows with unknown sites when opening the browser, it is very relevant in recent times.

To get rid of this type of malware, the utilities AdwCleaner (and it works without installation) and Malwarebytes Antimalware are ideal. As an added measure, you can give RogueKiller a try. About these and other antimalware programs

DiskGenius for disk partitioning, Windows migration to another hard drive or SSD, partition table conversion, and other tasks

In a previous version of this article, I recommended using Aomei Partition Assistant Standard for the above tasks - the program was easy to use, in Russian, and almost all the important features were free. Unfortunately, there is now very little available in the free version, which is why I change the recommendation to DiskGenius.

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Among the features:

  • Disk conversion from GPT to MBR and from MBR to GPT without data loss
  • Windows transfer to SSD or other hard drive
  • Run the program from a bootable flash drive
  • Erase, split, merge and resize disk partitions
  • Data recovery and deleted partitions

The program is not in Russian, but all the basic steps are very simple and I tried to describe them in detail on DiskGenius - working with disk partitions, Windows migration, data recovery and other features of the program.

OneNote for notes and memos

When it comes to programs for taking notes, diaries, storing text and graphic information, it is impossible to say which program will be the best: it depends largely on the habits and needs of each user. But if you don't know where to start, I recommend Microsoft OneNote:

  • Free (including syncing), available for all common platforms: you can work with notebooks on Windows, Mac OS on Android, and iPhone. For pen devices, support for handwriting and drawings.
  • It will be relatively easy for any user to understand the program.
  • Convenient organization of the sections of the notebook, of the pages that compose it, possibility of creating search tags, easy full-text search.
  • Password protection for notes (fingerprint or Face ID unlocking is also possible).

Download OneNote from the official app stores for all platforms (including the Windows Store UWP version for Windows 10), and the Windows desktop version (also suitable for Windows 7) from https://www.onenote.com / download

Microsoft To Do for to-do lists

As in the previous case, a master of tasks, a GTD professional and a person who has beaten procrastination will name other tools that have helped him to do it. But if you need a completely free solution to start keeping track of your to-dos with syncing across all devices, try Microsoft To Do to get started.

You can download the program from the official Windows store, Google Play Market, Apple App Store, and if you wish, you can work with your tasks from any browser completely online: https://to-do.live.com/tasks/

7-Zip - filing cabinet

If you need a free and convenient archiver that can handle all common file types, 7-Zip is your choice.

Archiver 7-Zip works fast, integrates comfortably into your system, easily unpacks zip and rar files, and when you need to pack something it will do so with one of the highest compression ratios among programs in this category. Check out the best filing cabinets for Windows.

Browsers and antivirus.

Writing about the best browsers and antivirus is always difficult: besides some objective features, where almost all the products that you have heard of are generally good. But the subjective experience in its use also plays an important role: sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Therefore, when it comes to antivirus, I am going to note only one material that may be useful and that is a meta-analysis of antivirus tests by independent laboratories: The best free antivirus.

In terms of browsers, the Microsoft Edge browser that appeared in Windows 10 can be highlighted. But there are other excellent browsers, about which I wrote in detail in the review The best browser for Windows.

Winaero Tweaker - if you need to tweak Windows 10

Tweakers (programs for tweaking various features) for Windows 10 there are simply a huge number: they differ in functionality, security, ease of use and other features.

I don't recommend this kind of utilities for novice users, but if you really want to, I would recommend using Winaero Tweaker to reduce the probability of the theoretically possible negative consequences, but also when using it to pre-create a Windows 10 restore point. tweaker features: Configure Windows 10 with Winaero Tweaker.

I have not written about other programs, which will not be particularly useful to most of my readers, since their use is only necessary for a comparatively narrow range of tasks. That's why I didn't write Notepad++, Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text, FileZilla or TeamViewer and other apps that I need so much. I also didn't write about obvious things like Skype or Whatsapp. I would also add that when free programs are downloaded somewhere, it is worth checking them at VirusTotal.com, they may contain something not very desirable on your computer.