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List of recommended Windows software

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This page is for good quality software on Windows, based on the contributions of /g/ users. This page is not for solidifying preferences or ideology; it is considered to be "value-free" and thus permitting of both reference to open source software and closed source software, for-profit and not-for-profit. This is not your soapbox, your ballot box, or pulpit. Stay constructive and avoid politics and arguments.

Package manager

You can (and should) install a package manager. It gives you the benefit of being able to download and install a lot of popular software via a single command on the command line, instead of having to navigate to a website, download it and run it. Take a look at Chocolatey NuGet and NPackd for more info. This is an advantage that OSX and Linux users have been enjoying for years, and now you should too.

For an all-at-once installation to install all of your selected favourite software in one go (useful on a fresh install of Windows), check out Ninite.

*nix environment on Windows

If you're feeling a bit limited or alienated with Windows' command line tools, you can set up a native *nix environment on Windows.

  • Cygwin is a good choice to "Get that Linux feeling - on Windows." It is basically the Wine of Windows, but without recreating system libraries and such. GOW is considered an improvement on it.
  • GOW is GNU on Windows. It's like a much lighter Cygwin, it comes with a terminal option in Windows explorer, and also comes with over Linux 100+ binaries natively compiled for Windows.
  • MinGW is another minimalist set of *nix binaries natively compiled for Windows.
  • MobaXterm SSH client and terminal with embedded X server for Windows; supports the remote desktop protocols RDP, VNC and Xdmcp and connects via SSH, telnet, rlogin, Mosh and SFTP; also available as portable version for USB stick.
  • Msysgit is not as big of a *nix environment as the others. It is the native Windows build of git, which also provides a shell with simple *nix utilities with cp, mv, rm, etc. and other basic coreutils you might need. Read the page for details.
  • If you're running Windows 10, there's the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which allows you to run an Ubuntu environment natively in Windows (think Wine but in reverse). Other distros are officially supported including Debian and SUSE, and there's a guide for using a custom distro.
  • SSH


Before being v&, weeaboo nonces often use communications software to exchange nude images with police officers posing as kawaii lolis.

Web browsers

See also: Web browsers

Firefox.png Firefox

Firefox is free software developed by Mozilla. It is highly extensible via addons and included as the default browser in many Linux distributions. It is often criticized on /g/ and /tech/ as "SJWfox" because of some Mozilla developers outspoken campaigns on social and political issues.

Software Chromium.png Chromium

Chromium builds are based off the underlying code of Chrome. While nearly identical to Google's browser, they lack proprietary components like automatic updating and flash player. However, Chromium still phones home to Google.

Iridium Browser Logo.png Iridium

Iridium is a FLOSS fork of Chromium stripped of as many botnet and proprietary "features" as possible. It used to phone home to Iridium's servers for development purposes, but it no longer does that. Nonetheless, it is still as fast as a Chromium fork is expected. Use at your own risk.

Palemoon.png Pale Moon

Pale Moon is a snowflake fork of Firefox under a snowflake open source license. It has a familiar pre-"Australis" UI, and maintains support for the older XUL addon/theming standard. Uses its own "Goanna" rendering engine, forked from Gecko, which performs poorly with some CSS/JS-heavy sites. Does not support current Firefox addons, and has its own addons (see also: JustOff addons).

Opera.png Opera

Opera is a proprietary web browser that has pioneered open web standards for over two decades. It is notable for being the first web browser to sport a tabbed interface. It is developed and maintained by Opera Software. It used to feature its own rendering engine called Presto, but it has been since superceded by Chromium's Blink engine.

Falkon.png Falkon

Falkon is a KDE web browser using QtWebEngine rendering engine, previously known as QupZilla. It aims to be a lightweight web browser available through all major platforms. This project has been originally started only for educational purposes. But from its start, Falkon has grown into a feature-rich browser.

Falkon has all standard functions you expect from a web browser. It includes bookmarks, history (both also in sidebar) and tabs. Above that, it has by default enabled blocking ads with a built-in AdBlock plugin.

Torbrowser.png Tor Browser

Tor Browser (formerly known as Tor Browser Bundle) is a package of a modified Firefox extended support release, NoScript, HTTPS-Everywhere, Tor, TorButton and TorLauncher. It automatically routes traffic through the Tor network and deletes history and cookies when closed.

Seamonkey-icone-6933-128.png SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is a continuation of the Mozilla suite. Unlike most modern web browsers, it is an Internet suite, complete with bundled programs for email, IRC, and web design. It is compatible with most Firefox add-ons.

Midori.png Midori

Midori is a fast, lightweight, LGPL licensed browser using the WebKit rendering engine. It is the default browser in Elementary OS, Raspbian and Trisquel Mini.

Kmelogo.gif K-Meleon

K-Meleon is a FOSS web browser for Windows. It uses the Gecko rendering engine just like Firefox, but sports a native Windows UI. It is absurdly configurable. Also very suitable for Pentium M and older systems because of it's speed.

Otter-browser-icon.png Otter Browser

Otter Browser is a FOSS web browser that aims to recreate the best aspects of the classic Opera (12.x) UI using Qt5.

Email clients

Desktop email clients provide off-line email storage and additional features over most web-mail clients.

Icon Thunderbird small.png Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a free and open source email client based upon the Gecko rendering engine. Like its sibling Firefox, it offers the user extensive customization options via third-party add-ons.

Icon Claws-Mail.png Claws-Mail

Claws-Mail is a lightweight FOSS (GPL) email client based on GTK+. Supports PGP, vCalendar (Outlook compatible), RSS/Atom feeds, spam filtering and more via a well-maintained collection of first party plugins. Sending HTML emails is not supported. Reading HTML emails is usable but much improved by enabling WebKit or LiteHTML rendering engines.

Instant Messaging (IM) clients

Icon Pidgin small.png Pidgin

Pidgin, formerly known as GAIM, is a free and open source instant messaging client developed in C. It is based upon Libpurple and offers support for XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, GroupWise, Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE and Zephyr out of the box. Support for additional protocols like Matrix and Signal is offered through third-party plugins. Plugins are available for OTR, OMEMO and many other features. Beware it stores passwords in plain text by default.

Gajim-logo.png Gajim

Gajim is a FOSS cross-platform GUI XMPP client written in Python. It supports OMEMO and not OTR.

Retroshare.png RetroShare

RetroShare is an open source decentralized communication platform. It provides secure chat, photo and video sharing using OpenPGP to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication.

Ricochet IM is and end-to-end encrypted instant messages which uses Tor hidden services.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

HexChat.png HexChat

HexChat is a popular replacement for the XChat IRC client, a client which offered a free binary for Linux but charges money for the Windows version. HexChat is a continuation of XChat and makes both its source code and binaries available to users of all platforms it's created for. Like its parent software, HexChat is licensed under the GNU GPL. It includes all the basic features one would need, and can be ideal both for new users and IRC veterans. Has built-in plugins for Lua, Perl and Python scripting.

Smuxi.png Smuxi

Smuxi is another crossplatform IRC client and uses the GTK. It has some scripting capability and looks about the same on all systems. It doesn't have many features but it does those that it has well.

ChatZilla is an IRC client addon for Seamonkey and other XUL clients such as Pale Moon and Waterfox Classic. Great for people who want basic IRC features without having to install an additional application.

mIRC is a proprietary shareware IRC client with a rich built-in scripting language that has been in active development since 1995.

KVIrc is a FOSS IRC client using QT.

Terminal/Command prompt

Irssi.png Irssi

Irssi is the father of rice clients and easily accessible for all systems. The author of the Metacity window manager for Linux describes his software as follows: "Boring window manager for the adult in you. Many window managers are like Marshmallow Froot Loops; Metacity is like Cheerios." Irssi is the terminal IRC client equivalent of that sentiment. Irssi is extensible through plugins.

Weechat.png Weechat

Weechat is Irssi with more rice, scripting languages, ideal defaults and development. It is rising in popularity as a preferred client on /g/. Weechat also includes plugin functionality.

Support by browsers and mail clients

  • Thunderbird has support for IRC and other IM services.
  • Opera had similar chat support which was dropped in 10.10.
  • As mentioned above, Seamonkey can support IRC.
  • Chrome can also support IRC through extensions, although some of them are actually websites; 'CIRC' and 'Byrd IRC' appear to be native clients, but I have not tested them as you must be signed into Google in order to install them. They might be usable by loading their source. I'll test them eventually.

Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) clients

Mumble.png Mumble

Mumble is free and open source audio chat software. It is superior in audio quality and latency by always being the first client to use latest technologies, such as the Opus audio codec.

Teamspeak.png TeamSpeak

TeamSpeak is non-free and widely used for gaming. It has lots of permissions/ACL tuning available. Servers must be often licensed to use without restrictions. Servers under the free license allow up to 32 clients. The client has a backdoor that allows TeamSpeak Systems GmbH. to blacklist any server and take full control.

Skype.png Skype

Skype is botnet mode in full effect. No seriously. It is also closed source and susceptible to state snooping. Skype is not only bloated, buggy, and resource intensive, but the bloat and resource hogging only goes up with each major update. It is absolutely not recommended for privacy, and only recommended for normal non controversial conversations with your friends and family who won't settle for anything else. New versions of Skype are now a cancerous Electron app, but the old version is still available. Block apps.skype.com in your firewall or hosts file to block Skype ads.

Jitsi.png Jitsi

Jitsi is a real Skype alternative using standards compliant FLOSS. It supports text encryption with OTR and audio/video encryption with ZRTP. The downside is it being bulky Java.

Google Voice.png Google Voice

Google Voice runs in a web browser and requires a plugin for full functionality. There does not appear to be official desktop software for this. The botnet never felt so good. Free phone numbers, calling, texting, and integration into Gmail.

Ekiga.png Ekiga

Ekiga is an open source SIP client. It is not entirely clear to what extent encryption is possible.

Tox.png Tox

Tox is a decentralized open source alternative to Skype. It is in early alpha stage and almost has VOIP working.

Search utilities

Everything.png Everything

Everything is a proprietary freeware search engine that instantly locates files and folders by filename, by monitoring file system changes in real time and indexing them.

Launchy 001.png Launchy

Launchy helps you navigate your start menu, programs, folders and more, amazingly fast, simply by typing in the name of your program and folder. Loads instantly by simply pressing a hotkey (default is alt+space). Customizable and allows you to add other things like website bookmarks and commands. The perfect program to replace windows search with.

File compression utilities

File compression software is widely used by various software distributors and archives to mitigate bandwidth and storage space requirements.

Icon 7zip small.png 7zip Archiver

7zip is a free and open source file archiver developed in C++ by Igor Pavlov. Its primary feature is lossless compression in the 7z format, based upon the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm. In addition to the handful of formats it is capable of creating new archives in, 7zip can retrieve files from archives in virtually any format that one is likely to encounter.

Easy 7-Zip is an alternative build of 7-zip which has some extra features like icons on the context menu, extra options in many dialogs and the ability to minimize to tray while extracting. It's licensed under the same license too.

PeaZip.png PeaZip Archiver

The PAQ and LPAQ methods are capable of an impressive degree of lossless compression, but the time and system resources required are equally impressive.

PeaZip is a free and open source archiver developed in free Pascal by Giorgio Tani. It is notable for its native PEA format and its support of cutting-edge compression technologies like PAQ and LPAQ that are not supported by other popular archivers. Like 7zip, it is capable of retrieving files from virtually any archive that one might encounter.

Icon WinRAR small.png WinRAR Archiver

Unless one has some specific purpose in mind, the use of WinRAR is not recommended.

WinRAR is a proprietary shareware archiver developed by the brothers Eugene and Alexander Roshal. Its once ubiquitous RAR format is still used almost universally by the Warez Scene, although it has falling out of favour with many other communities due to the growing popularity of 7z. Although it is only capable of creating new archives in the RAR and ZIP formats, WinRAR is capable of extracting files from archives created by many other compression tools. Scene releases are known to be troublesome to extract using extraction tools other than WinRAR.

File sharing

BitTorrent clients

Icon qBittorrent small.png qBittorrent

qBittorrent is a libtorrent-based free and open source BitTorrent client written in C++. According to its developers, the aim of the client is to provide a free software alternative to µTorrent.

Icon Deluge small.png Deluge

Deluge is a libtorrent-based free and open source BitTorrent client written in Python. It is highly extensible via its plug-ins system. Deluge is notable for having originated the particular method of protocol encryption that is currently in use by every major BitTorrent client. It can be a bit of a resource hog on Windows compared to other clients.

Icon Transmission.png Transmission

Transmission is a popular free and open source client that is easy to use and lightweight. For years it has been the preferred BitTorrent client on macOS and GNU/Linux, and it finally has received an official release on Windows.

Utorrent 2 logo.png μTorrent 2.2.1

μTorrent 2.2.1 is outdated, unmaintained and proprietary. However, it is generally recommended as the only acceptable version of μTorrent for Windows. It stays true to μTorrent's original bloat-free philosophy, remains free of advertisements, and is accepted at nearly every private tracker.

Halite-200.png Halite

Halite is a FOSS, Windows-only BitTorrent client, based on the excellent libtorrent library developed by Arvid Norberg. The program also relies heavily on the Boost libraries. At one point, it was a fantastic replacement for the botnet client uTorrent, and shared many of the same features. However, it has not been updated since December 2015, and has issues recognizing two different torrents with the same name as, well, different torrents. It is recommended to use qBittorrent, Deluge, or Transmission instead.

FTP clients

Icon FileZilla small.png FileZilla

Filezilla is a free and open source FTP, SFTP, and FTPS client written in C++. Sourceforge downloaders should be advised that the installer offered there potentially contains adware.

Icon WinSCP small.png WinSCP

WinSCP or Windows Secure Copy is a free and open source FTP, SFTP, and SCP client written in C++.

Direct Connect

Eiskalt.png EiskaltDC++

EiskaltDC++ is a cross-platform program that uses the Direct Connect and ADC protocols. It is compatible with DC++, FlylinkDC++, LinuxDC++ and other DC clients.


Filesharing over IRC; IRC Clients with support for XDCC include HexChat, KVIrc, mIRC and irssi. See also: XDCC.


Disk cleaners

Bleachbit.png BleachBit Bleachbit is a lightweight free open-source disk cleaner that can manage deletion of unnecessary files.

Icon CCleaner small.png CCleaner

CCleaner is a proprietary freeware disk clean-up utility developed by Piriform, but it also comes with features to mass delete unnecessary registry entries, uninstall programs, management of system restore points, start-up entries, scheduled tasks, context entries, and web browser plug-ins. It has been around longer than Bleachbit, but Piriform has since bundled the free app with garbage that uses more resources, and nags you to get the premium subscription constantly. Avoid using the registry cleaner unless you know what you are doing; there is a low chance you might muck up your computer.

Icon Revo small.png Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is a proprietary freeware uninstaller tool that calls the uninstaller for programs and scans and prompts for the deletion of file and registry remnants of said programs.

Wise Registry Cleaner

Wise Registry Cleaner is a great tool that cleans the registry. When combined with other software like Malwarebytes and Wise Disk Cleaner it can do a ton to help a slow computer be less slow.


System Care Pro is a cleaner tool that generally used to clean all the files which comes during the internet usage while going on different sites and those files are not compatible for proper functionality of the system .

Disk defragmenters

Icon Defraggler small.png Defraggler

Defraggler is not a good defragment tool and has even been benchmarked to be on average WORSE than the default windows tool. See benchmark here.

Icon MyDefrag small.png MyDefrag

MyDefrag is a proprietary freeware disk defragmenter based on the standard defragmentation API by Microsoft. It also optimises file locations.

Wise Disk Cleaner

WiseCleaner is great at removing a lot of unnecessary clutter on your install that tends to slow things down.

Disk image and back-up tools

Macrium Reflect.png Macrium Reflect

Macrium Reflect Free is the free version of Macrium Reflect 7 Home. It can schedule full backups as well as incremental ones, with the paid version offering a second increment for storage saving. The Free edition has an indefinite license and is not a trial.

File recovery tools

See also: Data recovery

Icon TestDisk small.png TestDisk


Icon Recuva small.png Recuva


File syncing tools


FreeFileSync compares your files and folders with other files and folders from target locations, and adds or updates them accordingly

System information tools

Icon CPUZ small.png CPU-Z


Icon GPUZ small.png GPU-Z


Icon HWMonitor small.png HWMonitor


Icon Speccy small.png Speccy



Media players

Mpv-logo.png mpv (mpv plays videos)

mpv is an incredibly powerful and widely-used fork of mplayer2 and MPlayer. It features ffmpeg playback, high quality scaling algorithms, OpenGL output, proper color management, and is completely free and open-source. With youtube-dl, it can also play video and audio streams, and even .gif files!

Bomi logo.png bomi

bomi is a multimedia player formerly known as CMPlayer, which is aimed for easy usage but also provides various powerful features and convenience functions.

Mpc-hc.png MPC-HC (Media Player Classic)

MPC-HC (main article: MPC-HC) is an open source media player on Windows with extensive file support, and no bloat or harmful software. Different renderers and shaders are also available from the community.

Vlc-logo.png VLC

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Kcp.png KCP (Kawaii Codec Pack)

KCP is a codec pack. It's basically a fork of MPC-HC, instead of manually installing the recommended filters, this does it all for you.

Media center and HTPC

Kodi.png Kodi

Kodi (former XBMC) is a free and open source GPL software media center featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It is highly customizable via skins and addons. There are even addons available for streaming from internet services like YouTube and Twitch.tv. It plays nearly every video and music format out of the box. The built in scrapers can pull data from sites like IMDB and thetvdb to allow sorting media by actor, genre, rating, etc. It can export this data to local files for offline use.

Plex.png Plex

Plex is a fork of the former XBMC (now Kodi). It has separate front-end (player) and back-end (server) components. Plex Media Server, unlike the free frontend, is a combination of free and proprietary software, with the majority of the code being proprietary. It has many of the same features as Kodi, but focuses more on its web interface. It also excels at on the fly video transcoding to allow playback over slow connections.

Emby.png Emby

Emby is another media server solution that was FOSS but became proprietary. It has local user accounts unlike Plex and focuses extremely in user customization. This includes the glory of ricing, metadata, and custom plugins. Its main issue is that its application are restricted in certain devices behind a paywall. For example, its free to view media on Amazons FireDick but iOS devices are freeware.

Jellyfin.png Jellyfin

Jellyfin is a fork of Emby created by the developers after it went proprietary. Tries to grab every feature that Emby has.

Media converters and rippers

Handbrake.png HandBrake

Handbrake is a free and open source video transcoder with an easy to use GUI. It can rip and convert a variety of video formats, but can not break DVD or Blu-ray copyright protection.

Makemkv.png MakeMKV

MakeMKV can convert video from proprietary (and usually encrypted) discs into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way. It can instantly stream decrypt video without intermediate conversion and decrypt Blu-rays and protected DVDs.

Mkvtoolnix.png MKVToolNix

MKVToolNix is a set of FOSS tools by Moritz Bunkus for working with Matroska files. It can mux, split and merge mkv files with no transcoding or loss of quality. It can also add or remove audio and subtitle tracks, change track order and edit metadata.

  • ProjectX can resync DVB (Digital TV broadcasts) ready for encoding.
  • Youtube-dl is a command line program for downloading videos from Youtube and similar sites.


Exact Audio Copy is a proprietary freeware CD ripper written by a German university student. It is preferred by what.cd and other audiophile communities because of its accuracy and ability to rip slightly damaged discs. It can output a detailed log file specifying the position any errors occurred. It also supports AccurateRip, cue sheet generation and ID3 tagging via freedb.

Audio players

Foobar-logo.png Foobar2000

Foobar2000 (main page: Foobar2000) is an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include ReplayGain support, low memory footprint, and native support for several popular audio formats. It supports ASIO output.

Musicbee-logo.png MusicBee

MusicBee is basically a souped version of Foobar2k. It supports everything that you want in an audio player plus more! The GUI is very different than most, but can be customized to your will. It supports ASIO output and provides some level of compatibility with WinAmp input plugins. It is free as in free beer.

Musicpd-logo.png MPD (Music Player Daemon)

MPD is a flexible, powerful daemon for playing music. While mpd doesn't directly play music to you, it provides a stream of it (locally or over the internet) to which you connect to with a client (as it's a server, not a music player). It is the mpd client that provides you with all the functionality you expect from a music player. The advantage here is that you can have multiple clients connected and listening to one instance of mpd, or you can stream over the internet. Some music players listed below will be mpd clients, which means that you may need to install mpd as well (if it doesn't come included) for them to work.

  • mpc is a minimalistic terminal MPD client.

Icon Clementine.png Clementine

Clementine is a great music player with many options and plugins available. It plays all the file types you might need.

Icon Strawberry Player.png Strawberry

Strawberry is a continuation of the aforementioned Clementine aimed at music collectors and audiophiles.

Audio editors

Picard.png Musicbrainz Picard

Picard If you've got a collection of legally obtained music that you want organized in an acceptably uniform way, then you need to get an mp3 tagger to parse mass edits to the filenames and ID3 metadata. There are several out there, but the only one you should be using is Picard. Developed by the Musicbrainz community, Picard has been around for years and it's a feature-rich solution with a whole shitload of tools that will make organizing your hoard of mp3s easy.

Image viewers

ImageGlass-logo.png ImageGlass

ImageGlass is a small FOSS image viewer. It has support for 70+ formats and plugins. However, it has few manipulation tools compared to similar software.

Nomacs-icon3.png nomacs | Image Lounge

nomacs is a free and open source image viewer, which supports multiple platforms. You can use it for viewing all common image formats including RAW and PSD images. It can browse images in zip or MS Office files which can be extracted to a directory. It also has support for plugins and batch processing.

Honeyview-logo.png Honeyview

Honeyview is a very fast image viewer supporting various formats. It also supports viewing the images in compressed ZIP, RAR, or 7z files without extraction.

Irfanview-logo.png Irfanview

Irfanview is a very fast, small, compact and innovative freeware graphic viewer for Windows. It features an inbuilt editor along with many other extra tools that you may need or require.

Icon XnViewMP.png XnViewMP

XnViewMP is the enhanced version to XnView. It is a powerful media browser, viewer and converter. It is compatible with more than 500 image formats. XnViewMP also comes with an easy to use yet powerful batch conversion module.

Jpegview-logo.png JPEGView

JPEGView is a lean, fast and highly configurable viewer/editor with a minimal GUI.

Image editors

Raster art

Icon GIMP.png GIMP

GIMP is a very powerful image editor with many advanced features, a steep learning curve, and a wide array of plugins.

Icon Krita.png Krita

Krita is a user friendly program for sketching and painting, offering an end-to-end solution for creating digital painting files from scratch.

PaintDotNet.png Paint.NET

Paint.NET started as an MS Paint alternative. It now integrates plenty of features such as layers and effects.

Icon Pinta.png Pinta

Pinta is a relatively simple image editor with an interface inspired by Paint.NET.

Vector art

Icon Inkscape.png Inkscape

InkScape is a vector graphic editor.

Screenshot Handlers

Greenshot.png Greenshot

Greenshot Is a free program which allows you to save images of your desktop, or a selection of your desktop. Highly customizable, as it allows users to use custom hot keys to trigger screen captures, save files in custom file destinations, and many other options.


ShareX is pretty much the same thing, although it's been in development for much longer, it's open source and there's way more lightweight tools. Plus you have workflowing options to upload your screenshots to different image hosting sites.

Video editors

Shotcut-logo-64 400x400.png Shotcut

Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing app for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Shotcut supports many video, audio, and image formats via FFmpeg and screen, webcam, and audio capture. It uses a timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats.

Kdenlive.jpg Kdenlive

Kdenlive is a free and open source video editor made by the KDE Team and also has a Windows port, it's one of the most promising free (as in freedom) video editors, it's also based in FFmpeg and it's compatible with several video and audio format, some of the features of Kdenlive are: Multi-track editing, highly configurable, bundles with 'dozens of effects', etc; and also it's a very new-friendly program.

3D modeling

Icon Blender.png Blender

Blender is a 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.


Document readers

Icon SumatraPDF small.png Sumatra PDF

The majority of configuration for this application is done manually by editing its configuration file.

Sumatra PDF is a free and open source PDF, ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ, and CBR reader. Unlike most competing products for Windows, it is extremely fast and lightweight, now with 64 bits binaries.

Evince.png Evince

Evince is a free and open source PDF, PostScript, DjVu, TIFF, XPS and DVI reader. While it is better known as a component of GNU/Linux's GNOME desktop environment, a Windows build is available.

Adobe Digital Editions.png Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions is a god-tier book-reading application. It displays ePub, PDF and more. It is meant for reading books and does not serve well as a conventional document viewer for other purposes. Since it's Adobe, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that it sends metadata of every single book in your computer to Adobe's server.[1]

Gsview.png GSView

GSView is a user-friendly viewer for various document formats including Postscript, PDF, XPS, EPUB (version 2, no DRM), CBZ, JPEG, and PNG files. GSView leverages the viewing capabilities of MuPDF, along with the conversion capabilities of Ghostscript to provide both a fast and high-quality on-screen experience and high-quality export and conversion features. It is extremely lightweight, and so may lack features compared to more robust options, but is well suited for reading. Free to download and use unrestricted, but is licensed commercially.


Okular is the default document viewer for the systems that are bundled with the KDE environments, Okular is also part of the KDE Windows Project so there's an official Windows port and it's regularly updated, it supports PDF, PS, Tiff, CHM, DjVU, epub and many other common extensions, it also has some nice features such Dark theme, annotations, drawing, highlighting and it's completely free and open source. CON: It's not lightweight.

Word processors

Icon LibreOffice-Writer.png LibreOffice Writer

LibreOffice Writer is the word processor in the LibreOffice suite. After Oracle acquired OpenOffice, it asked community members to GTFO [2]. Since everyone despises Oracle, the developers all jumped ship as well [3] and started LibreOffice.


Text editors

Using a command prompt text editor on Windows is a bad idea if the language you write in has accents because Windows’ command prompt still uses an old code page (OEM) which is not compatible with UTF-8. This basically means ugly code and text that will show up differently depending on the OS and language.

Notepad++.png Notepad++

Notepad++ is free software written in C++ for Windows. It is fast, efficient and customizable.

Icon Sublime-Text.png Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a closed source, but sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose.

Icon GVim.png GVim

GVim is a graphical frontend for Vim. An extremely feature-rich programmer's text editor with extensive plugin support.

Icon Emacs.png Emacs

Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing.

Icon Spacemacs.png Spacemacs

Spacemacs is a community developed configuration for Emacs that makes it easier for anyone to use this amazing developer tool. Spacemacs is a well thought out way to apply the vast and diverse power of Emacs, making it more accessible especially to those who are used to using Vi.

Icon Atom.png Atom

Atom is a free and open source, cross-platform text editor. It is developed by GitHub and has embedded Git control. It is billed as "a hackable text editor for the 21st Century." Upon first launching the program, you will be prompted to consent to telemetry services, which you can opt-out of.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Codeis a free and open source, cross-platform text editor. It is developed by Microsoft. Despite being based on Electron like Atom, its performances are usually superior compared to the later, while delivering equivalent functionalities.

Icon Brackets.png Brackets

Brackets is a free and open source, cross-platform text editor. Developed by Adobe Systems, it focuses on web development. It is written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. One notable feature, Live Preview, lets you view updates to your HTML/CSS real time in-browser, but only works with Google Chrome - not open-source Chromium or any other forks.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Icon Eclipse.png Eclipse

Eclipse is a feature-rich IDE with a major focus on its plugin system. Plugins are used for everything from language support (Java, C++, Python, C#, etc.) to adding additional features or aesthetics (Git integration, Vim keybindings, relative line numbers, CMake support, color schemes, etc.). It also has a reasonable set of built-in features. Some of the more notable of these include the plugin install/update tool, a highly configurable code formatter, and a customizable UI.

Idea icon.png JetBrains' IDEs

IntelliJ IDEA is the flagship IDE from JetBrains, and the Community Edition is FOSS. They have several IDEs for different languages, including PyCharm Community Edition for Python, which is also FOSS.

Visualstudio.png Visual Studio

Visual Studio is Microsoft's IDE for C, C++, C# and VB.NET. Express and Community versions are available for free. Full versions are usually free or discounted for MSDN members, students, etc.


For in-depth coverage of this topic, see our article on Security.


Tip: The best antivirus software we can recommend is common sense and good extensions like uBlock Origin. Don't do something stupid like getting your software from download.com, or that scam brothersoft website. Always look at the file name, and don't open dumb shit with titles like FurryHyperMacroHermPorn2016-DougWinger-GiddeonCorralftCockvore.zip.png.exe. It's simple, really. Still, with any good OSPEC, it is useful to have a fall-back or fail-safe. Use our recommendations should you fail to have simple common sense.

Comodo icon.png COMODO Antivirus

COMODO Antivirus is a module part of the proprietary, free Comodo Internet Security suite. There is a paid version called 'COMODO Internet Security Pro' but it is more designed for computer illiterates with services such as 'GeekBuddy' which is a remote-support service.

Kaspersky internet security free.png Kaspersky Antivirus Free

Kaspersky Free Antivirus is the free version of Kaspersky Antivirus, which has stellar virus detection. The paid version offers finer control over wanted or unwanted features, but the free version includes most vital features enabled. It adds a harmless Kaspersky VPN program on install, with 200 MB/mo for free.

Malwarebytes Logo.png Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a proprietary antivirus program popular in various security communities as a backup scanner. It is offered both as freeware and commercial software. The free version of Malwarebytes allows the user to manually scan for and remove malware, but a license must be purchased if the user wishes to take advantage of its scheduled scanning and real-time protection features.

Clamwin logo.png ClamWin Antivirus

ClamWin is an open-source antivirus developed in C++ that focuses on being lightweight and efficient. Please note that it does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.

Malware removal

See: Malware removal


Comodo icon.png COMODO Sandbox

COMODO Sandbox is a module of the COMODO Firewall; part of the proprietary, free Comodo Internet Security suite. There is a paid version called 'COMODO Internet Security Pro' but it is more designed for computer illiterates with services such as 'GeekBuddy' which is a remote-support service.

Sandboxie.png Sandboxie

Sandboxie is a proprietary shareware program for creating isolated virtual environments.

Software firewalls

Software firewalls should not be viewed as replacements for hardware firewalls. The proper configuration of modem and router firewalls remains vital to securing one's network no matter what software solutions are employed.

Comodo icon.png COMODO Firewall

COMODO Firewall is part of the proprietary, free Comodo Internet Security suite. There is a paid version called 'COMODO Internet Security Pro' but it is more designed for computer illiterates with services such as 'GeekBuddy' which is a remote-support service. Do note that COMODO Firewall can potentially make you unable to access your VPN.

Tinywall logo.png Tinywall

Tinywall is a lightweight wrapper for the Windows firewall, providing a lot of new features like tampering protection, blocklists, or temporary firewall rules.

Windows Firewall Control

Windows Firewall Control is another lightweight wrapper for the Windows firewall. Actively developed and supported from Windows 7 to 10. If you make a small donation you get a useful Notifications System which provides notifications for outbound blocked connections.

Password managers

Keepassx.png KeePassX

KeePassX is a light interface and cross platform password manager published under the GNU GPL.

Windows Security Utilities

Use at your own risk. Always create a restore point. If you brick your computer using one of these highly-experimental programs you have only yourself to blame.

W10Privacy is a utility for the removal of telemetry, bloat and other unwanted "features" from Windows 10. Options are color-coded by risk, and some are non-reversible.

Emulation and compatibility

Virtual CD/DVD drive

Virtual machine

Icon VirtualBox.png VirtualBox

VirtualBox is free and open source GPL software. It was first developed by Innotek GmbH, then bought by Sun Microsystems and now continually developed by Oracle.

Virtual desktop manager

  • VirtuaWin allows you to use multiple virtual desktops.

PC-98 simulators

PC-98 is a series of computers by NEC, which was a popular computing platform in Japan. There were many interesting games created for the PC-98. Your average PC-98 emulation user in 4chan is likely to be a first-generation Touhou Project player. For better reference and understanding it's recommended to see its page on Touhou Wiki and Wikipedia:NEC_PC-9801.

Since not every one is real OG enough to have one of these computers from when they were first produced or buy one off the internet, here's a list of a few emulators for the PC-98:

And here's some games other than 2hus.

Unclassified software

These recommendations will be classified soon.

Hex editor

Comic and manga viewer

MComix.png MComix

MComix is decent on Windows. It supports manga view and other nice features. It requires some GNOME stuff, but that's easy to provide (it may come with the installer). However, it has some shakiness and non-smooth transitions when dragging images that is not present on the Linux version.

Cdisplayex.png CDisplayEX

CDisplayEX is a freeware comic book archive viewer that supports reading from CBZ/CBR/CB7/PDF/EPUB format with many features. It also provides native cover thumbnail in Windows Explorer, color filters, Leap Motion support and many more.

Ahoviewer.png Ahoviewer

Ahovieweris Free open source Booru browser and Manga reader and also an image viewer, it supports CBZ,CBR, RAR and other common extensions, it also supports webms and it lets you Browse different boorus and download images and videos from there.

Screen capture


Open Broadcaster Software is free and open source software for recording and live streaming.

  • GifCam can record your desktop as a GIF.
  • LICEcap is free and open software to record your desktop as a GIF.
  • ShareX is free, open source and lightweight. It is a screenshot capture, screen recorder and file sharing tool.

Duplicate Finder

Dupeguru-logo.png dupeGuru

dupeGuru is a free and opensource program for finding duplicates in your computer. Supports images, audio and other multiple scan types such as filename, content and tags.


See: Screensavers

What does /g/ use?

  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 (with many modifications and adjustments).
  • Web Browser: See Web browsers
  • IRC: Terminal based, Weechat or Irssi.
  • VoIP: Mumble
  • File Compression: 7-Zip
  • Maintenance: CCleaner
  • Image viewer: JPEGview
  • Media Player: mpv
  • Document Reader: Sumatra PDF or your browser.
  • Text Editor: Notepad++ or GVim.
  • Package Manager: Choco or Scoop
  • Antivirus: Commonsense plus the default Windows Defender and/or Malwarebytes.

See also

External links

  • Prism Break - Lists software for different platforms that respect your freedom (and points out those which do not). Maintained by the EFF.