Favourite Windows Software List

Below is a list of some of my favourite Windows software, some of which I’ve been using for well over a decade.


7-ZipFOSSLean archival tool
AquaSnapProprietaryAdd better window snapping handling to Windows
Bulk Rename UtilityFreewareTool for bulk-renaming of files
CCleanerFreewareRemove temporary files, dead registry entries and manage system start-up processes
CDBurnerXPFOSSTool for writing DVDs and CDs; writing and capturing disc images
ClassicShellFOSSReplaces stock Windows start-menu with a more configurable one. Sadly, no longer developed
EverythingFreewareVery fast regex capable searching of system drives
f.luxFreewareReduces blue light output of monitor as the sun goes down
Free Download ManagerFOSSDownload manager that supports multiple connections from one or multiple sources; plus pause/resume
Nmap (ncat)FOSSNetwork analysis tool. Great for testing firewall settings of remote servers
PuTTYFreewareEstablish SSH connections from Windows
Python3FOSSI always want a Python3 interpreter within quick reach
ShareXFOSSSimple, automated screenshot capturing. Even supports video capture if you hook it up to FFmpeg
WinDirStatFOSSEssential tool for analysing drive space usage
FileZillaFOSSExcellent SFTP, FTP client
PDF-Xchange ViewerFreewareVery light PDF viewer
UltraVNCFOSSVNC client and server


AudacityFOSSSound recording, editing and generation tool
BlenderFOSS3D modelling tool
FastStone Image ViewerFreewareFast and light image viewing tool. Includes batch resizing, watermarking and more
Foobar2000FreewareMusic management from the makers of Winamp
WinampFreewareExcellent music player with small screen footprint
GIMPFOSSPhoto editing software. Not as feature-rich as pro alternatives, but more than adequate for the vast majority of people
HandBrakeFOSSGUI for FFmpeg which makes it easy to encode video files into other formats. Has sensible presets
Huffyuv / LagarithFOSSLossless video codecs for fast, perfect captures
InkscapeFOSSVector image creation
OBS StudioFOSSScreen video and audio capture; and live streaming
simpleDLNAFOSSVery light DLNA media server daemon for Windows
SpotifyProprietarySubscription fee required but worth it for music lovers
StreamlinkFOSSCommand line tool for piping live streams (twitch, etc.) to a native media player
VLCFOSSTrusty plays anything media player
MPVFOSSLight, minimalist media player forked from Mplayer
fre:acFOSSFree Audio Converter. CD ripping and audio format conversion tool. Supports CDDB/freedb tagging


Microsoft OfficeProprietaryIt’s the best office suite
LibreOfficeFOSSIt’s a trusty back-up office suite
Atom.ioFOSSFull-featured text editor for programming and scripting
FreeplaneFOSSMind-mapping software. Organise your thoughts when ideas are coming thick and fast
DB Browser for SQLiteFOSSGUI for opening SQL databases. Very useful when developing DB driven applications
Google Chrome?A web browser
Mozilla FirefoxFOSSBest web browser
Microsoft Visual StudioProprietaryFor writing native Windows apps in C#
Notepad++FOSSExcellent, full-featured, light text editor
GNS3FOSSDesign, diagram and emulate computer networks
VMware Player / WorkstationProprietaryRun virtual machines
GITFOSSVersion control system


TelegramFreewareMulti-platform instant messenger with end to end encryption
HexChatFOSSSimple multi-platform IRC client
TeamSpeakProprietaryPrivate server VoIP client and server; can self-host server on all major platforms
ZoiperProprietarySoftware VoIP phone
JitsiFOSSOpen, software VoIP phone


KeePass Password SafeFOSSPassword manager
GPG4WinFOSSFile and email encryption; key pair management
DBANFOSSDark’s Boot and Nuke. Bootable data destroyer. User with extreme caution!
EraserFOSSSecurely erase files on Hard Disk Drives
OpenVPN ClientFOSSConnect to OpenVPN compatible VPNs

Open source <3