The Best Free PC Software

PC Software includes a wide range of programs and tools that make using your computer easier, more efficient or just more fun. This includes security programs that protect against viruses, productivity suites and online communication tools.

System software runs when a computer boots up and handles the basics so higher-level application software can run. Optimization programs clean up junk files and free up disk space, while security applications prevent cyber threats from attacking.

1. Ninite

Ninite automates software installation and updates for your computer. Choose programs from a list on their website and they will download all the necessary files without bundled toolbars or other junk. They also download the latest version for your Windows machine, so you get a fresh install.

Once an installer is completed it runs in the background and automatically updates your apps. Keeping all your apps up to date is important for security and performance, but manually checking each one can be time consuming.

With Ninite, you can just sit back and let it do the work. It’s a great option for quickly setting up a new PC and even helps keep existing machines up to date.

2. Ashampoo WinOptimizer

The best system optimizers offer far more than simply a quick tune-up. Some of them also remove chatty Windows telemetry features, recover accidentally deleted files and even wipe sensitive data.

Other features include privacy protection modules that customize your Windows experience and protect your privacy by blocking data collection, folder sharing and remote access. Moreover, the Auto Clean module deletes browser and download history for all installed browsers and the Game-Booster can lower CPU and RAM usage to improve frame per second (fps) in games.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer includes extensive analytical capabilities that provide detailed information on hard disk and processor performance. It also supports multi-monitors and notifications can be displayed via the Windows Notification Center.

3. Fortect

Its clean, straightforward interface makes it easy to navigate. It also has a scan summary page that displays important information about the process as it happens. There’s no bloatware or bundled extras that could slow you down.

Junk files can bog down your computer, but Fortect can identify them quickly and easily. It can remove these files to free up space and help programs run more smoothly.

Fortect can repair blue screen of death errors and replace corrupted Windows system files without affecting personal files, user settings, or programs. It can even restore missing DLLs.

4. Unchecky

Unchecky is a small utility that monitors software installations and prevents the installation of potentially unwanted programs (pups) by automatically unchecking additional offers in installer windows. It also warns you when you are about to accept offers or PUPs that are not relevant to your intended download.

The program works silently in the background, monitoring new installations for bundled software components. It can save you a lot of mouse clicks, but most importantly it will help you to keep your PC free from unintentional installations of adware and other unwanted software.

5. PowerToys

PowerToys is a collection of free programs that takes Windows to the next level. The tools help make users more productive and happier with their computers.

Some of the popular tools include Awake to keep a computer awake, Fancy Zones to create window layouts, and Keyboard Manager to remap keyboard keys. Others include Text Extractor, which lets you rename multiple files at once, and Peek, which allows you to preview certain file types.

Microsoft recently rebooted its PowerToys set for Windows XP and later versions. Now, the tools are available as a free download from the Microsoft Store or can be installed via the PowerToys GitHub page.

6. Steam

Developed by Valve, creator of the Half-Life and Left4Dead games, Steam is a digital gaming platform that allows users to purchase, download, play, and share video games. It features a game library, user-friendly interface, social features, sales and discounts, automatic updates, and robust security measures.

Steam is renowned for its frequent sales events, which can significantly lower the price of games and make them more affordable to budget-conscious gamers. Its commitment to keeping games up-to-date ensures optimal performance and helps gamers avoid frustrating bugs and glitches.

Parents should note that Steam can be highly addictive, encouraging kids to spend hours playing games and potentially neglecting other important activities. It can also expose kids to online harassment and bullying.

7. OBS

OBS is a free and open source program that allows you to simultaneously stream and record video content, connecting directly with YouTube and other popular platforms. Its lightweight design offers high performance similar to pricier software options.

OBS features a number of powerful and easy-to-use configuration options. Easily add new sources, duplicate existing ones, and adjust their properties with ease through the streamlined Settings panel. A modular ‘Dock’ UI lets you arrange scenes and sources to fit your work flow, with the ability to pop out each one to its own window.