Free Software

PC Matic’s Top Free Software report shown below reflects our on-going attempt to expand the scope of identifying and reporting free software titles. As with previous reporting, we have limited this software listing to the top 100 titles based on the prevalence of the software for folks running the PC Matic applications and on-line scans. We are continuing the task of identifying free applications and it is our goal to become the most comprehensive listing of no cost software available.

The popularity percentage displayed in the freeware popularity ranking below represents the percentage of all PCs (which ran the PC Matic diagnostics scans last month) that had the particular freeware title installed on their PC. The Rank value is just a numerical representation of where the particular software falls in the overall list.


Free Software Popularity
(Based on PC Prevalence Percent)



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77 thoughts on “Free Software

  1. I have just run my scan and noticed that Quicktime and Google Chrome were installed>
    Why!!!! I don’t use chrome or quicktime.
    Why didn’t I have the option to opt out?
    I am so annoyed, you program is fix and speed up computers NOT to install unrelated programs.
    I had to run a script to completly remove chrome….it screwed up my hyperlinks in my spreadsheets and documents.

    Not happy!!!

    Looking forward to your comments

  2. One other comment. I was having all kinds of BSOD’s with my Ultimate Windows 7. I searched tirelessly and posted on forums.

    Then I saw a sale on System Mechanic Pro for $19.95. I installed it and the BSOD’s almost disappeared. Then a friend told me that Iobit’s Advanced System Care now used less memory. So I installed and ran the free edition. The BSOD’s basically disappeared. I cannot remember the last time I had one.

    It is interesting to see the System Mechanic desktop widget change colours to warn you of problems and then to look below at the log of what was done. Often it is misaligned programs or other errors that add up and cause BSOD’s because they is gone.

    Oh I should have said before I do run commercial software like Kaspersky Pure because I am all over the internet and want to prevent problems not solve the results.

    Yes I buy some software but often it happens to be on sale if you wait or at least a good discount.

    have a good!

  3. MSNBC 360 with Anderson Cooper. Had a something about free download of
    software called PCMATIC.COM ( This isn’t TRUE)
    When your almost done with the download it
    ask you for $ 49.00. I don’t this is write.
    Anderson Cooper 360 watcher.

  4. every time i tried to install youtube downloader , I get errors, i don’t
    know what i am doing wrong!

  5. Pretty much every comment above missed an important point. This is NOT a list of recommended software; it is only that which is on the commputers that ran “PC Pitstop diagnostics scans last month”, numbered according to the frequency of its appearance machines on those machines.

    And we are not talking geniuses here, only users smart enough to run PC Pitstop. If you read this far down the list of comments, you are probably a great deal smarter and more experienced than nearly all of them.

    Again, this is NOT a list of recommended software. From what I have read here, if it were a list of recommendations, CCleaner should be at the top. From my experience, I would have to agree with that.

    People like to recommend things they use, because convincing others helps them feel better about their own choices. I don’t care at all, I’m willing to switch horses mid-stream, or anywhere else, for better performance. I also use a lot of freeware I wouldn’t recommend because they are not good overall, but have one or more features I find useful. When I put them on other people’s computers I hide them well. I even hide HijackThis because your average newby could ruin his PC in one stroke with it.

    My own recommendations of FREE software, including the two mentioned above, would be few:

    Avira, Spyware – Search & Destroy, OpenOffice, Media Player Classic – Home Cinema, Irfanview, Burn4Free, DeepBurner, PixResizer, and FileAlyzer.

    CCleaner offers many features most users never find, like controlling startup programs. Check the other options on the buttons on the left side of the window.

    Chrome astonished me with it’s speed, proven by two identical Sony laptops side-by-side, but I resent software that doesn’t uninstall completely.

    Norton has made some machines brought to me slow to a crawl. Replacing it with Avira returned them to normal, whatever that is.

    I occasionally get commercial software FREE from GiveAwayOfTheDay. Go late in the day (a new one each day) so you can read all the comments before you download and use any of them. I’ve had great luck for years.

  6. I teach free computer courses as a volunteer at the local library and have given copies of the 11/09 list to all the participants along with the URL and the suggestion that Winpatrol be considered. I don’t recall how I was able to copy and edit the file from 11/09 and can not seem to do so with the current version. Somehow, when I try to copy the current version to various utilities, it either crowds all along the left margin or has complete descriptions of each product and I don’t have enough paper to give all that information. I just want a exact image of what is on the list. Any help will be greatly appreciated by me and my classes.

  7. Interesting series of comments. I have to agree with pretty well all the remarks about IE; it’s glacially slow, and attracts more malware than anything else simply because it is so widespread thanks to its inclusion as part of the OS. As an alternative and very capable browser, I’d suggest looking at Opera; while it seems to address browsing from an unusual stance, it seems capable, secure and stable, and offers some features either not available elsewhere, or copied by others after Opera’s issue.
    When it comes to anti-malware applications, I have for years used ZoneAlarm under the recommendation of the IT manager of a VERY large software company. I know it’s commercial, but it’s no more expensive than others recommended; it’s stable and has never let me down, but for some reason it seems to be ignored by many reviewers.
    I apologise if this thought offends many, but I do feel that in large measure with software, as with anything else, you get what you pay for. There is no valid reason for thinking that everything connected with the internet should be free just because a lot of people think it should be; even ‘free’ software has to be paid for somehow, either by advertising – with it’s concomitant suspicion of coercion – or by the inherent altruism of its author. I’d rather be honest and pay the developer than hope that he’s doing his best for nothing.

    And for Jack Spratt’s question, AdAware, as with most anti-malware programs, will flag cookies of all kinds because it’s almost impossible for it to decide if a cookie is harmless or not; that’s your job. Pretty well all cookies track your identity and browsing history on a site; whether the site just uses that to ensure that you are dropped back into the place you were at your last visit, or uses it to track your browsing history to target advertising, your personal details, or steal your identity is for you to decide; the program can’t do it.

    • @Barry Heath:

      I have to disagree with you Barry about free programs. I go back to the DOS days when LOTUS cost $399 and Microsoft Word DOS was $200 wholesale.

      I have found MANY free programs that actually outshine the commercial stuff, especially in educational software, but that is another story. Software like cars can be very expensive or just plain and reliable, or junk dressed up. The amazing thing is if you read Consumer’s Reports which I have used since the 70’s I seldom go wrong. And their reviews put to rest the idea that “you get what you pay for”. Cadillacs, Mercedes are some of the worst expensive autos, Hyundai some of the best, just as one illustration. Likewise there is junk freeware and junk commercial software that takes them 6 revisions to get to what it should have been when first purchased.

      Microsoft might be in that category.

      Perhaps you have never heard of Gizmo. He is found along with many independent reviewers at and they recommend the best freeware programs in many categories and even for Android.

      So all of them would disagree as well.
      “You get what you pay for must be a phrase coined by salesmen because it is just not true.” May be true with some very specialized programs who have no freeware equivalent.

      Most people need email, internet security, a word processor [some may need a whole suite], some utilities, photo touchup and organizing program, video player and perhaps creator, a cd/dvd burner and of course a few others.

      But having sold computers for more than 15 years, I have to say that for almost any need the average person has, there is now free software and even cheap software which outshines Microsoft Office for most people such as Softmaker Office or Softmaker Pocket Office.

      I didn’t even mention all the free online programs including those from Google.

      Even Photoshop which I admit I have never used [or stolen] has its equivalent in GIMP.

      Others have made lists of freeware they like and use but almost always has exactly what I need.

      Check it out. I don’t even review there let alone work for them.

      Have a good!

  8. my MINIMAL ute recommendations for friends are ccleaner, auslogics defrag, and avira av. these are easy to execute and maintain with zero cost; an important consideration for limited budget computer users…

    run these “chores” at least once a week or WHENEVER a malware notice is publicized (better to be safe than sorry)…

  9. Free Programmes I use and recommend:
    Browser:- Mozilla Firefox, stable and fast (alternate Google Chrome)
    Anti-Virus:- Avast! & MS Security Essentials, I have several PC’s Laptops and use both these AV’s, they both seem to give excellent protection, are fast and small which means little or no reduction in computer performance!
    Maintenance Utility:- CCleaner!, if you get one programme get this, I use it every day and even its most basic function of cleaning browser clutter is worth the price alone ………thats FREE! I also use the registry cleaning facility it provides and have had absolutely NO problems at all
    other programmes I also use and recommend:
    Foxit reader:- tiny pdf reader (adobe is gross bloatware!)
    7-zip:- compression utility that does everything you might need.
    Revo Uninstaller:- thoroughly removes all traces of installed applications and programes from your computer, which basic add/remove will not do.
    Iobit Smart Defrag & Auslogics Disc Defrag:- both do the same job and both are faster and I believe more comprehensive than windows own defrag.
    Winamp:- my default programme for playing all music, I just like it!
    Media Player Classic:- tiny media player that plays very many formats.
    Burn4Free:- small and light cd/dvd burning programme, doesnt have all the whistles and bells of something like Nero but works very well and costs a lot less (FREE!)
    Eraser:- Totally remove all sensitive or personal data with one click.
    thats about it for me although as an aside I have just installed Windows Internet Explorer 9 (user release) on one of my laptops but its way to early to tell if its an improvement on other versions of IE as MS claim it will be!

    • @Guy K:

      I love Chrome for its speed but if you keep using it for an hour or so, it has so many entries in memory that it begins to slow down and then freeze and crash.

      So I use it for quick lookup of gmail or a few websites but when browsing longer I tend to use Firefox or Pale Moon.

  10. PC Pitstop Exterminate2 is a very good defense for your pc,but the problem is you have to be conected to internet,what if your pc has a virus that do not allow you to conect? it happened to me,and I had to bring Panda Antivirus Pro,from my other pc on a usb drive an use it in the infected pc, panda advise you to be on line,(I believe so you get the latest definitions)but you don’t have to be on line for it to work,and if the malware afecting you is not the latest malware,it fixs the problem,as it dit with my pc. Roberto

  11. I use threatfire and Win patrol (scotty the watchdog) only. My commputer is on line 24/7 and I’ve had no problems. Threatfire doesn’t keep a list of viruses, it just warns you (as does Scotty) when something is trying to muck with your registry. Then gives you the option to let it, quarantine it or deny it. Win patrol also gives you a chance to control startup items, delayed start items, cookies, show hidden files etc. This program needs to be bought if you want to know about threats it has prevented. $30.00 once only.

  12. Online video notwithstanding, Flash is only #1 because web designers today seem to think it’s a complete replacement for HTML.

    Another great free program is Total Uninstall 2.35, which is the last freeware version. Unlike other uninstallers that rely on a list, TU scans your registry and drive before and after you install a program, comparing the changes and saving them so that you can later fully uninstall the program in question.

    VLC – Unstable bugware that uses more CPU than just about any other generic player. Sure, it has built in codecs, but it also has so many obscure features that they have to include a shortcut to reset the prefs for when you accidentally screw it up by changing some setting you shouldn’t have touched.

  13. Other free software downloads that likely don’t fall within the top 100, but invaluable nonetheless.

    I routinely use CCleaner to cleanup the mess left behind by Internet browsing, but what about deep cleaning the registry. RegSeeker is a free registry cleaner by HoverDesk

    One suggestion, RegSeeker provides an option to backup changes before cleaning which I strongly suggest as this program digs deeper than many other registry cleaners and nasty surprises can be unpleasant. However I’ve been using it for many years and had need to restore a backup just one time. And if you are really concerned and want multiple fallback options, do a full registry backup before running the program.

    There’s another free program I recommend that offers realtime protection without consuming resources other than a tiny sliver of hard drive space. SpywareBlaster by Javacool. It functions as a passive program that, among other things, serves to prevent ActiveX based spyware from loading if inadvertently opening a website with known malware. It doesn’t remove existing malware but once the computer is clean it adds an extra layer of security to help keep it that way.

    Since the free version’s database isn’t updated automatically, I suggest to manually update it weekly to assure current protection.

  14. I wonder why KeePass is shown on the free software list. I use it, it is great! But, why would you keep it on your PC – PCMatic should not see it if you are taking security seriously – it should be on a USB memory stick, so that nobody has a chance to decipher your master password and get into your enclosed list of passwords.
    Of course, as an important software item, I believe that KeePass should be much higher up the list.

  15. For Spyware: rates high in my book. Found problems with Adaware and had to remove it from the registry
    Anti-Virus: Avast is free and very easy to use and less user intervention. Too much drama with Norton and McAfee.
    PC-Matic will remove VLC Media from your desktop as Max Mollyn asked in an earlier comment.

    • I agree MBAM is arguably the best free SA scanner around. I’m amazed how little AV software is on the list and how big a role advertizing plays in this list. AVG??? Talk about a resource hog. No self respecting tech site recommends Spybot anymore. PCTools free AV and firewall are light and excellent, and don’t require an act of Congress to remove. What about Revo Uninstaller? People wonder why their registries are a galactic mess? LOL

  16. To the Mcaffee fella I don’t use it at all nor do I use Norton anymore. I am now using Vipre-Sunbelt Securities. It is great uses very little of your computers resources to run and I have never gotten any viruses. I got 2yrs for $76.00 and they always have deals on it. I would give it a chance if your really looking for something good.

  17. I am perplexed at the diverse opinions people have of the same softwares. Some praise (this or that) AV and some folks say it is crap. Even independant testing labs offer different opinions about the same software. Kinda scary ain’t it. One thing I know about any program that can delete a file from your computer (read registry cleaners, antivirus) is you better damnwell know what is safe to delete or you can lose a file you need. This has happen to me and unless you are an expert with your OS/and or the programs you are running you can’t know if you are going to need a file later. Some registery cleaners will advise you of this(like it’s a big help). Antivirus programs are known to miss some viruses I guess due to the technology they use. It would seem the solution would be to to run 2 or more AV’s with different technologies to increase the chances to catch as many viruses as possible. However we are told we can’t have 2 AV’s on our computer at the same time without having conflict between them. I have read that the paid AV’s are not neccessarly better than their free versions so I am at a loss to know what to do

  18. I fried my computer twice a couple of years ago by viruses not detected by AVG. Tech recommended Avast instead. I have found that it detects viruses that AVG doesn’t. Blocks and prevents entering sites that download malware.

  19. Just to even the playing field: I have been using firefox for several years, and loved it… I have recently switched back to IE 8… Firefox is dropping to many Popunders! This scares me more than popups. So far I don’t get any popunders with IE8.
    BTW, I use UBUNTU with VMWare as well… Vmware is awesome!
    My system:
    Win7 Ultimate x64 (I got it free for doing a stupid house party)
    CCleaner; Malwarebytes; Avast! Free (no viruses, yet); Vmware
    I think that anyone who uses their system for entertainment should consider MyMovies. It is a great program for cataloging your movies within Media Center!

  20. I concur with GadgetGuru and bigfoot. I’m not a geek in computer wizardary, but my experience with IE and Norton and McAfee have crashed my systems and slowed them to snailmail speed. I dumped them and use Firefox or safari and have a professional INVIUS looking after my XP-SP3 system and have no problems. Thanks for all this great content data.

  21. I concur with everything said by GadgetGuru:-

    XPsp2 is most stable OS on most machines, including laptops. Turn off auto-update! Use SafeXP to make XP safer to use.
    Avoid Vista at all costs!! I spend a lot of my time rolling back Vista to XP! Windows 7 is still full of bugs.

    Anti-virus software also consumes much of my time. Nortons and now AVG are just too overweight and will significantly slow your machine. The current version of Avira seems the most stable and is where AVG was 3 years ago, in terms of it’s performance loading. Better still, dispense with AV software and install Linux instead!

    PCTools firewall is also worth a mention, although for most it is superfluous if your router firewall is working properly.

    Some other favourite tools are:

    BGinfo (boot time info displayed on desktop)
    HijackThis (useful for debugging PC problems)
    CCleaner (what it says)
    ATITool (graphics card tester/overclock tool)
    ShellExView (manages shell extensions – some of which can cause serious software conflicts)
    Testdisk (data recovery and hard disk crash recovery)
    SVChost Process Analyzer (services manager for SVChost sessions)
    SIW (System info for windows – used all the time!)

    And for me, Firefox beats all other windows browsers. Avoid latest versions of IE!

  22. As someone who has been building systems, publishing software and beta testing for Microsoft, Hp and Intuit for 27 years, READ THIS if you want to own & use a computer that will give you the BEST bang for your $$$:
    1. If you buy or own a PC from Dell, Hp or Sony: Remove ALL the “crapware” (software that they get paid to install such as trialware versions of McAfee or Norton) and your system will run faster & with less problems.
    2. Install & use Maxthon 1.67 (or latest version). It is a little known browser that runs VERY fast and in the years I’ve been using it I’ve NEVER gotten 1 virus from a website.
    3. If you are running Windows Xp SP2, congratulations. You have the best operating system today but DO NOT screw it up by downloading all the updates & patches. Until Microsoft releases Windows 7 SP1, DO NOT upgrade.
    4. Hard drives. Install Win 7 on a clean freshly formatted hard drive (preferably one from Samsung or Hitachi because Seagate and WD reliability disappeared years ago).
    5. Read product reviews you find at, and BEFORE you buy new hardware or peripherals and you’ll avoid lots of headaches. They’re not 100% but the consensus opinions are usually spot on and full of great tips.
    6. NEVER buy the very first product from ANY company that had to meet a deadline (such as getting it into stores by a set date). If you do, you are 1000000% guaranteed to be buying a product with defects and disappointments. I know this from years of buying them!
    7. BEFORE you try ANY new software I suggest 2 things:
    A. Clone your entire hard drive using XXclone
    B. Make a System Restore Point
    Since this is part of a Top Software blog, here are some of my favs:
    Window Washer
    Your Uninstaller
    Belarc Advisor

    My WORST list includes:
    Windows Xp SP3
    Windows Vista (as bad as Windows ME)
    ANYTHING from Norton
    ANYTHING from McAfee

  23. @ s f guidry (person who that “paid” for CCleaner)
    FYI, CCleaner is a freeware program. You don’t ever have to pay a cent to use it. Period. I don’t know where you downloaded CCleaner from but you definitely ran into a scam. Download CCleaner for FREE from the Piriform’s official website (

  24. Not surprised that many of my programs in your top 20!
    CCleaner (Excellent), MyDefrag (Bees Knees), Foxit Reader (Better than 100Mb+ Adobe bloatware!), AVG Free (Yet to be caught 10+ years!), 7-Zip (Does it all!)
    Great sight Guys, keep it up!

  25. You should provide FREE TIME or WEATHER / NEWS the rest of this stuff are software creations nobody could sell to make a fast buck.

  26. I don’t see free “Maximum Reflect” on the list. It has saved me hundreds of hours of time by letting me restore an image of a hard drive. Everytime I set up a computer for my customer I always make a backup image and store it on blue ray so in the future if they have problems I can restore it back to new in just a few minutes. For me it is clearly the best piece of software out there.

  27. In response to the person that was trying to delete VLC media player….don’t…it has no spyware, it is basically THE best Video player around. It is light but powerful. It will play more video formats than any other player (some even if they are not finished downloading yet)

  28. I tried CClean and found out that it isn’t free. It found over 1600 problems and would only repair 20 unless I paid 29.95 for the full registry. Doesn’t appear free to me.

  29. I just installed Maxthon2 Browser to give it a try, (I use Firefox,) why does “Internet Explorer” ask if I want my P/W saved in Maxthon2 ???

  30. G’day folks. I repair computers. i run a few very trusted programs to cleanup and cleanout all the crap and junk from within the hdd of pc’s. leaving them clean, fast and give instructions to clients to run these weekly. Programs i use are : Free windows registry repair, CClean, super Anti spyware, AVG lastly i run auslogics defrag to optimise my hdd. Thats it. I normally run cclean nightly using the windows, applications and registry quick clean nightly as only takes less than 2 mins. Hope this helps those with cleaning up cluttered and slow pc’s. Cheers

  31. I use Norton Security, I have not had any problems with it at all, fast, reliable, deffently not a pc hog anymore. Ive used Comodo before and it was pretty much stuck on my last machine, it did not want to remove, same with Avast. Those two barely picked anything up, mostly cookies.McAfee is also ok. I’ve been using, building and fixing personnal pc’s linux and windows based for 12 years. So choose what you will use carefully.I’ve always said If you don’t know it, don’t touch it.

  32. I use Comodo Dragon browser and it is not only faster but a lot easier to use. It’s free, too. Even better and more secure than Chrome. Go to Comodo and try their FREE Internet Security firewall/antivirus. I’ve been using their stuff for a year or more, now, and it’s better than all those others I saw mentioned. I know, I’ve tried them all. Above all, dump McAfee. Or any others that you have to subscribe to. They all suck. FREE is better.

  33. i run norton internet security combined with ashampoo’s free firewall the fire wall is great works great and has stopped more attacks then norton, i love norton its alot better then it use to be, but not free. If u have an Anti-Virus program (free) i would include the firewall from ashampoo. it does not work on win 7 as far as i know, XP and Vista it does.
    it starts working as soon as u install it. it will stop Norton from getting online so make sure you click on allow when asked,
    have a great day

  34. I’ve heard good things about Microsoft Security Essentials, too. In fact reviews I’ve read said it’s much better than AVG or AVAST, so I recently switched from AVG Free anti-virus.

  35. I just want to know what antivirus the guys and girls at pcpitstop use on their work and home computers lol , i recon i would have to get that ! though i am VERY imoressed and thrilled with bit defender and the prices are fine as you get a licence for 3 computers…. but come on guys and girls tell us what you use at work and home hey???

  36. Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows: Microsoft Security Essentials Review (September 28, 2009)

    “There’s been a lot of interest in Microsoft Security Essentials and I think it will prove quite a hit with users. It’s free, effective, lightweight, and quiet and is, in other words, exactly what I’m looking for in a security solution. And it comes with no strings at all. As long as you’re running a genuine Windows version, you can install this product without worrying about up-sell advertisements, yearly renewals, or other silliness. And you can do so on as many Windows-based PCs as you own. I’d like to see it just included with Windows, but what the heck: Free and easy is the next best thing. Microsoft Security Essentials is highly recommended, to all Windows users.

    –Paul Thurrott
    September 29, 2009”

  37. Too many people get all bent out of shape arguing about the best browser. Like any predominant software category the leaders of the field all have their strengths and weaknesses and the one at the front of the pack will always be subject to higher scrutiny and targeted heaviest for attacks and weakness discovery. Get over it.

    “the nail that sticks out, gets HAMMERED”

    From a security standpoint though Microsoft has made great improvements and yes it may be at the cost of some of its performance.

    During Q3, 2009 NSS Labs performed the second group test of web browser protection against socially engineered malware. This report examines the ability of five different web browsers to protect users from this leading threat. The results are based upon empirically validated evidence gathered by NSS Labs during 12 days of 24×7 testing against fresh, live malicious sites.

    •Apple Safari v4
    •Google Chrome 2
    •Microsoft Internet Explorer v8
    •Mozilla Firefox v3
    •Opera 10 Beta

  38. I like and use Firefox and Thunderbird in my W7 Pro 64 system. Some sites demand IE so I use it where necessary. IE8 I find significantly slower than FF or Chrome….don’t like Chrome.

    Other nice freebees are “Ashampoo”, “Power Sound Editor”, “CCleaner”, “7-Zip” and “MSE”. MSE has worked very well preventing, finding a clearing virus/spyware intrusions that other protection programs have missed.

    I like Linux, Ubuntu 9.10 AMD64 specifically, but when everything is shaken down I don’t see that Ubuntu has enough advantage over W7 to make me use it exclusively….despite its clear security advantages. Each to his own, however.

  39. I have been using Norton Internet security for several months now & it seems to be very good compared to several years ago,when it was a hog on your harddrive.I haven’t had anything to slip by it yet.I go to some bad places on the web.

  40. Gee….I’ve been in the Computer Business a long time and spent thousands of $$ getting trained. I heard lots of comments like the above. Some are smart and some not!

    My suggestion to you out there in “THE CLOUD” (Which is the Internet):

    1. If you use Microsoft Products…fine! Don’t use I.E.! Period. Many fact above are true…by default, I.E. is “THE BROWSER”! Why does it always have to have updates and HOT FIXES? More Malware attacks I.E. Use Firefox or any other Non-Microsoft Product that your comfortable with! PERIOD!

    2. Contrary to what one said above, Adaware is a free program if the right program is selected!

    3. Spybot, Search & Destroy is hand-in-hand with Adaware.

    4. CCleaner is an excellent program, free and I provide this to all clients free.

    5. Window Washer is a VERY VALUABLE program and hopefully you can find a friend that has a copy of it. It “WASHES” your computer and deletes cookie files and other contaminates. It’s not FREEWARE!

    Just knowing how to PUSH the “ON” Button on your computer isn’t enough folks! Knowing how to tweak and use just what I have listed here is somewhat enough to keep you clean….but you HAVE TO KNOW hot to tweak it and when to run them. It’s jsut more than turning the unit on and off.

  41. The item #63 in this free software list is not actually a registry cleaner or registry repair application. It is a Windows registry defragmention and compaction application that is included in that companies excellent Registry Clean Expert application. I have been using Registry Mechanic for many years and I.M.H.O. this one is much more adept at detecting registry errors than Registry Mechanic actually is. There are a lot of copycats in the registry repair market. Symantec’s Norton Utilities behaves as if it is a Registry Mechanic clone. In the favor of Registry Clean Expert is the fact that it is not a subscription based application requiring an annual licence renewal. Pricing starting at $29.95 makes Registry Clean Expert a moderate investment in relation of what the application actually does very well. If there is one breed of applications I would not recommend to anyone, it is the automated driver update applications that make promises very few actually keep by proposing the installation of NVIDIA GEFORCE graphic card drivers while PCI-e slots are populated by either NVIDIA QUADRO NVS or QUADRO FX graphic cards. Unless you are purchasing a pre-configured computer, the possible computer hardware configurations and permutations can easely number in the hundreds of millions. The probability of developping a fullproof hardware detection engine is as unlikely as winning a 9 numerical digit lottery. Computer wisdom should imply that if something is not broken, do not attempt to repair it. Driver updates are only usefull if they address and correct an O.S. or application compatibility issue with any installed computer hardware component. Automated driver update applications and B.S.O.D.’s make a very effective combination at making your life miserable by wasting valuable time at resolving driver issues and conflicts that are only being compounded by utterly inept applications. Any application hiding under the umbrella of the Better Business Bureau’s seal of Approval does not necessarely have the B.B.B.’s seal of approval. The B.B.B. does not actually rate these applications, it only enforces ethical business practices. Many applications being sold electronically make outragous feature and functionality claims that do not bare close scrutiny. If they are truly as good as their conceptor’s indicate, we could purchase them on retail store shelves. Governmental agencies will never police the internet, that responsability clearly falls in the hands of honest computer users that have to remove the bad apples in the internet bushle. If you and I took the time to setup a website, we could also post anonymous user testimonials emanating from non existent or untracable customers claiming to be satisfied. In the case of editorial reviews of software applications, we must not forget that the conceptors of these applications often do advertise on the website performing the editorial review. That fact places serious objectivity concerns since editorialists may have been coerceted to give an aplication a 2 thumbs up rating. As recent financial fiasco’s involving Enron, Worldcom and Adelphia have thought us, when money is involved, honesty and integrity can be conveniently disregarded to protect the financial interests of a minority at the economic expense of a much larger majority.

  42. There is one freebe that does not appear on this list of free software.Have any of you downloaded True Image W.D. Edition from Western Digital’s website. A very functional scaled down version of True Image 2009. It requires a one time installation that can create a BIOS bootable USB key from which all your partitions & logical disks backups can be conveniently saved on a internal SATA or external e-SATA hard drive or possibly even DVD+/- R media. The actual size of the files saved on the USB key is 18.4MB for WinXP Home SP3. Since Western Digital did post this free download. Customer support appears to apply only to purchased W.D. retail drive kits that are bundled with True Image W.D. Edition. Although I already have a registered version of True Image Home 11, I do find this one to be absolutely idiot proof. In it’s full retail incarnation True Image Home can play havoc with critical M.B.R. data stored on the system drive. Multi O.S. afficianados must use great care in using the Acronis Secure Zone & Recovery Manager. The purpose of performing backups is to safeguard invaluable data rather than ending up with a non bootable computer.

  43. I deleted “free” Vlc media player however the its icon refuses to be deleted. I was told that majority of those “free” programs are spywares and only few trusted should be downloaded.
    How to get rid of the VLC madia player icon on my desk top?

  44. A lot of “free” programs are free only for 30 days or they want you to buy some other products, subscriptions, utencils….

  45. Ad-Adware, like many other, is not FREE. You need to spent money on their advertisers to get an “impotent” “free” program.

  46. Internet Explorer maintains it’s lead mainly because it is the de-facto web browser supported by financial institutions offering secure 128 bit internet banking. Banks are somewhat slow at adding activex controls that fully support add-in browsers offering 128 bit encryption. They obviously know that I.E. is a Windows embedded application that is extremely difficult to remove or uninstall from the Windows operating system. With Internet Explorer you do not have to ask yourself the question if your bank will support it. It does so because I.E. is so widespread.

  47. In my opinion, though less customizable Apple does everything better (except for phones google wins. That includes browsers. Safari is by far the fastest and most stable browser I’ve ever used and I’ve use IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Netscape, and Flock. And to the person lookin for AV software if your willing to pay Norton is great but I would go with The all in one that these guys offer PC Matic I think.

  48. I have quite a few of your recommended free software. The other day I found a new browser its called’Maxthorn 2″ it’s
    very fast and more stable than the current Fire fox.

  49. Ditch it all and switch to Linux. You don’t need any stinking Anti Virus when using Linux. However, should you decide to stick with the pain in the rear OS called Microsoft then I would go with AVG as Avira Anti Vir Personal seems to be loaded with alot of adware trying to get you to actually by the next package up on the totem pole. Which in my opinion kind of defeats the purpose of the product. Plus there is no way to turn off all the adware notices from the company short of deleting the software, which is what I did after 1 day. Good luck.

  50. Pc World ran tests on the anti-virus scanners and found that Avira AntiVir Personal was far superior to AVG 8.5 free citing that AVG was bad on detecting malware…also, they said the top ranked #1 antivirus software was Panda Cloud AntiVirus and that McAfee basically sucked. I have used McAfee for many years but over the last 8 months one of my PC’s was attacked with over 52 viruses and MaAfee (updated and running) did not detect a single one of them.

    Anyone care to comment on whether I should ditch McAfee and which of the above antivirus software products do you think will work the best??? Before I leap, I want to hear some feedback. Thanks!

  51. It is nice to know there are updates and advances. However, and more often than not, I find the older utilities work faster, better, and with more reliability.
    Lesson: Upgrades, updates, and newer aren’t always better. If it isn’t broke…DON’T fix it.

  52. Added to IE8 comments.

    IE8 is safer to use than it was, but it is slower then molasses on a cold day in January when opening and clicking the URL within the selected URL.

  53. Because it’s bundled with every version of Windows and installs by default. And why does IE keep taking plugin cues from FireFox?

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