Five Programs Every Windows User Needs

Every new computer you buy comes with a plethora of software already installed by the time you open it up and turn it on. Oftentimes they promise to make your computer “faster” or to make your user experience “easier.” These programs come installed directly from the factory and rarely, if ever, are of any actual long term value. If you’re a Windows user and you want software that will truly benefit not just your computer but yourself, there are a few key pieces of software that you’re not going to want to go without. The best part is, all of the following programs can be downloaded completely free of charge.


CCleaner is very similar in nature to the native Windows program “Disk Cleanup.” Only instead of just deleting unnecessary and temporary files from your hard drive, it can also help fix errors and remove outdated information with individual programs like your Web browser and in your computer’s registry. Running CCleaner just once every few weeks shows a noticeable improvement in the speed of your PC.

VLC Media Player

If VLC Media Player has a native Windows equivalent, it’s Windows Media Player. VLC Media Player is the clear victor of the two, however, due to its very basic and easy to navigate user interface. It is also capable of playing almost any file format you can think of, and certainly more than Windows Media Player is capable of. Even while playing high definition video files, VLC Media Player doesn’t use nearly as much of your system’s resources as Windows Media Player would playing the same files.


GIMP is a free photo editing utility that is much more powerful than the native Windows utility Paint. GIMP offers a feature set comparable to that of much more advanced (and expensive) programs like Adobe Photoshop. Even if you don’t regularly edit photographs on your personal computer, you will still be shocked by the sheer amount of control that GIMP gives you over an image.

Adobe Reader

Many documents found online, including official support documents on the websites of software or hardware manufacturers, are stored in the proprietary Adobe PDF document. The PDF format allows people to view but not edit these files. Downloading and installing Adobe Reader allows you to open these PDF documents and view them using the best possible user interface with the least amount of hassles.

Mozilla Firefox

By default, the Windows operating system comes with a Web browser called Internet Explorer installed. Though Internet Explorer has taken giant leaps forward in regards to usability and performance in recent years, it still can’t hold a candle to the free Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is an exceptionally fast browser, and is easy to use. If Mozilla Firefox doesn’t have a feature that you want (for example, the ability to constantly check for changes on a particular website without manually reloading), there is a good chance that you can download a free add-on for the browser that allows it to do just that.

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