My Essential Windows Tools

Category: Utilities Utilities
Last Updated: 13 September 2020 13 September 2020

I have been working on a Windows PC every day for many years now.  Windows has some great features built-in. There are some missing features that I need on every PC. I have compiled a  list of some tools and utilities I like to install on every PC.

Anti-virus and Spyware:

Microsoft Security Essentials

File Tools: 

7-Zip file archiver (freeware)

Screen Capture:

Paid: Techsmith's Snagit  ** Excellent tool. Not sure if I could live without this one.

Use this easy screen capture software to create interesting training documents, collaborative design work, IT bug reports, and more. With its simple screen grab tool and impressive list of image editing features, the possibilities are endless.


Free: MWSnap - free Screen capture tool

MWSnap is a small yet powerful Windows program for snapping (capturing) images from selected parts of the screen.

PDF Tools:

PrimoPDF - Free PDF creation printer driver

Create PDF files faster with the only free PDF creator to support one-click, drag-and-drop PDF creation.   Convert to PDF from any file you can print, including Microsoft® Access, Word, Excel®, and PowerPoint® formats

Graphics free image and photo editing software

Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo special effects and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.
It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It has been compared to other digital photo editings software packages such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Corel® Paint Shop Pro®, Microsoft Photo Editor, and The GIMP


IrfanView graphics viewer

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact, and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Windows 7


Registry Cleaners:

I ko longer recommend using any registry cleaning tools like CCleaner. I find they do more damage to your software and Windows without any perform gains.