The lesser-known apps everyone should install on a new Windows PC

One of the best parts about buying a new PC is deleting all the bloatware and replacing it with your favorite programs. Of course, you probably have a list of apps that you install by default. But if you just stick with what you know, there are likely some hidden gems that you’re missing out on. Here are 16 such apps that everyone should download on a new PC.

First the essentials

Some apps are so ubiquitous that they don’t take much convincing, so I’ll throw those out first. They are

  • fire fox: Although Chrome and its derivatives have taken over the web, we still recommend Firefox for its excellent balance of new features and privacy. Get these addonsand you’ll never look back.
  • VLC media player: If you watch videos on your PC, you should get VLC media player. It plays any video file you can throw at it and has been rock solid for decades.
  • 7-Zip: It is the best app for compressing and decompressing files (for most people). 7-Zip is free and supports all popular compression formats like zip, rar and 7z.
  • SumatraPDF: This is a fast and lightweight PDF reader. Get this if you don’t want your browser to open all PDF files.
  • IrfanView: If you want an image viewer, look no further than IrfanView. It also has some basic batch processing and editing features.


Whether it’s a new computer or a clean install of Windows on your old computer, PatchMyPC is a must. It shows you a list of useful apps and lets you choose the ones you want on your PC. Once selected, click a button and PatchMyPC will install all apps at once.

Also, these apps install in the background so you can continue working or playing on your PC without any interruptions. Even if you already have the device set up, you can always use PatchMyPC to quickly update all your apps. It even automatically updates apps that need to be manually installed every time a new version is released.

Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys is a suite of tools that add advanced features to your PC, such as window management, quick location of your mouse cursor, and a Spotlight-like search function. Take the time to go through the suite of tools to find the ones you will be using the most. We have a handy list to help you with thatto.

harbor master

harbor master is a useful firewall app to prevent apps and services from calling home. In practice, it shows you a list of apps that are contacting different servers on the internet and allows you to prevent them from doing so.

Some of these connections happen to check for app updates and other useful tasks, but some of these pings are also unnecessary. You can easily check and block these with Portmaster. The app also lets you choose privacy-friendly DNS services like Cloudflare DNS or AdGuard DNS, which will automatically block trackers and malware.


Everything is a free app that massively speeds up searching on your Windows PC by indexing the names of all files on your computer. It returns results fast. If you remember a specific filename or file type but aren’t sure where you saved the document on your PC, Everything will help you find it quickly.


Want to upgrade via Windows’ default screenshot tool? ShareX is all you will ever need. It doesn’t look great, but it works incredibly well and is very configurable. You can set up ShareX for complex workflows, e.g. B. uploading screenshots to multiple cloud storage locations at once, or use it to easily save screenshots to your clipboard.

The app also supports screen recording, capturing GIFs, and scrolling screenshots. If you feel overwhelmed by the tools, Check out our guide to easily configuring ShareX.


If you have a personal music library, you should take a look at it MusicBee. It’s great when it comes to managing and playing songs from your own music collection. I’ve used it to stream high-resolution audio files from a home server and it’s been a great experience so far. The app adds large libraries fairly quickly and even scans the library quickly when you add new music.


caliber is the best app for bibliophiles, especially those who own an e-book reader. It can manage a large library of e-books and convert them to the right formats for almost any e-book reader.

It works particularly well with Kindle and you will find yourself using it to send all your e-books from your PC to the e-book reader. Caliber is also a powerful e-book reading app for those who prefer to read books on their PC.


If you are looking for a good free writing app for Windows, give it a try obsidian. It has a neat user interface, including a handy distraction-free typing mode. The app supports markdown, making it ideal for those who publish their words online.

You can also use Obsidian as a journaling app and learn more about it this guide.


Everyone should use a password manager, and Bitwarden is the best free option for most people. The free tier offers almost every feature you’ll ever need from a password manager, and the app is available on all major platforms, meaning your passwords are accessible across all your devices.

If you don’t already use a password manager, this is it It’s hard to find a better option than Bitwarden. If you’re willing to pay for a better app interface on Apple devices, document storage, and better password sharing features, then 1password is an excellent alternative.


FXSound is a great free equalizer and volume control app. It offers many useful equalizer presets that optimize sound output for different types of audio. For example, the Movie preset automatically increases dialog volume and reduces other noise. Many modern films inexplicably have incredibly low dialogue volume, and FXSound makes it easy to fix that.


You should always have a bootable USB stick lying around because you never know when you’re going to need it. In case your computer is infected or its hard drive crashes, you can use the bootable USB drive to start your favorite operating system and fix problems.

Ventoy is a great app for this as you only need to format the USB drive once. From there you can copy as many OS disk image files (iso) as you like and you can boot any of the operating systems you copied onto the drive.

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