10 Top Windows Software picks for 2022

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 31, 2022
Windows software
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What better way to end the year with a look back at some of the best programs for Microsoft's Windows operating system that were released in 2022 or updated in a major way.

We would like to encourage you to name your top picks for the year 2022 down in the comment sections. We have surely missed some great new entries or updates due to the limited nature of the listing.

PicPick

picpick screen recorder

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PicPick is not a new application, but it received several major updates this year. Up until last year, PicPick supported image captures only; this changed in 2022 with support for screen recording.

Screen capturing is one of the best, as it supports all modes that one expects from a good screen capturing software. You can capture full-screen, region, fixed region, windows, scrolling windows or freehand. The screen recorder supports video captures.

Version 7.0 of PicPick was released in 2022 as well. It introduced support for delayed captures among other things.

RSS Guard

rssguard 4.27

The open source cross-platform RSS reader RSS Guard has received several important updates this year. It is a locally installed feed reader that supports online feed services that users may integrate. It may also be used using local data only, if that is preferred.

RSS Guard supports features such as article filtering, feed groups, website scraping, notifications, downloader and much more.

Several features were introduced or improved in 2022. To name just a few: options to turn off feeds, intelligent sync for Feedly, improved autostart functionality, new network-usage friendly two-way article syncing, fast feed and article refresh rates, customizable skin colors for feeds with new articles, and sample article filters.

IrfanView

irfanview 4.60

IrfanView is a popular graphic viewer for Windows. The application supports all image formats that you can throw at it. Plugins may be installed to increase the functionality further. Some users may dislike the old-fashioned look, but it is the functionality that is impressive.

IrfanView was updated once in 2022. The new version, IrfanView 4.60 includes major feature additions. It supports a new PDF plugin to view PDF documents, can save slideshows as MP4 video, includes options to add images to PDF documents and edit them, and includes a new hotkey to look up GPS information on Google Maps.

Rufus

rufus 3.18 windows inplace upgrade bypass

Rufus is a free tool to create bootable USB drives. It may be used to put ISO images, such as Windows 11 or Linux ISOs, on a USB drive. These may then be used to install the operating system or, in the case of Linux, run live versions.

Rufus was updated several times in 2022. Several of the updates improved the handling for Windows 11. One of the major feature additions was support for bypassing system requirements of Windows 11 during installation or in-place upgrades.

DoNotSpy11

donotspy11 windows

DoNotSpy11 is a tweaker for Windows 10 and 11 systems. The new version is an updated version of the original application that supports Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system.

It may be used to improve privacy on Windows 11 by disabling certain features, changing permissions and more. The new version of DoNotSpy supports Microsoft Office as well, which may also be tamed in regards to privacy.

FastCopy

fastcopy 4

FastCopy is a file transfer tool for Windows. It can be used to improve the copying of files from one location to another, and for backup purposes. Like TeraCopy and others, FastCopy supports transfer verifications, It may also improve transfers and supports copying files that exceed the 260 character path limit on Windows.

FastCopy introduced support for OpenSSL and SHA-512 verify in 2022. Other new features include reduced CPU usage when using SHA-256 and improved hard drive I/O speed.

Calibre

calibre full text search

The ebook reader and management app Calibre has seen several releases in 2022. The developers released Calibre 6.0 in July, introducing full text search capabilities and support for new architectures (Mac and Linux). Downside was the dropping of 32-bit support in the same release.

Other new or improved features in 2022 included metadata downloads from Amazon, more news sources, search for nearby words functionality, and plenty of tag browser improvements.

FastStone Image Viewer

faststone image viewer 7.6

FastStone Image Viewer was updated in 2022 for the first time since March 2020. The developers have added important features to the application, including a new database engine to improve performance, capacity and reliability.

FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 introduced a new rating system, new sorting options, optimizations, and more. Version 7.7, released just a few months after version 7.6, improved GPS and RAW file support, the loading of HEIC and HEIF, and text rendering quality in slideshow.

WingetUI

wingetui updates list

Winget, the Windows Package Manager, is a powerful tool to install, uninstall or update software on Windows. It is a command line app, which may deter some users. WingetUI offers a graphical user interface for much of winget's functionality.

It can also be used to search for updates for installed applications, install programs from a huge database, or uninstall applications.

Xenia (Ashwin's pick)

For the past couple of years, I've kept trying Xenia's Canary build once every few months hoping to play Red Dead Redemption, but the performance was quite terrible. The Xbox 360 emulator's devs dropped a major update for Xenia in August, which improved the performance significantly. After tinkering with the game's patches, and modifying a couple of other settings, I'm finally able to play RDR at a stable frame rate. Xenia is hands-down my best updated app of 2022.

Now You: what were your favorite programs for Windows in 2022?

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10 Top Windows Software picks for 2022
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10 Top Windows Software picks for 2022
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What better way to end the year with a look back at some of the best programs for Microsoft's Windows operating system that were released in 2022 or updated in a major way.
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Comments

  1. John G. said on December 31, 2022 at 3:34 pm
    Reply

    Thanks @Martin for the article and please happy 2023 to you all! :]

  2. John G. said on December 31, 2022 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    My favorite software of 2022:
    – Irfanview (priceless)
    – Winrar & 7zip (a must have)
    – Firefox ESR + uBlock origin (enjoyable must have)
    – Egde Chromium (amazing)
    – Everywhere (just a must have)
    – Lighshot (best ever)
    – Notepad++ (best light editing tool)
    – Libreoffice (now is fine)

  3. Yuliya said on December 31, 2022 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    yt-dlp is also worth mentioning. A fork of youtube-dl, a program which google attempted to kill, but miserably failed. May FOSS prevail in the years to come!

  4. VioletMoon said on December 31, 2022 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    Paint.net – Photo Editor

    WavePad or OceanAudio – Audio Editor

    Shotcut or Olive – Video Editor

    Proton – Mail and VPN

    Bitwarden – Password Manager

    Firefox – Internet Browser

    uBlock Origin – Add-On

    Foxit – PDFs

    PeaZip – Zip Files

    Glary Utilities Pro – All Around PC Cleaner

    Everything – Search Indexer

    VLC – Media Player

    Bitvise – SSH Client and Server

    ShareX – Screenshot/Recorder

    Macrium Reflect – System Image

    Linux Mint – Alternative OS

    News = https://www.reuters.com/

  5. pHROZEN gHOST said on December 31, 2022 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    John G. caught some of my favorites. Most notable is Everywhere. It should be on every Windows machine.

    Open Shell Menu
    Aomei Backupper (it saved my bacon more than a few times)

    1. duri said on January 1, 2023 at 1:58 am
      Reply

      “Most notable is Everywhere. It should be on every Windows machine.”

      Guys, you meant voidtools Everything?

      Because I’m lost, can’t find any Windows software named Everywhere.

      1. John G. said on January 1, 2023 at 6:44 pm
        Reply

        Yes, Everywhere by Voidtools, the fastest file search ever, it takes seconds to list million of files. Tip: after installed, at options, increase maximun size of USN journal to 524288 kb, or even more if the disk is very big.

      2. :) said on January 2, 2023 at 11:58 am
        Reply

        It’s called everything not everywhere :)

      3. Maarten said on January 2, 2023 at 5:40 pm
        Reply

        @John G. wrote:

        Tip: after installed, at options, increase maximun size of USN journal to 524288 kb, or even more if the disk is very big.

        That is not a good tip.
        The USN journal is part of Windows and managed by Windows itself.
        It logs changes to the (NTFS) filesystem it is on. Windows itself “calculates” the estimated space necessary for the USN Journal even before Everything is installed.

        It is not the size of the disk (/volume) that is relevant here, but the amount of changes on said disk.

        A size of 4MB – 8 MB is enough to log multiple weeks of changes on an average system.
        So even if you use Everything just once a week, a size of 512MB is ridiculous.

        Even more: it hinders the performance of Windows as it now has to trim a 512MB file.

        And if there were more changes than fit fit in the USN journal, Everything will just re-scan the entire disk, which will be faster than processing many megabytes of changes.

        You want a tip? Check out Everything 1.5. It is still an alpha version, but remarkably stable (no issues here at all).
        It gives you a dark mode, content indexing (searching for text in files), property indexing (documents, images, videos, etc), updating in the background, and many many more.

        The thing that surprised me the most: it is even faster than Everything 1.4!
        Never thought that was possible.

        Link: https://www.voidtools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9787

  6. pHROZEN gHOST said on December 31, 2022 at 5:22 pm
    Reply

    Martin, Mike and Ashwin,

    Thank you for what you do for the technology community. Not only do you provide articles. But, you provide a forum for open communication for other to shared knowledge. I have learned much from your page.

    Happy New Year 2023 from Canada.

  7. Someone said on December 31, 2022 at 5:59 pm
    Reply

    My favourite for 2022:
    Cyberlink Media Suite 15 (2017) (best editing program PowerDirector 15)
    VLC Media Player
    OBS Studio
    GIMP (I havent used Irfan View for years)
    Audacity (But I dont like the newer versions)
    This is what I have used more, in 2022.

  8. Tom Hawack said on December 31, 2022 at 6:05 pm
    Reply

    Programs for Microsoft’s Windows operating system that were released in 2022 or updated in a major way…

    Within the article’s list : FastStone Image Viewer.
    Within software I use not mentioned in the list : hard to say. None strictly released in 2022, otherwise several, no idea if in a major way though.

    If of any interest I may describe what have been my major considerations concerning apps and software and for some of them enforced throughout 2020.

    DNS Resolution : I use the DNSCrypt-proxy application for encrypted DNS which also managed blocklists. No browser DNS resolution.

    Google services : account closed many years ago then only Google Search, Images, Maps and YouTube. In 2020 those exceptions were removed, Google servers 1st-party and 3rd-party are blocked to the max extent i’m aware of. Excellent alternatives exist : we use them

    Microsoft products : none. Microsoft 1st-party and 3rd-party severs blocked similarly to Google.
    Social Websites : none. Major ones’ 1st-party and 3rd-party severs blocked similarly to Google and Microsoft.

    Browser : Firefox, heavily tweaked, many modified prefs and layouts with heavy userChrome.css and userContent.css. Also : userChromeJS, a gem in what it may perform.

    Dedicated “alternative” Websites :

    Piped (mainly) and Invidious replace YouTube including YT embedded (very few “smart guy” Websites don’t make it without a connection to Youtube servers)

    DeepL & SimplyTranslate take Google Translate’s relay. DeepL delivers better quality but handles less languages than Google.

    Read-only : Rimgo replaces Imgur, Teddit replaces Reddit, Nitter replaces Twitter

    Of course no Microsoft Office even less their 365-whats-it-called : LibreOffice suits my needs.
    SumatraPDF of course : I hardly remember the times of over-bloated Adobe PDF Reader.

    What else? NirSoft applications, of course. Bundled here within NirLauncher.
    I’ve reviewing the whole flat :=) Must have forgotten some, imploring their pardon, lol.

    Out of scope I’ve been. I forgot : Windows 7 !!!

    ————————————————–
    !!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !!!!!
    !!!!! All the very best to all !!!!!
    ————————————————–

    Hey, look at this :
    Which Country Celebrates New Year 2023 First?
    [https://www.timeanddate.com/counters/firstnewyear.html]

    They’ve made it on my right, they’ll make it later than here on my left (we’re in France).
    See ya all next year !!!

  9. Shania said on December 31, 2022 at 6:26 pm
    Reply

    My top ten would be

    jdownloader2
    yt-dlp
    czkawka_gui
    Keepass2
    SumatraPDF
    Ungoogled Chromium
    JPEGView Second Life
    QuickCPU
    MPC-BE
    Voidtools Everything

    Honorable mentions:
    SimpleDNSCrypt
    Privazer
    Ultimate Windows Tweaker 5.0

  10. Lando said on December 31, 2022 at 6:30 pm
    Reply

    Used Edge more than FF due to compatibility. JDownloader2, SUMO, IObit apps, Kaspersky for maintenance. MPC-HC by K-Lite for entertainment. Still using Microsoft apps for productivity.

  11. Mothy said on December 31, 2022 at 6:56 pm
    Reply

    I highly limit installed software and do not make many changes or updates to my two Windows 8.1 desktops, so there is not much in the way of new or updated software. However since I have recently started evaluating Linux distros for an eventual move off Windows I have realized how valuable some of the software really is to me, listed below in order of importance.

    – QTranslate (last updated Feb. 2022 to version 6.10). It is used everyday to communicate with important family and friends in another country that speak Spanish (to my American English). It is only available for Windows and so far I have not found anything on Linux that comes even close to the same feature set and functionality.

    – Firefox ESR
    – Ungoogled Chromium
    – Proton Mail Bridge (used to sync/save email to Outlook)
    – KeePass

    And while not really software, Steven Black blocking hosts file that is frequently updated in order to block ad networks, web beacon trackers, and known malicious websites. It is invaluable in protecting privacy and system security.

  12. NoToElectronBloat said on December 31, 2022 at 9:04 pm
    Reply

    A good selection of programs! No UWP fart apps, and no electron bloat from the store. This year, StartAllBack, ExplorerPatcher, Start11, deserves to be at the top of the list.

    My personal list of programs I use every day:
    Amcrest Surveillance Pro
    AOMEI Backupper
    Everything
    Foxit PDF Reader
    Glary Utilities
    HTTP Downloader
    KeePass
    LibreOffice
    Miranda NG
    MobaXterm
    Mozilla Firefox
    Mp3tag
    MPC-BE
    Notepad2-zufuliu
    PatchMyPC
    QuiteRSS
    RustDesk
    StartAllBack
    Sonic Visualiser
    UninstallTool
    VLC Media Player
    VMware
    WavePad Sound Editor
    Winamp
    WinRAR
    WinSCP
    Wiztree

  13. Belga said on December 31, 2022 at 9:09 pm
    Reply

    QTranslate (same reason as Mothy)
    Roboform (free)
    EazyFix Tools & EFI Cloner (2 free softs)
    Librewolf
    Floorp (browser)
    Everything
    Keepass
    Print friendly & PDF (extension)

    Happy New Year to all !

  14. Akina said on December 31, 2022 at 9:14 pm
    Reply

    Okular (open source kde PDF & EPUB Viewer)
    kdenlive (open source video editor)
    deemix-gui (for downloading flac music from deezer)
    Firefox (main browser) & Ungoogled Chromium (backup browser)
    MPC-HC (media player)
    foobar2000 (music player and for converting music files to another format)
    ImageGlass (foss image viewer)
    Notepad2 (foss lightweight text editor)
    DS4Windows (for using my PS4 controller on pc)
    yuzu (foss Nintendo Switch emulator)
    InControl (for blocking windows feature updates)

  15. Paul(us) said on December 31, 2022 at 11:37 pm
    Reply

    Again, I see many old faithful among your choices that maintain and modernize their software well. There are some notable choices among them such as RSS Guard, for example.

    More logical choices include IrfanView, Calibre, and PicPick.

    The finest piece of software that I think has best maintained and almost reinvented itself in 2022 is Rufus.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Martin Brinkman for all the well-chosen and also well-worded articles in 2022. Hopefully, you will keep that up again in 2023.
    I wish you a safe end and a healthy 2023.

  16. fr0sted flak3s said on January 1, 2023 at 3:19 am
    Reply

    As far as proprietary software goes, and there’s much better alternatives which are 100% open source, XnView MP is better than Irfanview.

  17. blame it on the rain said on January 1, 2023 at 5:39 am
    Reply

    Irfanview doesn’t offer a version for Linux, whereas XnView/XnViewMP does.

    1. tvcollin said on January 2, 2023 at 11:16 pm
      Reply

      It works well with Wine.

  18. Saad said on January 1, 2023 at 7:22 am
    Reply

    My suggestions:

    simplewall
    Advanced SystemCare Pro
    Potplayer
    FxSound
    Ant Download Manager & Internet Download Manager
    LibreOffice
    FoxitPDFReader
    Firefox
    Bandizip

  19. Anonymous said on January 1, 2023 at 8:57 am
    Reply

    well my go to image viewer was always Tiefsee.
    The author release beta version of next version called Tiefsee4 which u can test out from github
    https://github.com/hbl917070/Tiefsee4

  20. You hear a faint typing noise. said on January 1, 2023 at 11:31 am
    Reply

    NetHack (including variants)
    PuTTY

  21. Kal said on January 1, 2023 at 12:32 pm
    Reply

    Tom Hawack said on December 31, 2022 at 6:05 pm
    [quote]DNS Resolution : I use the DNSCrypt-proxy application for encrypted DNS which also managed blocklists. No browser DNS resolution.[/quote]

    Could you please provide instructions/guidelines for use – what, how – in more detail to use what you describe. I would at least like to test.

    I downloaded https://github.com/DNSCrypt/dnscrypt-proxy/releases/download/2.1.2/dnscrypt-proxy-win64-2.1.2.zip – but a command window opens and immediately closes.

  22. Rakib said on January 1, 2023 at 12:39 pm
    Reply

    My used software list is:-
    Brave Browser, LibreWolf, Tor Browser, Internet Download Manager (IDM), [uBlock Origin, Google Translator, IDM as extension/addon] CCleaner Pro, ProtonVPN, CloudFlare WARP VPN, PotPlayer, ImageGlass Image Viewer, 7zip, Revo Uninstaller Pro, Rufus, WinAero Tweaker, Windows Update Blocker (from Sordum), LibreOffice, Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate, qBittorrent, Forkgram (as Telegram Client) etc.

  23. Mikee said on January 2, 2023 at 5:35 am
    Reply

    I can’t believe anyone hasn’t suggested xara, the essential (and still fastest) vector drawing image processing package around. I have used it for the last 25 years or so (not the same version!).

  24. SaganAndroid said on January 2, 2023 at 6:41 am
    Reply

    Everything by Voidtools is an essential finder tool to correct all the failings and bugs in decades of Windows. Best of all, Carpenter has resisted MS’s arm twisting and it still works with every Windows version back to at least XP.

    Next is IrfanView. Essential. Oddly, last I checked it STILL has problems rendering colors correctly. Drag an image into browsers, or Windows default viewers and compare to what IrfanView does to colors. So close to perfection, yet so far. Irfan seems in denial about color management.

    UAE is the best Amiga emulator.

    WinVICE emulates almost every Commodore machine and even the MEGA65.

    Browsers: Brave, Vivaldi, Opera. All are far better than Firefox IMHO. I cannot fathom how people give Firefox high marks here. It’s slow and inefficient. I would even rather use Edge.

    Faststone is good, but I paid for a wedge to get Windows 7 (I hate Win8 and later) to view raw files as icons (is if they were jpg or gif). Cameras kept changing as did their raw file formats but the Fast developer failed to update the software despite taking our money.

  25. Maarten said on January 2, 2023 at 5:43 pm
    Reply

    There are only 2 major 2022-releases that come to (my) mind beyond the list in the article:

    – WinAmp (first update after more than a decade)
    – AutoHotKey 2.0

    (still have to play around with both of them)

  26. Chris-Jnr said on January 3, 2023 at 8:25 am
    Reply

    I’d say I used the following softwares more than I should in 2022 and really loved the updates they received;

    1. Visual Studio Code
    2. Android Studio
    3. Microsoft Word
    4. OBS Studio
    5. New Windows Media Player – it’s wonderful
    6. Edge – love it
    7. 7zip – Always used

    Although I’m a fan of Linux and open source, still love Windows maybe cos I’m running one PC right now!

    We’ll see..

  27. Anonymous said on January 18, 2023 at 10:54 am
    Reply

    calibre is a bloated mess. If you only need a viewer, try Sumatra PDF. Despire the name, it can view a lot more than just PDF.

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