- If you recently bought a new Windows PC, whether a desktop or laptop, it's time to think about what programs you'll install on it
- One of the most important pieces of software you need to consider is the antivirus, since you'll need serious protection to prevent cyber-threats from harming your new PC
- If you plan on using your new PC as a multimedia center, you should install only the best multimedia software if you want to enjoy high-quality content
- Check our Windows 10 Apps section if you want to find out more
If you reset Windows 10 to factory settings or if you perform a clean install, all your files and applications will be removed. This means that you have to install all your applications all over again.
Choosing the most suitable applications isn’t always easy, and today we’re going to show you some of the best free software for a new Windows 10.
What are the best must-have free software for a new Windows 10 PC?
One of the first apps to download on a computer is definitely a web browser. When it comes to browsing, it’s crucial to have a secure and reliable browser, and this is where UR Browser shines.
Here are the most notable features of this browser:
- Built on Chromium engine, so it’s quite similar to Chrome
- All your Chrome extensions will work on UR Browser
- Built-in scanner for downloaded files
- Phishing protection that will inform you about malicious websites
- Automatic redirection to encrypted websites
- 2048-bit RSA encryption for extra security
- Automatic blocking of third-party cookies and trackers
- Advanced private browsing
- Uses privacy-based search engines by default
- Built-in adblocker
- Built-in VPN for enhanced privacy
- Faster download thanks to the parallel downloading technology
- Ability to show news from reliable sources on your Homescreen
Chrome or Firefox
As previously mentioned, a web browser is a must-have software for Windows 10, and if you’re not a fan of UR Browser, you can use Chrome or Firefox.
Notable Chrome features:
- One of the most popular browsers in the world
- Optimized for multitasking
- Built-in password manager that creates unique passwords
- Over 150,000 available extensions to enhance your browser
- Autocomplete for your search queries
- Built-in translator
- Built-in adblocker for malicious ads
- Sync feature for multi-device experience
Notable Firefox features:
- Made with user-privacy in mind by a non-profit organization
- Ability to sync your passwords
- Private browsing
- Pocket integration
- Tracking protection that blocks cookies and ads
- Up to 44% faster loading speed
- Sync feature
- Extensive customization
- 30% less memory usage than other browsers
- Hundreds of available extensions
AVG AntiVirus Free
One of the essential applications that you need on a new PC is antivirus software, and if you’re looking for a free antivirus, AVG AntiVirus Free is just what you need.
Here are several features that this software offers:
- Real-time security updates
- Can detect performance issues
- Protection from malware, unsafe links, and email attachments
- Ability to block malicious downloads
- Simple to use interface
– Check now AVG’s offers on the official site
Email client might not be a must-have software for Windows 10, but many users prefer having a dedicated email client for their email needs.
If you’re looking for a free and email client with a sleek and friendly user interface, Mailbird is what you need. Here’s what Mailbird has to offer:
- Unified client for all your contacts and email accounts
- Extensive customization with dozens of color themes
- Friendly user interface
- Integration with popular services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Wunderlist, Google Calendar and many more
- Snooze option for emails
- Speed reader
- Attachment search
Your PC will get filled with various junk files over time, and this is why CCleaner is one of the best apps to download on the computer. This software will remove unwanted files from your PC and speed it up.
Regarding the features, here are a few notable ones:
- Ability to clean temporary files, cookies, and history from all your web browsers
- Can clean Recycle Bin, temporary files, log files, clipboard, DNS cache, and more
- Built-in registry cleaner feature that removes old or unsaved registry entries
- Ability to remove temporary and recent files for many third-party applications
– Download now CCleaner from the official site
VLC is another must-have software for Windows 10, especially if you play multimedia files frequently. Regarding the features, here’s what VLC has to offer:
- Ability to play multimedia from sources such as files, webcams, devices, streams, etc.
- Plays almost all file formats without the need to install additional codecs
- Available on all major desktop and mobile platforms
- Advanced control for video, subtitle synchronization, audio, and video filters
- Support for skins and extensions
Download manager is a useful tool especially if you don’t have a fast or reliable Internet connection. Sometimes it can occur that your Internet connection drops, and that can make your downloaded file corrupted.
To prevent these types of problems, many people use download managers. These tools will often speed up your download, and they will allow you to resume it at any time.
Another useful feature of download managers is the ability to limit download speed.
By using this feature, you can ensure that you have enough bandwidth for other needs such as music or video streaming.
MusicBee or AIMP
In order to play and organize music, you’ll need specific software for that, and this is where MusicBee or AIMP might come in handy.
MusicBee most notable features:
- Amazing and simple to use interface
- Auto-tagging feature for your music library
- 10 and 15-band sound equalizer
- DPI effects
- WASAPI and ASIO support for maximum sound quality
- Gapless playback
- Ability to Upmix stereo to 5.1 surround sound or resample the track to lower bitrate
- Support for logarithmic volume scaling and normalizing volume streaming
- Support for Winamp plugins
- Synchronization with Android devices
- Support for Groove Music
- Low RAM usage
- Sleek and flexible user interface
- Support for various audio formats
- Support for DirectSound, ASIO, WASAPI, and WASAPI Exclusive
- Support for Internet radio
- Can capture streams in various audio formats
- 18-band equalizer
- Various effects such as reverb, flanger, pitch, voice remover, etc.
- Volume normalization
- Fade in and cross-mix support
- Music library
- Smart playlists
- Audio converter
- Tag editor that lets you apply changes to multiple files
- Scheduling feature
LibreOffice or OpenOffice
Microsoft Office is the most used office suite in the world, but it’s not available for free. If you don’t want to purchase Microsoft Office, you might want to consider a free alternative such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Both suites are completely free and they can be installed on different computers without any limitations.
If you need an office suite on your Windows 10 PC and you’re looking for a free Microsoft Office alternative, be sure to check OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Another great free software for Windows that you might need is Recuva. This application allows you to recover deleted files. As for the features, here are few notable ones:
- Ability to recover all sorts of lost files
- Works with memory cards, external hard drives, USB sticks, etc.
- Ability to recover files from damaged disks
- Deep scanning support
- Ability to permanently delete files
– Download now Recuva from the official site
A password manager such as LastPass is a must-have software for Windows 10 since your accounts can be easily hacked if you’re using a weak password.
Regarding LastPass, here are a few notable features:
- Ability to generate strong, hard to hack passwords
- Stores all your passwords in a single place
- An auto-fill feature that makes signing up for services faster
- Ability to store secure notes
- Available on all major platforms
- Multi-factor authentication
- AES-256 encryption
- All data is encrypted on your device
- Available browser extensions
File compression software
File compression software is useful to have, especially if you download all sorts of files from the Internet. Many users share files online as archives because that’s the simplest way to send multiple files at once.
In addition, sending multiple files in an archive will often compress the files and reduce the total size of the archive.
Although Windows 10 can open and create archives, many users prefer using third-party software because it offers advanced features.
Taking notes is easy in Windows 10 is easy with Notepad, but if you want a more advanced version of Notepad, Notepad++ is one of the apps to download on your computer.
Here’s what Notepad++ has to offer:
- Syntax highlighting and folding
- Ability to define your own highlighting and folding rules
- Pearl Compatible Regular Expression search and replace feature
- Customizable GUI that lets you open multiple documents in tabs
- Document map that allows you to quickly navigate to a certain section
- Auto-competition for words and functions
- Multi-view feature
- Macro recording and playback
Windows 10 comes with Photos app that works as a default image viewer. Even though Photos app is decent, some users prefer applications that provide more features.
Many third-party apps allow you to edit your images and organize them by assigning tags to them.
In addition, some third-party applications are faster than Photos app, so be sure to try them out.
If you edit images frequently, then you should know that Paint.NET is one of that must-have software for Windows 10. As for available features, here are few notable ones:
- Simple and friendly tabbed user interface
- Low resource usage
- Layer support
- Ability to enhance the application with plugins
- Various effects such as blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, etc.
- Ability to adjust contrast, brightness, hue, saturation, curves, and levels
- Standard photo editing tools
- Unlimited undo steps
Windows 10 comes with its own Windows Firewall that works as a default firewall. This is a decent tool, but if you want an extra layer of security, you might want to consider using a third-party firewall.
Third-party firewall tools will block unknown applications from accessing the Internet, but these tools also have many advanced features that Windows Firewall lacks.
Another useful free software for Windows 10 is HWiNFO. This application allows you to see important system information at glance. As for features, here are few notable ones:
- In-depth hardware information regarding all your hardware components
- Real-time monitoring of system components
- Highly customizable interface
- Extensive reporting feature
- Can export reports in XML, CSV, and HTML format
- Support for alerts and third-party extensions
Last entry on our list is clipboard managers. We use copy and paste functions on a daily basis, but by default, you can only copy and paste one entry. By using clipboard manager you can see all your copied data.
This data includes text, images or even files.
By using clipboard manager you can quickly search for any copied data and paste it again with just a few clicks.
If you copy data frequently and you need to keep it organized and easily accessible, these types of programs are irreplaceable.
These are some of the best free applications that you should install on a fresh installation of Windows 10. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to install all of these applications.
In our opinion, the most important applications are antivirus tools, web browsers, and multimedia players, so be sure to install them as soon as you can.
On the other hand, if you need a specific software solution, simply use the Search bar available on WindowsReport.
We reviewed hundreds of products and we’re sure you’ll find useful information on this website.
On the other hand, if you need more information about a specific tool, let us know in the comments below. We’ll do the heavy lift for you and do in-depth research.
We’ll come back to you with the conclusions as soon as possible.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Windows 10 already has a competent, powerful antivirus solution called Windows Defender. If you want something more, you can refer to our list.
VLC Media Player is one of the most powerful multimedia players on the market, and it’s not only free but also open-source.
If you want a quick, free graphic editor for your new Windows 10 PC, you can download and use Paint.NET.