We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What free software should everyone have? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. WinDirStat (for windows)
It gives you a graphical representation of what’s clogging up your hard drive.
2. Power Toys. A bundle of add-on Windows features from Microsoft. It has a lot of things I haven’t messed with yet, like a bulk file search/rename util, a color picker, a pop-up cheat sheet for Windows keyboard shortcuts, and a key remapper/keyboard shortcut manager. A few more too.
The part of it I use every day is Fancy Zones. Set up custom-sized areas on your desktop you can drop apps into and have them automatically resize to it. Works seamlessly with the standard window resizing stuff, across multiple monitors, whatever.
3. Paint.net is such a good photo editor software. Been using it for more than 10 years and prefer using it over photoshop, even if they could make it free.
4. uBlock Origin. My favorite ad-blocker. It has many other tricks for power users besides blocking ads. Next is the CPUID Hardware monitor. Tells you CPU temps and battery life/health among other things. Google up their reviews first. Don’t blindly trust recommendations from strangers.
5. Blender – 3D modeling, video editing, motion tracking, thousands upon thousands of tutorials
Da Vinci Resolve – Excellent video editing software, if a little unintuitive at times. Powerful color grading tools
VLC – Play almost any video or audio file, clean interface, lots of hidden features
Handbrake – Change the file format and size of video files, add subtitles, etc. Highly useful for compressing video files for different sites.
Meshroom –Create 3D objects by taking photos from different angles
Steam – Cheating, but there are a ton of free programs, not just games, on the platform
6. Audacity is cool for messing around with audio.
I’ve used it to create a couple of ringtones and alert sounds for my phone. It’s a little complicated to use, but not too bad.
8. OBS if you want to record your screen.
9. Keepass or another password manager. So many people have terrible password hygiene and all it takes is a single breach to have your whole digit life compromised.
10. Bulk rename utility.
If you prefer chrome’s layout over firefox I’d highly recommend Brave Browser. It’s like chrome but with privacy in mind. Blocks most unnecessary trackers and ads and can be bolstered by uBlock origin. It also allows you to OPT IN for ad notification which you get BAT to give to contributors you choose. Basically it’s a browser that treats you as a customer not a product.