20 Essential Windows Applications You Should Install

Windows Applications

There are a few Windows applications I use that I couldn’t live without. I install many of these programs on my personal Windows computers immediately upon a fresh install of the OS, and I urge you to do the same. Here is an alphabetical list of 20 Windows applications that I find incredibly useful.

20 Essential Windows Applications


  1. Calibre – Calibre is a powerful utility that allows you to manage your eBook library across all of your devices. It has advanced metadata and plugin support.
  1. IrfanView – IrfanView is an incredibly lightweight image viewer bundled with a few simple image editing/conversion utilities. It’s far better than the image viewer built-in to Windows. Make sure to install the IrfanView Plugins package for the best experience.
  1. Mp3tag – Mp3tag is a powerful utility that can be used to organize the metadata tags inside your music files. This utility has touched all of the songs in my music library at one point.
  1. VLC Media Player – You’ve probably seen the iconic traffic cone logo of VLC before. VLC is a fantastic media player that will play any media file you throw at it.

Filesystem Utilities

  1. 7-Zip – 7-Zip is superior to the built-in Windows unzipping utility, as it can handle far more file formats, including .RAR and .tar.gz.
  1. EaseUS Partition Manager – EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is a partition/disk management solution. It allows you to extend partitions and manage disk space easily on Windows.
  1. CCleaner – CCleaner removes old and unnecessary files from your filesystem, speeding up your PC and recovering gigabytes of precious hard disk space.
  1. Dropbox – Dropbox allows you to easily sync files between all of your devices. This is one of my must-have utilities.
  1. Everything – Everything searches your entire filesystem instantly, as you type. I use it every day and can’t imagine using a PC without it installed.
  1. Recuva – Recuva is a very powerful file recovery/”undelete” tool for Windows.
  1. WinDirStat – WinDirStat allows you to visually inspect the contents of your hard drive. It’s a very useful organizational tool for disk space.


  1. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free – MBAM Free is a fantastic and fast passive anti-malware solution. It will only run when you tell it to, and it catches more malware on my system than other solutions.
  1. Ninite – Ninite is an easy way to install multiple useful programs at one time. Note: Ninite installs all of the programs you select in their default locations.
  1. Notepad++ – Quite simply: A better Notepad for Windows. Immensely useful as both a simple text editor and a programmer’s best friend, considering its powerful code highlighting capabilities.
  1. PDF Split and Merge Free – PDF SAM does what it says on the tin. It allows you to split multi-page PDF documents into separate documents, and merge separate PDF documents into one document.
  1. Prey – You should probably install Prey on all of the devices you own that aren’t desktop computers. Prey allows you to track your devices that are lost or stolen. Think “Find my iPhone” for your computers.
  1. qBittorrent – qBittorrent is my favorite torrent utility. It’s fast, lightweight, and doesn’t include ads.
  1. Speccy – Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC. Need to find out the hardware inside your computer? No problem! Speccy will give you all the information you need.
  1. SumatraPDF – SumatraPDF is superior to Adobe Reader in most cases, mainly because of how much faster and lighter-weight it is. It’s my favorite PDF viewer by far.
  1. WizMouse – Wizmouse allows you use your scroll wheel on windows that aren’t in focus, similar to the way OS X behaves.

That’s it! Please let me know if this list of essential Windows applications came in handy for you. If you can think of any other applications that should go on this list, leave me a comment below!

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Have a comment?