2020 is here and many PC users will no doubt be looking for fresh new software. Software is one of the few industries in which lots of things come free, so we might as well make the most of freeware.
There are some terrific freeware packages for almost every software category. These are 12 of the best freeware programs for 2020that you can run on Windows 10 and other platforms.
Windows freeware to install in 2020 on your PC
1. CCleaner – best registry cleaner
CCleaner is among the most highly rated system maintenance software for Windows that Piriform boasts has had more than two billion downloads. Although the CCleaner freeware might lack the defragmentation, scheduled cleaning and file recovery tools in the pro and plus versions, it still packs in plenty of handy system optimization options. You can add CCleaner to Windows by clicking Free Download below or by purchasing the Professional version.
A registry cleaner is one thing Windows lacks, and CCleaner fills that void with its flexible registry utility. The registry cleaner enables users to customize scans by selecting various registry categories and can fix numerous software issues. The software’s file cleaner tool includes extensive file categories for users to select for system, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, Edge and third-party applications.
Furthermore, CCleaner includes a startup manager (which also lists context menu entries), duplicate file finder, a browser plug-in manager and disk analyzer.
2. Speccy – best system info tool
Speccy is another Piriform program that is also bundled with CCleaner Plus. This is one of the most detailed system info utilities that provides details you might not find listed on Windows’ System Information app.
Speccy is a fairly essential freeware package for anybody planning on upgrading hardware in 2018, and you can add it to Windows from Pririform’s official website.
Speccy provides one of the most comprehensive system overviews. The software gives you detailed reporting for RAM, CPU, OS, motherboard, graphics card, storage, drives, audio and more besides. Speccy users can export the system details to TXT or XML documents for printing. The software also enables you to copy system details to the clipboard.
3. World of Tanks – largest tank gamers community
World of Tanks isn’t a new Windows game, but this is still one of the best MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) blasters. When the game was at its peak it set a world record for number of players online on a single MOG server. So if you haven’t already played World of Tanks, you’ve got to check it out in 2020.
This freeware game runs on Windows platforms from XP to 10, and you can save its installer by clicking the Download Game button on their official webpage page.
- Download an install World of Tanks for free from the official website
Anybody remotely interested in mobile warfare will love World of Tanks. The game pits heavyweight tanks from World War One to the early Cold War era in one-on-one or team battles.
World of Tanks has six game modes that include random, tank-company, historical, stronghold and team battles.
However, perhaps the best thing about the game is its tech tree and the amount of tank customization it provides for players. Players start with basic tanks and can then build them up into formidable armored monsters. Customizing the tanks is essential to victory in the multiplayer battles, and building them up is half the fun in World of Tanks.
- ALSO READ: 8 best tank games for Windows 10
4. Bitdefender Free Edition 2018 – World’s best Antivirus
Bitdefender is a renowned anti-virus utility for Windows. The anti-virus utility comes with the full suite of scanning and detection tools for killing off malware and other types of virus. The publisher has already released the 2018 version, so now might be a good time to add this utility to Windows 10, 8 or 7. Press the Download Now button on this page to save the software’s installer. For a full-featured version of Bitdefender we suggest you choosing one of the paid options which comes with a good tech support.
Bitdefender includes antiphishing, USB autoscans, email autoscans and ransomware protection tools. It includes a handy gamer mode that temporarily suspends scans and notifications to free up system resources for the game. The software also scans for outdated software and helps you update antiquated programs.
Furthermore, Bitdefender‘s general system resource utilization is minimal even when scanning. So it’s not entirely surprising that Bitdefender has a user base eclipsing more than 500 million.
ALSO READ: Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2018, the best antivirus for your Windows PC
5. MailBird – the best mail client app on the market
MailBird is email client software compatible with Windows platforms from XP to 10. This is an intuitive and straightforward email application that’s easy to set up and configure accounts with. The freeware version is restricted to three email accounts, but it still boasts a decent feature set. Click the Get Mailbird Free button on this website page to add this email client software to Windows.
MailBird is email software with which you can open Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud and Outlook.com emails among others. The email client has a unified inbox so that you can open emails from multiple accounts in one inbox. The software has plenty of formatting options for emails, and it also includes customizable themes and layouts for the inbox.
Another great thing about MailBird is that it incorporates integrated apps, which include Google Calendar, Dropbox, Todolist, Twitter, WhatsApp and more besides. So Mailbird is a great freeware alternative to Outlook 2016, and this post provides further details for the software.
6. Password Manager – a friendly user manager
Icecream Password Manager is freeware password manager that has been getting rave reviews. This is ideal software with which to save website login details for 2018. You can add Password Manager to Windows platforms from XP to 10 by clicking Free Download on this website page.
Password Manager users can save website login details, credit card and bank account details with the software, which has its own master password. However, this software is a little more than a password manager as it comes with a form filer with which you can fill out repetitious website forms.
You can also save notes, attach files and set up automatic backups with Password Manager. In addition, the software has a Chrome and Firefox extension that you can save website passwords with.
7. Screen Recorder – the most compatible screen recorder
Screen Recorder is both screencaster and screenshot software for recording video and capturing static snapshots in Windows. The software has a freeware and pro version that also enables you to schedule and convert recorded videos to alternative formats.
Screen Recorder is a great alternative to Windows’ built-in Snipping Tool for capturing snapshots, and you can download its trial for free.
Screen Recorder includes a flexible tool for capturing video and snapshots with which users can capture both full-screen output and selected areas. It includes extensive drawing options with which you can annotate videos or screenshots by adding text, step numbers, shapes and arrows to them.
The software has numerous customizable hotkeys for its various tools and options. Those who upgrade to the pro version can also display keyboard shortcuts in videos, add watermarks to recordings and trim clips.
8. Advanced SystemCare 11 Free – best PC optimizer
Advanced SystemCare 11 Free is system optimization software to give your Windows laptop or desktop a 2018 spring clean with. This is, in fact, five IObit utility applications wrapped into one single package.
There is a notable difference between Advanced SystemCare 11’s free and pro versions, but the freeware package still offers great value.
The software incorporates IObit’s Uninstaller, Driver Booster, malware and hard disk defrag software. You can also scan for empty folders, completely erase documents, remove startup programs and fix invalid shortcuts with the software.
However, the best thing about Advanced SystemCare 11 is its all-in-one Clean & Optimize scan that will delete junk files, clean the registry, optimize the Windows startup and fix shortcuts in one sweep, which isn’t something you get in CCleaner. This Advanced SystemCare review provides further details for the system optimizer.
9. Andy – best free android emulator
You can play all the hottest Android games of 2018, and run other apps, with the Andy emulator. Andy isn’t just an emulator that runs the apps, it emulates the full Android platform in Windows. Thus, you can discover the Android OS without a handset with this freeware software.
The emulator has fairly heavy system requirements, and it needs at least 10 GB free hard drive space, but it’s still well worth adding to Windows 10, 8 and 7. Click Download on this homepage to save Andy’s setup wizard.
Andy is the closest thing to Android in Windows. The software’s UI emulates the Android OS, so you can configure Andy via Settings, modify contacts, add widgets, set up reminders and more besides. This software also integrates with Windows so that you can open Android apps with Windows shortcuts. In addition, Andy users can utilize their mobiles as remote controllers for games open in the emulator.
Check out this post for further details about Andy and other Android emulators.
10. WPS Office Free – best Microsoft Office alternative
Office suites are among the essential software. There are numerous freeware office suites, and WPS Office Free is one worth noting in 2018. WPS Office includes a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation application.
This office suite also has premium and professional versions that include extra split and merge options for PDFs. You can add WPS Office Free to Windows platforms from XP to 10 by clicking Download on this page. For more features, you can consider the paid version. It’s not so expensive but it’ll worth every penny.
WPS Office Free has an intuitive tabbed UI that is similar to the MS Office UI design. Unlike LibreOffice, the software opens multiple documents in separate tabs instead of multiple windows. The WPS word processor is more like desktop-publishing software as you can drag-and-drop paragraphs to alternative page positions. The suite’s applications also include a PDF conversion tool and provide a great selection of templates for you to quickly set up documents with.
Kingsoft also provides cloud storage for the office suite. WPS Office Free users can save files to the WPS Cloud, which gives you one GB storage space. The WPS Cloud also enables you to share files with links.
11. Ebook Reader – best Ebook reader for book lovers
E-books are no longer limited to just e-book readers and tablets. You can embrace e-books in 2018 with the Icecream Ebook Reader software for Windows, which supports a variety of e-book formats. The software has a pro version with more extensive options, but the freeware version is still a nifty bit of kit that you can download from this page.
- Download now Icecream Ebook Reader Professional trial version
Ebook Reader supports all the primary e-book formats, such as MOBI, EPUB, CBR, PDF and FB2. The software enables you to both import and export e-books to other devices. Ebook Reader users can set up bookmarks, customize fonts and themes and add notes for certain sections of e-books. Translate is another of Ebook Reader’s handy options with which you can translate selected passages if required.
12.WinRAR – The best file archiver/compression software
If you want to save space on your PC, or simply group or compress files that you’re planning to send, it’s advised to use a good file archiver software. Windows has its own file archiver built into File Explorer, and while this archiver is good for the most basic tasks, it doesn’t have many features that WinRAR has.
WinRAR supports all popular compression formats, and the list includes RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZip, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z, and 7-Zip formats. As for the speed, WinRAR offers faster compression speed than its competitors.
The application can recognize the type of files that you’re compressing, and it can offer you the best compression method based on the files that you’re working with. Another useful feature is the ability to split archives, so you can easily send your archive in pieces. This is incredibly useful if you have a file size limit for your email attachments for example.
Another great feature that separates WinRAR from other file archivers is the ability to encrypt your files using the 256-bit encryption. As a result, you can safely archive your files and make sure that only the people with the correct password can access them.
Overall, WinRAR offers many great features, it supports a wide range of formats, offers great compression, as well as file encryption. The application is available for a free trial, but you can continue using it even after the trial period expires.
- Support for all popular compression formats
- Smart compression
- Ability to split archives
- 256-bit encryption
Those are just a few of the best freeware programs you can add to Windows in 2020. Even though some of them might lack a few of the options and features in their proprietary versions, they still offer terrific value.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.