Whether you have just purchased a laptop or installed a new Operating System(OS), there are some must-have software that you should get. While every new OS installation includes multiple built-in apps, make sure your system has the following downloaded.
Regardless of your profession and nature of work, these software applications will become a daily part of your life and make various processes easy.
1. Search Engine
A search engine is probably the most important software to have on every computer. It lets you browse through various websites, find various things on the internet, download different programs and multimedia, etc.
Google Chrome stands tall as our ultimate choice for both a search engine and a web browser. Its super-fast results make it stand out from its competitors. It is not just a regular browser but a helper that lets you look for pictures using Google Lens. Chrome is known for its simplicity and speed. Moreover, it offers additional features such as safety checks for websites and the ability to mute disruptive videos.
However, there are some things to keep in mind. Some people worry about privacy with Chrome, and it can use up a lot of computer memory. But don’t worry, if you need an alternative, there are other good browsers like Firefox and Opera. Even Microsoft Edge, the browser that comes with Windows, is kind of like Chrome.
Download Here: Google Chrome (Free)
2. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage works as a virtual space where you can keep your digital stuff, like pictures, documents, and videos. It is important because it helps you keep your things safe and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. So, if your computer or phone breaks, you won’t lose your important files.
One cloud app that we will always stand by is Google Drive because it gives you a lot of free space i.e., 15GB. This space is not only for your files but also for your Google Photos and Gmail stuff.
Google Drive works on all kinds of devices, like computers and phones. You can not only store your files in folders but also back up folders from your computer and other devices. It also offers convenient means to share files with others and it works well with Google’s other tools.
Another great option could be Dropbox. Similar to Google Drive, it also lets you store and sync your files in the cloud that you can access from all your devices. You can use it by yourself or with others as a team to work on projects together. With Dropbox, you can safely keep up to 50 GB of data. However, it only offers 2 GB of free storage.
Download Here: Google Drive (Free, subscription available)
Download Here: Dropbox (Free, subscription available)
Whether you’re a student or a full-time worker, having productivity software and programs on your laptop is a must. These tools help you get things done efficiently and stay organized. No other software than Microsoft 365 offers better options for boosting your productivity.
The following tools are included in Microsoft 365:
- MS Word: This is a digital tool for writing where you can create documents, like essays, and reports, or even just make a poster.
- MS Excel: If you need to make budgets, track money, or make graphs, Excel is your helper.
- MS PowerPoint: Here, you can easily make slideshows of presentations with pictures and information.
- MS Outlook: This can be your go-to tool where you can manage your e-mails, appointments, and contacts.
- MS OneNote: If you need a digital notebook to write down ideas, notes, and thoughts, OneNote will help you keep everything in one place.
- MS Teams: To work collaboratively with your team members, Teams is a perfect suite. It allows you to chat, share files, and even have video meetings.
Download Here: Microsoft 365 (Free, subscription available)
A good VPN on your laptop ensures that your online activities are more private and safe. With a VPN enabled, your information is encrypted, which prevents your IP addresses from being tracked.
As a result, your personal data is protected from hackers and snoops. Also, a VPN can make it seem like you are browsing from a different location, which can be handy for accessing websites that might be blocked in your country. So, having a VPN is basically adding extra security and freedom to your online life.
NordVPN is one of the top choices for a reliable VPN service. It is trusted by over 14 million people all over the world. They have a huge network of servers in many places, so you can access content from anywhere. You can use it easily on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and even learn how to set it up on other devices like Linux or Android TV.
While NordVPN isn’t the cheapest option, it offers top-notch protection and performance that is totally worth it. Another useful choice is Proton VPN, which also keeps your digital life secure.
Download Here: NordVPN (Free, subscription available)
Download Here: ProtonVPN (Free, subscription available)
5. PC Cleaner and AntiVirus
PC cleaners and antivirus programs are important because they keep your laptop running smoothly and safe from various threats. PC cleaners help tidy up your laptop by getting rid of unnecessary files and clutter that can slow down its performance.
On the other hand, antivirus software acts as a shield against harmful viruses, malware, and other malicious software that can harm your laptop and compromise your personal data.
PC cleaners, such as CCleaner, tidy up your system by removing unnecessary files. This makes your computer faster and more efficient. For antivirus software, our top choices are McAfee and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. These protect your laptop from harmful viruses and sneaky malware that could steal your information.
Download Here: CCleaner (Free, subscription available)
Download Here: McAfee (Free, subscription available)
Download Here: Malwarebytes (Free, subscription available)
6. Data Recovery
Data recovery software helps in retrieving lost or accidentally deleted files from your laptop. When it comes to the best data recovery software, Recuva stands out. Whether you accidentally deleted files from your hard drive, memory cards, or even MP3 players, Recuva can help you get them back. This software can also restore unsaved Word documents.
Another top choice is Stellar Data Recovery. With its free version, you can easily retrieve up to 1 GB of lost or deleted files from various sources, including Windows PCs, laptops, USB sticks, and hard drives.
Download Here: Recuva (Free, Premium version available)
Download Here: Stellar Data Recovery (Free, Premium version available)
While Windows can handle basic zipped files, a more powerful tool is essential for handling complex archive tasks. Even though file extraction software might not be the most exciting, it is a necessary app for your PC.
For file compression and extraction, 7-Zip is the top choice. It is quick to install, user-friendly, and doesn’t bother you when you are not using it. Even for those who need advanced features, 7-Zip has them covered.
The only downside of 7-Zip is its older, simple look. If that bothers you, you might consider PeaZip, a similar tool with a more appealing interface. The best part is, that you don’t have to pay for tools like WinRAR.
Download Here: 7-Zip (Free)
Download Here: PeaZip (Free)
Everyone wants to stay connected with their friends, family, or colleagues and for that, an efficient communication application is needed. Skype and Zoom are two top-notch choices for this purpose.
Skype is great for making video calls, voice calls, and sending instant messages. It is user-friendly and widely used for both personal and professional communication. On the other hand, Zoom is particularly popular for hosting online meetings and webinars. It offers features like screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and breakout rooms. Virtual meetings have become a common practice for both work and personal life. It is crucial to have a suitable laptop for smooth Zoom meetings.
Both Skype and Zoom help bridge the gap between distance and communication. With these apps, you can connect seamlessly with people no matter where they are.
Download Here: Skype (Free)
Download Here: Zoom (Free)
9. Photo and Video Editing
Whether you are interested in making simple changes to pictures, hiding private details in screenshots, or improving old photographs, it is important to have an image/video editing program on your computer. While Adobe Creative Cloud is the top choice in this field, there are also several free alternatives that are easier to use, such as GIMP.
Adobe Creative Cloud offers a suite of powerful applications like Photoshop for photo editing and Premiere Pro for video editing. These tools provide advanced features such as layers, filters, and special effects to create professional-quality visuals.
Whereas, GIMP is an entirely free and open-source alternative. It is versatile and includes tools for image retouching, composition, and drawing. While not as feature-rich as Adobe’s offerings, GIMP still packs a punch with capabilities like customizable brushes, color correction, and layer support.
Download Here: Adobe Creative Cloud (Free, subscription available)
Download Here: GIMP (Free)
10. Media and Entertainment
Even though YouTube is widely used for watching videos, having a reliable video player on your computer for local media files is still a good idea. While it might not be the first thing you download, having one can be really helpful when you want to play media stored on your computer.
For this purpose, VLC Media Player is a fantastic choice. It is packed with features and can play almost any video or audio format you can think of. Even if you don’t use it all the time, having VLC on your computer saves you from dealing with tricky video codecs or using outdated software like QuickTime, which isn’t supported on Windows anymore.
When it comes to online streaming and music, Netflix is a go-to platform for watching TV shows, movies, and documentaries. It offers a wide range of content to enjoy.
On the music front, Spotify is a popular choice for streaming songs, albums, and playlists from various artists and genres.
Download Here: VLC Media Player (Free)
Download Here: Netflix (Free)
Download Here: Spotify (Free)
Having the right software on your laptop ensures a smooth and productive computing experience. We have explored the essential apps for all laptop users, and the best part is that most of them are free.
Whether boosting productivity, enhancing security, or simply enjoying entertainment, these essential programs will optimize your laptop’s performance in every regard.