I’ve been a faithful Windows user for years. Throughout this lengthy period, Microsoft has come a long way with its desktop operating system – the interface has shifted from dull visuals to a lot more modern aesthetics, it can finally handle touch and traditional desktop applications without messing the navigation, and a whole lot more has been changed. However, for me, some things have remained perpetual primarily in terms of the utilities I use every day on my laptop. Here I discuss, five such software I can’t live without.

1. Clover

clover-demo

Windows 10’s default file explorer still doesn’t support multiple tabs, you’re stuck with juggling between multiple instances of windows. Thankfully, a free software called “Clover” has been in existence for years. Clover brings Chrome-style tabs to the fundamental file explorer, hence you can work in the same window by firing up numerous tabs concurrently. It even supports settings’ pages, bookmarks, and you get all the quick shortcuts for closing/opening folders. Clover is definitely a must-have utility if you regularly deal with various files and it’s entirely free of cost too, so go ahead and give it a try. You can thank me later.

Clover Download Page

2. F.lux

Our lives have transitioned swiftly to staring at computer screens all day and night. While, it is mostly harmless to sit in front of a computer during the former, conditions aren’t as compatible when the sun goes down. Enters “f.lux”, a little desktop software that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day i.e. warm at night and resembling sunlight during the day. All you as a user needs to do is input your location and the application takes care of the rest. Initially, you may not realize how benefiting this is but f.lux can truly improve your sleep if you work late and decrease the impact on the eyes. It even allows manually adjusting the hue levels, although I just left it to the auto mode which works absolutely fine. F.lux is completely free and it’s also available for Mac, and Linux.

Flux Download Page

3. Networx

networx-demo

Networx is an immensely comprehensive tool for monitoring your internet usage and bandwidth. You can either utilize it for merely checking the internet speed from time to time, measure ping or get a detailed summary based on a particular time period. For me, the most crucial highlight it brings is the neat taskbar widget that shows the upload and download rates in real-time. Furthermore, if required, you can export these reports in a bunch of formats including HTML, MS Word and Excel.

Networx Download Page

4. Launchy

launchy-demo

Unlike MacOS, Windows never had a reliable application launcher and while Microsoft would argue that through Cortana, truth is even after two years, it’s still inconsistent and slow to load results. However, a third-party software called “Launchy” is available which works flawlessly. Launchy essentially allows performing quick searches for files, folders, programs on your computer. Furthermore, you can enable additional plugins and even directly execute queries on websites like Google, YouTube, and more. It is fast, free and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using it.

Launchy Download Page

5. Dashlane

dashlane-demo

Last but not the least on my essentials list is a password manager, Dashlane. I’ve recently moved to a dedicated tool for storing all my passwords and Dashlane seemed to me as an obvious choice given it’s free and cross-platform. It integrates impeccably with Google Chrome and automatically logs me in whenever I visit a saved website. The desktop app provides a comprehensive dashboard and isn’t aggressive when it comes to memory management.

Dashlane Download Page

So those were the top five Windows utilities, there are a couple more like SumatraPDF, 7-Zip but these are the ones that are a bit lesser known to the general user. Do comment down below which are your favorite programs.


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Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.