Best Free Windows Desktop Software

The Editors' Choice List - Page Index
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Gizmo's Freeware Top PickBest Freeware for WindowsWelcome to the Gizmo's Freeware Editors' Choice List, where you'll find a collection of the very best freeware for Windows from our site.

This really is a "best of the best" list for free Windows applications. Most of the products in this list have been awarded the coveted "Gizmo's Freeware Top Pick" award signifying they are the best free product in their class. We've also included some other outstanding products that have impressed our editors with their usefulness and professionalism.

We suggest you browse the whole list at your leisure as you may be surprised what freeware gems you will discover. The pathologically impatient can use the Page Index below.

Caution: Some of these recommendations involve advanced system tasks like cleaning the Windows registry so be sure to backup or image your system first.

What's New

Items added or updated most recently: NewComodo Backup NewFreeCommander XE  NewPrivateFirewall  |NewHWiNFO  |NewLocate32  |NewLaunchy  |360Amigo  |SearchMyFiles   |Axcrypt  | Fairstars CD Ripper


The Editors' Choice List for best free Windows apps now includes 103 applications in 82 categories. To read brief descriptions of the applications, click a page number or a category icon below.

  • Page 1. Introduction / What's New / Summary
  • Page 2. Security and Privacy
    Best Free Antivirus for Windows - Avast! Free Antivirus | Microsoft Security Essentials | Panda Cloud Antivirus
    Best Free Firewall for Windows - PrivateFirewall
    Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover for Windows - Spybot
    Best Free Browser Protection Utility for Windows - Sandboxie
    Best Free Anonymous Surfing Service for Windows - CyberGhost VPN
    Best Free Software Update Monitor for Windows - Secunia PSI | Software Update Monitor (SUMo)
    Best Free Trojan Scanner for Windows - Emsisoft Anti Malware
    Best Free Rootkit Scanner for Windows - Kaspersky TDSSKiller
    Best Free HIPS for Windows - Malware Defender
    Best Free Site Link Adviser for Windows - WOT
    Best Free Parental Filter for Windows - Norton Safety Minder
  • Page 3. Cleanup, Tune and System Utilities
    Best Free File Cleaner for Windows - CCleaner
    Best Free PC Tune-up Utility for Windows - 360Amigo
    Best Free Registry Cleaner for Windows - Wise Registry Cleaner
    Best Free Disk De-fragmenter for Windows - UltraDefrag
    Best Free Secure Erase Utility for Windows - Eraser
    Best Free Startup Manager for Windows - Autoruns
    Best Free Duplicate File Detector for Windows - SearchMyFiles
    Best Free Disk Space Analyzer for Windows - SpaceSniffer
    Best Free Program Uninstaller for Windows - Revo Uninstaller
    Best Free System Information Utility for Windows - HWiNFO
    Best Free Process Viewer for Windows - SystemExplorer
  • Page 4. File and Desktop Utilities
    Best Free Drive Imaging Software for Windows - Macrium Reflect Free Edition
    Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility for Windows - FreeFileSync | Allway Sync
    Best Free Backup Software for Windows -Comodo Backup
    Best Free File Manager for Windows - FreeCommander XE
    Best Free File Encryption Utility for Windows - AxCrypt
    Best Free Partition Manager for Windows - MiniTool Partition Wizard
    Best Free File Comparison Utility for Windows - WinMerge | KDiff
    Best Free File Copy Utility for Windows - FastCopy
    Best Free Data Recovery Utility for Windows - Mini Tool Power Data Recovery
    Best Free File Rename Utility for Windows - File Renamer Basic
    Best Free File Archiver or Zip Utility for Windows - 7-Zip
    Best Free Onscreen Keyboard (Accessibility) for Windows - Click-N-Type
    Best Free Onscreen Keyboard (Security) for Windows - Neo's SafeKeys
    Best Free Desktop Search Utility for Windows - Locate32
    Best Free Virtual Desktop Manager for Windows - Dexpot
    Best Free Program Launcher for Windows - Launchy
  • Page 5. Image and Photo
    Best Free Screen Capture Utility for Windows - Screenshot Captor
    Best Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software for Windows - Luminance HDR
    Best Free Digital Image Viewer for Windows - Zoner Photo Studio Free
    Best Free Digital Image Editor for Windows - LightBox Image Editor |
    Best Free Paint Program for Windows - Project DogWaffle
    Best Free CAD Program for Windows - Google Sketchup
    Best Free Photo Slideshow Software for Windows - Photo Story
    Best Free Photo Organizer for Windows - FastStone
  • Page 6. Internet, Email and Networking
    Best Free Web Browser for Windows - Google Chrome | Mozilla Firefox | Opera
    Best Free Email Client for Windows - Mozilla Thunderbird
    Best Free Download Manager for Windows - Free Download Manager
    Best Free BitTorrent Client for Windows - Tixati
    Best Free Remote Access Software for Windows - Teamviewer
    Best Free HTML Editor for Windows - KompoZer
    Best Free Web Form Filler or Password Manager for Windows - LastPass
    Best Free Wi-Fi Network Finder Utility for Windows - Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector
    Best Free Telnet/SSH Terminal Emulator for Windows - Dave's Telnet
    Best Free FTP Client for Windows - Fire FTP
  • Page 7. Audio and Video
    Best Free CD / DVD Burning Software for Windows - ImgBurn
    Best Free Media Player for Windows - PotPlayer | VLC Media Player | The KMPlayer
    Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Windows - Jaangle
    Best Free MP3 Tag Editor for Windows - TagScanner
    Best Free Video Editor for Windows - VideoDub
    Best Free Audio Editing Software for Windows - Audacity
    Best Free Audio & Video Format Conversion for Windows - Freemake Video Converter
    Best Free Streaming Media Recorder for Windows - Jing
    Best Free CD & DVD Emulation Software for Windows - Gizmo Drive
    Best Free Music Creation for Windows - LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio)
    Best Free DVD Ripper for Windows - HandBrake
    Best Free CD Ripper for Windows - Fairstars CD Ripper
    Best Free Media Centre for Windows - XBMC
    Best Free Online TV Viewer for Windows - JLC's Internet TV Viewer
  • Page 8. Office and Productivity
    Best Free PDF Tools for Windows - PDFill PDF Tools
    Best Free PDF Writer for Windows - Bullzip PDF Printer
    Best Free PDF Reader/Viewer for Windows - PDF-XChange Viewer
    Best Free Finance Software for Windows - GnuCash
    Best Free Office Suite for Windows - Kingsoft Office
    Best Free World Clock for Windows - Wim's World Clock
    Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software for Windows - Legacy Standard
    Best Free Project Manager for Windows - Open Workbench
    Best Free Word Processor for Windows - Jarte
    Best Free Text Editor for Windows - EditPad Lite
    Best Free Personal Information Manager for Windows - Pimero Free Edition
    Best Free Software Suite for Windows - LiberKey
  • Page 9. Still Reading?
    Basic Safe Computing Guides
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    Most Unique Hot Finds!
    Top Daily Tech Treats
    Top Tech Tips
    Top Educational Articles
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This software category is maintained by MidnightCowboy. Registered members can contact MidnightCowboy with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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by Anonymous on 21. December 2009 - 22:28  (39120)

it's really one great site! the time and effort you guys gave just to make ordinary people like us enjoy and be safe while using our computers. thanks alot and more power to you!

by Anonymous on 16. December 2009 - 20:51  (38828)

COMODO Firewall / antivirus
any one got any ideas how I can re install it after accidental uninstalling it, the program keeps saying already installed when there is no sign of it anywhere

by Anonymous on 18. December 2009 - 16:58  (38959)

Use "Autoruns" by Sysinternals (see Startup Managers) and uncheck/delete all references to it, especially drivers, and restart.

Or go to a restore point prior to installation.

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 21:23  (39032)

thank you for that info, applied and fixed all running fine again

by Rizar on 21. December 2009 - 16:15  (39109)

Excellent. I use Autoruns all the time for cleaning up after firewall testing.

by Anonymous on 13. December 2009 - 19:58  (38565)

Hi, Gizmo!

First I would like to say that this is one of the best and most useful sites on the entire internet. I have had so much help from your suggestions to good freeware.

Second I want to point your attention to an imageviewer, which also has many additonal features, and that opens every RAW-format i try it with. It´s called Faststone Image viewer, and works fast and it has never giver me any problems. I think it is worth a review. It also handles big imagefolders without any hickups. I use it every day with three different cameras when I want to organize my newley taken pictures. The image-quality isn´t top of the line, but it´s main job is organizing, and not editing.

Hope you like it as much as I do.

by Rizar on 13. December 2009 - 23:36  (38589)

Thanks. I added it to the list now.

by Anonymous on 10. December 2009 - 21:00  (38218)

This is my list that I use and recommend. most of them are the ones Gizmo's piked

1 Avira
2 Comodo Internet security
3 SuperAntiSpyware
4 Sand Box
5 Eraser
6 Smart Defrage
7 Revo Uninstaller
8 IZarc
9 File Hippo
10 Gadwin printscreen
11 Hot Notes
12 KM Player
13 Image Burn
14 CDBurnXP
13 Wave Pad
14 Switch
15 Free Download Manager
16 Thunderbird
17 Sunbird
18 Team Viewer 4
19 Open Office 3.1
20 Trillian
21 PDF Exchange viewer
22 Picasa 3
23 Fire Fox
24 Google Chrome
24 Advanced System Care

by Rizar on 21. December 2009 - 16:06  (39108)

Thanks for your favorites list. There are many favorite lists to browse on Gizmo's list too:

I believe all of these are reviewed somewhere (except IOBit products), but correct me if I'm wrong so I can post a comment on the relevant article.

by Anonymous on 4. December 2009 - 16:14  (37829)

I am disappointed that I have not seen on these lists these high-quality programs:
Disk Defragmenters - Auslogics Disk Defrag
File Archiver/Zip Utilities - IZArc
Media Players - Windows Media Player 11
CD/DVD Burning Software - Ashampoo Burning Studio 2010
Music Organizers - MAGIX Music Manager 2007
MP3 Tag Editors - Mp3tag
Audio Editing - WavePad Sound Editor
Internet Media Viewing/Capturing - Debut Video Capture Software
Digital Image Editing - MAGIX Xtreme Photo Designer 6
Serif DrawPlus SE

by Rizar on 21. December 2009 - 15:52  (39107)

Thanks, here are a few notes. No doubt there will always be disagreement on many of these types of programs.

*Auslogics is now the top defrag program.
*IZArc is reviewed in its related article, but didn't make it as first or second; PeaZip is higher rated.
*Try The KM Player instead of WMP!
*I hadn't heard of MAGIX; but perhaps I'll give it a look for the music player/organizer article.
*I underlined Mp3tag in the list above; see the related article for its review.
*WavePad is suggested in the comments for the relevant article.
*Debut Video Capture Software -- I posted this suggestion at the relevant article, thanks.
*Serif PhotoPlus SE & Xtreme Photo Designer 6 are both mentioned in the Digital Editing article.

Thanks, write back if there are any more suggestions!

by Anonymous on 2. December 2009 - 17:14  (37704)

Keep good work Gizmo, this site is perfect :)

by irwanwr on 25. November 2009 - 15:15  (37282)

In my opinion, this website is still the best. Whether in general or specifically as community based website.

by Anonymous on 8. November 2009 - 15:34  (36222)

Per McAfee Site Advisor, downloads from (Advanced SystemCare) may contain spyware/malware. Use caution with this download.


by Anonymous on 10. February 2010 - 19:16  (43296)

Don't believe everything an anonymous person tells you!
I check McAfee's page and it said
We tested this site and didn't find any significant problems.

A competitor seems to be running a dirty campaign against IObit

by Anupam on 10. February 2010 - 19:22  (43297)

Arent you an anonymous person yourself? :D

by Anonymous on 11. February 2010 - 18:36  (43400)

lol yes. I've been having trouble logging in (I am brigrove)
But go check the siteadvisor link for yourself

You'll see a lot of posts basically restating malwarebytes accusations and accusing anyone who defends IObit of being IObit

by Anupam on 11. February 2010 - 19:17  (43401)

I do not want to get into that argument/debate. Just want to say that MBAM had put their case forward very strongly, and activities of IObit after that, did not make them look innocent either.

That aside, site of IObit has got unsatisfactory WOT rating, and so we, as per our site policy, cannot recommend IObit's products anymore. Please do not take this further.

by Anonymous on 2. November 2009 - 18:29  (35634)

The link for best free FTP client does not work. Please??


by Anonymous on 15. November 2009 - 4:51  (36646)

filezilla is a great free FTP client (also a server if you need one)

by Anonymous on 2. November 2009 - 15:33  (35624)

There's not much to say but : great site !

by Anonymous on 20. October 2009 - 11:59  (35046)

Thannnnnnnnx veeeery much
There is lot of help and good work on all your pages
and they are still easy, fast and pleasing
my warmest regards and wishes
My kisses if you do not mind
Tarig Anter, Khartoum, Sudan.

by MidnightCowboy on 20. October 2009 - 12:31  (35047)

We're pleased that TSA has managed to reach such a beautiful and historical part of the world.

by Anonymous on 11. October 2009 - 15:11  (34344)


by Rizar on 21. December 2009 - 16:26  (39110)

This is a popular suggestion. I see it suggested on the Site Suggestions list and on last years Christmas wish list.

Gizmo responded that a mobile phone section is on the To-Do list though.


by Anonymous on 2. October 2009 - 13:11  (33767)

génial : ce site est vraiment très utile ! merci !

by Anonymous on 27. September 2009 - 10:31  (33394)

Excellent site.Thanks for all the hardwork you put in to give us the best.

by Anonymous on 6. September 2009 - 7:55  (32217)

Thanks very much for a really nice put together site. Easy to navigate with lots of apps I've used before and agree with your review of their quality. Keep up the GREAT WORK!! RLW

by Anonymous on 20. August 2009 - 1:12  (31196)

The Best!!! This site is not only the best but those involved in running this great site is sincere. To maintain a respectable site like this would definitely involve inner strength, courage and wisdom to balance the need between financial gains for site maintenance etc and yet being truly able to serve the need of the community. Thank You and Bless be.....

by Anonymous on 18. August 2009 - 15:58  (31087)

Great site.

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