It's that time of year when everybody is making lists so here's one from me. Here are my five all-time favorite free utilities. They have been stalwarts on my systems over the years and are still going strong. Except for the last one on my list they are all actively updated. They may not be new but they are tried and true performers.
Almost everybody needs a good text editor and my favorite is Notepad++. I use it almost every day. Not only does it have the standard useful editorial features like "search and replace" but also it has plug-ins that add functions like a spell checker. It also has a macro feature. I also use it frequently for HTML coding. It's a workhorse on my systems.
Another utility that gets a lot of use is the file archiver 7-Zip. It has been my zip utility for a long time. It's fast and versatile and works for a variety of archive formats.
Another long-time favorite is IrfanView. This graphics editor and viewer may be venerable but it has been continuously updated over the years. It comes with an assortment of plug-ins. Photographers and artists might want something with more features but this program satisfies the needs of many PC users. I upload a lot of graphics to Internet pages and I use IrfanView for editing and resizing graphics all the time.
Not everybody needs FTP software but, if you do, Filezilla is hard to beat for that occasion when you need to upload something to the Internet.
The late Karen Kenworthy was the developer of many useful utilities and this folder backup utility is one I use all the time. It is no longer supported but it works just fine in Windows 7 64-bit.
And there you have it - my favorite all-time utilities. Yours are probably different so why not tell us your favorites in the comments?
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.