Trending December 2023 # Nomachine Is A Free And Portable Remote Desktop Tool For Windows Pc # Suggested January 2024 # Top 13 Popular

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Remote Desktop is one of the most widely used software categories these days. Remote Desktop helps you in getting support, and in delivering presentations and demos from anywhere in the world. It can be used for any collaboration purpose within or outside your team. While there are quite a few free remote desktop software available online, we are going to explore a free alternative in this post, and it is called NoMachine.

NoMachine is a free, cross-platform, serverless remote desktop tool that lets you set up a remote desktop server on your computer using the NX video protocol. The client can be used to connect to the server from anywhere in the world.

NoMachine Remote Desktop Tool

As the name suggests, NoMachine means no servers or devices in between your computer and the computer you want to connect to. The application uses the latest technology underneath that enables you to share your desktop at the highest quality and that too without any infrastructure.

What essentially the application lets you do is create a Remote Desktop server. Once you have set up the server, you can use NoMachine client to connect with it from anywhere. NoMachine Client and Server are included in the same application itself.

To connect to the server you created, all you need is the host address and the port number on which the service is running on. You can easily manage your server’s security and features as per your use case and requirements.

The application uses NX Protocol which has been developed in-house by the developers. The protocol has been optimized for remote desktop connections and other similar use cases. Under the server settings, you can configure the NX service settings on your computer.

Firstly, you can choose the start mode as automatic or manual as required. You can also define the service port, which is set to 4000 by default.


Talking about the server’s security, you can enable permission to connect or leave the server open to connect to anyone. Furthermore, you can even enable require permission for the remote user to interact with the remote desktop. This means that the user will be connected to the server in view-only mode by default. There are a few more security features, such as the program will blank the physical screen once a client has connected so that local users cannot use the computer. Or it can automatically lock the computer after the client has disconnected.

Other Settings

NoMachine also lets you forward the server’s hardware to the client. Basically, you can choose the devices that are available to a connected client. The devices include disks, printers, USB Devices, Smart Card Readers and Network Ports.

Moreover, the application also supports file transfers and lets clients upload any file to the server. You can define the maximum file size and select the directory where the files are stored. You can even enable file downloading for clients from the settings.

The performance features let you specify some settings related to video streaming. You can use a specific display encoding and set a minimum FPS for video streaming. Remember that more FPS means more resources are used. You can also enable GPU acceleration for display processing if your computer supports it.


As mentioned, the client is also accessible from the same application and is a neat implementation of all the features offered by the server. You can connect to any computer worldwide with the help of their host address and port number. The program will also automatically scan for any NoMachine servers in your network. The client is pretty easy to use and set up and works pretty much like any other Remote Desktop client that you might have used.

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WordPress Desktop App For Windows Pc: Review And How To Use It

Probably the most awaited Windows desktop app for bloggers, WordPress for Windows PC, is now available. chúng tôi is a popular platform to make a website or a blog. Whether you want to work on tech niche or fashion niche or anything else. You can easily opt for WordPress CMS, which is the best and very easy-to-use CMS.

Although, the WordPress app has been available for mobile platforms, yet, the desktop editions were still under development. However, now you can use WordPress for Windows PC without any special system requirements.

Although this app is named WordPress for Windows, you cannot use a self-hosted WordPress blog with this app. It only supports chúng tôi blogs. Therefore, if you have chúng tôi blog, you can utilize this app on your Windows machine. This is a drawback of this app. At the same time, this is a great update for chúng tôi users. Nevertheless, if you are using the Jetpack plugin, you can use this app partially because Jetpack has an option that lets users use their self-hosted WordPress blog and chúng tôi site from chúng tôi dashboard. Anyway, that is a different thing in this case.

UI of WordPress for Windows

The user interface of WordPress app for Windows is very neat and clean. Although it comes with a few couple of options, all of them are well organized. It has the traditional blue and white color combination. The overall design of WordPress app is pretty good and confusing.

WordPress desktop app for Windows PC

As mentioned before, there is no such strict system requirement – at least, nothing is mentioned on the official website. Therefore, it is possible to install this app on almost all the latest Windows versions including Windows 10. First, install the WordPress desktop app on your Windows PC to get started. After opening it, you will get a window like this,

After logging in, the following window will appear:

It will show you your followed websites or the Reader window where you can read different posts by different chúng tôi blog owners.

WordPress for Windows has almost all the options that generally users get on web version. Therefore, let’s check out all the options of WordPress app for Windows.

Profile Management

My Profile:

Upload/change profile picture

Enter/change your name

Enter/change display name – this is what other people will see in the author bio

Edit author bio

Add additional site link

Account Settings:

Change username

Edit email address

Primary site selection – if you have multiple sites in one account, you can change the primary site. If you set Site A as primary site, you will get all the things related to that whenever you will sign in

Change web address of your site

Change interface language

Enable/disable Fun Mode


Change password

Enable/disable two-step authentication – this is recommended for any account including this one

Manage connected app – you can mainly find chúng tôi Desktop app in the list. Don’t disconnect this app. Otherwise, you will have to log in again


Now, if you want to customize your site with beautiful free themes, you may need to check out these steps.

Here, you can find a lot of free and paid themes. You can filter that using a button that looks like this,

After enabling a theme, if you want to customize that, just hit the Customize button that is positioned on the same page.

If you are getting any problems while loading the customizer, don’t panic. You are not alone. Many other users are getting the same problem with this app.

However, if you can open the theme customizer, you can add various widgets and do other stuff from the same window.

Set up Menu

Menu bar or navigation bar is an important element of any webpage that helps users to find out different things faster. For example, you are writing on Windows OS and you have added some categories in the post. Or you have added some pages like About Us, Contact etc. Now, if you want to add a menu bar to your website, you need to follow this guide.

Write first post

Now, as everything is almost ready, it’s time to write your first post or write another post. To write a post, you can find an Add button next to the Blog Posts options.

The most important part of any website is statistics. You can record your visitor statistics using in-built or third-party services like Google Analytics, StatCounter etc. Here you can find the in-built tracking system and the big thing is you do not have to include any code to start tracking. Just head over to the Stats tab to check your visitor statistics.

How to quit WordPress app in Windows Drawbacks in WordPress for Windows

Although Automattic has launched the WordPress app for Windows to make things easier, it comes with some tiny flaws. Here are some of them,

Theme customizer doesn’t work properly. Many users have got problems while customizing the theme.

Scrolling is not so smooth. Sometimes, you can get the scrolling but the scroll bar remains in the same position.

You cannot add more people to your blog from this app. You will have to open the web version to get things done.

Last but not the least, this app is not compatible with self-hosted WordPress blog.

Considering all the things, this is quite good for chúng tôi users since they always have to use the web interface to run their blog. After Windows Live Writer, the official app will make their work faster for sure.

If you like, you can download WordPress for Windows from chúng tôi .

Avira Free Security Suite For Windows 10 Pc

The recently released Avira Free Security Suite for Windows PC offers complete protection against viruses, ransomware, and all kinds of malicious code & makes your browsing safe & private.

Today, the world of digital media is not safe! Be it the Internet or offline media storage. If you stumble upon some malicious data on the Internet or media storage devices like USB, DVD, etc., your PC can get affected by deadly viruses. To save your PC from harmful virus and Trojan attacks, it is important to have a good antivirus or an Internet Security Suite installed on your PC. Windows Defender comes pre-installed on Windows PCs, but most users want feature-rich security software. If you are looking for one, take a look at Avira Free Security Suite.

Avira Free Security Suite review

Avira is largely famous for its product lineup in the security field for Windows OS. The company has launched the 2023 version of its traditional anti-virus and other sister products. Avira Free Security Suite is a software bundle provided to you by Avira for free, which consists of Avira Free Antivirus for Windows along with some other useful products to help secure your computing environment. All of these products are also available for premium usage which you can buy from the official Avira website.


The suite triggers an online installation of the applications that are included in this bundle, through Avira Connect hub which is the company’s official Application Manager and Launcher tool.

One thing worth mentioning here is that you don’t get a full-fledged version of some of the applications included in this pack. These are cut short in terms of features that you get only with the premium plans. Also, you don’t get to customize the settings of these programs during installation. However, you can manually choose to opt-out of installing any application in this package.

Once all your selected applications are installed, Avira Security Suite takes over the job of managing security tasks on your PC. Now, let’s take a look at the key software included in this suite.

Avira Free Antivirus

When you launch the Antivirus, you will notice two sections. One is the left-side navigation pane where you can switch between various Administration and Protection modules. Other is the right side pane which puts forth a brief system protection status along with some context menu for PC and Internet protection. You can start the system-wide scan right from the landing page while configuring the Scanner process and settings per your wish.

The native system scanner is quite powerful with a wide range of options to scan local drives, removable drives, Windows system directories, active processes, etc. for possible penetrative threats. Its live real-time protection module gives you an overview of the total number of files scanned and suspicious ones detected.

You can start the system-wide scan right from the landing page while configuring the Scanner process and settings per your wish.

The native system scanner is quite powerful with a wide range of options to scan local drives, removable drives, Windows system directories, active processes, etc. for possible penetrative threats. Its live real-time protection module gives you an overview of the total number of files scanned and suspicious ones detected. Avira’s detection technology is quite impressive where it matches any possible threat against a list of dangerous and safe files.

Overall, Avira Free Antivirus is quite august in its detection mechanism, but the presentation could still be improved. Comparing to its peer competitors like Avast, Kaspersky, etc., Avira lacks a bit behind in terms of an impressive UI. Although truth be told, its Antivirus program is really good with its subtle approach and solid execution.

Avira System Speedup

Another wolf in this pack is Avira System Speedup which helps you accelerate your PC and free up some memory. Over time, an average PC user ends up with an unwanted glut of temporary unwanted files and programs which eat up the storage space unnecessarily, lowering down the performance as a whole.

Avira System Speedup punctures deep into your system and tracks down the unwanted programs, junk files, logs, cookies, leftover registry entries thoroughly removing them and improving overall system health.

With a surprisingly clean UI, this app divides the system cleanliness factors in terms of disk health, system performance and privacy score. A score is maintained in terms of these factors which determines how responsive, safe and clean your device is.

You can scan your PC for unwanted and bad files right from the first leaf. While scanning, it measures the potential junk files, registry errors and private data breaches across the system storage. You can optimize your device by fixing the issues detected and henceforth increasing your device score.

Apart from this, you can also optimize the average boot time which calculates the effect of various startup programs on system boot time and calls for action accordingly on the programs that can be started up after boot or during boot. Then there are these power modes that manage your device’s performance and compare energy usage. The tool is overall quite effective in terms of tracking down dangling issues which are rather a hard nut to crack for an average PC user.

Other gems in the box

Apart from the above two big shot software, Avira Security Suite comes uploaded with some other useful tools as well. Phantom VPN secures your Wi-Fi connections and enables you to surf anonymously while keeping you unhackable, untraceable and uncensorable. It masks your IP address and safeguards your private data while securing your online connection. Whether you’re a movie lover, intense gamer or website owners like us, Phantom VPN connects you safely and anonymously over the internet via a VPN tunnel.

Our Conclusion

Avira Security Suite Free is a great package in terms of vast security features that you get rewarded with without paying a single penny, and we recommend it highly. It does not include a Firewall, though, but instead, adds some features to the Windows Firewall.

Even so, it is quite better than most of its competitors in the market including Windows Defender. You’d, for sure, want to consider installing it for its impressive threat detection technology. While making you pay zero bucks, it is worth a try.

You can download Avira Free Security Suite from its official website. Let us know your thoughts on the same.

Best Free Mp4 To Mp3 Converter For Windows Pc

In the following article, you would find the best free MP4 to MP3 converters for Windows 11/10/8/7 PC. We have included freeware, Microsoft Store apps, and online MP4 to MP3 converter tools on this list. MP4 is the most popular video format and MP3 is the most popular audio format. All major media players support these two formats.

MP4 to MP3 converters for Windows 11/10

Users usually convert music videos from MP4 to MP3 since the MP3 audio files are smaller in size and you wouldn’t need to play the video to listen to the music this way. Below is the list of the best free MP4 to MP3 converters for PC:

Video Converter Any Format

Free Video Converter

Total Video Converter

Wondershare UniConverter

Freemake Video Converter

Online Converter


1] Video Converter Any Format

When an app is literally called “Any Format” it will support any format. This is your go-to app if you have small and large files of various formats lying around. You can convert any video to MP3 or vice-versa. Download this app directly from the Microsoft Store. This Cidade app made some changes and bug fixes. Now it is smooth and flexible. You can convert various types of files at the same time. You will like this app.

2] VideoSoft Converter

3] Total Video Converter

This freeware from Fruit Candy specializes in video-to-audio conversion. Also known as Any Video Converter, this app actually allows you to convert any media file format. Download the app from the Microsoft Store. Enjoy high-quality audio and video every time you convert a file. The original quality of the audio or video file is not compromised with Total Video Converter.

4] Wondershare UniConverter

5] Freemake Video Converter

The Freemake Video Converter makes it to every video converter list. It is not only free of cost. It allows the user the freedom of platform, file size, media file format, and storage space. Download the app from the official website here. Download whichever converter you need. Convert as many files you want to and in any format. You can trim and edit videos without needing any tutorial. This app is very responsive and user-friendly.

You don’t have to worry about paying or about sticking to the daily limit. These apps are all free and fully functional. You won’t need to upgrade to the premium version as long as you choose the software best suited to your needs.

6] Online Converter

Online Converter service brings a separate MP4 to MP3 converter tool. You can upload up to 200 MB MP4 file (*.mp4, *.m4v, *.h265, *.264, *.hevc, *.m4b, etc.) from your system and get the output as MP3 audio file. The output audio quality can also be set using the drop-down menu. You first need to select the Options box and then choose an audio quality (320 kbps, 128 kbps, 256 kbps, 192 kbps, etc.) using a drop-down menu.

To use this tool, open its homepage from chúng tôi Use the Choose File button to add an MP4 video. Set the audio quality or leave it to default. Press the Convert button and then it will upload the input video. After that, the conversion process will start and you will get a Download Now link to save the MP3 audio file to your Windows 11/10 PC.

7] FreeConvert

FreeConvert is also an online tool that comes with a handy MP4 to MP3 Converter feature. It lets you add multiple MP4 files from your system and convert them to MP3 at once. The feature to add the input video file from Google Drive or Dropbox account is also available to use.

Before starting the conversion process, you can also access the Advanced settings section for each input file separately and then set the audio options as per your requirement. It lets you use fade-in and fade-out options, reverse audio, and trim audio to get only specific parts from the MP4 video as MP3 audio, adjust volume, and more.

You can use this MP4 to MP3 converter tool without signing up. To use this tool, open its homepage from chúng tôi In the free plan, users get 25 conversion minutes per day but that would be sufficient.

Once you have opened its homepage, use Choose Files button to add MP4 files. Set audio options if you want or keep them to default. Press the Convert to MP3 button. The tool will upload the input files, convert them, and provide you with the download links to save the MP3 files.

How do I convert MP4 to MP3 on Windows for free?

To convert an MP4 video file to MP3 audio on Windows for free, you can use free software, Microsoft Store apps, and/or online MP4 to MP3 converter tools. We have created a list of such tools for Windows 11/10 in this post that you can try. Some of these tools also let you set the audio quality for the output MP3.

What program can I use to convert MP4 to MP3?

If you want to convert MP4 to MP3 audio files on a Windows 11/10 computer, then Freemake Video Converter, FreeConvert, DVDVideoSoft Free Video to MP3 Converter, etc., are some good free tools to use. A list of all these tools is covered by us in this post. Check them out.

More converter tools that may interest you:

Mouse Not Captured In Remote Desktop Session

If you use an old version of Hyper-V and it displays an error message saying Mouse not captured in Remote Desktop session, here is how you can eliminate the issue. Even if you get this problem on a newer version of Hyper-V, you could still follow the same tips to troubleshoot the issue.

Mouse not captured in Remote Desktop session

If the Mouse is not captured in a Remote Desktop session, follow these solutions:

Insert Integration Services Setup Disk

Turn on Enhanced Session mode

Enable Data Exchange in Hyper-V Manager

Start Hyper-V Data Exchange Service

Reinstall mouse driver

To know more about these solutions, keep reading.

1] Insert Integration Services Setup Disk

Then, choose the ISO file.

However, if you use a new edition of Hyper-V, there is no need to go through this step. As it mainly arises on older editions of Hyper-V, this solution works fluently.

2] Turn on Enhanced Session mode

As the Remote Desktop sessions are dependent on the Enhanced Session mode in Hyper-V, you need to turn it on. Even if you turned it on earlier, you could disable and re-enable the same setting. For your information, you can find two options to enable the Enhanced Session mode in Hyper-V.

The first one is related to the Server, and the second one is for the users. You need to enable them both so that no confusion appears. You can go through this step-by-step guide to turn on Enhanced Session mode on Hyper-V.

3] Enable Data Exchange in Hyper-V Manager

To enable Data Exchange in Hyper-V Manager, follow these steps:

Open the Hyper-V Manager on your computer.

Choose the virtual machine.

Head to the Integration Services menu.

Tick the Data Exchange checkbox.

Then, restart the Hyper-V and check if the problem has been resolved or not.

4] Start Hyper-V Data Exchange Service

Hyper-V Data Exchange Service lets you exchange data between your host and virtual computers. If this service is disabled in any way, numerous problems could appear. For example, you may not be able to use mouse on the Remote Desktop session. That is why it is recommended to verify the service. For that, do the following:

Search for  chúng tôi  in the Taskbar search box.

Find the Hyper-V Data Exchange Service setting.

Choose the Startup type as Manual.

5] Reinstall mouse driver

In most cases, you do not need to install a driver to use a mouse on Windows 11. However, some gaming and high-end mouses require you to install a driver in order to work fluently. If you haven’t installed the driver and tried to use it on Hyper-V, there is a chance of getting the above-mentioned problem. That is why it is suggested to install the mouse driver – no matter whether you have this problem on Windows 11, Windows 10, or any other version.

Read: How to reset Mouse settings to default in Windows

Why is my mouse not showing in RDP?

There could be various reasons why your mouse is not showing in RDP or Restore Desktop session. However, the most common reason could be the corrupt driver of your mouse. In that case, it is highly recommended to reinstall or update the driver to the latest version before heading to the other solutions.

How do I capture mouse input in Hyper-V?

Read: Hyper-V Mouse input not captured in Windows.

The Best Free Software For Your Pc

Stocking your PC is an intensely personal task. But some programs are so helpful that we heartily recommend them to everybody. These free PC programs—a mix of must-haves and delightful auxiliary apps—deserve a place on almost any computer (unlike, say, this more niche roundup of 5 free Windows power user tools we can’t live without). There are times when a paid alternative makes sense, however. We’ve pointed out the circumstances where an upgrade over the free offering is warranted, along with our recommendation for the category.

And if you’re selecting these programs as part of breaking in an all-new PC, be sure to check out our guide to how to set up new computer up the right way. Let’s dig in!


FREE disk partition software – EaseUS Partition Master Free

Free Download

A better browser


Before you roll up your sleeves and start slinging software around, make sure to snag your web browser of choice. Using Windows 10 and 11’s default Edge browser when you’re accustomed to something else feels like wearing somebody else’s shoes. (Blech.)

That said, our money’s actually on Edge, which earned top honors in PCWorld’s extensive best browser showdown, barely nudging out Google’s just-as-superb Chrome browser. But hey, they’re all free! Try before you “buy”—we’ve published some extensive looks at compelling features you’ll only find on Edge, Firefox, and Vivaldi (a.k.a. the enthusiast’s browser). 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Maybe. Browsers are largely free, and mostly fantastic already. For Windows users there is Ghost Browser, which lets you sandbox separate online identities while viewing them all in a single window. At $120 per year, however, you’ve got to really need what Ghost Browser’s offering.


Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. For most users there really isn’t a worthy alternative, and even if there was it wouldn’t justify the cost. That said, there is a paid complementary utility called Ninite Updater that costs $10 per year that makes it easy to keep all your desktop programs up-to-date.


Accidentally installing unwanted bloatware is one of the greatest dangers of free software, the sanctity of Ninite aside. For everything else, use Unchecky. Unchecky automatically unchecks all of the checkboxes when you’re trying to install a program, and warns you if shady software is trying to sneak something ugly onto your machine. 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. Again Unchecky is in a league unto itself, and while you might find similar capabilities bundled in an antivirus program, there’s little reason to look elsewhere.

Microsoft PowerToys

Jared Newman / Foundry

If you want to fine-tune your Windows experience, be sure to check out Microsoft’s killer PowerToys suite. Ostensibly for enthusiasts, PowerToys is absolutely loaded with tools designed to streamline all sorts of PC hassles. It offers utilities to batch resize images, quickly find your mouse cursor, always keep a chosen window on top of your others, remap your keyboard keys, show file previews in File Explorer, and a whole lot more. And you should definitely be using FancyZones, Microsoft’s killer multitasking app.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Nope—no premium alternative exists for Microsoft’s awesome collection of tools.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

The Windows Security software enabled by default in Windows 10 provides solid protection for most users, but no single antivirus utility offers bulletproof protection, especially against the latest and most clever threats. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free was designed specifically to find and eliminate those cutting-edge “zero-day” vulnerabilities. You can’t schedule scans or even use it as a regular antivirus program, but it’s invaluable when you think that something nasty has slipped by your primary antivirus utility.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Norton 360 Deluxe

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

Yes. As the saying goes, “a few megabytes of prevention is worth a terabyte of cure,” or something like that. Malwarebytes is great at saving infected computers, but Malwarebytes Premium at $40 per year is on guard to stop the malware from getting in its hooks in the first place.

Beyond that, premium antivirus options offer a combination of excellent protection, a worthwhile selection of features, and minimal impact on your PC’s performance. PCWorld’s guide to the best antivirus for Windows PCs can walk you through your options.


On the surface, Launchy is a simple app launcher, and that’s swell all on its own! App launchers let you activate software far faster than navigating Windows, even if you use the Windows key and search for an app by name. But Launchy can do much, much more: Open any file or folder in mere seconds, shut down your PC, or even kill processes and perform math calculations with the right plug-ins. Read Lifehacker’s superb tutorial and forget about your Start menu.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. Launchy is another Windows utility that is unto itself; however, the developers do accept donations, and we highly recommend tossing the developers a few dollars for this excellent program.


Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. 7-Zip is great, and paid parallels such as WinZip really don’t offer enough to justify the fee. If you spend all day unzipping massive archive files then maybe a faster utility like WinZip is worth it. For most of us, however, 7-zip is just great.


Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. VLC is just fantastic, and you won’t find a paid option that justifies its worth compared to this free workhorse. You can, however, send the VideoLAN organization a donation as a thank you for its hard work.

Don’t let’s freebie status fool you: This image editor may not have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop, but it packs everything that most people need (even layer-based editing) and costs hundreds of dollars less. We’ve got chúng tôi tips to help you get started with this killer no-cost software.

If you’re a graphics professional, and you can’t afford Photoshop but require more than chúng tôi offers, check out GIMP. It has a challenging learning curve, but its capabilities are damned impressive once you wrap your head around it. Those aren’t your only options though. Check out our roundup of the best free Photoshop alternatives for more no-cost programs for everything from quick and dirty tweaks to nitty-gritty image edits.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?


If you need to record or mix audio without spending big bucks on pro software, Audacity is hands-down the best option around. This powerful open-source audio editor offers excellent production capabilities—and a dizzying array of buttons and options. Snag it, then read PCWorld’s Audacity primer to wrap your head around the basics.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Maybe. For most users Audacity is a powerful tool, but if you’re rising to the level of semi-pro and need a deeper level of audio editing then Adobe’s Audition CC for $21 per month might be worth it. Keep in mind, however, that Adobe Audition is a pro tool and not a starter option.

Revo Uninstaller

When you delete software using Windows’ default uninstallation utility, it can leave a lot of remnants behind in weird places, sucking up precious storage space. Revo Uninstaller wipes out everything. It’s great. 

(Pro tip: If you encounter a program that says it can’t be deleted because it’s currently in use by your system, IOBit’s free Unlocker can loosen its grasp.)

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Yes. Revo uninstaller only takes care of the basics. If you need features like getting rid of remnants from previously uninstalled programs or mass uninstalls then spending $20 on Revo Uninstaller Pro or a $20 yearly subscription to Iobit Uninstaller Pro is worth it.


Michael Crider/IDG

Managing your computer’s storage space is kind of an all-or-nothing experience. Windows will tell you how much space is left on your drive, and that’s it; it’s up to you to dive into a million different directories and clear out the gunk when you’re running low on space. SpaceSniffer (try not to giggle) from Uderzo Software solves this by scanning an entire drive and presenting your files and folders in a visual grid, which makes it easy to find “lost” programs eating up huge chunks of your hard drive space. It’s one of the five Windows power tools we can’t live without.

WinDirStat is another free program that behaves similarly to SpaceSniffer. If you’re looking to free up some space for the latest massive game install, you’ll want one of these installed on your PC.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Nope. Enough said.


But what if you want to bring a deleted file back to the realm of the living? Recuva is a clean, simple undelete program from Piriform, the makers of CCleaner.

Be warned: Recuva won’t be able to recover all deleted files, and the odds are even lower if you erased a program with a secure delete tool like Eraser (another top-notch free program). Still, Recuva has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Maybe. Recuva helps you recover files, but if you want power user features like virtual hard drive support and automatic updates then the $20 for Recuva Pro might be worth it.

Sumatra PDF

Adobe Reader may be the go-to PDF reader for many people, but it’s clunky, constantly updating, and frequently targeted by malware peddlers. If you need only basic functionality, go with Sumatra PDF instead. Sumatra lacks the fancy extras found in many full-featured PDF readers, but when it comes to straight-up reading Portable Document Format files, Sumatra PDF is blazing-fast and completely accurate. Oh, and since it’s less ubiquitous than Adobe’s offering, hackers tend to stay away from Sumatra PDF.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. There are paid PDF readers such as Adobe’s Acrobat or Wondershare’s PDFelement. But they offer features that few people need such as the ability to edit PDFs, watermark, and annotate them.

Spotify or iTunes

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

A password manager

The high-profile hack attacks of the past few years have driven home the point: You need strong passwords, and you need a different password for each site you visit. Rather than juggling dozens of alphanumeric codes in your noggin, download a password manager. 

There are several options available, but our favorite freebie is Bitwarden, a no-cost password manager with few restrictions (unlike the free offerings from premium favorites like LastPass and Dashlane). PCWorld’s guide to the best password managers and the best free password managers can help walk you through all the available options.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Yes. Password managers are important tools, but you need them on all your devices to be effective and that means paying for the service. LastPass Premium is the cheapest subscription at $24 per year, but there’s also 1Password and Dashlane Premium.

A productivity suite

PCs excel at helping you Get Things Done—but few of them ship with a productivity suite installed. Fix that, stat! Even if you don’t plan to use a productivity suite regularly, it’s smart to have basic editing capabilities available on your computer.

Legions of people swear by Microsoft’s legendary Office; I do, too. But you don’t have to drop big dollars on Office if you don’t need its myriad bells and whistles. Free—and good—alternatives abound, with LibreOffice (pictured) being the flagship free-and-open-source option. The online-only Google Docs also rocks. PCWorld’s guide to the best free Microsoft Office alternatives explains your various options. 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Maybe. You can get a lot done with LibreOffice or Open Office, or even Google Docs. But there’s a lot to be said for Microsoft’s subscription service, Office 365, with its added 1TB of OneDrive storage and monthly Skype minutes. 


Macros sure are great in Microsoft Word and Excel, aren’t they? AutoHotKey lets you create customized keyboard shortcuts for any program or action on your PC. It’s not exactly beginner-friendly, as configuring AutoHotKey requires some very basic scripting, which most people will be able to pick up quickly enough. It’s downright magic once you wrap your brain around it though.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

No. Even if you could pay for a pro version, why would you? But if you like keyboard shortcuts, Vimium is another great free option for adding keyboard controls to your browser.

TunnelBear VPN

Browsing websites and sending private data over open Wi-Fi hotspots is just begging for hackers to capture the details. Virtual private networks secure your connection. If you need to log in to your work website or email at Starbucks, use TunnelBear to keep your data safe. It’s fast, easy to use, and has a straightforward privacy policy, unlike many VPNs.

The free version is limited to just 500MB of data per month, though. 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Yes. This is another one where “Hell Yes!” would be appropriate. TunnelBear is great, and we think it’s a trustworthy product, but the 500MB monthly limit is so tiny. There are numerous VPNs to choose from. Check out our roundup of the Best VPNs to find the one that suits you. Our current top pick is ExpressVPN.

Free games!

All work and no play makes Homer something something! Valve’s outstanding PC game marketplace, Steam, makes it easy to shrug off the stress of the workday and blow off some … well, you know. You’ll find tons of free games available on Steam, and games are frequently given away free for a limited time. If you want a steady stream of freebies, the rival Epic Games Store gives way a free game or two every single week.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Probably. Free games can only take you so far before you’re left wanting more. Steam, GOG, EA’s Origin, the Epic Games Store, and Blizzard can all satisfy your gaming needs once the free games aren’t enough. 

Bonus: Back up your PC!

This isn’t an official recommendation because the best way to back up your PC for free is to use a hodgepodge of native Windows utilities and no-cost third-party solutions. But backing up your data is so vital—especially in this rising age of ransomware—that it needs to be highlighted here.

If the idea of using a mish-mash of tools makes you wince, check out PCWorld’s guide to the best Windows backup software  for more options. You’re going to need some portable storage to stash your bits on, too. PCWorld’s best external drives roundup can help there.

Is it worth it to upgrade to a paid version?

Yes. The best strategy for backing up your PC isn’t just throwing your files on a hard drive over USB. You also need to have an online backup, and there are many services to choose from such as Backblaze, and Carbonite. Check out our guide to the best online backup services for more details.

Master your Windows PC

Now that you’ve loaded up your PC with the best free software around, it’s time to put Windows itself to work. Head on over to PCWorld’s guide to 10 little-known Windows features that will blow your mind to seize even more control over your PC for the low, low price of nothing.

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