The best Windows XP software you can still use today

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft does not offer support for Windows XP any longer- no more updates, no more security or technical support.
  • Several software providers also ended their support for Windows XP, so still running the OS can be tricky.
  • Find suitable Windows XP software in the list below. We included browsers, antivirus, VPNs, and other major software categories.

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When Microsoft announced that they were ending their support for Windows XP which they had done for 12 years, not everybody understood what that would mean if they continued using the operating system.

However, they had to withdraw so as to focus on supporting more recent technologies to continue delivering great experiences, and this included automatic updates that would help protect your PC.

It also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP, which meant that PCs running XP won’t be secure and would be at risk for infection.

However, computers using XP still continued to work despite the increased vulnerability to security threats and viruses. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, which exposes your PC to more threats, plus more apps and devices don’t work with this OS.

If you’re still using XP, you’d know that major software providers are also dropping support for it, but there are still some best software for Windows XP to use in 2020 that you can carry on with to both stay safe and keep your PC running smoothly.

We cannot review every possible piece of software, but here are some major software categories which still work for XP even today.

Best software for Windows XP to use in 2021

Antivirus

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

This edition is easy to set up and configure, uses little system resources so your computer won’t have lags, and it doesn’t nag you with an upgrade to premium suggestions. It fully supports XP.

Get Bitdefender antivirus

  • Avast Free Antivirus

This comes with a heuristics engine that can detect previously unknown viruses and malware, plus it is the most installed antivirus product, and fully supports Windows XP too.

Get Avast Free antivirus

  • AVG Antivirus Free

This is a fully-fledged antivirus and antispyware software with scheduled scanning, email and link scanners, automatic updates and much more. You get it as a free download and enjoy it with Windows XP on your PC.

Get AVG Antivirus Free

  • Panda Protection

This was previously the Panda Free antivirus and protects your PC from malware and other threats. It works from the cloud so it won’t slow down your computer, freeing it up to work as it should while protected.

Get Panda Protection

VPN

Some of the best VPNs to use with Windows XP include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost but the latter has since stopped supporting XP.

However, you can still use Hotspot Shield Free VPN, known for allowing access to blocked sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and others. it also gives you unlimited bandwidth and data transfer, plus anonymity.

Other features include real IP address masking, secure internet connection even with public WiFi, protection against malware, phishing and spam, plus fast connections for high-speed browsing.

You can also get the premium version for extra features and enjoy anonymity on Windows XP.

Get Hotspot Shield Free VPN

  • Express VPN

ExpressVPN is recognized as one of the best VPN software worldwide.

It has a very large geographical coverage, with servers in over 90 countries.

It is also highly secure, with AES-256 encryption.

You can use ExpressVPN on Windows XP PCs and the software company provides technical support for bugs and errors for the XP-compatible version of the app.

Get ExpressVPN

Office Suite

This is another very important software you use besides your browser for connecting to the Internet.

  • Microsoft Office

If you still insist on using Microsoft Office, there’s no modern version for XP, as Office 2013 and 2016 only work with Windows 7 or later versions. The latest Office version for XP is the Office 2010 32-bit edition. Otherwise, this will only be available up to October 2020, so you still have a few years to use it.

Office 2007 or earlier versions are still compatible with XP but have not been supported by Microsoft since October 2017, but for Office 2010, you can download with a valid product key or get an Office license online, though this can be expensive.

Get Office Online

  • WPS Office

WPS Office is an all-in-one office suite that offers support for writing text documents, creating presentations, spreadsheets, and PDFs.

You can simultaneously create and edit multiple types of documents from just one window, using different tabs. 

Despite the fact that it comes with a large set of templates and other extras, WPS Office is very lightweight.

Windows XP users can run WPS Office 2016. Even though it is not the latest version, it offers all the above-mentioned features and is constantly updated.

Get WPS Office

Browsers

  • Mozilla Firefox

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Mozilla Firefox does not provide Windows XP support for newer versions, but you can still use the browser on your PC if you run the Firefox 48.0 version on your PC.

⇒ Get Mozilla Firefox

  • Opera

Opera is another popular browser choice. It has an integrated VPN, good security, and a modern, easy-to-navigate UI. You can use Opera older versions on your Windows XP PC.

You can browse uninterrupted by activating the integrated Adblocker, integrating social media, and more.

Get Opera

Internet Explorer and Google Chrome both dropped their support for XP so you can no longer use the two on your PC.

Image editing and viewing

For XP, the best easy-to-use editor would have been Paint.NET but it no longer supports the OS. However, you can use GIMP to edit images, or IrfanView if you want to view images.

GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free photo editing software for XP, though it requires some extra skills or time to understand and use it so it’s not as simple as most free photo editors.

It not only lets you add layers, masks, curves, and levels, but you can even clone, create your own custom brushes, apply perspective and much more using its smart selection tools. You can access so many plugins from GIMP’s collection, created by the community of users plus install Photoshop plugins as well.

The latest version of the software doesn’t support Windows XP. However, you can use Gimp 2.8 with no issues.

Get GIMP

  • PhotoPad

Provided by NCH Software, PhotoPad is one of the simplest, yet effective photo editors that allow you to make quick edits to your pictures. 

You can run it on Windows XP and make use of all its features. It comes with the basic crop, rotate, resize options, as well as blur, sharpening, multiple layers features, an impressive set of filters, and more.

Get PhotoPad

Utilities

  • Drive detectors

You can use Device Doctor for this. This is a free Windows app that scans your computer hardware and checks for any new driver updates available for your computer or device. It also locates drivers for unidentified devices in the Windows Device Manager.

Once you click Begin Scan, Device Doctor queries its manufacturer driver database and immediately fetches the correct driver files for your computer or device.

It updates drivers for over 13 million individual devices and computers, with more added every week. Other features include consistent updates (including new driver versions soon as they’re released), future proof with Windows versions and 64-bit support, offline scans, and it provides device names for unknown devices before updating drivers.

To use it, you need your Windows XP and 10 MB available hard drive space.

Get Device Doctor

  • Driver Booster

Driver Fix

DriverFix provides driver management solutions for multiple Windows operating systems, including Windows XP.

The software helps you boost the performance of your PC by keeping your drivers up-to-date and creating driver backups. It can also help you fix broken files, bugs, and more.

Get DriverFix

IObit Driver Booster

IObit Driver Booster can be used with no issues on Windows XP. The software is constantly updated, ensuring good security and performance.

The Driver Booster can repair all sorts of driver errors, help you manage your driver, create backups, clean your PC, and more. It also scans for available driver updates and allows you to install them.

Get Driver Booster

  • Screenshot tool

Windows XP has no built-in tool for snipping or taking screenshots, but you can install ShareX, a great tool that gives clear quality screenshots instead.

Get ShareX

While some software still works with XP, it is important to note that the developers of such software can drop them with little or no notice, so you need to stay abreast of what works currently and in the future for XP.

Which best software for Windows XP are you using in 2021? Let us know which one works for you that we may have missed by dropping a comment in the section below.

If you want to learn more about this OS, check this comprehensive Windows XP overview.

For more guides and recommendations, check our Windows XP– related articles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Although there are many places that might be offering the obsolete operating system for free, we can assure you that none of them are legal. More so, Windows XP was never distributed online, so there’s no way to retrieve it even from Microsoft.

  • While it may be possible for you to install and run Windows XP on your computer, it would be a bad idea. Windows XP went out of support a few years ago, which makes it heavily exposed to all sorts of vulnerabilities that won’t be patched.

  • Again, using Windows XP past its support period is a very bad idea, but it’s your call. Our best advice to you is to keep your antivirus solution up-to-date and even go offline if you plan on using Windows XP in the long run.

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