Best Free Windows Desktop Software

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Windows-Cleanup-82-58.png 3. Best Free Cleanup, Tune and System Utilities for Windows
 

 

Best Free File Cleaner for Windows

Product ScreenshotCCleaner -- Download | Review

"Quickly and effectively remove unused or temporary files, unwanted cookies, and other unneeded files from applications." Chosen for Gizmo's 9 great freeware.

Additionally, it can scan the registry for issues, erase, manage the startup, uninstall, and clean system restore points.

Related: Also runs automatically at startup or as a task.

What's it for? - Over time unnecessary files accumulate, which can be removed with a disk cleaner to maintain system performance.

 

Best Free PC Tune-up Utility for Windows

Product ScreenshotToolWiz Care -- Download| Review

ToolWiz Care is an excellent freeware solution. The main tab called Checkup offers the one-click feature, system resource information, and some optional features. Since there is no paid version to upgrade to, all the features are functional.

What's it for? - Intended as an all-in-one PC performance optimizer and tweaker to simplify system tasks that typically require many separate specialty programs.

 

Best Free Registry Cleaner for Windows

Product ScreenshotWise Registry Cleaner -- Download | Review

"To decrease the likelihood of causing problems, it allows you to backup the registry before you start and (by default) ignores areas where most registry tricks are played. I caution against changing the default settings unless you have a good understanding of the registry and how applications use it."

Related: If you use registry cleaners such as Wise, CCleaner, Glary, or Revo, be sure to backup and image first.

What's it for? - The effectiveness of registry cleaning is controversial and can lead to the need to completely re-install windows, but for computer savvy users it may help reduce potential conflicts from the leftovers of a few kinds of uninstalled software.

 

Best Free Disk De-fragmenter for Windows

Product ScreenshotUltraDefrag -- Download | Review

"It is simple yet has a lot of customizable options through text files and scripts via two mouse-clicks. Not only is the defragmentation super fast, but also you are not going to notice it's working!

You can keep doing your things while UltraDefrag does what was born to do… defrag. It performs so well you gonna want to carry it in your wallet. A lot of varied boot defrag commands. If your goal is to optimize your system startup at maximum, this is what you need."

What's it for? - Defragmenting your hard drive on a regular basis is a sound housekeeping habit. It can greatly increase system performance and relieve stress on your hard drive.

 

Best Free Secure Erase Utility for Windows

Product ScreenshotEraser -- Download | Review

"Highly effective at wiping the free space, leaving behind only unrecoverable nonsense file names on modern size hard drives. It erases the unused disk space (or "free space"), cluster tips (or "slack space"), individual files or folders, and data in the recycling bin."

What's it for? - Normal file deletion doesn't prevent a common file recovery program from recovering your files, so eraser utilities are helpful to permanently delete any personally identifiable or unwanted files to protect your privacy.

 

Best Free Startup Manager for Windows

Product ScreenshotAutoruns -- Download | Review

"This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations amongst all the startup managers, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.

You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more."

What's it for? - If you have a system full of programs running in the background or a start menu full of near useless tray icons, then startup managers are especially helpful for increasing system performance. Run programs when you want, not when they decide.

 

Related Cleanup, Tune, and System Top Picks and Hot Items

  • Best Free Duplicate File Detector for Windows -- SearchMyFiles -- Download | Review. Detect duplicate files.

  • Best Free Disk Space Analyzer for Windows -- SpaceSniffer -- Download | Review. Analyze disk space; find space hogs.

  • Best Free Program Uninstaller for Windows -- Revo Uninstaller -- Download | Review. The Windows control panel has limited uninstalling capabilities, but freeware programs like Revo and ZSoft allow for better deletion of programs by removing many files and registry entries that are usually left behind.

  • Best Free System Information Utility for Windows -- HWiNFO -- Download | Review. "an excellent system profiler that provides in-depth hardware information for Windows."

  • Best Free Process Viewer for Windows -- SystemExplorer -- Download | Review. Investigate your system: view active processes, end processes, view resource use of processes, and much more.

 

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Comments

by kjohnny76 on 8. June 2014 - 21:50  (116691)

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?

by AussieExpat on 11. August 2014 - 7:16  (117882)

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.

by rickybobby on 7. June 2014 - 19:35  (116668)

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?

by MidnightCowboy on 8. June 2014 - 4:04  (116672)

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

by NondiPloom on 3. May 2014 - 2:28  (116009)

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.

by Babelbest on 7. April 2014 - 5:40  (115543)

Great, wonderful feedback

by nicholasbbyrd on 26. November 2013 - 18:17  (112554)

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.

by ejmfoley on 21. October 2013 - 6:34  (111630)

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

by joeguru on 28. October 2013 - 3:47  (111820)

The portable version our link provides is free.

by RandyDoqa on 12. September 2013 - 1:14  (110660)

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.

by joeguru on 15. September 2013 - 14:39  (110728)

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.

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:34  (105920)

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.

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:40  (105956)

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.

by MidnightCowboy on 5. March 2013 - 9:49  (105959)

Two of the ratings are already at orange and the others are marginal. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/aomeitech.com?utm_source=addon&utm_con...

by blaszta on 5. March 2013 - 9:56  (105961)

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 :)

by MidnightCowboy on 5. March 2013 - 10:03  (105962)

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.

by tberi on 27. January 2013 - 20:21  (104868)

I am unable to access my registry server license key # to complete/activate the initial scan/repair process for [name removed].

by MidnightCowboy on 27. January 2013 - 23:37  (104872)

Please contact the support service from where you obtained the product. MC - Site Manager.

by dbrew4 on 3. January 2013 - 13:36  (104197)

I think MalwareBytes Anti-Malware is great. Thanks for the review. I have been using Spybot and Avast for years and after a scan, MalwareBytes picked up several threats that Spybot and Avast missed. I know that MalwareBytes has a paid full time product but is using Avast and MalwareBytes (as on-demand) sufficient?
Tks
Dennis

by MidnightCowboy on 3. January 2013 - 13:43  (104198)

No one or even two things are "sufficient" on their own or together. Rather, a layered strategy covering the whole Windows system and how it is operated is necessary in order to reduce your risk to the minimum possible. There is more here. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/safe-computing-under-hour.htm

by GeorgeH on 2. January 2013 - 16:46  (104168)

UltraDefrag doesn't say it will work on Windows 8 but I tried the portable version and it works quite well on Win8. The help says the optimizer part of the program put the most used files at the beginning of the disc and it seems to make my computer run faster. It did take a couple of hours to run although the disc had never been defragged before and was severely fragmented.

Thanks for the review,

George

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