How to download and install the programs
Before pointing out what I believe to be the most interesting and useful programs for Windows, it seems only right to explain to you how to download and install such software.
Programs for Windows, which can be either free and paid (usable by single purchase or by subscription) can be found on the network or, after downloading the relative file, or in the store, both physical and digital, and in this case they are generally distributed on physical media, such as diskettes or pendrives.
As for the download of programs from the Web, it is always good to pay particular attention to the sources and compatibility with the version of Windows used. The downloaded programs may in fact not work properly as they are intended for a different version of the OS from the one in use on the computer or, in the worst case scenario, they could be carriers of viruses and other computer threats that can turn the PC upside down. So… watch out!
Only in the specific case of Windows 8 / 8.x and Windows 10, it is also possible to refer to Microsoft Store, a dedicated store full of applications of all kinds certified directly by the Redmond company, perfectly compatible with the system in use and organized into practical categories. In that case, you need a Microsoft account (in this regard, I invite you to read my post dedicated to how to create a Microsoft account).
As regards the installation procedure, in the case of programs downloaded from the Internet, just double-click on the relative installation file and follow the guided setup that is proposed on the screen. In most cases it is sufficient to always click on NEXT or on Next.
As for programs on diskette and removable media, you must first insert the disk or connect the media to the PC, access its content (if it is not automatically proposed) through theEsplora risorse / Esplora file and proceed with the installation as indicated above.
It should also be noted that there are also programs that do not require installation. In this case we are talking about software of nature portable. They can therefore be performed directly and possibly also transported and used directly from a USB key.
The applications available on the Microsoft Store, on the other hand, can be installed simply by clicking on the button with the price (in the case of paid applications) or on the one written on it Free (in the case of free apps).
Now that you have perfectly clear ideas about how to download and install new programs for Windows, I would say that you are finally ready to move on to the next step: discover the resources most interesting for you for your computer and download them. So you can find what I believe to be the best software right below, organized by category of belonging. Have fun and have a good download!
By now, most of our time spent in front of the PC we spend connected to the Internet. That's why I would start from this theme by seeing together which are the best programs for Windows dedicated to Web browsing and online communication.
- Browser - Even if Internet Explorer in the latest versions has made many steps forward and Edge, the "standard" browser of Windows 10 is quite efficient, I strongly suggest you to rely on Chrome. The browser developed by Google is very fast, it perfectly displays 99% of websites and its basic functions (already very interesting) can be extended through free extensions. By connecting your browser to your Google account, you can also synchronize settings, bookmarks, extensions and history with multiple computers and devices completely free of charge. For other good alternatives, read my article focusing on the best browsers.
- Download fillet - With the spread of fast connections it is natural to take advantage of your free time spent on your PC to download files from the large network. For this purpose, I point out to you uTorrent, the renowned client for downloading Torrent files, in fact, thanks to which you can download movies, games, music and so on through the BitTorrent network. For more alternatives, I invite you to browse my overviews of programs to download music, programs to download videos and programs to download games that I have prepared for you. And if you are looking for a good download manager to download programs and files from the Internet at maximum speed, choose your favorite software from these download programs.
- Email - As for e-mail, unless you have particular needs from a business point of view, my advice is to use Thunderbird. In case you've never heard of it, Thunderbird is a great free and open source email client developed by Mozilla (which also develops Firefox). It is very easy to configure, does not consume excessive resources and its functions can be expanded through the use of free extensions. For other valid alternatives, take a look at my article dedicated to e-mail programs.
- Real-time communication - Considering the "departure" of Windows Live Messenger after so many years of honorable service, the program on which the attention of those who want to chat or video call on Windows should now be concentrated is Skype (owned by Microsoft itself). For other valid alternatives, check out my reviews of chat programs and video calling programs.
Now let's move on to Windows programs dedicated to productivity, that is, office work and other tasks that may concern the professional sphere. Here they are!
- PDF files - PDF documents are very popular in the workplace, so be able to read them quickly and - why not? - to modify them is very important. For these two needs, I would like to advise you Sumatra PDF, an ultra-essential PDF reader that opens in the blink of an eye even on older computers, e Nitro reader, another free application (but possibly also available in a paid variant with extra functions) that allows you to view, edit and create PDFs from various types of files. For other solutions, check out these lists of programs to open PDFs, programs to highlight PDFs and programs for PDFs that I have prepared for you.
- Writing, Spreadsheets and Presentations - Microsoft Office it still remains the most advanced office suite available for Windows today, yet it exists LibreOffice which offers a valid free alternative to the latter. In LibreOffice you can find a program for drafting documents, one for spreadsheets, one for presentations and other very functional and well-made applications, all in cittàn and capable of viewing / editing Office files. For other good solutions or if you are looking for standalone office applications, check out these reviews of office programs and writing programs.
- Compressed archives - Other types of files that we often find ourselves dealing with in the office (but not only) are compressed archives. Here is why I recommend that you download and install on your PC right away 7-Zip, an excellent free program that allows you to extract ZIP, RAR, 7Z and many other compressed archive formats and zip files easily. For other good alternatives, check out these overviews of programs to open ZIP files, programs to open RAR files, and programs to unzip files.
- Burning and Backup - At home or in the workplace, it is important to burn your documents and make backup copies of them. For this purpose I point out ImgBurn, one of the most popular zero-cost burning software mainly focused on copying CD / DVD and burning image files in various formats. Other interesting solutions can then be found in my guides on programs for burning, programs for duplicating CDs and programs for backups.
Fortunately, you don't just work on Windows. You can also have fun watching a movie, browsing your photos or listening to good music. Here are the best programs to do it.
- Video - If you don't want to waste time between unavailable codecs and unsupported files, I recommend watching your videos with VLC. It is a very popular free and open source media player that allows you to play all major video file formats without the need for external codecs. It also works with streaming video and HD content. As for video editing, ie the ability to edit and create movies with your PC, I would like to recommend you VideoPad. It is paid (but you can try it for free for a limited time) and it is quite simple and reliable. In the overviews of programs for watching videos and programs for video editing you will find other software that may interest you.
- Music: In managing and playing music on Windows I prefer to use Foobar2000 which is one of the most versatile and powerful cost-free audio players. It supports all major audio file formats and has a minimalist interface. As for editing audio files, you couldn't find a better solution than Audacity, which is completely free and allows you to “edit” audio files in 360 degrees. Other very valid solutions are listed in the galleries programs for listening to music and programs for audio editing.
- Gallery - As for the photos, if you want to view them quickly I recommend IrfanView, which supports all major graphic file formats. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something for photo editing, of course I recommend you Photoshop or, if you are looking for a free alternative, GIMP which offers much of Photoshop's functionality through a very easy-to-use user interface. Other programs that you can consider are those listed in the program guides for viewing photos and programs for photo editing.
Maintenance and Safety
Over time, it is well known, the PC ends up slowing down, which is why it is important to carry out constant maintenance operations. Just as it is important to use a good antivirus and keep your system safe against the cyber threats that can arrive every day from the Internet. Here are some tips about it.
- Maintenance - The best program to improve Windows performance is without a doubt CCleaner, which allows you to delete unnecessary files from the PC hard disk and correct errors in the system registry. However, you can take a look at these reviews of programs to optimize your computer, programs to speed up your PC, and programs to clean the registry to find some other suitable solution.
- Safety - In terms of security, my advice is to avoid paid suites (which can slow down the system) and replace them with free and light antivirus, such as Bitdefender ed Avast. Also, I recommend that you download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and use it to scan about once a month. Other computer security programs you can find in my guides the best antivirus and programs to eliminate viruses.
How to uninstall programs
Have you thought about it and want to get rid of one or more of the programs you downloaded installed? The thing is feasible and, I'll tell you more, it's also very simple.
To succeed in your intent just click on Start button (The pennant of Windows on the taskbar), invoke the Control Panel from the menu that opens and click Uninstall a program (if you can't see the item in question, enable viewing Category in the menu at the top right).
Then select the program you want to remove from the list that appears, click on the button Uninstall at the top and follow the uninstallation wizard that is proposed to you on the screen. Generally it is sufficient to always click on NEXT or on Next.
Keep in mind that in the specific case of some programs the removal procedure cannot be performed from the Control Panel but a specific uninstall package must be downloaded, usually available directly on the website of the reference developer.
Furthermore, in the specific case of Windows 10 it is possible to proceed with removing programs and applications even from the system settings. To do this, call up the Start menu by clicking on the appropriate button attached to the taskbar, select Settings (the icon with thegear), click your System in the window that appeared on the desktop and choose App and features to the left.
Then select the application you wish to act on from the list on the right and press the button Uninstall you see appearing twice in a row. Et voila!
For more information about the practices in question, please refer to my post on how to uninstall a program through which I proceeded to talk to you about the matter in great detail.Windows programs