Best Free Windows Desktop Software

The Editors' Choice List - Page Index
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  1. Check out the Page Index above, or
  2. View everything as one huge page by clicking here .

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?
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    Top Daily Tech Treats
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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 30. April 2010 - 17:48  (48833)

I love this section. This forum give everything in a wonderful format!

by Anonymous on 30. April 2010 - 17:05  (48832)

Yep this site has been my 'bible' for a number of years, thanks very much for all the effort!!!!!!!!

by geegis on 30. April 2010 - 13:49  (48816)

Whenever I'm looking for a software program to help make my life (and the lives of my students) easier and more efficient, I always check your site first! I've had your site as a prominent bookmark for years now! Many thanks for all the hard work you've put into this site and for keeping it up to date! It's VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!

by Anonymous on 30. April 2010 - 13:21  (48813)

Thanks so much for all the hard work and effort you put in to keeping this site updated. Super site and great work. Keep it up!
(P.S. how can I un-anonymize? I don't want to post secret messages!)

by Anupam on 30. April 2010 - 14:35  (48822)

Hi Brian, thanks for appreciating the site :). We are really thankful.

To register on the site, please use this link :

After you register, you can take part in our forum too :).

by Anonymous on 30. April 2010 - 9:40  (48806)

I use WinCDEmu for virtual drives. Its small, integrates into the context menu, and doesn't have all the (for me, unnecessary)fancy bells and whistles that Gizmo Drive does.

by Anonymous on 13. April 2010 - 1:58  (47530)

very nice useful collection.Tempted to download and use all.
thanks for bringing out this package.

by Anonymous on 4. April 2010 - 21:57  (46974)

Super job ..I agree with all the picks..

by Anonymous on 14. March 2010 - 17:16  (45560)

This site is really the best freeware site ever! It has saved me a lot of time and introduced me to some amazing apps! Thanks so much for all the work you put in! :)

by Anonymous on 6. March 2010 - 17:35  (45108)

I imagine this site should be accredited with the saving of many lives ( just think about the keyboards, mouses, monitors etc. ) and jobs along with my own personel sanity as well as other's. Cyber Space can be so threatening without the guides presented here. So I humbly thank you and all of yours for your kindness and support. I reconize that it must take a near inhuman effort, and God like ethics to maintain and expand it. You make the world feel a little less selfish than it strives to be.

by MidnightCowboy on 6. March 2010 - 20:40  (45120)

Thank you for your kind remarks. Just the encouragement we need after a bout of spam filtering and obnoxious comment removal!

by Anonymous on 16. March 2010 - 9:57  (45652)

I add my voice and second the thoughts expressed by #1 and #2. I discovered techsupportalert by Googling for solutions and have added the site to my bookmarks and subscribed to its feed. However, is there a lag in updating the feeds? For instance I don't find this article in the feed (yet).

My compliments and appreciation again.

by Anonymous on 14. February 2010 - 13:40  (43603)

I can't count the number of times I've needed an app for something I've been working on and couldn't think of how to obtain it--until I remembered you. You've never once let me down. You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman.

In other words guys, YOU ROCK!! Thank you!!


by terrawarra on 7. March 2010 - 9:19  (45149)

I have to agree,.. this is the best list of its kind,.. there is something for everybody here. Forget about trying to add your favourite app to it, it's perfect the way it is.
If you use this list as a guide when shopping for the absolute best freebies on offer, then you can't go wrong!

by irwanwr on 13. February 2010 - 17:49  (43523)

still love Rizar's good works here :)

by Anonymous on 13. February 2010 - 12:52  (43499)


by Anonymous on 10. February 2010 - 16:46  (43284)

What has become of avast? I am still using it on a former recommendation as it covers email. Has it shot it's bolt? I really would like to read a comment on avast! Thanks. Bob B.

by Rizar on 10. February 2010 - 21:25  (43306)

It's very much still around and still gets a high rating by JonathanT.

It might be best just to list all three of the top AV picks since they each have good strengths/weaknesses.

by Anupam on 10. February 2010 - 16:51  (43285)

You can read about Avast on the forum :

Some threads related to new release of Avast are ongoing.

You can also read review and comments on Best Free Antivirus article :

by Anonymous on 10. February 2010 - 16:40  (43283)

Well done Gizmo. The site is fantastic and you have nursed it lovingly like a baby to maturity From the comments you can see how thrilled we are about your site and the effort you and your team put into it.

What I truly appreciate is that it is a clean site without any squabbles, personal attacks and filthy language. I read a comment some time ago with an uncouth word in it, so I added a comment, with that word repeated three times.

That had the hoped-for outcome and I have never seen anything offensive in any comment since. Well done. We like it clean, free and helpful. Thank you, and your team. Very well done. Best regards, Bob.

by Anonymous on 10. February 2010 - 21:32  (43309)

Thanks Bob,

Agree with you 100% about the site. I use it all the time.

Ottawa, Canada

by MidnightCowboy on 10. February 2010 - 18:33  (43293)

Thank you for your kind words.

Unwanted content does still get posted but mostly it's handled by our automated filter and never goes "live". What creeps past this is then dealt with by the mod team, but allowing for time zone differentials it may stay on site for a while before being spotted and removed. Mostly this dual system works well but we still rely on visitor feedback should something get missed. Even as a non-registered member, if you see bad content somewhere which appears to have been overlooked please add something under it using LOTS OF THESE, and some of these..**!!!, and one of us will spot it soon enough.

by Anonymous on 24. January 2010 - 14:55  (41912)

I absolutely LOVE this site, it is one that I visit daily.......would not miss it for anything..........keep up the GREAT work

by Anonymous on 24. January 2010 - 6:50  (41891)

Superb Site. Great and relevant information. One update for ya.

Softmaker Office wasn't free when I posted this. 30 day trial verison with only 7 days actually being able to write and save files. I was really looking forward to using this one. Seamless MS compatability would have been perfect. Price is still good but definitely not free.

by Anonymous on 10. February 2010 - 8:40  (43240)

You may still be able to get Softmaker Office for free here: LINK REMOVED. It worked for me recently so you may want to give it a try.

Moderator's Comment : On the webpage for which the link was posted, tried to use a proxy site, to gain access to the download page, and link... which we feel is wrong. Therefore, the link has been removed. Please do not post such stuff, as we do no approve of it.

by Rizar on 24. January 2010 - 16:35  (41921)


by MidnightCowboy on 24. January 2010 - 10:16  (41896)

There was a specific period during which Softmaker offered the program for free and donated an amount of money to charity for each download. They intend to run similar promotions in the future and there is a link to be notified about these on the page we link to from the text above.

by Anonymous on 27. February 2010 - 12:17  (44633)

Softmaker Office Free is still available - it is the 2006 version of the program. The site can be found by searching for "free softmaker office".

by Anonymous on 17. January 2010 - 0:54  (41262)

This site is fantastic! Keep up the good work!!!

by Anonymous on 12. January 2010 - 16:04  (40891)

I just discovered this website and am pleasantly surprised. This is a very handy software review site with good analytical, subjective reviews. Thanks for all the hard work.

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