Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection: Page 4 of 9

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 File and Desktop Utilities
 

Best Free Backup Software for Windows

Product ScreenshotComodo Backup -- Download | Review

"Comodo does offer full backup, incremental and differential as well as Shadow Copy. There are options to choose the level of compression from none to maximum, and the backup format. Types of backup formats include CBU file, simple copy, ZIP file, ISO file, self-extracting CBU file and file sync. "

Related: See here or here for related online apps and services.

What's it for? - The intention of file based backup software is to backup important data you create. Use backup software to save document files, browser favorites, pictures, videos and other data, documents and media. Some may perform imaging or cloning, most will not create a system startup disk to restore from.

 

Best Free Data Recovery Utility for Windows

Mini Tool Power Data Recovery -- Download | Review

Recover data after accidentally deleting it.

 

Best Free Desktop Search Utility for Windows

Locate32 -- Review

"Locate32 uses databases to store information about directory structures and uses these databases in searches."

 

Best Free Drive Imaging Software for Windows

Product ScreenshotMacrium Reflect Free Edition -- Download | Review

"A very solid application that is great at what it does. It offers a convenient and easy way to schedule backups with the XML definitions files via the GUI. The program now has capability, the possibly unique of free imagers, of cloning your working, running system, very very handy. It's already made my life easier."

Related: For guidance on drive imaging, see Gizmo's three part article, encouragingly named "Never Re-install Windows Again" -- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

What's it for? - Disk Imaging has rapidly become a must have tool for most users because of its convenience, speed, and ease of use. It nearly eliminates any reason at all for going through the painful process of completely reinstalling, re-updating, and re-customizing Windows. A user can quickly recover from a system crash or a bad virus infection by simply restoring to a backup image.

 

Best Free File Archiver or Zip Utility for Windows

7-Zip -- Download | Review

Archive files/folders to better transfer, store, and organize your data. Chosen for Gizmo's 9 great freeware.

 

Best Free File Comparison Utility for Windows

WinMerge or KDiff3 -- Review

"Compare and merge the differences between two (or more) versions of the same text file, or detect variations between two different sets of data."

 

Best Free File Copy Utility for Windows

FastCopy -- Download | Review

"FastCopy is the Fastest Copy/Delete Software on Windows."

 

Best Free File Encryption Utility for Windows

Axcrypt -- Download | Review

AxCrypt provides secure AES-128 encryption of single files using passwords, and optionally key-files as well, which AxCrypt can generate for you. Usage is wonderfully simple. To encrypt a file or files in a folder, just right-click the file or folder and select "encrypt". Simply double-clicking an encrypted file lets you edit or view it with the program of your choice (you must supply the password). Closing an open file automatically re-encrypts the file. Self-decrypting files are also supported, removing the need to install AxCrypt to decrypt.

Related: Learn about other important steps/cautions beyond encryption here.

What's it for? - Encryption is normally used to protect highly sensitive documents, but it's a good way to stop people from looking at your personal stuff.

 

Best Free File Manager for Windows

FreeCommander XE -- Download | Review

"The Beta version of the new FreeCommander XE is the top pick for this year. FCXE has an elegant and user friendly UI. With a 2 pane interface and shortcuts available along the vertical and horizontal toolbars, there’s a lot to love here. The file manager provides one touch access to most of the system directories, desktop items, start menu and control panel items."

What's it for? - Replaces the simplistic Windows Explorer, allowing for better customization, tabbed browsing panes, and more features.

 

Best Free File Rename Utility for Windows

File Renamer Basic -- Download | Review

"Rename your files for organizational purposes, including your MP3 libraries and digital image collections."

 

Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility for Windows

Product ScreenshotFreeFileSync or Allway Sync -- Review

"FreeFileSync is a solid contender here. The thing I like the best with this utility is its very clear and informative interface. The preview is very easy to understand, and file collisions and deletions are more readily recognizable than many other sync programs.

Allway Sync is my second recommendation. It is a very well rounded product with loads of features. It has a very robust filter and rule set and definitely has the edge here over the other previously reviewed products. It also offers support for FTP, scheduling, and auto syncing."

What's it for? - Synchronization utilities are important in helping you keep identical versions of your files or folders, say, on both your home computer and office computer.

 

Best Free Onscreen Keyboard for Accessibility for Windows

Click-N-Type -- Download | Review

"An excellent free OSK that rivals many commercial OSKs in the accessibility space. It is highly functional and very customizable, but isn't terribly pretty and the breadth of options may be a little daunting for some users."

 

Best Free Onscreen Keyboard for Security for Windows

Neo's SafeKeys -- Download | Review

"A virtual keyboard for security. Security-focused OSKs offer protection against malicious software, but read the article for accessibility OSKs that offer more functionality as keyboard replacements (without the security features)."

 

Best Free Partition Manager for Windows

Product ScreenshotMiniTool Partition Wizard -- Download | Review

"With an easy to use interface and fast performance, it aims to be a one-stop application. Performs many basic tasks of resizing, creating, deleting, moving, formatting, copying (disks or partitions), etc.

Also includes extra features like wiping (disks or partitions) and recovering partitions (detects previously deleted partitions and restores them with all data intact)."

What's it for? - Some uses include (1) separating user files from system files, so you can image the operating system (reimaging or reinstalling when needed) and leave the user files intact. (2) Creating a multi-boot computer (that has an option, say, between Linux or Windows) with separate partitions for each operating system.

 

Best Free Virtual Desktop Manager for Windows

Dexpot -- Download | Review

Organize your applications over several virtual desktops or work spaces, and work more efficiently and comfortably.

 

Best Free Program Launcher for Windows

Launchy -- Review

"Provides a more efficient way of running programs than by using the Windows Start Menu or having your desktop littered with icons."

 

 

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Comments

Another year almost gone ! I have learnt a lot from techsupportalert.com
Here are some new Windows freeware that I found useful this year, 2016
They can be found on reputable freeware sites. Many have portable versions
I currently use Windows 7
1. Restore Point Creator - an excellent System restore utility
2. SwiftSearch - extremely fast file search - faster and more reliable than the well known utility "Everything"
(alternative is MasterSeeker - another fast excellent instant file finder)
3. Photo on Desktop-7 - simple utility to have one photo on your screen as you work
4. ScreenHunter free portable - one of many screenshot programs, but lets you copy a screenshot just to the clipboard
5. Hot Corners - simple customizable launcher, which opens a program if you point your mouse of one of the corners of the screen
6. F.lux - modifies the screen colour to minimise eye fatigue
7. Antirun - simple USB drive utility - plug in a USB drive, and this program will block any autorun viruses, and also lets you eject the drive quickly
8. Clavier Plus - excellent hotkey utility, which acts globally, with low system resources. Launch a program, or insert autotext
9. Shutter Lite - customisable utility which can launch programs, or shutdown, depending on low battery status, or other parameters
10. Easy Pro Shutdown - the fastest way I have found to shut down Windows, or timed shutdown. Simple yet effective utility
11. DS Clock - free black and white digital clock for your screen
12. Volumouse - simple utility to quickly control system volume
13. BattStat - simple utility which shows you battery status in numerical format at all times
14. KeyFreeze - excellent portable utility, locks keyboard and mouse for those with children, also great as a screen lock
15. PangoBright ie excellent screen dimmer, portable utility - great for quickly adjusting screen brightness
16. PrivaZer ie portable utility, a file cleaner like CCleaner, but only for experienced users, as can create problems if not used wisely
Prior to cleaning/deleting files, this program lists exactly what information has been left on your system eg browsing history website addresses

Happy New Year 2017 !

Many thanks for sharing your finds. :) MC - Site Manager.

Sadly the link to Lightbox editor takes you somewhere else and the program is not free anymore, it is inexpensive just the same.

"... Postleaf - first open source publishing platform to feature a true WYSIWYG editor ...":
https://www.postleaf.org/

"... DaVinci Resolve has a familiar, editor friendly interface with that features virtually every imaginable editing and trimming tool available ...": https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/products/davinciresolve/edit "... Windscribe is a desktop application and browser extension that work together to block ads and trackers, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online ...": https://windscribe.com/
"... LANTorrent is not a torrent application. It is actually a wrapper for you existing torrent application that adds a layer of protection to stop you corrupting your torrent setup, and recovering when it does ...": http://www.homedev.com.au/Free/LANTorrent

This is a great site, PERIOD!
It has really helped me out at times and I look forward to investigating new and interesting software.

WITH THAT BEING SAID,
I'm looking for an antivirus program that does not require me to install it....! Windows defender is great BUT it does not allow me to scan a single downloaded file, etc. Malware Bytes is great but it isn't for virus'
or trojan's. ANYONE GOT ANY IDEAS?
THANKS

FontForge is a free and open source font editor:

http://fontforge.github.io/en-US/

This is an amazing web-site. Thank you!
Have you been collecting freeware that facilitates the downloading of data from iPhones or iPads to Windows 7 PCs? There seem to be problems every time iOS is updated!
Comprehensible articles for connecting iOS and Windows would also be helpful: existing articles and instructions elsewhere on the 'net often state, for example, that "all photos will be deleted from all your devices" without making it at all clear whether or not a Windows PC is considered to be a "device" for these purposes. If so, we have a recipe for disaster; if not, what does the statement mean in the real world?
There is also confusion in such articles about iCloud and PhotoStream, with obscure references to the reduced quality of saved photos. Apple also says that in certain circumstances we have only 30 days within which to download and save photos to a Windows PC, without indicating exactly how those photos can be transferred and saved. (The difficulties are reserved mainly for PCs that do not use an Apple OS. Apple-orientated web-sites are generally unhelpful to users of Windows!)
Problems also arise because it is absolutely unclear whether files are going to be synchronised from an Apple device to a Windows PC - or from a Windows PC to the Apple device.
I, for one, want only to be able to manage my photos, music and data within Windows, and I am sure most of your readers will, like me, want to save all their iPhone and iPad data on their Windows PC... so a simple "recipe" for saving photos, music and other data on a Windows PC without having to purchase additional iCloud storage space would be welcome. A "backup" that cannot be accessed directly from within Windows simply doesn't cut the mustard!

I just wanted to say many thanks for this website and for the invaluable information. I come here all the time for the advice. Again, thank you.

The malware included product is Free make video conversion. I found the other software but its misleading I will partially take that back. It says Review to see the others what??? It should say other products or something other than making the user think its a review of that software. It makes itsound like you are downloading or reviewing what is listed like WOT or Kasperaky TDS Killer.

Thank you for responding to my contact. There is no malware in Freemake Video Converter. It does however contain non-malicious adware. This is made clear in both the review text and product details. We even provide a link to a dedicated page for this.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/controversial-advertising-progra...

We have also published other related material.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

MC - Site Manager.

It would appear that WPS Office has changed from from to a subscription model as of December, 2014. The free version is still available at ksoft.com

What Is The Name Of The Site That Tells You How To CONfig Facebook Tweeter A bunch Of Sites It was On The Site But A Can Not Find it Plus It Has A Download To That will tell you why your on them sites tells you what you need to config please help?

This is not a comment on any other person's submissions, but a point of information -- even if one takes special care not to install any of the "free software" via the "obvious options" in custom installs, several antimalware programs - Malwarebytes, herdProtect, AdwCleaner, for example, will still identify many of these apps as having adware "in them" --- in particular, some of the "editor's choices" -- like Freemake converter, Pazera free audio extractor, not to mention the "huge" problem with Freecorder -- good program, but it comes with adware in the browser extensions, possibly even in the main program -- NOTHING is ever free, and software makers aren't interested in restricting their advertising revenues -- even if one purchases the Freecorder "ad-free" version, rather than just the free version. Clearly, we've reached the stage where such adware checkers are "compulsory" utilities.

Page 4, 'Best Free File Encryption Utility for Windows' mentions Axcrypt as the pick, but it talks about Sophos Free Encryption. Is that right? or am I missing something?

Thank you for pointing this out. The description for AxCrypt has now been corrected. MC - Site Manager.

Avast. The latest update requires you to allow Avast to gather any information it wants about you, including but not limited to the websites you visit and the games you play. It seems that if you don't update, you don't get the virus definition updates any more.

I declined and will look for an alternative.

Great, wonderful feedback

I was wondering if anyone has used any of the recent versions of Puran Utilities, especially Puran Defrag since they all became free for personal and non-commercial use? Now,it does bundle with an opt-out version of the Babylon Toolbar but then so do many free utilities these days, or at least some toolbar such as Bing or Google. The free version does include boot-time defragmentation of the MFT, Pagefile, and systems files. I'm testing it today, it seems like the site has a lot of useful utilities and I watched it carefully with a file monitoring program during install, didn't seem to bring anything unwanted in.

Edit: I also wanted to thank you and your team for this very useful website, it's allowed me to feel comfortable directing some of my less tech-savy, but curious to learn, friends and clients to a site that I know will give a thorough peer review before giving any piece of software the okay. I've found quite a few here myself, including ones I now own a small business license for, Teamviewer alone allowed me to expand my still small but growing tech service company.

S.I.W. isn't free any longer.

The portable version our link provides is free.

Can you please update this page and the pages "2 - 8" in a dynamic way, because i find differences in the best choices between those pages and the original page which have the review of the software, and in some reviews as "Best Free Antivirus for Windows" and "Best Free Firewall for Windows" i found that the best choices doesn't have the highest rate by the person who updated the reviews, so please i need a clear view to know what is the best choice in every category.

I rely on your website to get the best freewares for my PCs, and i am completely sure that other millions of users did too, so please keep all the reviews up to date and clear in the best choices.

By the way if you need a help in updating those pages i can do it for you, i noticed that the last update was in 8 of July and we are in 12 of September, it is a long distance, so if i can help i am ready for that.

And thank you so much for your reviews.

Thank you again for pointing out the issues. As the new editor for this category I reviewed all the pages and Best Of entries finding a total of 6 issues. These will be resolved asap. Also thank you for offering to help. If you would like to be an editor, please see the link titled Become a Reviewer in the left hand sidebar menu.

No review on AOMEI Backupper? I found it has very extensive feature for disk imaging software, plus it's free for personal and commercial use.

The product you posted has an overall poor WOT rating (Web Of Trust) and has been spammed here on numerous occasions therefore it will not be featured. MC - Site Manager.

My WOT icon still green when I visit the website. That's very unfortunate.. looks like a good program but I can't find any review of AOMEI Backupper from reputable website yet.

Oh I see.. I only see the WOT icon at the end of the link (I'm using WOT extension in Chrome), never actually roll over on it to see the details :)

Sometimes the WOT ratings can be manipulated maliciously by say rival vendors or fanboys of other products but this practice is not as widespread as the "knockers" of WOT would have you believe, and anyone so affected can have it rectified via dialogue with Web Of Trust. That said, we were inundated with Aomei spam here at one point which is no doubt where many of the adverse ratings stem from. MC - Site Manager.

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