Free PC programs


(Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1l423z/what_is_a_free_pc_program_everyone_should_have/)

  • 7zip: In case anybody doesn't know, the freeware compression/decompression utlity of choice for zip, rar, etc
  • Abyss Web Server: Host from home.
  • AutoHotkey: Very powerful open source tool can script+customize macros, hotkeys, everything input related within the Windows environment right down to mouse clicks.
  • Bulk File Changer: Batch utility for altering file attributes.
  • Cabos: file sharing client for the Gnutella network. Not as much customization as the shareware Limewire but it does the same job.
  • CDisplay: CBR/CBZ format sequential reader, which are rebranded zip/rar extensions popular for image archives such as comic books, guitar tablature, etc.
  • Cheat Engine: Extensive memory editor/manager. sort of like Game Genie/Codebreaker for PC.
  • ClassicShell: Restores many of the Windows features that were stripped for Win7 including disk free space on Explorer's status bar, restores toolbars, the classic file copy dialog, etc.
  • Crosshair: Replaces the mouse cursor with an origin point along x and y axis and is surprisingly more handy than you might realize.
  • CPU-Z: Simple utility for monitoring system components+performance
  • DC++: File sharing client for the Direct Connect network that was providing a superior experience over the official Neo Modus client for years.
  • DriverSweeper: I've been using this for some time to clear old drivers from systems.
  • EaseUS: Several great products like Partition Manager and Disk Copy, generously free for personal use.
  • EasyBCD: You would want this in order to manage boot loaders and restoring+repairing broken entries under Windows.
  • eMule:Yet another file sharing client, for the eDonkey and Kad networks. I believe eDonkey is shut down now but Kad seems fruitful.
  • FileTypesMan: All the features Microsoft stripped from file extension management in Vista and 7, and all the features they should have implemented in the first place.
  • Filezilla: Fully featured freeware FTP client.
  • Flare: Decompile Flash swf.
  • Foxit: Freeware PDF reader as the less annoying alternative to Adobe.
  • Go PlayAlong: Shareware guitar tablature player for Guitar Pro formats. Just recently got into it, but I love the mp3 sync feature for backing tracks.
  • HJSplit: Who could live without a handy file splitter-joiner?
  • HTTrack: Downloads web site resources to generate a mirror for offline browsing. Use responsibly.
  • JoyToKey: J2K can map controller input to keyboard keypresses, useful if a game fails to provide joypad support when they should have. Results may vary.
  • KeyTweak: Remap keyboard keys.
  • Less Msiérables: Extracting contents from a .msi file.
  • Microsoft GIF Animator: Classic, no frills tool for creating gifs.
  • Microsoft Power Toys: More from the "why isn't that built into XP by default" category, includes utilities like CmdHere that will add a directory context to Explorer for opening a command prompt at that target location.
  • Opera: Yeah, all those features people rave over Firefox? Opera was doing them years prior.
  • PeerBlock: Monitors connections and blocks many of them based upon lists of registered IP ranges belonging to various government, anti-p2p, etc. agencies.
  • PowerMenu: Adds 'always on top' and other functions to Windows. I think I got this for some emulators lacking it.
  • Programmer's Notepad: My preference for a text editor+Notepad substitute. All the best features like code differentiation formatting, tabbed organization, managing projects.
  • Putty: Excellent Telnet+SSH client with great functionality. I've been using it for my *nix shell as far back as I can remember.
  • ShellExView: If you want to cut down on some of the unnecessary shell extensions crowding the right click menu under Windows Explorer, this is a handy way to do it without manually editing the registry.
  • Soulseek: Used it for gathering some hard-to-find music way back. Because it runs off users shares, it doesn't have the shorter lifespan of most torrents but it's more manageable than Limewire and those types.
  • Sumatra PDF: Seems to be a popular lightweight reader. Has one .dat file for preferences, doesn't require an installer and supports numerous file formats.
  • Sysinternals: Every one of these should come packaged in Windows by default. All the utilities you may want as a Windows power user are here including Process Monitor and Autoruns.
  • Utorrent: My favorite bittorrent client to date. They're not kidding about the lightweight and efficient part. Also customizable and fully featured.
  • WatchCat: Really old program for a few functions like toggling visibility of windows to hide them from observation. It was great for hiding the omnipresent banner ads in some software through the 90s. I'm sure there are some potential uses for it even today. Still works under Windows 7!
  • WinDirStat: Very useful utility builds a graphical table of any drive or directory tree in order to quickly identify consumption.
  • Windows Resource Hacker: Can import+export the resources of Windows formats including exe, dll, ocx, etc
  • XN Resource Editor: If Resource Hacker isn't up to the job any more, there is Resource Editor.
  • XVI32: My preferred hex editor.

Video & Audio

  • AVI cc changer: In case you need to alter the identifier in video files
  • AVI Mux: Utility for managing multiple audio streams in video files. For example, adding a commentary track from an mp3 file to an avi video.
  • CCCP: The Combined Community Codec Pack, which I've found immensely useful for installing on other people's systems so I'm not plagued by requests to troubleshoot+resolve every little codec issue they encounter.
  • DVDx: Rips video files from dvd source.
  • Exact Audio Copy: Once upon a time CD ripping and encoding wasn't available in every other program. Still seems to be used by many people.
  • Gspot: Tool for gathering information on video files and infinitely useful for troubleshooting codec issues
  • Media Player Classic Home Cinema: My own preference for video player, and immensely superior to WMP.
  • MP3tag: Probably the best and fully featured tag editor for media files around, far better than Winamp and iTunes.
  • Real Alternative: Play .rm files without having to install the worst player ever.
  • VCD Gear: Various functions for mpeg & vcd formats
  • VideoLAN media player: A decent player to install on other people's systems because I still hate getting phone calls over mundane issues like codecs.
  • VirtualDub: Great video processing utility for encoding and editing videos.
  • Winamp: Still my favorite audio player since the 90s, and has grown to continue supporting everything I need with plugins like ml_ipod and the new Bento interface.

Emulation

  • Daemon Tools: Even after going commercial they're still the optical drive emulation software of choice as far as I know.
  • DeSmuME: Seems to be the only major Nintendo DS emulator in development as of 2012. Not sure why anyone would want it when a NDS+flash card are so cheap though.
  • Dolphin: The only solution for Gamecube and Wii, because you haven't enjoyed New SMB until you've played it with a Sony controller.
  • DOSBox: DOS emulator for Windows, because Microsoft can't be arsed to provide real backwards compatibility for their own OS legacy.
  • ePSXe: Definitive PSX emulator.
  • KEGA Fusion: There are quite a few SEGA emulators out there. This one is best.
  • Hoxs64: Very faithful Commodore 64 emulator.
  • MameUI: Formally Mame32, Windows port of Mame.
  • NNNesterJ: Granted NES emulators are as abundant today as Tetris clones. But this one seems to be a little bit better than the others.
  • PCSX2: The foremost Playstation 2 emulator has developed enough to become playable for most games. A modern gaming system is absolutely required. Systems with integrated graphics adapters need not apply.
  • Project64: N64 emulator
  • Red Dragon: If you wanted to emulate VirtualBoy (for some reason)
  • ScummVM: PC adventure emulator for just about every known platform.
  • Stella: Atari 2600
  • Visualboy Advance: Emulates the entire line of Gameboy systems.
  • x360ce: Emulates the Xbox 360 controller Xinput.
  • ZSNES: SNES emulator for Windows.