Windows PC: Right Apps to Use

Windows users who have used Windows for more than one version know that Microsoft has many apps and utilities available that can improve your Windows experience. We already had a number of good options in the last edition. This year, there are a few more to offer. Installing some (or all) these is a good idea if your system is new.

Adobe Photoshop will still be the most powerful image manipulation application, but it is not available on a subscription basis. Affinity Photo, which costs $49.99, is an easier recommendation if you’re looking for a light, powerful, and portable photo app. Affinity Photo is similar to Photoshop. This means that even veterans won’t feel overwhelmed. Affinity Photo creators add new functionality regularly.

It is obvious that using a good password management program can help you avoid identity theft. There are many options, but 1Password and LastPass are the best. Both will prompt you to save your passwords. Both will add your ID, passwords and apps to your account automatically. Additionally, both will suggest random combinations that will keep intruders guessing. You can use them both and decide which one suits you best.

Drive space is precious and can be quickly used up. Before you know, you will have to try again and fail to install something else because it is taking up too much space. TreeSize Free, an excellent free app, can help you identify what is taking up most of your drive space. Sometimes it shows you information you might not know. It may tell you that half your drive is occupied by photos. Sometimes, it illuminates dormant or unnecessary files that can, once deleted.

LibreOfficeWriter is a good choice for those who prefer to work with local clients rather than using an insecure online word-processor. Open-source software has developed into a powerful and highly useful word processing tool.

I was running Windows 8 at the time and was hit with drive-by malware. The malware wouldn’t let me access my antivirus software, or any executable files. Malwarebytes was on my hard disk and would have made me completely insane. It ran twice after I opened it (and it did indeed start up, despite all the malware), and the bad guys were gone. I make sure to have a backup and I also run it every now and again just in case. It’s one among the most powerful anti-malware solutions available. And the version that disinfects it is free for personal use.

VLC media players have come a long way in the twenty-plus years since VLC was created, but this simple and efficient open-source media viewer is still my preferred choice. It’s also compatible with Macs, iPhones and Android. It’s simple and efficient, can run a wide variety of audio codecs, as well as just works.

Podcasts and other audio entertainment is big these days. Audacity, a great audio editor for audio creators and those who want to become one, is recommended. It offers a variety recording and editing tools and supports 16-bit 24-bit and 32 bit audio. There are a number of plug ins and previews of the effects they will have.

Wox is one such example. Wox adds a Mac-like launcher in Windows. It allows you to find files and applications quickly, as well as search the web. It is similar to Alfred, but it has a far more powerful search engine than Windows’ built-in search. Wox can also be customized with plug-ins. You can even translate languages directly within the launcher.

Clipmate has proven to be a very useful utility in many Windows versions. This allows you to save and make available thousands more clipboard saves than the last. Clipmate can be used to save clips and reformat them. You can also share them. Clipmate can still be useful for most people, and Windows 10 finally gives you the ability to access more clipboards.