What's Your Can't-Live-Without Freeware?

Was thinking about the programs that I consider necessary for the way I use a PC and thought it might be fruitful if we shared our core picks - might discover something new! I would be interested to know what other people think they couldn’t live without.

In no particular order:

-Quite simply a better Notepad.

Notepad replacer
-So anything that calls for Notepad gives you Notepad++ like you really want.

-Password manager.

-For controlling system fans. I could do a whole post on just this software, but for me the selling point is being able to apply more useful logic to fan curves (and reading GPU temperature, which the mainboard generally can’t do on its own). So I can create a CPU fan curve, a GPU fan curve, and a case fan curve that’s the current max of the previous two curves.

-File sychronization

-Ebook management

-Video editor

Lossless cut
-Video pre-editor

-Audio editor


Because it really whipped the llama’s ass. I don’t think there really exists a comparatively useful music player.

Because it’s holding all my games hostage.


Some version of WinRar. I dunno if a more reliable program for unzipping files.



I use this for basic coding and text file editing. Very similar to Notepad++ with a more modern UI


Password manager. I switched to this after the whole LastPass debacle(s). Wanted something more secure and that had both PC and Mobile capabilities…FOR FREE!

Ublock Origin

Ad blocker

Enhancer for Youtube

This one has a lot of features, but mainly I use it to automatically set video quality at max. Youtube’s player forces auto which starts at 144p and slowly works its way up to max. My bandwidth is plenty good, I don’t like waiting :joy: It’s available in both Chrome and Firefox stores. Unsure about other browsers


I’m my parents IT Support so this is essential :joy:

Mozilla Thunderbird

I just switched to this because I wanted something secure, private, and simple to use since MS is doing away with the Mail and Calendar app and can’t stand Outlook.

Mozilla Firefox - for mobile

This may seem like an obvious available software, but little do people know, it’s the only major mobile browser that allows extensions. What does that mean? AD BLOCKERS!!! :tada: :tada: Because holy cow does mobile need them. Especially if you have low signal or limited data


You are not the first person that I have heard say this exact phrase. Where is it from?

Personally I use 7zip. Their algorithms for compression and decompression are better than winrar which can become important with large files.



It’s the motto. https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/2lepog/til_that_winamp_took_their_slogan_it_really_whips/

FWIW Windows 11 can natively open .rar and .7z files now, but it can’t create them so far as I know.

If we’re talking browser extensions also, I would heartily add Distill. Free version will do 25 sites I think, which is enough for me.


The program at least used to come with this mp3 file which was automatically in the first playlist upon install. It’s a weird slogan, but I suppose it worked as it’s stuck with a generation of computer nerds.


I’ve dabbled in recent years with this little screen capture tool. Really neat to make some quick gifs or videos without too much hassle.

Media Player Classic - Home Cinema
I like this version of media player, kept alive by github folks

All your emulators in one place, that’s handy. Saves me in times of retro needs :joystick:
Even better when paired with RetroAchievements

I had WinAmp in my old computer too, but after losing it, I didn’t have the perseverance to redo all my album collection. I had everything organized there. But it’s still truly the best music player.


@Enki. Is Retroarch less of a pain to set up on PC? It bit annoying on mobile

1 Like

I guess so? This channel here covers almost every setup on RetroArch. When in doubt about something I tend to check their videos.

Mind you, while you can have a bunch of emulators bundled there, in some cases the standalone emulator will run games better, but in most cases for me it worked fine.


do my ears deceive me…
nobody mentioned Ear Trumpet… whaaa… its a basically better volume control app…