We are still actively working on the spam issue.
List of recommended Windows software
- 1 Package manager
- 2 Communications Software
- 3 File Compression Utilities
- 4 File Sharing
- 5 Maintenance
- 6 Multimedia
- 7 Office
- 8 Security
- 9 Emulation and Compatibility
- 10 Unclassified Software
- 11 Other Platforms
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; I consider it to be "value-free" and thus permitting of both reference to open source software and closed source software, for-profit and non-for-profit. This is not your soapbox, your ballot box, or pulpit. Stay constructive and avoid politics and arguments.
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 your favourite software in one go (useful on a new install), check out Ninite.
Communications software is generally used to conduct inane conversations with one's intolerable and doubtlessly juvenile friends.
Desktop email clients provide off-line email storage and additional features over most web-mail clients.
Thunderbird is a free and open source email client based upon the Gecko rendering engine. Like its sibling Firefox, it offers the user extensive customisation options via third-party add-ons.
Opera Mail – Formerly a component of the Opera browser, now a separate free product. This is based on Opera 12.6 and still uses the Presto rendering engine. Getting started. Doesn't have IRC and xmpp for whatever-the-fuck reasons.
Opera Mail is bundled in Opera 12.16 and several prior versions.
Instant Messaging Clients
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 the AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MXit, MySpaceIM, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP, Yahoo!, and Zephyr chat networks out of the box. Partial or complete support for additional networks like Xfire is offered through third-party plug-ins like Gfire.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Clients
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- 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.
HexChat includes all the basic features one would need, and can be ideal both for new users and IRC veterans.
- 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 – An IRC client that's an addon for Firefox. Great for people who want basic IRC features without having to install an additional application. FAQ.
- Irssi – 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 – Irssi + more rice, more scripting languages, some more ideal defaults, and more development. 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, Firefox can support IRC through an addon.
- 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.
Mumble – Free and open source audio chat software. Superior in audio quality and latency by always being the first client to use latest technologies, such as the Opus audio codec.
TeamSpeak – Non-free and widely used for gaming. Lots of permissions/ACL tuning available. Servers must be often licensed to use without restrictions. The client has a backdoor that allows TeamSpeak Systems GmbH. to blacklist any server and take full control.
Skype – Botnet mode in full effect. No seriously. Also closed source and susceptible to state snooping.
Jitsi – “A real Skype alternative using standards compliant FLOSS”. Downside is being bulky Java.
Google Voice – The botnet never felt so good. Free phone numbers, calling, texting, and integration into Gmail. There does not appear to be official desktop software for this; it is run in a web browser and requires a plugin for full functionality.
Ekiga – I haven't used this but it has Windows binaries.
Open-source alternative to Skype. In very early alpha stage and doesn't even have VOIP working yet.
File Compression Utilities
File compression software is widely used by various software distributors and archives to mitigate bandwidth and storage space requirements.
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 such as extra additions such as 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.
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.
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.
qBittorrent is a libtorrent-based free and open source BitTorrent client written in C++. According to the its developers, the aim of the client is to provide a free software alternative to µTorrent.
baretorrent is a simple, minimalist BitTorrent client written in C++ which essentially downloads Torrents and nothing else. It's open-source and works on Windows, Linux and OSX. Useful for older machines and people who don't want extra bloat on their machines. It's also extendible but there's only a few extensions available at the minute.
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. In can be a bit of a resource hog on Windows compared to other clients.
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.
WinSCP or Windows Secure Copy is a free and open-source FTP, SFTP, and SCP client written in C++.
CCleaner is proprietary freeware disk clean-up utility developed by Piriform. Its features at the time of this writing include automated deletion of unnecessary files, automated deletion of unnecessary registry entries, secure data erasure, program removal, system restore point management, start-up entry management, scheduled task management, context entry management, and web browser plug-in management.
MyDefrag is a proprietary freeware disk defragmenter based on the standard defragmentation API by Microsoft. It also optimises file locations.
File Recovery Tools
Visit our Data recovery for further information.
System Information Tools
- MPC-HC - open-source; can use the madVR renderer for GPU rendering and more features.
- mpv - open-source, supports H.265 playback. A fork of mplayer(2). (Download here)
- VLC - Open source, doesn't cost, and plays almost anything. (Download here)
- ImgBurn - Make sure to uncheck any of the 'freebies' (Conduit Toolbars) and you'll be fine.
- BurnAware - free and non-free version
- CDBurnerXP - free, download the version without botnet (OpenCandy) here
- Foobar2000 - freeware; lightweight and customizable
- MusicBee - freeware; less customizable than foobar2000, but still powerful and better out-of-the-box
- MediaMonkey - freemium; powerful media player with a great database
- AIMP - Freeware, considered successor to WinAmp
- Music Player Daemon – Renowned on Linux, also functional on Windows. Great for ricing with your lawlie desktop. This will probably come in handy (bear in mind this guide recommends you use 32-bit versions of the software, but that's retarded, the 64-bit ones work for me.
- Mp3tag – A native Windows music tagging utility that not only tags every audio format under the sun, but also lets you auto-fill tags based on filename, rename files based on tag data, copy tag fields from one place to another, and so forth. Supports automation of batch-tagging operation through basic scripting. Supports MusicBrainz metadata/album art scraping from various sources.
- EasyTAG – A GNOME application, great for basic tagging, however the executable distributed for Windows is dreadfully outdated an thus lacking in features. Try compiling this if you plan on using it.
- MusicBrainz Picard – A great cross-platform utility for tagging music with information from the MusicBrainz database, named after some gay-ass character from a kids show. Includes guessing and identification of music through scanning and metadata queries. It can determine the correct metadata for files that have no existing tags based on audio fingerprints.
MP3 Specific Tools
- mp3DirectCut – Non-destructive editor for compressed mp3s. Useful for cropping out silence on hidden tracks without re-encoding.
- MP3Gain – Non-destructive volume normalizer for mp3s. Uses statistical analysis instead of peak normalization to adjust volume levels. Changes are recorded as ReplayGain data, without re-encoding.
The majority of configuration for this application is done manually by editing its configuration file.
SumatraPDF 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.
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 – God-tier book-reading application; displays ePub and PDF files, and maybe more but I can't be taxed to find out. Meant for reading books and does not serve well as a conventional document viewer for other purposes.
- LibreOffice - After Oracle acquired OpenOffice, it asked community members to GTFO . Since everyone despises Oracle, the developers all jumped ship as well  and started LibreOffice.
For in-depth coverage of this topic, see our article on Internet Security.
Avast! is a proprietary antivirus program which has both a free and paid version. The free version is good enough for basic security while the paid version comes with a software firewall, an email-filter, some extra gimmicky security features and a VPN. One of the better free solutions out there.
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.
Malwarebytes is a proprietary antivirus program popular in various security communities as a backup scanner. It is offered both as freeware and as 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 wished to take advantage of its scheduled scanning and real-time protection features.
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 is a proprietary shareware program for creating isolated virtual environments.
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 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.
Tinywall is a lightweight wrapper for the Windows firewall, providing a lot of new features like tampering protection, blocklists, or temporary firewall rules.
Emulation and Compatibility
- Cygwin – "Get that Linux feeling - on Windows." Basically the Wine of Windows, but without recreating system libraries and such.
Virtual CD/DVD Drive
Virtual Desktop Manager
- VirtuaWin - Allows you to use multiple virtual desktops
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, including many of the oldest Touhou games. For better reference and understanding its recommended to see its page on Touhou Wiki and Wikipedia.
Since not ever one is real OG enough to have one of these computers from when they were first produced or buy one of the internet, here's a list of a few emulators for the PC-98:
And here's some games other than 2hus.
These recommendations will be classified soon.
- GIMP - A popular Photoshop alternative. Is good if you know how to use it correctly.
- Paint.NET - Started as a MS Paint alternative, now integrates plenty of features such as layers and effects
- InkScape - Vector graphic editor. FOSS.
- ACDSee Classic
- Picasa Photo Viewer (suspected of sending image hashes to Google, possible botnet)
- Honeyview (for weeaboo ricers)
Comic and Manga Viewer
- MComix – I picked this up when I used Linux and it turns out to be at least decent on Windows. Supports manga view and other nice features. Requires some GNOME stuff but that's easy to provide (it may come with the installer, I don't recall). Has some shakiness and non-smooth transitions when dragging images; I do not get this while using MComix on lunix.
- Open Broadcaster Software - free and open source software for recording and live streaming.
- GifCam - Record your desktop as a .gif
- LICEcap - Free/open software to record your desktop as a .gif