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While cleaning up old posts, I found this one, written by Stu some time ago. I’ve updated all the download links, added a few links to related articles, and thought I’d share his list with you. Rich.

When I recently posted an article which shows how to Install Windows 7 without bootable media, I obviously went through the Windows 7 installation process several times.  In then end, when everything went correctly, I had 2 brand-new Windows 7 operating systems to work with.  After installing updates, what else do you do?  Install some cool freeware!

Here’s a list of my favourite 25 freeware applications.  There are paid-for alternatives of some of my favourites but the free versions do a sterling job.  So in no particular order:

1.  Google Chrome

A blisteringly fast, lightweight Internet Browser.

Chrome 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Chrome

2.  7-Zip

Lightweight, fast and opens more file types than you can shake a stick at.  A bit ugly though. More details about 7zip. Split large files for emailing with 7zip. Put split files back together with 7zip.

7 zip 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download 7-Zip

3.  CCleaner + CCEnhancer

PC slowing down?  Try CCleaner, it cleans your PC of unneeded temporary files and folders, cleans the registry & much more!  Add CCEnhancer to the mix and you’ve got yourself a full system cleaner. More details about CCleaner.

CCleaner 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download CCleaner

4.  Gyazo

It doesn’t get any faster than this image capturing & sharing tool.  Click, Snip & Share!

Gyazo 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Gyazo

5.  Microsoft Security Essentials

In my opinion, the best anti-virus product on the market.  Light, fast, good looking, frequent updates & great detection rates, all make ‘MSE’ a well-rounded product. The complete guide to protecting your Windows XP, Vista, or 7 PC with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Note: This is no longer required in Windows 8; Windows Defender is back in the spotlight and bundled with the OS.

MSE 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Security Essentials

6.  Virtual Clone Drive

Like to keep backups of DVD’s?  DVD drive broken?  Then install Virtual Clone Drive.  It emulates a DVD drive so you can mount files and use them as you would a physical one.

VCD 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Virtual Clone Drive

7.  µTorrent

“Speedy, efficient, and free. µTorrent is the world’s most popular BitTorrent client for a reason.”  Enough said.

utorrent 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download µTorrent

8.  DropBox

Sync anything across multiple computers.

Dropbox 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Dropbox

9.  Team Viewer

Friends and family treat you as a free PC technician?  Me too, use this to help them when you’re not at their desk. How to help your friend with their PC problems using remote access via team viewer.

Teamviewer 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Team Viewer

10.  Rainmeter

Customise your Desktop to your hearts content as the possibilities are endless.  Touted as a system monitor, which frankly undermines its capabilities. See what Stu created using this app.

Rainmeter 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Rainmeter

11. Seven Drive Changer

Made by our very own Windows Forums member Batu.  Changes the icons of the drives in the ‘Computer’ view of Windows Explorer.  A somewhat challenging task if done manually.  A breeze with this.

SevenDriveChanger 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Seven Drive Changer

12.  7CONIFIER

Like customising your Taskbar and Start Menu icons?  With this app changing them all at the same time, and to a custom (or pre-made) theme pack is a cinch.

7CONF 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download 7CONIFIER

13.  Keepass

Keep your internet browsing sessions safe by using strong passwords.  Keepass generates mid-bogglingly complicated password in a millisecond and stores them all, so you never have to remember another password again.

Keepass 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Keepass

14.  Easy BCD

Managing your Boot Manager has never been so easy.

EasyBCD 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Easy BCD

15.  HiddenFiles Toggle

Tires of having to toggle the ‘hidden files and folders’ option in the view tab of the folder options window?  Install this to have a toggle option in your context menu.  Not x64 compatible.

download64 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download HiddenFiles Toggle

16.  Windows Live Essentials 2011

Email client, blogging client, photo gallery, movie maker & much more.  Looks and functions amazingly and yes, it’s also free.  You don’t seriously think Microsoft would ever charge for the privilege? Do you?

WLE 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Windows Live Essentials 2011

17.  Library Icon Changer

Customise the icons to the Library’s in Windows 7.  A lengthy procedure when done manually.  Easily 7 quickly accomplished with this.

LibraryIconChanger 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Library Icon Changer

18.  Shark 007 Codec Pack.

Got some media files that won’t play on your Windows system?  Install this fantastic comprehensive codec pack.

Shark007Codec 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Shark 007 Codec Pack

19. FileZilla

A FTP client that’s fast, light and works great.  Rich made some recommendations recently.  Check them out.

FileZilla 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download FileZilla

20.  Revo Uninstaller

This is a great program for uninstalling other programs for you system.  Cleans up traces of uninstalled programs better than the built-in installers ever could.  x64 users have to pay. More details about Revo.

Revo 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Revo Uninstaller

21.  Handbrake

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder.  Great for converting those DVD’s. More details about Handbrake.

Handbrake 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Handbrake

22.  MediaBrowser

Take your Windows 7 Media Centre experience to another level with Media Browser.  A frequently updated plug-in that makes Media Centre cool.

MediaBrowser 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download MediaBrowser

23.   ImgBurn

They say “ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!”   I agree. More details about ImgBurn.

ImgBurn 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download ImgBurn

24.  Media Monkey

Sick of Apple and their shoddy iTunes software but have an iPod?  Use Media Monkey to relieve the shackles.  Also great looking and easily manages massive music collections.

MediaMonkey 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Media Monkey

25.  Wubi

Ever wanted to install another Operating System or just curious as to what Ubuntu is?  Installing it has never been simpler.  This runs and essentials acts as just another programs in your system.  no dual booting required, just install it, reboot and choose Ubuntu!

Wubi 25 Free Apps You Should Definitely Try

Download Wubi



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