Free Software and Resource Directory

Sometimes, you need better tools to do the job.


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FAQ

  • Legal? All the tools here are merely links to free resources, and thus perfectly legal.
  • Link to x is broken! Please let me know if any links are broken by submitting a ticket.
  • Why don't you include x? Feel free to shoot me suggestions by submitting a ticket.
  • Why are you helping competition? What the mainstream calls 'nerd' culture today is really an offshoot of the original 'hacker' culture. The term 'hacker' didn't always have a negative connotation -it was about open sharing of knowledge. I wouldn't have been able to do what I have done without these open communities. I want to give back.
  • What's the goal of this page? I want to build a list of the best resources out there. A list that would make younger me say,

"Wow, nice! Bookmarking that!"

Communities

  • Bleeping Computer - One of the best computer forums, malware databases, process databases, etc. A go-to resource for malware research.
  • StackExchange - StackExchange maintains quality answers to things in nearly every category (unlike Yahoo Answers... *cough*) by gamifying and setting in place policies to ban low-quality answers and duplicate questions. Definitely search for questions like your own before posting!
  • /r/techsupport - Reddit's tech support forum.
  • /r/thinkpad - Reddit's ThinkPad forum, my go-to community for arguably the best line of laptops ever created. See here for the Used ThinkPad Buyer's Guide (Probably why you're here to begin with!).
  • Destination Linux Network - A spinoff of the podcast, DLN is a cross-promotional loose network of open-source affiliated users and content creators.

Education and Top Resources

Overwhelmed by the list below?

Try My Favorite Things page instead.

Free Software and Simple Tools

For everyone!

Cross-Platform

Applications that work on more than one OS.

Misc Free Software and Utilities

  1. Revo Uninstaller - Helps with uninstallation of buggy applications on Windows and Android.
  2. F.Lux - Makes the screen easier to look at after extended periods of time. Apple and Microsoft have both recently built this feature into their operating systems, but this software allows you to have blue-light filters on earlier releases - or, if you wish, more granular control.
  3. ColdTurkey - Keeps you productive by blocking the things that aren't.
  4. Adobe Flash Uninstaller - Remove a vulnerability.
  5. Bitwarden - Opensource, free, synchronized, self-hostable password manager. And truly cross-platform.
  6. KeepassXC - An local open-source password manager with a lot of fine-tuning capability. No built in syncing, however.
  7. JDownloader- Cross-platform download manager.
  8. H264ify - h264ify is a Chrome/Firefox extension that makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos. Try h264ify if YouTube videos stutter, take up too much CPU, eat battery life, or make your laptop hot.
  9. QBittorrent - In my humble opinion, the best torrenting application. Runs on nearly everything, and is an Open Source, ad-free alternative to uTorrent.
  10. LibreOffice - Microsoft Office alternative. Change the file save defaults to Open XML, and it's not as bad as you thought.
  11. GIMP - A Photoshop alternative.
  12. Krita - Professional painting program.
  13. Discord - Video, audio, and text chat program. Extremely good video and audio quality. TeamSpeak alternative.
  14. Jami - Open source and P2P video, audio, and text chat app. Focused on smaller groups, works similar to a phone call or text.
  15. Hyper - An Electron-based Terminal application. Works well in Windows for properly displaying SSH sessions to *nix environments, and is just a prettier CMD/PowerShell.
  16. B00merang Themes - Need Linux to look like another OS for some reason? Here you go! Here's one more too.

ProTip: Need to backup your most important documents, automatically? Check out the free or paid versions of Dropbox!

Video/Audio Editors and Media Tools

  1. ShotCut Video Editor - A free and simple video editor.
  2. LightWorks Video Editor - A video editor with free options.
  3. OpenShot Video Editor - Another free and simple video editor.
  4. Davinci Resolve is a free(for the standard version), high-end and powerful video editor. It seems they're targeting those who want to stop stealing Adobe's suite or FinalCut, as it really is that powerful.
  5. ImgBurn - Free, full-featured burning software.
  6. Ardour - Free DAW for audio engineers and musicians. Audacity is a great tool if you need something more simple.
  7. LMMS - Another free DAW.
  8. Tracktion T6 DAW - Free digital audio workstation software.
  9. YouTube-DLG - For video downloading. Fast, and supports more than YouTube.
  10. 4K Downloader - Very efficient and simple YouTube video grabber. Feemium, but with few restrictions. I hate to say it, but it seems to work better than the other two open source options at times.
  11. AVC Free Software - Free video/audio/DVD converters etc. iOS/Android media managers as well.
  12. HandBrake - Convert any video file to another.
  13. DVDStyler - Make and burn DVD's with custom menus.
  14. MKVToolNix - A set of tools to create, alter and inspect Matroska files.
  15. Flat Remix Theme for gtk-based Linux DE's/WM's - My absolute fave theme/color style for Linux.

Remote Access

Teamviewer

Online Scanners

  1. TrendMicro Housecall
  2. ESET Online Scanner

Email | Office | Productivity

  1. YunoHost - Want to have your own server, as simple as possible? YunoHost is a server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to everyone. Runs on the cloud, raspberry Pi dev kits, other ARM kits, normal x86/amd64 hardware, and has prebuilt VirtualBox images.
  2. Mailspring is a fork of the discontinued Nylas/N1 email client. Cross-platform and free for all standard features.
  3. eM Client - Outlook alternative.
  4. Microsoft To-Do - Microsoft acquired Wunderlist - this is the result.
  5. Franz - Pidgin for the modern world. Franz is your messaging app for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, HipChat, Telegram and many many more.
  6. digiKam - Open source photo manager, somewhat like Picasa.
  7. RawTherapee - A photographer's tool - an open source photo manager with some oomph.
  8. CopyQ - CopyQ is advanced clipboard manager with editing and scripting features, and is cross-platform.
  9. MarkText - A next-gen Markdown editor for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is a concise text editor, dedicated to improving your editing efficiency. A beautiful and distraction-free way to write.
  10. dupeGuru - Get rid of duplicate files. Cross-platform.

Windows-Only

Applications that only work on Windows-running computers.

Misc Free Software and Utilities

  1. Snappy Driver Installer - Whaddya know, there's an automatic driver installer for Windows that isn't malware! Nice. Windows 10 usually doesn't need any help, though - so this is more of a technician's tool.
  2. Shutup10 - An attempt to make Windows 10 serve the user. Better yet, switch to Linux or buy a Mac if your workflow and budget allows. Thank me later.
  3. Defraggler - Best tool for defragmenting that aging harddrive. Have an SSD or Windows 10? You probably don't need this.
  4. Speccy - Need to know the specs of that machine? Gotcha covered.
  5. MyDefrag - Advanced defragmenting tool with a unique 'defrag on screensaver' option. Not really needed if you have an SSD, or Windows 7 and above.
  6. Joy2Key - Great to map keyboard keys to joysticks and controllers/pads.
  7. x360ce - Great to do the reverse of the above - make up a virtual controller from any combo of buttons.
  8. Ninite - Quick, easy, bulk software install tool.
  9. Glass Browser - A simple Picture in Picture (PiP) alternative for Windows and online video content.
  10. Peace APO Equalizer - A free equalizer software for Windows.
  11. TransparentTB - Gives you more theme options for the Windows 10 taskbar.
  12. Windows Spy Blocker - Blocks Windows 10 Telemetry domains with a hosts mod.

ProTip: Need to backup your most important documents, automatically? Check out the free or paid versions of Dropbox!

Video/Audio Editors and Media Tools

  1. Freemake Tools - One stop shop for downloading and converting videos from and to any format. Watch out for malware in the installer - uncheck everything!
  2. Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP)
  3. AVC Free Software - Free video/audio/DVD converters etc. iOS/Android media managers as well.

Remote Access

Microsoft QuickAssist - Built in to all x86 Windows 10 devices.

AntiVirus | Security

Third-party antivirus utilities are effectively obsolete.

Instead, install and use the Brave Web Browser, stay updated - and think before you click. Backups are important, so use a cloud backup service. Need more protection? Follow this guide.

Alternatively, use Linux rather than Windows if you're willing to put in the time to learn. Linux Mint Cinnamon is a great place to start for any Windows' user, and Pop!_OS is more familiar to Mac users.

Want EVEN MORE security and privacy? Learn about CoreBoot and Qubes.

  1. Norton Removal Tool (SYMNRT)
  2. Mcafee Removal Tool (MCPR)
  3. Avast! Removal Tool
  4. AVG Removal Tool 32-bit / 64-bit
  5. Removal Tools for Other Common AV Programs

AntiSpyware / Antimalware

  1. SuperAntiSpyware
  2. SuperAntiSpyware Portable - Just run it!
  3. MalwareBytes - Alternate Link

Email | Office | Productivity

  1. Wox - Open Source Windows Search replacement.
  2. Sumatra PDF - Read near every type of image-based file.
  3. Beeftext - Open Source text expansion, kinda like LH Texter or Phrase Express.
  4. ImageGlass - A simple photo viewer. Want something even simpler, like Picasa's photo viewer? Try nexusimage.
  5. Ditto Clipboard Manager - Windows clipboard manager. Must have.
  6. WinDirStat - Find what's taking up space on your computer.
  7. FreeCommander - Total Commander/Windows Explorer alternative for Windows.
  8. Listary - This tool makes file-browsing in Windows a breeze for keyboard-players. Allows you to open a prompt anywhere.
  9. DeskDrive - Finally, a tool that shows plugged in storage media like Mac OS and Linux DE's.
  10. Windows Live Essentials 2012 - Includes Windows Live Mail, Movie Maker, and so on. Functions in Windows 10(as of January 2018), but you might need to reinstall after every major update. Other things in this list work better than the stuff in Essentials (due to age and compatibility) but I am including for those who need it.
  11. Greenshot - FOSS screenshot tool for Windows.

Advanced Tools Section

More technical resources for experienced users. Use at your own risk!

Manual Malware Removal

  1. RKILL Malware Process Killer
  2. GMER Easy Rootkit remover, directions included on website
  3. SMITFRAUDFIX For removal of smitfraud variants
  4. Combofix For removal of a number of malwares
  5. HijackThis For manual removal of malware
  6. VundoFix For manual removal of vundo (WinFixer, Amaena, WinAntiVirus, ErrorSafe, SystemDoctor and DriveCleaner)
  7. SDFix For manual removal of Trojans and Worms. Must be logged on as admin in safe mode to work properly. If still not working, refer to this page for info.
  8. VIPRE Rescue Installable rootkit and malware scanner that can be run from command line
  9. Hitman Pro is one of the best in this list.

Hardware Tests and Utilities

  1. Memtest86+ - Memory test
  2. Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics - WD HDD Test (Like GWSCAN, but runs in windows)
  3. HDDScan - Generic Hard Drive Test tool. Quite powerful.
  4. SD Card Fixer - This can fix cards that can no longer be read in some circumstances. Life saver.
  5. SpeedFan - Control your computer's fan speed, and keep on eye on temperature.
  6. Macs Fan Control - Apple artificially raises the thermal limit on their devices to make them quieter - by making the fan turn on later. Sounds like a good idea until they burn you or damage themselves. This allows you to make them run cooler by turning on the fan whenever you want.
  7. iFunBox - Gain access to the iOS filesystem for manual recovery.

Legacy Direct Updates

  1. Windows XP SP2 Installer
  2. Windows XP SP3 Installer
  3. Windows Vista SP1 Installer
  4. Windows Vista SP2 Installer - 32-Bit / 64-Bit
  5. Windows 7 SP1 Installers
  6. Internet Explorer 7 Installer
  7. Internet Explorer 8 Installer

All-In-One Toolkits

  1. Windows Repair Toolbox - A portable program that helps you repair a Windows system, by making the process faster, easier and uniform.
  2. PortableApps - A full-featured portable software system that lets you build your own custom portable app suite for use use in your synced cloud folder, on your local PC, or on a portable USB drive.
  3. MEDICAT Bootable Toolkit - The full MediCat USB aims to replace Hiren's Boot CD/DVD, for bleeding edge computers.

Misc. Resources and Fixes

  1. Macrium Reflect Free - Free backup, disk imaging and cloning solution for personal and commercial use.
  2. Windows 10 Debloater Script / Windows 10 Reclaimer Script / Windows 10 Initial Setup Script (Enterprise use) - Don't just run these! Read what they do, comment out what you don't want.
  3. EasyBCD - Used to modify the Vista/W7 boot configuration database.
  4. EASEUS Partition tool - Simple partition manager software. Minitool is also good.
  5. Windows XP File Association Fixes
  6. Microsoft's own General Help Page
  7. Windows Vista / 7 File Association Fixes
  8. Windows Update Online
  9. LSPFix - repair LSP and winsock - For XP networking issues.
  10. Blank Host file - Place into C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc if you can't access websites you used to in Windows 7 and earlier.
  11. MSKB: Messages stuck in Win Mail - Howto fix for a common problem on Windows Vista.
  12. Reset Registry Permissions - Used to fix "Access Denied" errors installing Service Packs and updates (XP only). Extract, run MSI file, then run CMD file. If window opens then closes right away, copy to and run from C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kit\Tools
  13. RunOnce Remover - Removes the "Welcome to IE7" on first run
  14. IE6 Reset Tool - Resets IE6 somewhat like hitting "Reset" in IE7
  15. Windows XP Installer Fix - Resets and re-registers Windows Installer components (WinXP/2k 32-bit only)
  16. Windows XP Installer Reinstaller - Removes all versions of Windows Installer, restarts, and starts install of Installer 4.5 (WinXP SP2+)
  17. Microsoft FixIt Center - Diagnoses common issues and offers solutions.
  18. Fast Fix For "Admin set policies to prevent this installation" Error - Win XP Only
  19. Alternative Fix "Admin set policies to prevent this installation" Error - Win XP Only
  20. Print Spooler Reset Tool - Run, choose "Light Mode" to just reset spooler, choose "Full Mode" to reset everything relating to printers, *Will need to reinstall all printers afterwords*
  21. Enable Task Manager - Download and run
  22. Show all Hidden/Nonpresent Devices
  23. Fix add/remove administrative error
  24. Autoplay Repair Tool
  25. Upper/Lower Filter Fix - If your CD/DVD drive won't work in Windows inexplicably, try this.
  26. CompactGUI - Shrink application file sizes in Windows.
  27. Legacy ASIO Behringer USB driver - Better than the newer stuff. 32-bit / 64-bit
  28. EasyCAP drivers for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10
  29. BIOS password revealer for Dell Latitudes
  30. Copy iPhone text messages to PC

Bootable Tools

More advanced tools.

Easy2Boot Tool - Allows for booting multiple ISO's from a USB Flash Drive. Website looks scammy and ease of use is non-existent, but if you can get it working - it's amazing.

Forensics

Alternative Operating Systems

Multiboot ISOs and Tools

Security

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