5 Windows Programs that I cannot live without

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2015
Updated • Jun 28, 2018

Show me the programs that you run on your computer and I tell you who you are. While it may not be that easy all the time, it is fair to say that programs can tell you a lot about the user.

For instance, programs can reveal if a user is a webmaster or developer, privacy or security conscious, or interested in entertainment more than anything else.

The favorite programs, applications that you cannot live without and use regularly, may reveal the most about you.

The following list reveals my top 5 Windows programs. I have limited the list of programs to those that I use actively which means that security software such as EMET or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware are not on that list.

Lets start

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox has been my main browser for god knows how long. It is the best when it comes to customization options and control, and while I find some recent developments strange, for instance integration of social APIs directly in the browser or the, in my opinion premature removal of support for classic add-ons , it gives me control to disable most features if I don't use them or don't want them in the browser.

Mozilla is in an underdog role currently being crushed by Google and the company's Chrome browser and Microsoft's Internet Explorer which ships with every version of Windows.

The biggest challenge that Firefox faces is not that though but internal decisions that alienate part of the browsers user and developer base, for instance by making changes to the add-on system that break certain extensions and make developers abandon their extensions.

Firefox has the best add-on system in my humble opinion as it allows developers to do more with it. While Mozilla did switch to the WebExtensions with the release of Firefox 57, Firefox's add-on system is still more powerful than that of Chrome and other browsers thanks to the introduction of Firefox-only APIs.

I do prefer Mozilla's stance on privacy more than that of the advertising company Google.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird is the main email client that I use on the desktop. While I have online accounts, I prefer my data to be locally available at all time and Thunderbird ensures that.

I never warmed to the idea of managing all my email reading and writing online, or keeping all my emails stored on some remote server even though that has some practical advantages.

While Thunderbird has not changed much in recent time, it is still one of the best email clients you can get for desktop systems.

Probably the only issue is that you cannot sync it to mobile devices as there is no mobile version available of it.

Thunderbird supports add-ons and while it is not getting as much love as Firefox from developers, add-ons improve its functionality in many ways.



As is the case with email, I prefer my RSS reader to be local. I have switched readers regularly in the past but for the past one or two years, have used QuiteRSS exclusively for all my RSS reading needs.

RSS helps me keep up to date with a variety of topics without having to visit the 100+ websites that I'm subscribed to regularly for that.

QuiteRSS offers an impressive set of features that goes well beyond core RSS features. It supports labels and news filters, search and different layouts to read feeds in different ways.

SnagIt 10


SnagIt 10 is not the most recent version of the screenshot taking tool but it offers everything that I require of a program of its kind.

It is not a free program either and actually one of the few commercial programs that I use on my system.

I don't think it is available anymore as Techsmith released several program updates in the meantime for it. Those updates did not add features that I require on the other hand which is why I still use it.

I create all screenshots here on Ghacks with the software. Besides screenshot taking, it is also shipping with an editor that allows me to manipulate the screenshot, for instance by adding annotations or blurring parts of it.

Update: I switched to the excellent PicPick recently.



As with all of my data, I prefer my passwords to be stored on my local system and not on third-party servers in the cloud.

Yes, solutions offered by companies such as LastPass have their advantages such as easier syncing to supported devices but I prefer to be in full control of important data at all time.

KeePass has been the solution for me for years. It is a local solution that you run on your computer and devices. While designed for Windows initially, browser extensions and ports for other systems are available which should cover the majority of use cases.

While you can install extensions to improve the password manager's integration in web browsers, you can alternatively use its global hotkey instead as well.

Now You: What are your five top programs that you cannot don't want to live without?

5 Windows Programs that I cannot live without
Article Name
5 Windows Programs that I cannot live without
A list of five Windows programs that I consider essential and don't want to live without.
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  1. Larissa said on January 23, 2016 at 1:54 am

    1 Google Chrome
    2 Winyl
    3 Microsoft Word
    4 VLC Media Player

  2. abood said on July 6, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Unique list in no specific order.. Nobody has mentioned any of these in any of the
    previous comments above. This is intentional to reduce redundancy and provide
    useful information for future visitors. Having said that, I use many of the programs
    listed in the previous comments.

    1. CamStudio http://camstudio.org/
    2. Bitmeter http://codebox.org.uk/pages/bitmeter2
    3. Stickies http://www.zhornsoftware.co.uk/stickies/
    4. SumatraPDF http://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html
    5. MailStore Home http://www.mailstore.com/en/mailstore-home-email-archiving.aspx

    – Ninite installer https://ninite.com/

    1. chesscanoe said on July 7, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      I’m happy with the fee DU Meter version 7.06 from http://www.hageltech.com/dumeter/news, but I wish I had known of the free Bitmeter 2 you mentioned.

      1. abood said on July 8, 2015 at 10:33 am

        I hope you’ll find BitMeter useful. Thank you for your reply.

  3. Godric Threelegs said on June 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    1. Vivaldi
    2. Itunes/Windows Media Player
    3. Minecraft
    4. Steam
    5. Google Drive
    6. Microsoft Expression Encoder Pro 4.
    7. Lastpass

  4. Ryan Jones said on June 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    1. Chrome
    2. Thunderbird
    3. AVG
    4. LibreOffice
    5. Code::Blocks
    6. Wireshark

  5. Asc said on May 21, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Doubt anyone will see this necro’d thread this far down, but I read all the way through, so why not! (And to the site owners, I turned off AdblockPlus and clicked on your ads, for the little bit it helps!)

    1. Firefox or one of its derivatives (have used Pale Moon, Cyberfox, Waterfox, all x64). Currently, the x64 beta of 38.0.5 is so good that I am using an official FF build rather than one of the unofficial variants above for the first time in a while. I would never even think of using a non-FF browser for very long… even with the strange “let’s copy Google in every way” kick Mozilla is on these days, all of the bad stuff (such as Australis) can all be reverted with addons.

    2. Thunderbird. Yes, still using TB! Years ago, I switched from Netscape Communicator 4.79 to Mozilla 1.0… and it was not long after the 1.0 of Mozilla suite (now Seamonkey) that the devs started the experimental Phoenix project. It was a bit strange to me, given that Mozilla was still a newish official release, and already its own devs were suggesting with the name of Phoenix that something else was rising from its burned-out ashes, but that was the direction they were going.

    Phoenix became Firebird, Firebird became Firefox, and the mail component of Mozilla became Thunderbird, and at some point, I switched from the suite to the individual FF/TB programs, and I never looked back. I keep using what works for me and is familiar… if I had not wanted to upgrade to a 64-bit OS, I might still be using XP, though the lack of security updates would be a problem with that.

    3. Autohotkey. Been using it for ages, and I am pretty fair at writing scripts for it.

    4. Acronis True Image: Back up what you don’t want to lose. I have 2 external HDDs so I can alternate and never have all the backups “hot” at the same time the PC is (sudden PSU failure, etc., could wipe it all out).

    5. Metapad. Notepad is just too limited… I see a lot of people use Notepad++… I never tried that. Metapad has worked for me forever, so I stick with it.

    Come to think of it, I have been using all five of these for many years by now!

    The premise was five programs, but there are so many more that belong here… Paint.NET, Gadwin Printscreen, HashOnClick, KeyTweak, InfraRecorder, all sorts of OC tools, and lately, Windows Style Builder. It’s hard to name just five… though putting FF on top is an easy choice. Long live the Fox!

  6. Madis said on May 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Reply to your list:
    Google Chrome
    Inbox by Google


  7. beergas said on May 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    duckduckgo.com for Search
    Notepad++ a must for coding and Scripts
    Hot Keyboard (Pro)
    Revo Uninstall and Macrium Reflect (I know is 6 but these two go hand & hand)

  8. Geek said on May 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I can’t live without:
    – Google Chrome
    – uTorrent
    – Skype
    – Total Commander:
    – K-lite mega codec pack http://www.download.hr/software-k-lite-mega-codec-pack.html

  9. Daniel said on April 29, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Tor + i2P + FireFox
    Total Commander
    Google Drive

  10. david__m said on April 21, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Apart from the obvious, these go on our machines (random order):

    1. Listary
    2. BitTorrent Sync
    3. Bins (stacks icons on taskbar)
    4. Xara Graphics Designer
    5. jAlbum
    6. FileOptimiser
    7. BkReplaceEm
    8. Notezilla
    9. Malwarebytes anti-exploit
    10. TPFanControl

  11. Clizby said on April 21, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I’m a little late to the game here, but kept this tab open because I knew I wanted to come back and read the comments. I could come up with a big list but here are a few things that I use both at work and home:

    Launchy – launch applications with keyboard comb
    ShareX Screenshot grabber

  12. Robert Headley said on April 18, 2015 at 9:42 am

    1.) Chrome – it is how I internet – It started initially because I am an early adopter, however, the there are several addons that only exist on Chrome that I need to be happy.

    2.) Steam – The promise of video games is why I initially got involved with PCs. They are still an important part of my identify.

    3.) Screenshot Captor – I love freeware and mouser at donationcoder makes some of the best. The site has a similar spirit to what Ghacks has.

    4.) Google Docs – It may exist in the cloud, but it replaces my need for many different pieces of software.

    5.) Potplayer – is simply the best media player that exists. Simple.

  13. windows user said on April 12, 2015 at 2:37 am

    I have only one.

    Since many for this or that designed softwares haven’t told windows what exactly the default language should be, windows has probably a bad choice of its own each time…

    However there is a solution from microsoft, which allows user define the language of every single software!

    And my computer life can literally not live without that one, named

    * Microsoft AppLocale :)

  14. Bob said on April 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Everything (and disable Indexing)
    Autoruns.exe (nuclear msconfig)
    TED Notepad (For its Stay On Top)
    Interactive Calendar (iCalendar)
    Snipping Tool

  15. LS said on April 8, 2015 at 3:34 am

    * Daily
    -Titlebar Clock
    * Frequent

  16. gh said on April 7, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Martin, regarding quiteRSS, I think this is important to mention (as in, consider revising the article text):

    TIP: Avoid “surfing bare naked” — don’t use the inbuilt quiteRSS html reader for launching links to content pages linked to (by) the feed content. Instead, set “use default browser to read full articles” via quiteRSS options — that way, your trusty browser extensions (NoScript / AdblockEdge / RequestPolicy / ABP Element Hiding Helper) will be in effect when you follow any embedded links.

    quiteRSS is a wonderful program (best in class, IMO) and it is cross-platform (a detail I wish ghacks.net articles would consistently mention, if applicable, any time a given program is reviewed.)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Good point. I avoid built-in browsers whenever possible.

      1. gh said on April 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm

        After posting, I visited quiterss.org/en/about to re-check. Tempering what I posted above, it’s fair to note that the current version does not leave ya entirely naked. It’s inline reader at least incorporates “Adblock” and “Click to Flash” features.

  17. Jack said on April 7, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    All here (except #5) used EVERY day:

    1/ Editpad is my (system) default txt program (not Notepad), and I use it A LOT for copy/pasting & saving txt stuff… but I use NoteTab (Std) for MOST all my writing & printing. It’s the most efficient & user intuitive IMO. [Notepad++ is among another dozen editors I use routinely. (Yup)]

    2/ [For utilities] I (always) use NetWorx before going online… & then (quite often) TCP View, CurrPorts, and What is Transferring [& Ctrl-Shift-Esc also].

    3/ I use Sony (Sound Forge) to edit audio (& do a LOT of it)… but Winamp is my default PLAYER (MP3’s and wavs)… with a simple Philips skin. I use Pacemaker (plugin with it) so that (spoken word) pods can be heard time-compressed. After 20 yrs, Winamp is STILL tops IMO.

    4/ I use (both) VLC & AVS Media Player for Vid playback (MP4, Avi, flv, Vob, MPG). But I edit (and do a LOT) with Sony Vegas & Sony DVD Architect.

    5/ I still use PhotoImpact for graphics editing. I (originally) chose it over Paintshop-Pro & Photoshop MANY years ago… because it did everything they do, more intuitively, and better. And I’m too old to learn new tricks. (These programs are all moocho time intensive. LOL)

    Never used Snagit (I have PrtScr if I need it), but I use PDFIt! (A LOT) as a FireFox & Palemoon add-on… it saves any (html) page as a PDF. (I use Foxit for pdf’s)

    I’ve yet to find an E-mail client I (really) like.

  18. Peter said on April 7, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    1. Ditto (I’ve never understood how people can work efficiently without a decent Clip board manager)
    2. Total Commander (I’ve never understood how people can work efficiently without a two pane file explorer)
    3. FARR (I’ve never understood how people can work efficiently with that Windows start button and the jungle of menus that are behind it)
    4. Firefox
    5. Lastpass

  19. chesscanoe said on April 7, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    1) Chrome
    2) Gmail
    3) IrfanView
    4) GIMP
    5) Glint activity monitor https://sites.google.com/site/glintutility/ (an oldie but still Win7x64 convenient)
    6) 200+ other less frequently used programs :-)

  20. Boris said on April 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Almost Irreplaceable.

    12)Classic Shell

    Somewhat replaceable.

    1)Glary Utilities
    2)Your Uninstaller
    3)Haxasoft Backup & Replace
    5)Reg Organaizer
    8)Avast Free
    10)Malware Anti-Malware
    11)Foxit Reader.
    12)FileLocator Pro

  21. Mohan Manohar said on April 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Chrome from Google,
    Windows Live Writer
    Snipping tool

  22. LeeD said on April 7, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I agree with 1) Firefox (although I like Cyberfox and Pale Moon better)


    2) Thunderbird

    also: 3) WinAmp (needed to listen to Shoutcast internet radio stations)

    4) Everything (fast computer search)

    5) Jarte (word processor)

  23. Robert G. said on April 7, 2015 at 12:16 am

    I forgot these 2 freewares:

    1. Folderspopup: http://code.jeanlalonde.ca/folderspopup/
    2. FreefileSync in command line.

  24. Mongolia said on April 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Tor Browser

    “Necessary evils”
    Vmware Workstation

    1. MartinPC said on April 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      I have an interesting anecdote regarding Tor Browser:

      From within Firefox (and at least one other “non-anonymous” browser as well, I seem to recall), I tried to file a public comment with the Federal Communications Commission opposing Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. I was redirected to the wrong page within the FCC’s site … repeatedly. I fired up Tor Browser, followed the exact same procedure, and got to the correct page on the first attempt. I also noticed that there were a surprisingly small number of public comments on record for that issue. Can you guess who my ISP is? (Hint: it’s already the biggest ISP in the United States.)

  25. MartinPC said on April 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    (1) Pale Moon / Firefox with ca. 50 extensions — Using other browsers causes me mental anguish.

    (2) LibreOffice — For producing professional-quality office documents while preparing myself for the transition to Linux and mostly open-source software.

    (3) Macrium Reflect — For making cloned, bootable backup system drives.

    (4) FreeFileSync and RealTimeSync — For keeping data files on resident clone drives up to date between clonings.

    (5) Magnifier (Windows 7 accessibility tool) — for reading tiny text and identifying tiny icons in poorly scaling UIs with my old, tired eyes.

    Honorable Mention (could probably replace with something else, but would probably be unhappy about it):

    (6) MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free — For (reportedly) highly effective on-demand malware scans and repairs.

    (7) Yadis! Backup — For maintaining versioned backups of data files. (Caveat: 32-bit program; avoid long pathnames.)

    (8) IrfanView — For easily reviewing, deleting, moving, resizing, resampling, cropping, etc., graphics. Also probably the easiest way to set up slideshows that include PDFs, when GhostScript is installed.

    (9) Windows System Control Center (WSCC) — Makes it really easy to install, update, identify, and use NirSoft and Sysinternals utilities.

    (10) Agent Ransack — For finding files. (Not the fastest, but stable with lots of options, including searching for file contents.There might be something better, but I’ve used Agent Ransack for a long time and haven’t bothered looking.)

    Sadly, only three of these ten programs are actual productivity apps, but I suppose that’s because I’m my own administrator.

  26. Dan82 said on April 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    In keeping with the overall theme of the article, here’s a quick list of my five top-used applications:

    1.) Firefox (Browser)
    2.) The Bat (E-Mail client)
    3.) KeeFox (Password manager with browser integration)
    4.) Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet program)
    5.) XYplorer (Explorer alternative)

  27. Tom W said on April 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Total Commander
    Quick Macros
    RJ TextEd

    1. Tom W said on April 7, 2015 at 1:43 am

      Finally got a chance to read through everyone else’s choices. Surprised no one else loves Quick Macros! I use it constantly for automating things in nearly every other program I use. It has a light internal scripting engine (or VBScript for more intense needs), and a much better UI than the alternatives.

  28. Jesuita said on April 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Hey! :)
    Problaby late but I don’t care, its a chance to replay to a post form one of my favourites sites.

    In no particular order:

    Firefox – Since 2003, tried Chrome and even Opera some time but no one gives me the experience Firefox does while browsing.

    Hangouts App for Chrome – This is the only reason I have Chrome installed on my machine, its my favorite way to comunicate with my friends.

    Onenote – My Personal and Work note taker, adopted it since it became available in the cloud.

    Lightshot – Screenshots to the cloud, perfect. Still looking for something that allows better management.

    Spotify – Music is allways one here.

    Some other I install everytime:
    Solarwinds IP Address Tracker (anyone knows a good substitute for this one?)

  29. Alan said on April 6, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Honestly, the only program I can’t live without is Keepass. I store my passwords in the cloud, strong encryption, and a long strong password for access.

  30. Giorgos said on April 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Just my 2 cents for some open source alternatives:

    1) Lightscreen (for screenshots).

    2) for passwords:

    a) Veracrypt (Truecrypt successor).

    b) PWGen (password generator).

    Lighscreen and Veracrypt has also Linux binaries.
    Veracrypt has also OSX binaries.

    PWGen runs on Wine on these systems.

    Keep up the good work!!! :-)

    1. Boris said on April 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you for Lightscreen. Way easier and “cheaper” to use than SnagIt.

  31. Dan said on April 6, 2015 at 6:22 am

    These are my go-to apps in Windows and some are available in Linux. If it is not available in Linux, the alternative is often adequate but inferior.

    1) Firefox/Opera
    2) Thunderbird
    3) Haozip
    4) Softmaker Office (Standard/Free)
    5) KeePass 2.xx
    6) Truecrypt
    7) Altap Salamander
    8) ClipX
    9) SpiderOak
    10) Mp3Tag
    11) Freemake Video Converter/Downloader and Audio Converter
    12) uTorrent 2.2.1

    1. Boris said on April 7, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      I usually avoid Chinese software but HaoZip looks good. I needed something simple for only zip and 7zip files since Winzip went crazy with features.

  32. PhoneyVirus said on April 6, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Well I managed to just add more work to the bookmarks, because I had to create a folder called Overflow 40+ new applications listed wow, were the hell do I get time to try all these awesome pieces of software. There must be like a good twenty applications I want to use OMG, any who BIG Thank You to the community.

    Thanks for the Rush and Head spin Martin

  33. dwarf_t0ssr said on April 6, 2015 at 2:49 am

    1. Can put anything
    2. here, since nobody
    3. reads this far
    4. down the comments
    5. Also, Bob Saget

    Agreed on Firefox, on all points.

    1. Andrew said on April 6, 2015 at 2:58 am


  34. Andrew said on April 6, 2015 at 2:17 am

    1 – Firefox
    2 – HTML-Kit 2.92 (free version)
    3 – Filezilla
    4 – Win 8 (need an OS!)
    5 – Modern Mix (to fix win 8)
    6 – Google Drive
    7 – notepad
    8 – paint
    9 – solitaire

    also have avast antivirus installed. and the Stanford F@A client always running.

  35. Robert G. said on April 5, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    1. Firefox
    2. Email: The Bat!
    3. CCleaner
    4. IrfanView
    5. MS Excel 2007

  36. GodHatesFigs said on April 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm


  37. Qasim said on April 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Classic Shell is so outstanding. It’s the number one app to fix Windows.

  38. Robert said on April 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    1.- Firefox
    2.- Macrium Reflect
    3.- Bitdefender Antivirus Free
    4.- PotPlayer
    5.- Truecrypt
    And also…
    6.- JDownloader
    7.- XMPlay
    8.- Toolwiz Time Freeze
    9.- TeamViewer
    10.- KeePass
    11.- Transmission-QT
    12.- Skype
    13.- Classic Shell
    14.- Maxthon (with ABP)
    15.- Sandboxie

  39. CoolGate said on April 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    My List:

    1. Chrome
    2. Outlook
    3. Snipping Tool
    4. Bitdefender Total Security
    5. LINE

  40. ap said on April 5, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    My Choice are:-
    3-Microsoft Office
    5-tune up
    6- Antivirus
    these are the software that must be in any system.

  41. Cédric said on April 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Total Commander
    Snag it

    Security programs are Avira and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

  42. john_rik said on April 5, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    My List:

    1) Firefox
    2) Thunderbird
    3) Process Hacke 2
    4) PrivateFirewall
    5) MS Office 2007

  43. Ed said on April 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I use Thunderbird for RSS. It does the job and without the need for yet another program…

  44. fokka said on April 5, 2015 at 10:06 am

    for me it’s firefox + addons/scripts/etc and then there’s nothing for a long time.
    somewhere after that there are things like thunderbird, vlc, winamp and maybe skype, but all of those i could do without. without my customized install of firefox though, the internet is only half the fun.

    that might also be the reason i don’t like surfing on my smartphone as much as other people seem to do, simply because firefox on android is a long shot from the “real thing” on a laptop with a proper keyboard. but maybe my smartphone just sucks, so that could be a reason as well.

  45. read it again said on April 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    “… add-ons improve its functionality in may ways” ?

  46. randomguy said on April 5, 2015 at 8:53 am


  47. leland said on April 5, 2015 at 8:34 am

    1. Firefox / Waterfox / PaleMoon – I am a long time Firefox user and have currently moved to the developer version. However with all the changes I may move over to PaleMoon. I have also used Waterfox on one computer and found it decent as far as limited by current Firefox code.

    2. Directory Opus

    3. Screen Shot Captor

    4. HippoEdit

    5. Sticky Password

  48. Ron said on April 5, 2015 at 7:37 am

    My must-haves:

    1. Chrome, because i use Chrome DevTools a lot for debugging web sites. I like it better than Firebug, because DevTools will show you an element’s margins & padding as colored areas, making it much easier to see.

    2. TextPad for writing code. Along with Chrome, I have this app open all of the time, from the time I start up to the time I shut down. I’ve tried Notepad++ but I’m not quite as comfortable with it as I am with TextPad.

    3. GIMP, because I take a lot of pictures and I post a lot of pictures, and I like them to look decent. GIMP is an awesome image editor for being a free product.

    4. RocketDock, a program launcher that works with Windows 7. I needed a replacement for Windows XP Quick Launch toolbar, and this was the best choice.

    5. Vista Switcher. Allows me to switch between apps much like the task switcher in Windows XP did. Alt-Tab brings up a simple list of applications, and I can switch back & forth quickly between my two most recently used apps just by pressing Alt-Tab once, because Vista Switcher lists the apps in the order in which they were last accessed.

    My nice-to-haves:

    1. Snackr. An RSS reader that scrolls a banner across the top of my screen showing story headlines, so I can pick & choose stories to read as they catch my eye.

    2. Windows Live Movie Maker/DVD Maker. I create a lot of video clips of my daughter’s basketball team, and I also create DVDs from the video clips for the other player’s parents. Windows Live Movie Maker & DVD Maker doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, but it gets the job done, and it’s free.

    3. Audacity. I make a lot of audio recordings, too (mostly voice recordings), and I have needs to do some simple editing, like noise reduction, amplification, and bit-rate reduction so the files are smaller.

    4. THE Rename, a powerful bulk file renaming tool. Since I take a lot of pictures, I like being able to rename all of the pictures in a particular folder to include the folder name and add an incremental counter.

    5. Irfanview, a very quick file viewer that also allows you to do some simple editing, like cropping and image resizing.

    6. PDFill PDF Editor. A very inexpensive and simple PDF editor. One of the view utilities I didn’t mind paying for. Allows you to add input fields and Javascript to PDF files to create fairly sophisticated forms. For example, I’v’e created order forms with total fields that will calculate and update the total cost when the user has filled in a quantity field.

    1. Hy said on April 7, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      It’s possible to have a Quick Launch area in Windows 7, just like it was in XP. A search on “quick launch Windows 7” will yield an MS webpage and others (How-to Geek, etc.) which give directions on how to enable it. It’s a relatively quick and easy one-time process…

  49. Karl said on April 5, 2015 at 7:25 am

    1. Linux
    2. Linux
    3. Feedly works great as my first app tab in Firefox.
    4. Had Snagit and dropped it – a huge resource hog. Shutter is pretty damn powerful in Linux. SimpleScreenRecorder for capturing videos is easy and awesome!
    5. I use LastPass but you already addressed your like for Kee–what’s its name?! LOL! ;)

  50. Fena said on April 5, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Gadwin PrintScreen
    1by1 The Directory Player

  51. Dmitry said on April 5, 2015 at 6:10 am

    1. Chrome
    2. Ms Word (did anyone else mention it?)
    3. Photoshop CC
    4. Sublime text
    5. filezilla

  52. Ray said on April 5, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Cool list of apps there! I have been using Firefox since its alpha and beta years and though I am using Chrome and Vivaldi sometimes, Firefox remains my driver. So this is my list:
    1) Firefox
    2) Dexpot
    3) Winamp (still beats the crap out of any media player out there)
    4) Freedownloadmanager
    5) X Mouse Button Control
    6) Teracopy
    7) Listary

    I might give QuiteRss a try and see how it goes

  53. name said on April 5, 2015 at 2:47 am

    May be
    Printer drivers

  54. ozone333 said on April 5, 2015 at 2:15 am

    1) Palemoon 25
    2) Classic Shell
    3) Snagit
    4) KeePass
    5) Photoshop CS5.5

  55. beachbouy said on April 5, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Firefox (forever)
    Epic Pen
    Libre Office
    Kingsoft Office

  56. BGM said on April 5, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Ah – I also use Firefox, QuiteRSS and Thunderbird – but I prefer ScreenshotCaptor to SnagIt.
    AND I really MUST add two to the list: FreeCommanderXE and AutoHotkey.
    And if I added two more:
    Notepad2 and SystemExplorer.

  57. Washington Junior said on April 5, 2015 at 1:43 am

    1) Chrome
    2) Visual Studio
    3) TeamViewer
    4) Xara X
    5) And lately… Arduino IDE

  58. David Winter said on April 5, 2015 at 12:39 am

    – Email: TheBat
    – Browsing: Chrome w/ Lastpass
    – Instant Messaging: Miranda-IM + Skype + Telegram
    – Filemanager: SpeedCommander
    – Todo List: Wunderlist
    – FTP: WinSCP
    – SSH: SecureCRT
    – Videoplayer: potplayer
    – mp3 player: musicbee
    – Backups: Acronis, rsync

  59. Mike said on April 5, 2015 at 12:29 am

    FireFox /The rest suck,Especially ram eater Chrome

  60. theMike said on April 5, 2015 at 12:06 am

    The first 5 things I usually put on a windows install:
    then what ever antivirus is highly rated at that time
    I can live without all these, I use Linux. I just try to make Windows work

  61. dante said on April 4, 2015 at 11:49 pm


  62. Torro said on April 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    1. FireFox
    2. KeyScrambler premium
    3. LastPass
    4. Malwarebytes Premium
    5. Online Armor (although it has now officially been declared as no longer being developed/supported)
    6. Ccleaner

    Addition software I love;

    Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit

    Off Topic: @Martin

    Yesterday afternoon i visited Ghacks and was given the mobile version on my desktop PC. It stayed this way for some time. I did nothing new to my PC and visited Ghacks early in the morning and then everything was normal.

    Now today, on my phone, I can see this article as the latest (top) of the home page but on my Desktop PC, it is not shown. I have to search for it in order to bring it up. Same thing happened yesterday when you placed the fast DNS services, I had to search for the article in order to view on my desktop, and on my phone, it was shown.

    Once I post/reply to the article, i can now see it at top of home page,

    Have you been playing around with your site, or is it on my end?

  63. Oxa said on April 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Pale Moon
    NewsFox (Firefox addon)
    Lotus 123
    WordPerfect 9
    PDF XChange Viewer

    Frequently, but not daily:
    PDF reDirect

    As you can see, I’m definitely in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp.

  64. horseman said on April 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    1. Wizmouse
    2. Firefox
    3. Sandboxie
    4. Kalender
    5. KeePass

  65. Gonzo said on April 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    1. Notepad ++
    2. WinSCP (with Putty)
    3. Firefox/Pale Moon
    4. SuRun
    5. Flux

    Ranked by most important to me.

  66. All Things Firefox said on April 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Firefox is great because of about:config and the extension support. I don’t know why anyone doesn’t use a password manager, and KeePass is awesome. VLC and Microsoft Office are also great.

  67. hal9000 said on April 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Wow I can’t believe people still use firefox!

    When setting up a new window s8 pc i need:
    1. classic shell
    2. Clover
    3. Bandzip
    4. Chome
    5. Malwarebytes anti malware

    but that’s not all
    6. Sabnzb
    7. Transmission-QT
    8. Notepadd ++
    10. VLC
    11. PrtScr (fiastarter – all other prt scr progs are massive bloat)
    12. Handbrake
    13. MkvToolNix
    14. Lastpass
    15. Tag & Rename
    Then I consider windows ready to use once those are installed and setup.

  68. DVD Rambo said on April 4, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    1. Thunderbird
    2. Sandboxie (Chrome)
    3. MozBackup
    4. Paint.NET
    5. Ccleaner

  69. Bill said on April 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Windows programs I miss since moving to Linux:

    1. HostsMan
    2. Faststone Image Viewer
    3. Privatefirewall

    1. Boris said on April 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Privatefirewall looks outdated and longer maintained since 2013.

  70. Jeff said on April 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    1. Chrome 64-bit
    2. Photoshop CS6
    3. Directory Opus
    4. Everything (Search)
    5. Musicbee

    Totally agree about Snagit too, it’s excellent.

  71. Tom Hawack said on April 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    In the order that I (still would) install applications on a new system :
    1 – Total Commander
    2 – PowerPro
    3- Everything Search Engine (Locate files and folders by name instantly)
    4 – Firefox
    5 – Thunderbird

  72. alexi said on April 4, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I mean the websites that you use in your rss reader.

  73. alexi said on April 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Can you share your feed list please?

  74. David Winter said on April 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I am surprised I still see many power users listing Thunderbird as their client of choice. I ditched Thunderbird about 6 months ago after using it for over 8 years. It’s simply too slow and clunky on my 50k email — 3gb IMAP mail database. Since that I use “The Bat”. It has an extremely hard learning curve but you will be rewarded with:
    – folder level rules and powerful templates
    – extremely flexible scripting and filter language
    – ultra low memory consumption (11.3mb as I write this, while synchronizing 58 IMAP folders)
    – lightning fast search and virtual folders. Thunderbird virtual folders are incredibly slow on my big mailbase

    And best of all:

    No more clicking IMAP folders to fully synchronize new mail like in Thunderbird. This bug has been with Thunderbird since years and I lost all hope of them ever getting rid of it. The Bat now receives new mail every 10 minutes and downloads all of it locally — attachments and all. No more clicking emails, no more clicking folders.

    Is The Bat pretty, or bug-free? No, its butt ugly. Looking at it I feel like I’m back in 1995. Oh I paid $49 bucks I think, it’s not cheap at all. Do not buy before trying the 30 day free trial. I am sure 99 out of 100 users will hate it on sight. For the odd user like myself though this email client is a true gem.

  75. Visigoth said on April 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    1. Chrome (with uBlock, Lastpass extensions plus a few others)
    2. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
    3. ClassicShell
    4. MPC-BE
    5. M$ Office
    6. Notepad2
    7. qBitTorrent
    8. Paint.NET
    9. CCleaner
    10. DriverToolkit

  76. frogholler said on April 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    WinPatrol Plus
    Carbonite for backup
    Roboform for my passwords
    Emsisoft to protect my computer from the badies

  77. jmg said on April 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    1. Chrome – gave up on Firefox and then on Palemoon
    2. Thunderbird – perfect email program
    3. Xplorer2 – long ago replaced Windows Explorer
    4. Smartsync – awesome sync and backup
    5. Keepass – does what it supposed to do and does it well
    6. irfanview

  78. jimbo said on April 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Listary (life changer), Potplayer, Firefox, FastStone Image Viewer, Evernote

  79. Lucky Limat said on April 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    1. Pale Moon
    2. BitTorrent
    3. GOM Player
    4. FastStone Image Viewer
    5. Clover

  80. clas said on April 4, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    macrium reflect

  81. wagner said on April 4, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    1 Firefox
    2 ThunderBird
    3 Altap Salamander
    4 foobar
    5 Virttualxox

  82. kurtextrem said on April 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    1. Lightshot (screenshots)
    2. Chrome + Silver Bird (= twitter) extension, uBlock (= adblock)
    3. Skype
    4. Windows Office (for presentations and so on)

  83. Bart said on April 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    1: Chrome
    2: Thunderbird
    3: Essential Pim
    4: Lightshot
    5: Skype

  84. anon said on April 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    1. StrokesPlus
    2. Firefox
    3. StrokesPlus


  85. Five said on April 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  86. rswrc said on April 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Firefox (because other browser are crap)
    F.lux (it’s a real relieve to my eyes in the night)
    TotalCommander (i thought for a long time that i dont need a file manager other than windows explorer, but was wrong)
    Notepad2 (normal notepad is to basic, i need syntax highlightning, notepad++ is too much, for dev i use NetBeans)
    CCleaner (once in a while to keep it clean)
    Process Explorer ( i really cant look at windows task manager, it shows me nothing compared to this + the integration with virus total )
    TeamViewer (when i need to help someone)
    BitDefender Antivirus Free (im a fan of having the ability to configure anything, but as for my AV i dont want to care and Bitdefender gives me that + it’s lightweight)
    MalwareBytes Anti Malware Free (after cleaning a system with process explorer MWBAM removes the things i omit)
    Skype (only IM i really use)

  87. Green Gator said on April 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Yes the favorite programs can tell you a lot about the user. I’ve been a programmer since the 1960’s. I used to write in Cobol, Fortran, and other languages, and now mostly use PHP. Since I’m very much security conscious, I prefer to avoid the cloud when I can. I bank online (cloud), but my important personal and client data is stored on my local system.

    I can’t narrow my list to 5; my top 10 choices should identify me as a security minded, programmer.

    • Mozilla Firefox — With the HTML Validator extension.
    • Mozilla Thunderbird — Multiple email accounts, all individually accessible.
    • KeePass — Long, difficult to crack, passwords that I don’t need to try to remember.
    • IrfanView — Hit PrntScr, paste into Irfanview, show Irfanview paint dialog, and then brush out sensitive information. The usual: Crop, resize, etc.
    • Programmer’s Notepad — Open a file and highlight a word, and you will see that word highlighted everywhere it was used.
    • igHome — Basically an RSS reader that allows the use of tabs (pages) and drag and drop RSS layout.
    • SafeHouse Explorer — Even if my local system were to be stolen, the important data would not be accessible.
    • Backup4all — I always have at least the last three backups stored on an external HD.
    • FileZilla
    • CCleaner

  88. Maou said on April 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    1- Cyberfox x64
    2- Thunderbird
    3- Vuze
    4- Notepad ++
    5- Code-Blocks

  89. GL1zdA said on April 4, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Have forgotten about Total Commander, not surprising given I’m so used to it. The central point for all things I’m doing on the computer. I almost don’t care about what MS changes in the Windows UI, because 99% of the time I’m managing files and starting applications from TC.

  90. GL1zdA said on April 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Firefox, Thunderbird, 7-zip, Media Player Classic, foobar2000, KeePass, Notepad2, RSSOwl, Sysinternals and NirSoft tools – no explanation required
    JPEGView – years ago I’ve started with ACDSee, went through XnView, next Imagine and now JPEGView – it’s the quickest thing I know to quickly view images.
    Hamachi – since I’m using 3 computers in 3 different places I need this to access them remotely. I like it, because it allows me to do anything I could do in a LAN. The downside is it’s not always reliable and support is terrible, but at $29 yearly I can live with it. The only alternative I know – NeoRouter Mesh is $150/year.
    KeeNote – I can’t live without taking notes and this one does the job OK. I’ve tested dozens of replacements, but without the ability to import my keynote files there are useless.
    GoldenDict – a very good dictionary front-end with pop-up translations (used Lingoes but updates were rare and I would need a commercial license)

  91. kalmly said on April 4, 2015 at 2:58 pm


    Yes, I know that makes 6.

  92. George Melendez said on April 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    We all have 5 or even more programs that we use everyday, my 5 programs are always waiting for me to put them to wor. These are my 5 “Must Have Programs” :

    1) Firefox

    2) Desktop Calendar

    3) Search Everything

    4) CintaNotes

    5) Q-Dir & NexusImage …..

    I had to include an extra, so it’s 6 Must Have Programs. If you don’t have any of my favorites just give them a try and enjoy……

  93. guitarslinger said on April 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    1. Firefox (using for years, 13 add-ons; 8 of which are for security/insecurity)
    2. Notepad ++ (using for years)
    3. Q-Dir (portable; using for years)
    4. Starry Night Pro (commercial, using for years)
    5. Winamp (free, using for years)

  94. Glynn Brooks said on April 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    1. Outlook
    I used hosted Exchange for 3 email accounts, calendar, task list, RSS manager
    2. Roboform
    I administer many servers and workstations and could not get by without a cloud-synched password manager
    3. SnagIt
    I teach computer classes and markup many screenshots for handouts
    4. Visio
    Network diagrams, before/after system upgrades, are an essential communication vehicle in my work
    5. QuickBooks and Quicken
    Personal and professional bookkeepers, billing, taxes

  95. Croatoan said on April 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    1. Rainmeter http://rainmeter.net/
    2. 7+ Taskbar tweaker http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker
    3. QTTabBar http://qttabbar.wikidot.com/
    4. Portableapps.com http://portableapps.com/ apps (Firefox, Everything, VLC)
    5. F.lux https://justgetflux.com/

  96. anon said on April 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Opera for browser and RSS.
    Palemoon for page incompatible with old Opera (this has become increasingly common sadly)
    Launchy for launching my portable softwares which don’t need reinstallation if anything happen or if I need to move it to another account.

    And other not so important but crucial softwares, so I guess these are all of them for now.

  97. Dave said on April 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    These programs make computing far more enjoyable than struggling along without them:

    1. Everything (Search)
    2. XnView (Pictures)
    3. AutoHotKey (Macros)
    4. Foobar2000 (Music)
    5. PN2 (Notepad)

    It goes without saying that Firefox makes the world go round.

    1. Wilson Nantes said on April 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      1 and 4 are the best ones… I always use those fellas.

  98. exrelayman said on April 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    1. Firefox
    2. Gmail – because when I must restore to a backup I don’t lose material.
    3. Macrium Reflect – saved my caboose untold number of times.
    4. Sandboxie – man am I lucky. I bought the old lifetime subscription for up to 3 devices!
    5. Glary – lots of utility functions, e. g., search as good as Search Everywhere, secure file wiping, uninstall to name a few.
    6. Axcrypt – I know, top 5, right? Not able to omit this one. Free and I like how it works.

  99. br0adband said on April 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    1) Firefox – I’ve customized it so much over the years that there’s just never going to be anything else that can touch it. It’s not exactly what I want it to be, it never really is I suppose (we humans, never happy…) but it’s better overall than anything else out there, always has been, for me.

    2) WinRAR – got it for free a few years ago (using the TrialPay offer, anyone can) and it is just too relevant to pass up. Some folks prefer 7zip because of its free nature but, WinRAR does all that and more in my opinion and, well, I just said I got it free so, you figure it out. :)

    3) Paint Shop Pro 7.04 – yes, it’s old now (almost a decade, actually) but for down and dirty very fast and efficient image editing of most any kind that I need to do, that’s the app to do it. Loads in the blink of an eye (far cry from what a bloated monstrosity it’s become since Corel bought out Jasc years ago) but it works for me and I’m still happy with the purchase.

    4) Notepad++ – definitely a fantastic tool to have around and obviously one damned fine Notepad replacement, it does everything I require such an app to do and that’s all that matters.

    5a) MPC- HC aka Media Player Classic Home Cinema edition – my absolute go-to video player that plays everything, is very tiny and efficient, has tons of features and options, and leaves the competition in the dust in my opinion.

    5b) foobar2000 – my absolute go-to music player that plays everything, etc, same concept as MPC-HC but for audio only. I’ve got it configured out very well with a bunch of extremely handy plugins so it’s just indispensable to me for such purposes.

    There’s a bunch of others I suppose, stuff like UltraISO, Newsbin Pro, SABnzbd, Nero 8 Lite (newer versions offer absolutely new over this one for basic burning purposes), ImgBurn, CmdOpenInstall, HashCheck/Hashtab, Recuva/R-Studio/ZAR/TestDisk, and many many others.

  100. YB said on April 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    My top 5 list of software I use daily…

    1. Firefox
    2. Pazera Video Converter Suite
    3. utorrent
    4. Steam
    5. Lastpass

  101. Richard said on April 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    1. Firefox
    2. Firefox
    3. Firefox
    4. Firefox
    5. Chrome

  102. Rocky said on April 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    1 Outlook (work) hard to beat as a one stop shop for email/calendar/tasks
    2 pDF Xchange PDFs viewer / editor – provides me all necessary functionality
    3 Firefox (work) / Iceweasel on Debian at home. Add-ons don’t matter that much for me . As I am still on Vista IE9 is too slow and I dislike Chrome for same reasons as Martin
    4 Microsoft Office
    5 Keepass

    Regarding local email/rss I think this only works if you use only one device and work from home . otherwise it is very difficult to keep accounts in sync. I have tried a few different mail providers to try to get away from Gmail (outlook.com,fastmail, iCloud, and looked at mailbox.org/Startmail/Posteo) but found something not to my taste in each – still looking but may yet simply go back to Gmail which is hard to beat if only the ad/privacy issues could be sorted)

  103. Odin said on April 4, 2015 at 1:42 pm


  104. Kasper said on April 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I’m a web developer and here’re my top 5:

    1) Cmder – badass console emulator, a lot of customization options(copy paste with selection, fullscreen, themes, toggle with shortcut and many more) – after config http://puu.sh/h15ap/0345a15876.png
    2) Chrome
    3) PhpStorm
    4) BitTorrent Sync
    5) Feed Notifier

  105. Henk van Setten said on April 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    The ones that I really use every day:
    ● Nirsoft’s NirCmd (to run various scripts, like on boot)
    ● Pale Moon + SRWare Iron (browsers)
    ● Proxomitron (ancient but still very effective web filtering proxy)
    ● FlashPaste (ancient quick-copy util that still does it for me)
    ● Thunderbird (email)
    ● Editpad Pro (text editor, paid version)
    ● Xplorer2 Professional (dual-pane file manager, paid version)
    ● Everything (local search)
    ● MS Solitaire (yes, I know….)

    Other ones that I use very often:
    ● XnView (image viewer) + Paint.NET (image editor)
    ● FastCopy (for pre-programmed quick selective backups)
    ● 1by1 (my main music player)
    ● TrueCrypt (for all sensitive data – it’s still OK…)

    Missing in my case:
    ● I just don’t like using RSS, so no RSS reader
    ● I don’t want any kind of dedicated password manager

  106. Sammy said on April 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Bitdefender free anti-virus

  107. Sleeping said on April 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    On windows 8 I cannot live without classic shell :)

  108. imu said on April 4, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Sysinternals tools.
    BTW.check this out Martin seems Microsoft is going crazy :

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 4, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      I doubt that this is ever going to happen ;)

  109. GunGunGun said on April 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    – GNS3, IUO VM, VirtualBox, System Center 2012 R2, Hyper-V
    – Firefox, Palemoon, Chrome, Opera + Privoxy + HandyCache + catalyst-proxy + dispatch-proxy + ProxHTTPSProxy + AdvOr + Bitvise
    – DNSCrypt + Local DNS
    – PDF XChange Viewer/Editor
    – HFS File Server, Web Server
    – Sandboxie

  110. Pants said on April 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    1. Internet Explorer 6
    2. Windows notepad
    3. Minesweeper

    I’m not sure what else I would even use on my computer

  111. kktkkr said on April 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Here’s my list of most used programs, with comments:
    1. Firefox – though I am finding more things to hate and complain about it every month, the add-on system and mostly good customizability keeps me using it. For the record, this is with almost all the visual customizations done with Classic Theme Restorer.
    2. foobar2000 – It can do so much out of the box, and so much more with just a few added components, that it pretty much replaces every other music player in terms of functionality.
    3. Notepad++ – A reasonably powerful text editor. I don’t think I even know all of its features yet. There are certainly better tools around for programmers and developers, but I don’t use the computer heavily enough for programming for it to make a difference.
    4. Process Explorer – The information available from this is way better than the default Task Manager, that I can reasonably use it to manage PC resource usage.
    5. ??? – I would guess one of the following categories: a media player (VLC/Irfanview), archive opener (7-zip), document viewer (Adobe Reader?), but I don’t use any of these enough to justify them taking a spot in this list.

    I don’t know how anomalous this is, but I prefer my online operations to be done in the browser, and offline operations to be done with desktop programs. This means no desktop email or RSS clients! (There are, however, good reasons to have online/cloud-based media players, and in this sense I’m quite technologically backward.)

  112. Simakuutio said on April 4, 2015 at 11:58 am

    For a browser, I’m still stuck with Opera 12 just like so many others who understoods how good it actually is (even it’s already bit outdated).
    For mail, I’m moved completely to web based which I access with my desktop and mobile. That’s how I’m not stuck with mail client which isn’t with me where ever I go.
    Same thing with RSS, Inoreader is my definite choise afrer Google Reader went down (shame on you, Google). Inoreader is like Google Reader pimped heavily, in very good/positive way.
    Screenshots are made mostly with ShareX novadays. Even good old Screenshot Captor I used alot, feels bit clumbsy compared to ShareX.
    And for passwords… yes, I agree, KeePass is the best choise you can have. Tried many other solutions only to come back to KeePass.
    One thing I’m stuck with, is xplorer2 filebrowser. Been using it so long, can’t live without, even it have still some stupid things by design… well, I’m used to those and I can live with it. Of course I tried 10+ others but for some strange reason, xplorer2 is still something I really enjoy using day by day.

    One app I’m using 24/7 and I really can’t live without: Putty. My world would collapse it that util disappears one day. It’s just something I can’t stop using.

    There are still plenty of other _mandatory_ tools I use all the time but listing all of them here is pretty pointless. We all have such list and that’s the great thing: something for everyone. World is pretty boring place if we couldn’t have a choise of tools we use to survive daily… :)

  113. Pravin said on April 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I think the Firefox browser and KeePass also available on other platforms like Linux and OS X. The most important thing for me is MS Excel.

  114. olidie said on April 4, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Browserwise I am not happy. Neither Chrome nor Firefox can really replace Opera 12.
    Opera also served as my mailclient since I really like to have ONE inbox, ONE sent folder …
    I love keepass.
    Screenshots are made with Shotty which is not that feature rich but okay for my purposes.
    Musicbee but mainly using it for my radio streams
    Syncback Pro
    feedly is okay for me since I also read feed on my phone

  115. Saad said on April 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

    1. Firefox
    2. Eagleget
    3. Kaspersky Internet Security
    4. Advanced SystemCare
    5. Paint.NET
    6. PotPlayer

    1. Saad said on April 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      + 7. Foxit Reader

  116. Tommis said on April 4, 2015 at 10:57 am

    1. AutohotKey
    2. FreeCommander
    3. Thunderbird
    4. MadAppLauncher
    5. Firefox

  117. Xibula said on April 4, 2015 at 10:56 am

    dude, you are old school
    i mean, REALLY old school
    you should try to live in the 21 century
    still rocking the shit out of that windows xp with your yahoo mail?

    1. Fixxes said on February 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

      man I don’t know how gmail does not work with TB. I just use 2 gmail accs with it

    2. Guest said on April 5, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Gmail and Thunderbird work just fine together, thanks. I have 5 gmail accounts I’m using on Thunderbird.

    3. Martin Brinkmann said on April 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      What’s wrong with old school if it works?

      1. Xibula said on April 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm


        i love you dude
        i’m just teasing you

        but in all seriousness, how do you get around gmail and thunderbird as they don’t work together?


      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm

        Never really noticed any issues using it. Plus, I don’t use that account as my primary anymore so it is even less of an issue now.

  118. Hur said on April 4, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Hi Martin,

    My favorite programms are:
    1) Mozilla Firefox
    2) Mozilla Thunderbird
    3) Greenshot – A free and open source screenshot tool optimized for productivity
    4) Keypass
    5) LibreOffice

    1. webfork said on May 11, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Very close to my own list. I’d probably swap Keypass for Everything or CubicExplorer.

  119. Ghy89 said on April 4, 2015 at 10:30 am

    firefox,musicbee,internet download manager,Mctype and winrar

  120. myCollections said on April 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    My 2ctm

    1- Firefox
    2- Outlook
    3- Bazqux
    4- Snipping Tool
    5- Evernote
    6- myCollections
    7- Yawd

    ps: sorry for 6 and 7 :)

  121. RossN said on April 4, 2015 at 10:17 am

    1. Firefox
    2. Irfanview
    3. Q-Dir (file explorer)
    4. Ditto (clipboard manager)
    5. Copernic Desktop Search

  122. Sven said on April 4, 2015 at 10:10 am

    My Top5 Windows programs? Uhm, Morrowind, Oblivion, Paint.NET, Notepad++ and foobar2000. The rest are not Windows programs since I have the on Linux as well.

  123. Dwight Stegall said on April 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

    1. Chrome
    2. Dnsjumper
    3. Feed Demon
    4. Snipping Tool & Photoshop
    5. LastPass

    Keepass is for people that enjoy lots of pain.

    1. Nebulus said on April 4, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I’d rather have that “pain” that you talk about than to use the cloud for password storage :)

      1. Jeff said on April 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm


        Agree about Musicbee, best music manager and player, hands down.

      2. Womble said on April 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

        Martin is obviously the tried and tested type of guy, not that there is anything at all wrong with that, especially if it’s your work machine. Bit old school for me though :)

        My home computer is essentially a consumption device therefore my mainstays are:


        Of course I use dozens of other programs but they either come and go or I use them rarely.

        Oops this was supposed to be a standalone post not a reply.

  124. Nebulus said on April 4, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Interesting question… For me, there is only one program that I truly can’t live without, and that is Total Commander. For every other program that I use I have alternatives.

    1. Dwight Stegall said on April 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Try Explorer++ 32 and 64 bit.

      1. Nebulus said on April 4, 2015 at 10:23 am

        IMO it doesn’t even belong to the same class as Total Commander.

  125. Alek Davis said on April 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    1. Chrome
    2. Chrome (Gmail)
    3. Feedly
    4. Snipping Tool
    5. LastPass

  126. Raphael said on April 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Hello Martin

    My list is quite similar to yours, adding Total Commander.

    This software allows so much things (file compression, ftp, plus plugins adding a lot of functionalities like Firefox).


  127. Manish said on April 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

    And I am leaving withouth them quite happily.

    My choice.

    1. Chrome
    2. No clinets needed.
    3. Feedly
    4. Ctrl+alt+printscreen
    5. My brain algorithm

    1. P51L0 said on May 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

      ctrl+alt+prtscn? =)
      Never heard of it, I’ve always used [AltGr+PrtScn]
      (exact same effect, desktop/image into clipboard)

    2. tjnapster555 said on April 4, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      or your can use greenshot program which is very good

      1. Jonathan said on April 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        hmmm.. checking out gs. thanks for share.

    3. Solidstate said on April 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      “My brain algorithm”

      Which means all your passwords suck, because the human brain is horrible at doing true random. And good luck memorizing 100+ totally randomized, totally unique passwords set.

      But I’m sure you’re just a superior human being.

      1. Jonathan said on April 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        btw, i’m just a guy trying to get along in the world.
        please don’t hack me, bro.


        this is me tapping out.

        *critical tools list forthcoming*

      2. Jonathan said on April 16, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        Well, being one who may or may not use the brain algorithm method myself, =) , what is perfectly clear to me is that my passwords are EXTREMELY strong, however, the first time someone discovers one of your passwords, all of the rest are soon to be unlocked depending on the skill & resources available to your opponent.

        ObviousBenefit: Efficient & Portable.

        PrimeDrawback: Once broken, all of your accounts are vulnerable according to the measure of spontaneous cranial cryptography afforded by your applied cognitive fortitude at a given time.

        PrimeBenefit: If you have 100 accounts & 100 trusted delegates/employees & if they all know the algorithm, within a minute or so of 1,000 fingers to key you can modify your algorithm for all of your accounts faster than BlackHatMcGullicutty can raid your situation. Except that by saying this outloud, BHM can easily gain advantage on you in such a race. =D This would require a high number of stars in the leadership & coaching skills dept, granted.

        That’s just my thinking, presently.
        – Coach

      3. Guest said on April 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        Well you can use Keepass, but don’t come crying when all your passwords get stolen one day when one of the devs goes rogue.

        While I don’t agree with Manish on Chrome/email (Firefox is better than Chrome IMO) and Thunderbird is very nice, I don’t use RSS feeds any more, and I certainly don’t trust anything aside from my own brain for keeping passwords.

      4. fokka said on April 5, 2015 at 12:30 am

        maybe a little less cynical?

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