Your New PC Needs These 20 Free Programs

Few things are more exciting than getting a new PC. If you’re detail-oriented, you spent a lot of time trying to find the best Windows laptop, best Windows desktop or best Windows tablet for your needs. You probably spent less time tracking down free programs for that new PC. That’s a shame, the best free programs can improve your experience with any PC.

You see, the best free programs can mean a world of difference for the things that you do every day. If you’re into media production, they can make your workflow easier and save you cash. If you like music, you can find new artists that you’d have never listened to otherwise and still not pay a thing. Free programs for your new PC can spare you the shame of having Windows repaired by a professional service because you managed to get a virus. They can also back up the music, pictures and documents from your PC without much effort from you.

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The best free programs will add music streaming, video editing, virus protection and games to your new PC.

Why Free Programs Cost Nothing

The first thing that comes to mind when someone hears about free programs is, “What’s the catch?” That’s a question that’s worth exploring.

The answer is simple, actually. Free programs are free because their creators wanted them to be available to as many people as possible. Take programs from Microsoft, for example. The company offers them because it wants to attract as many users to its ecosystem as it can. It hopes that you’ll enjoy the free software that it offers. It wants you to use that software on your phone or tablet.

Companies have other motives for offering free programs too. Many free programs start out free but have a cost associated with them at some point in the future. Evernote lets you download the basic version of its note-taking app with the hope that you’ll find it very useful and want to subscribe to get more storage.

Read: 17 Essential Windows 10 Apps

There’s also the third reason that people build free programs. Some software makers created programs that they found useful. Once they realized that they were, they decided to make them available to anyone free of charge. These programs then blossomed into open source projects that an entire community of developers improves on and makes available at no charge. VideoLan’s VLC Media Player is like this.

What to Watch for When Adding Free Programs to Your New PC

Free programs come with some caveats that you should be aware of. Like the apps on your iPhone or Android device, some of them may ask you to pay for upgrades or add-ons down the road. You can refuse and keep enjoying this software the way you always have.

Other free programs may have free trials but require you to pay for the app eventually. For the purposes of simplicity, we’re not included those in our free programs round-up.

When installing programs, be careful during their installation. To help pay for costs they have, some software makers have deals that require them to let you install toolbars and add-on with their program. As you’re installing the free programs that you find on the internet, be sure that you look closely at any checkboxes before you let them install on your new PC.

Best Free Programs for Your New PC

  • Spotify or iTunes
  • Last Pass
  • Chrome or Firefox
  • VLC
  • AVG Free or Windows Defender
  • OneNote or Evernote
  • CC Cleaner
  • Steam or Origin
  • OneDrive or Dropbox
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • Kindle
  • Lightworks
  • Libre Office or Free Office 2016


Spotify or iTunes

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Spotify or iTunes

 Available on your smartphone or tablet of choice, Spotify has a huge collection of playlists created by music experts. It’s also the biggest music community by far, with Facebook integration so that you can track what your friends are listening to.

Read: 31 Spotify Tips & Tricks


You will need to pay for a subscription to listen to any song when you want on your phone. On your PC, Spotify lets you stream whatever song you like. You will have to sit through some audio or video ads.

Of course, if you have an iPhone or iPad, don’t install Spotify. Instead, you should install the PC version of Apple’s iTunes program. Once you’ve installed the software and signed in with your Apple ID, your music, movies, TV shows and podcast will be available to you. You’ll also be able to add new stuff to your iOS device.

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