Little Gems for your Windows Computer


Many of us try to get the best out of our computers. Well, that is a little hard sometimes. Some of us continuously try to find new software to improve our technological life. Well, I’ve given a list below of some of the best software utilities that will (simply stating) make your life better. These tools are free, light-weight and can be installed on all versions of Windows including the newer Windows 8.

  1. Eraser – When you delete a file in Windows, the contents of the file can still be recovered using other utilities. Eraser lets you permanently delete a file making recovery nearly impossible. This is useful for such files which you want to delete once and for all.
  2. Unlocker – Sometimes when you are trying to delete a file (or folder) you are unable to do so because of the message “file is in use” by another program,. With Unlocker, you can see which programs are using the file, and you can stop it.
  3. ShellExView – As you install new programs, the contextual menu gets cluttered and confusing. With ShellExView, you can clean up the right-click menu and remove all the useless entries.
  4. Everything – Windows includes powerful desktop search capabilities but Everything goes another step further. It looks for files, folders etc. irrespective of their location  (including temporary files and system folders) and you can also use regular expressions in your search queries.
  5. Always on Top – This tiny utility lets you easily keep any window on top of all other windows on your desktop. For instance, you can answer your emails, work on an Excel sheet while a YouTube video plays in the foreground.
  6. SyncToy – This is one of the most useful software utilities from Microsoft that lets you keep different folders in sync with each other. You can configure it with Windows Task Manager to run file synchronization jobs automatically at custom intervals.
  7. WinDirStat – Are you running out of space on Windows? WinDirStat helps you get back disk space by creating a visual treemap of your entire hard disk where the area of the colored rectangles is proportional to the size of the underlying folders.
  8. Double Killer – Many people, including me, have duplicate files on their computer. Well, this is the only tool you need to get rid of all duplicate files on your computer including images and music files. It compares the file hash to identify duplicate files.
  9. TCPView – TCPView lists all the software programs (or processes) on your computer that are accessing the Internet including the IP addresses that they are connecting to. Ignore all the columns except Process, Remote Address and State.
  10. Droplr – This is the easiest way to upload your desktop files onto the web. Droplr adds a new option to your Windows “Send to” menu and also places a drop zone on the desktop. Any files that you place in the drop zone are instantly upload and the public link is copied to the clipboard automatically. Useful.
  11. TinyGrab – Press a hotkey to grab a quick screenshot of anything that’s on your desktop screen and TinyGrab will put it online in a snap. The screen captures will stay online forever until you remove them.
  12. Mouse Without Borders – This is another useful utility from Microsoft that lets you control multiple computers from the same keyboard and mouse. A better alternative to Synergy.

    Mouse Without Borders
    Mouse Without Borders
  13. KatMouse – You can scroll not-in-focus windows with the mouse wheel without selecting the window. KatMouse was originally written for Windows 2000, but it works in Windows 8 as well.
  14. Mouse Jiggler – Sometimes, your computer screen may enter the “sleep” mode if the mouse or the keyboard is not used for a certain period of time. Mouse Jiggler keeps your computer awake by “faking” mouse input thus letting you watch that entire movie from a distance.
  15. AltDrag – AltDrag lets you move and resize windows without reaching the borders of a window. Simply hold down the Alt key and then left-click to  drag the window or use right-click to resize the window.
  16. ClipX – Normally, when you copy anything to your Windows Clipboard, all the previous content is overridden. Well, ClipX preserves the clipboard history and lets you access your previously copied items from the system tray.
  17. RBTray – Sometimes you want to hide windows instead of minimizing them to the Windows task bar. RBTray lets you minimize any window to the system tray by right clicking its minimize button. Just like in Mac OS X.
  18. MiniBin – MiniBin puts the Recycle Bin right into your system tray so you don’t have to minimize all your desktop windows to access the Bin icon. You can also empty the bin from the system tray.
  19. GearMage – Are you running out of space in your web inbox. Use the Gearmage utility to find and download email attachments that meet your search criteria to the local drive.
  20. MailStore – If you want offline access to your emails, use MailStore as it helps you download all your emails on the computer or even a USB drive. This will be useful to many people.

    MailStore on Windows
    MailStore on Windows
  21. MediaInfo – If an audio or video file refuses to play on your computer, there are chances are that the required codecs are missing on your system. MediaInfo will let you know what codecs are required to play the media file so that you can download them.
  22. DropIt – DropIt is like an advanced file sorting utility that will help you automatically copy or move files into relevant folders based on their extensions, date and other criteria. In the case of music files, you may even sort them by artists or album names. (I use it very often.)
  23. Teracopy – It (really does) takes forever to copy or move files from one folder to another and if the operation is interrupted, you have to start from scratch. Teracopy improves the file copying speed and offers a detailed report in case of any errors.
  24. Soluto – Soluto helps improve the boot-up time of your Windows PC by removing unnecessary programs from the start-up routine and also delaying the launch of certain programs.
  25. Sizer – Sizer lets you resize program windows to any fixed, predefined size. Quite handy when you are capturing screenshots for documentation and also for screencasting.
  26. Background Switcher – Background Switcher pulls pictures from your Facebook, Instagram, RSS Feeds, Picasa, Google Images and uses them as rotating wallpaper backgrounds for your desktop.
  27. f.lux – f.lux adjusts the color temperature of your display based on your local time (warm at night and bright during the day). It does this by calculating the sunrise and sunset times of your location.
  28. ZoomIt – It turns your desktop into a virtual whiteboard allowing your to draw /annotate anywhere on the screen using colored pens. An essential tool for presenters.

  29. LockBox – Put all your confidential files into a folder and then use the LockBox utility to completely hide that folder inside Windows Explorer.
  30. Safehouse Explorer – It is easy to misplace USB drives. Safehouse lets you quickly encrypt and password-protect data inside USB drives so others won’t be able to view your files and folders.

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