6 Useful Windows Apps You Should Download

Sometimes getting the most out of your computer can be exhausting. With the vast amount of applications out there – many of them available for free – you can install new programs until your hard drive is about to burst. But chances are you’ll forget about them unless they are truly beneficial, resulting in an app graveyard that can actually slow down your PC.

Instead of causing even more technology headaches down the road, check out these useful Windows apps to help streamline your computing experience.

Acronis True Image

Both affordable and robust, Acronis True Image is a powerful way to back up your files – and, in turn, speed up your PC. Performing routine file backups is an essential part of keeping your computer running fast and smooth; Acronis has many easy-to-use options that can help.


Robust image viewers and editors are often expensive and take up large amounts of hard drive space. IrfanView smashes the mold by offering a rich, easy to use feature-set while maintaining a super lightweight file size – all for free.

Boasting support for nearly every image file type out there, it allows you to view and edit pictures, batch convert and rename multiple images at once, take screenshots, build panoramas, create slideshows, playback audio or video (including Flash), and more.

VLC Media Player

Like IrfanView for videos, completely free VLC Media Player is a sleek way to play just about any kind of video with no extra codec packs required. Different codecs work for different types of video, and sometimes your default media player is missing the one you need to play your video file.

VLC eliminates this problem by including its own sets of codecs, enabling support for just about any file type. It can also convert video files, stream media, record your desktop or webcam, manage podcasts, play or rip DVD and CD content, and download content from popular video sites.

Stardock Fences

Let’s face it – keeping your desktop clean and organized is a neverending uphill battle. We all have important documents and frequently used programs that we want to keep handy, but as the clutter spirals out of control, sorting out the icon quagmire becomes increasingly frustrating.

With Fences, you can automatically relocate your shortcuts and icons into shaded boxes (called “fences”) on your desktop to easily organize and locate files and programs. Arrange, resize and label individual fences to suit your needs, and create multiple pages of fences that you can easily swipe between for maximum flexibility.


Do you ever wish that there was an easier way to launch programs, open files or folders, and access other functionality without having to use the Start Menu, Windows Explorer, or your mouse? If this sounds familiar, an app launcher like Launchy might be in order.

Invisible until you use a quick hotkey to bring up the interface, Launchy goes beyond Windows Search by allowing you to open apps, files, and folders (even folders within folders buried deep within your hard drive), search the Internet, perform specific tasks within apps, and much more.

System Mechanic

Have you ever noticed that over time your computer becomes increasingly slow and unresponsive? The real culprit isn’t your hardware—it’s actually the Windows operating system. As your PC ages clutter, fragmentation, unnecessary startup bloatware, broken shortcuts, registry errors, memory leaks, and a whole host of system-wide issues lead to crippling slowdown which Windows cannot repair on its own.

The good news is that you can easily increase PC speed with System Mechanic. This patented technology automatically repairs, declutters, stabilizes and accelerates your PC with a set of proactive processes that attack slowdown. System Mechanic then intelligently adjusts processor, memory, hard disk and Internet settings to further increase your computer’s speed and performance.

iolo UptoSpeed

UpToSpeed™ is iolo's ongoing article series written by PC experts for everyday computer users. Each article is packed with easy tips and practical advice on the latest issues affecting computers to help you get the most out of your PC.

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6 Useful Windows Apps You Should Download