20 Important Software and Apps You Must Install on Your New Laptop or PC

Microsoft Windows is at the forefront of modern operating systems, delivering an abundance of possibilities with its advanced ecosystem. From available free to paid software versions, users worldwide can access and utilize this powerful environment for any computing needs – making it no surprise why Windows remains king!

Setting up a new laptop or PC can be both thrilling and overwhelming. The vast ocean of software options available could leave you guessing which ones are truly essential for your fresh set up.

You’re not alone in this; every user faces the challenge of equipping their system with the right tools to hit the ground running.

Did you know that certain software can significantly enhance the performance and functionality of your new device from day one? Whether it’s for work, study, or leisure, having these programs installed is key to a seamless digital experience.

But don’t worry! We have compiled our top 20 list to provide you access to only the best must-have programs out there in 2024. With these recommendations, take advantage of reliable apps that perfectly fit your needs for maximum productivity and success.

Our curated list cuts through the clutter, presenting the must-have applications that promise to elevate your computing game immediately. Ready to transform your laptop or PC into a powerhouse? Let’s dive in!

1. Google Chrome

Software Category: Web Browser | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Google Chrome website.

If you’re looking for the best browsing experience, then look no further than Google Chrome! This free and powerful browser is available to download on multiple platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux & Android. Plus it’s packed with tons of features that make your internet journey more enjoyable – from extensions designed around different user needs to plugins allowing users to customize their own personal experience. The cherry on top? Your history, preferences, and bookmarks sync seamlessly if logged in via a Google account. Get up and surf today with Google Chrome!

Key Highlights:
  • Fast and reliable: Chrome is known for its speed. Whether you’re opening a new web page or playing an online game, it doesn’t keep you waiting.
  • Easy to use: The browser has a simple design. This makes it easy for everyone to use, even if they are not computer experts.
  • Safe and secure: Surfing the web can be risky, but Chrome helps protect you. It warns you about dangerous sites and blocks harmful downloads.
  • Customizable: You can change how Chrome looks and works. Add themes to style it your way or extensions to give it more power.
  • Syncs across devices: If you use Chrome on different gadgets like your phone or tablet, everything stays in sync. Your bookmarks and history follow you anywhere.
  • Always getting better: Both Microsoft Edge and this browser want to be your favorite, so they’re always adding new stuff to improve your experience on the web.

Alternatives of Google Chrome: Mozilla Firefox (Free) | Microsoft Edge (Free) | Brave (Free).

2. Norton

Software Category: Antivirus & Internet Security | Pricing Model: Premium

A screenshot of the Norton website.

Norton is the golden benchmark when it comes to antivirus software. It offers comprehensive protection from a myriad of digital threats, and its unparalleled virus detection rate leaves your system perfectly secure. However, Norton does come with some drawbacks. The cost for extra essential features such as URL filtering and RAM usage may cause slow performance in certain systems.

Norton is a reliable antivirus program with decades of proven performance. Offering more than just virus protection, they have an array of other security-related features such as parental controls and identity theft prevention tools. Look no further if you’re in the market for quality digital safety measures – Norton has all your needs covered!

Key Highlights:
  • Norton Antivirus Plus provides a strong defense for Windows OS, blocking viruses, malware, and even ransomware.
  • For full web safety on PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets, Norton Internet Security has you covered.
  • Known as one of the best in 2024, Norton 360 spots harmful software very well and comes with lots of tools for internet safety.
  • The anti-malware engine in Norton 360 is robust. People find it easy to use too.
  • As a big name in cyber safety, Norton’s trusted brands include LifeLock and Avira to keep you secure online.
  • Experts often suggest getting Norton 360 because it does a great job of protecting against cyber-attacks.
  • You can find different Norton products that match what you need for different devices and operating systems.

Alternatives of Norton: AVG (Freemium) | Malwarebytes (Freemium) | McAfee (Premium).

3. Microsoft Office 365

Software Category: Office Suite | Pricing Model: Premium

A screenshot of the Microsoft Office 365 website.

Microsoft Office 365 is an invaluable addition to any workplace, delivering superior capability for collaboration and productivity. By leveraging its innovative tools, work mobility becomes a breeze – your team can easily stay connected with no limits!

Microsoft Office 365 is a go-to suite for supreme functionality and flexibility – so powerful that it excels on almost any platform. Whether working online or offline, its collaboration features paired with essential apps and services provide an unrivaled productivity experience you have to see to believe!

Key Highlights:
  • You get apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. They are strong programs that let you write, make slides, and do math.
  • This service is something you pay for every month or year. Because of this, you keep getting new updates to the program without having to buy a new version.
  • Teams, Word, Excel, Outlook, and more come with Microsoft 365. With these apps, working together with others online is easy.
  • Every month, your Office 365 gets better with new things added. This means it keeps growing to meet what people need.
  • Office 365 is moving toward being called Microsoft 365 as it uses the cloud to let you do your work from anywhere.
  • If your job is very important or big, Microsoft 365 has special helpful things like Ideas in Excel or Researcher in Word.
  • It lets lots of people work on the same thing at the same time. This makes group projects much simpler.
  • The whole platform lives in the cloud. This means it saves all your stuff online so it’s safe and you can reach it from any computer or phone.
  • More storage online comes with Microsoft 365. You won’t run out of space for your files and pictures.

Alternatives of Microsoft Office 365: LibreOffice (Free) | FreeOffice (Free) | WPS Office (Freemium).

4. Microsoft OneDrive

Software Category: Cloud Storage | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the Microsoft OneDrive website.

Microsoft’s OneDrive has revolutionized cloud storage solutions, providing users with secured document storage and syncing across a plethora of devices. It is the premier platform for on-demand desktop storage, offering integration with Microsoft 365 apps as well as third-party applications along with collaborative document editing features. Moreover, strong photo tools further add to its appeal while web interface support ensures that productivity remains at peak levels wherever you are – all these factors propel it past competing services and earn it a 5/5 rating for cloud storage!

Key Highlights:
  • 100 GB or more cloud storage: OneDrive gives you plenty of space to keep your important files.
  • Works on many devices: You can use it on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
  • Keeps files in sync: Your computer and the cloud always have the same files.
  • Safe and sound: OneDrive protects your data when moving it and while it’s stored.
  • Free up hard drive space: Store stuff in the cloud to make more room on your computer.
  • Easy teamwork: Share documents with others so everyone can work together.
  • Always have tools ready: Get web and mobile versions of Office apps through the OneDrive basic plan. The higher plans will also give you the desktop version.
  • Choose personal or business use: It works for both home and work needs.
  • Sync with Windows: Easily connect OneDrive with your Windows OS for quick access.

Alternatives of Microsoft OneDrive: Dropbox (Freemium) | Google Drive (Freemium) | IDrive (Freemium).

5. WhatsApp

Software Category: Digital Communication, Chatting & Video Calling | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the WhatsApp website.

WhatsApp is a secure messaging platform with proven reliability and wide-reaching practicality. It has recently seen updates to its feature set making it among the most powerful of competitors in this space, while still retaining end-to-end encryption by default for all user Chats/Group Chats. Although WhatsApp makes some compromises compared to Telegram, its inherent advantages include an already-established network that doesn’t require convincing people to use or switch services – perfect for businesses who wish to take communication up another level!

Key Highlights:
  • Chat across the globe: WhatsApp lets people send messages no matter where they are.
  • Video and voice calls: Users can make calls right from their laptop or PC.
  • Share photos and videos: It’s easy to send media files without hassle.
  • Use on many devices: You can have WhatsApp on your phone and computer at the same time.
  • Works with/without installation: You can even access it through a web browser without extra downloads.
  • Safe conversations: Secret chats keep your talks private.
  • Fun in video calls: Add cool effects when you’re talking face-to-face.

Alternatives of WhatsApp: Google Meet (Freemium) | Zoom (Freemium) | Microsoft Teams (Freemium).

6. VLC Media Player

Software Category: Multimedia Player | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the VLC Media Player website.

VLC Media Player is something of an unsung hero – with a bevy of features that make it the go-to choice for those looking to easily enjoy their multimedia. It’s free, supports practically any file format you can think of, and includes plugins allowing users integration within other programs or streaming services. And these are just some highlights from its myriad capabilities; if there was ever a one-stop solution for effortless media playback, the VLC Media player would probably come out on top!

VLC Media Player is an all-inclusive media player that makes streaming and enjoying videos a breeze. Don’t wait until the entire video downloads – watch it as you go! Increase volume up to 200% if needed, play ZIP files without taking extra steps, and create seamless movie marathons with its playlist feature. Plus, VLC can even search for album covers so your downloaded films have more of a personal touch!

Key Highlights:
  • Plays lots of formats: VLC can handle MP3, MP4, WMV, FLV, and many more. You won’t need to worry about file types.
  • Free to use: No need to spend money. VLC is open source, so it’s totally free.
  • Subtitles support: If you love movies or shows in other languages, VLC helps by syncing subtitles.
  • Customizable: Change how it looks with skins or add new features with extensions.
  • Stream online content: Watch videos from the internet right inside VLC.
  • Audio and video effects: Adjust your experience with tools for sound and picture.
  • Cross-platform: Works on Windows 11/10/7, plus other operating systems like Mac OS X and Linux distributions.
  • No spyware or tracking: VLC respects your privacy. It doesn’t track what you watch.
  • Community-driven: A big group of people around the world work together to make VLC better for everyone.

Alternatives of VLC Media Player: Potplayer (Free) | 5KPlayer (Free) | KMPlayer (Free).

7. TeamViewer

Software Category: Remote Connectivity | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the TeamViewer website.

TeamViewer is a great tool for those needing to access their computers while away, offering reliable and secure remote control with intuitive usability. Since 2005 they have been perfecting the art of providing practical solutions that anticipate any possible issues users may face – making it an ideal choice whether you’re helping out friends or family in need of technical support or relying on your own computer from a different location. This app makes being at two places at once seem like child’s play!

Key Highlights:
  • Access your work computer or other devices from any location, giving you flexibility and freedom.
  • Offers a range of tools including screen sharing, which lets you show someone else what’s happening on your screen easily.
  • Remote desktop capabilities let you control another computer as if you are sitting in front of it.
  • Instant business chat helps teams communicate quickly and effectively without needing separate messaging software.
  • You can have web and video conferences through TeamViewer, making online meetings simpler.
  • Backing up important files is easy with the software’s backup function, keeping your data safe.
  • The free version for personal use makes it a great choice for individuals looking to help friends or family remotely.
  • Works on Apple Silicon and Intel Macs, so most Mac users can use it without problems.
  • Security is strong with TeamViewer ensuring that remote access is protected against unauthorized entry.

Alternatives of TeamViewer: Chrome Remote Desktop (Free) | AnyDesk (Freemium) | AnyViewer (Freemium).

8. Paint.NET

Software Category: Image Editor | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Paint.NET website.

For the creative user seeking a powerful and reliable image editor, Paint.NET is certainly worth your time! With this popular program for Windows users, you can easily increase the vibrancy of photos while maintaining their original quality – all through customizable layers that even allow multi-level editing. Make sure to make use of its wide array of useful photo correction functions or simply adjust existing images without any risk of compromising imperfections for stunning results in no time at all!

Those in search of a free photo editor have found the perfect alternative with Paint.NET; an app that goes toe to toe with GIMP, and even offers some unique features! Despite its robust capabilities, professional retouchers or photographers may want to look elsewhere as this app lacks advanced tools such as layer masks and custom brushes.

Key Highlights:
  • Easy to learn and use: Paint.NET has a clean layout which makes it simple to find tools and use them.
  • Free to download: You won’t have to pay anything to start using Paint.NET on your Windows computer.
  • Like Photoshop but simpler: It gives you many features that professional software has, but it’s easier to handle.
  • Constant updates: The team keeps adding new things and fixing bugs, so the program stays fresh and safe.
  • Drawing tablet support: With the latest update, if you use a pen tablet, you can control pressure sensitivity – this is great for artists!
  • Lots of effects and filters: There are many ways to change your pictures with built-in effects. You can also add new ones from the web.
  • Active online community: Many people use Paint.NET and share tips, tricks, and plugins in forums.
  • Customize with plugins: You can add more features with extra bits of software called ‘plugins’. These let you do even more with Paint.NET.
  • Handles big images well: Even if your photo is really big, Paint.NET can manage it without slowing down too much.
  • Safe and secure: Many ask if Paint.NET is safe. Yes! Just make sure you get it from the official website or trusted sources.

Alternatives of Paint.NET: GIMP (Free) | Fotor (Free) | Adobe Photoshop Express (Free).

9. Spotify

Software Category: Digital Music Streaming | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the Spotify website.

Spotify offers users a vast selection of more than 80 million tracks in pristine streaming quality, with the highest available bit rate being 320 kbps. The company has also taken steps to provide an even superior audio experience by planning for a first-of-its-kind lossless tier – making it easier and better than ever before to enjoy the premium sound from your favorite songs on any device!

Music lovers have a choice of two accounts with Spotify. The Free plan gives access to millions of songs across all devices, but it does come at the cost of hearing ads and limited features like no offline playback or song selection on mobile apps. For those who want more control over their music listening experience, Premium offers an ad-free streaming service along with unlimited skips and offline playback -allowing listeners to play stored tracks anytime without requiring a Wi-Fi connection for full enjoyment.

Key Highlights:
  • Millions of songs: Spotify offers a massive collection of songs, giving you endless choices for music.
  • Personalized playlists: With Daily Mixes and other custom playlists, Spotify tailors your listening to match your taste.
  • Wrapped experience: The Wrapped feature shows you a personalized summary of your listening habits over the year.
  • Multiple platforms: You can use Spotify on your laptop, phone, or tablet. Enjoy music everywhere!
  • Safe and free options: Start with Spotify’s free version safely. If you want more features, think about the premium subscription.
  • Discover new content: Spotify helps you find new favorites with its suggestions and fresh releases section.
  • Share with friends: Create playlists and share them. Your friends can see what tunes you love!
  • Podcasts too: Not just music — Spotify has a world of podcasts waiting for you to explore.
  • Offline listening: With Premium, download songs and listen without the internet — perfect for when you’re on the go.
  • High-quality audio: Enjoy crystal-clear sound quality on all your favorite tracks and podcasts.

Alternatives of Spotify: YouTube Music (Freemium) | Amazon Music (Freemium) | SoundCloud (Freemium).

10. Thunderbird

Software Category: Email Client | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Thunderbird website.

Thunderbird is a widely used email client, boasting over 20 million users per month. Not only does it provide simple management of multiple accounts, but also offers open-source extensions to enhance functionality such as calendars and task scheduling – giving those with development expertise the ability to contribute features themselves!

Thunderbird is a powerful, customizable email client that offers an impressive range of features free of charge. Backed by its open-source nature and the tireless work of developers worldwide, users can customize their experience to meet even the most technical requirements – though its steep learning curve presents challenges for casual users.

Key Highlights:
  • Free and open source: Thunderbird costs you nothing and its code is open for anyone to see or improve.
  • Manage many emails: Easily handle multiple email accounts in one place.
  • More than email: Use it as a contact book, chat app, and calendar too.
  • Safe and fast: Thunderbird is quick to use and comes with privacy tools to keep your info safe.
  • Always getting better: Regular updates bring new features and fixes to make sure Thunderbird stays top-notch.
  • A big community: Join over 20 million people each month who trust Thunderbird for their email needs.
  • Works everywhere: Whether you have Windows, Mac OS, or Linux, Thunderbird has got you covered.

Alternatives of Thunderbird: Microsoft Outlook (Premium) | eM Client (Freemium) | Mailbird (Premium).

11. CCleaner

Software Category: Performance Optimizer | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the CCleaner website.

CCleaner is our top pick among free registry cleaners. The tool seamlessly works with all Windows versions, ensuring no issues arise in the Registry – something unfortunately common to many inferior repair tools. To add to this already impressive set of features, CCleaner can be carried around without needing an installation—a huge plus for anyone on the go who doesn’t want any extra baggage!

No matter what version of Windows you’re running, CCleaner can help keep your system clean and organized. This industry-leading software has the capacity to target a range of operating systems including the brand new Windows 11, as well as its predecessors starting from 2008 onwards up until the present day. Their website is an invaluable resource with plenty of helpful documentation if questions arise throughout use!

Key Highlights:
  • Cleans junk: CCleaner gets rid of files you don’t need. These include temporary items, broken shortcuts, and other clutter.
  • Protects privacy: It clears out your web browser history and cookies so no one can see where you’ve been online.
  • Speeds up things: With less stuff on your hard drive, your operating system has more space to work fast. This means quicker startups and better performance.
  • Fixes errors: The software can spot problems in the Windows Registry and fix them. That helps stop crashes and error messages.
  • Manages apps: You can see what’s on your PC and choose to keep or remove programs easily with CCleaner.

Alternatives of CCleaner: Razer Cortex (Free) | Ashampoo WinOptimizer (Freemium) | AVG TuneUp (Premium).

12. 7-Zip

Software Category: File Compressor, Archiver, and Extractor | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the 7-Zip website.

For over two decades, 7-Zip has been a popular choice for anyone looking to create compressed files or unpack existing archives. As an open-source tool, this utility is freely available and delivers support for multiple formats – though it’s worth noting that its compression speeds may not be quite as swift compared with some of its competitors. All in all, 7-Zip comes highly recommended; especially if you prefer user-friendliness over speediness!

7-Zip is an all-inclusive compression and decompression tool designed with Windows users in mind. Not only can the software handle its own 7Z file format, but it also efficiently compresses files into other popular formats such as TAR or ZIP, and then unpacks them from more obscure ones like DMG or CAB. Plus, any archives created using this platform are self-extracting for convenience when sharing data between devices!

The best part? It comes equipped with a remarkable AES 256 encryption feature that allows you to password protect and encrypt filenames for ultimate security on top of already having higher efficiency than a Microsoft OS’s built-in tools. And though speeds may not be equivalent to those found on faster rival applications – the gain made through maximum compression ratio makes up for lost time quickly!

Key Highlights:
  • It’s free: You don’t need to pay to use 7-Zip. It’s open source, so anyone can download and start using it right away.
  • Works everywhere: Whether you have Windows, iOS, or Linux, 7-Zip will work great. It fits well with many operating systems.
  • Strong security: With AES encryption, your files stay safe. Encrypting helps keep your private stuff hidden from others.
  • More formats: You’re not just stuck with ZIP files! This program lets you pack files in formats like GZIP, TAR, and BZIP2 too.
  • Better compression: Compared to some other tools like WinRAR, 7-Zip often makes files smaller when it packs them up.
  • 64-bit version available: For Windows 11 users with newer computers, there’s a special 64-bit version of 7-Zip that runs even better.
  • Easy updates: The latest version, which is 16.04 right now, comes out regularly and improves the software for everyone using Windows.

Alternatives of 7-Zip: PeaZip (Free) | WinZip (Premium) | The Unarchiver (Free).

13. Steam

Software Category: Digital Video Games Distributor | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Steam website.

Steam is an innovative digital distribution service and storefront by Valve, offering gamers around the world hundreds of titles from some of their favorite game publishers. By leveraging features like DRM protection, matchmaking services, and cloud-based data storage & sync, Steam users can now enjoy secure gaming experiences with friends anywhere in the world! Not to mention its social networking capabilities that make it easier than ever to stay connected with your buddies while playing together online or streaming games right through Steam itself.

Steam is a major player in the PC gaming space and its success continues to grow. Over 132 million monthly active users purchased over US$4 billion worth of games between 2013-2017, with 34,000+ titles available. In 2015 Steam ventured into hardware with its line of Steam Machines; these feature an operating system (SteamOS) as well as controllers and streaming devices for local gameplay. By 2022 they plan on releasing handhelds called ‘Steam Decks’ tailored specifically to run Steam Games – further solidifying them at the forefront of digital distribution platforms.

PC gamers join the millions who know: When it comes to gaming, Steam reigns supreme! Its easy-to-use interface and wide selection of titles make this game distribution service a must-have for any PC system. Plus, with great deals and personalized recommendations tailored just to you – there’s no reason not to install Valve’s top choice on your computer today. Of course, nothing is perfect but even its flaws pale in comparison as Steam continues to be recognized as the best all-around video game marketplace out there right now.

Key Highlights:
  • Steam is the top place for PC gaming. It has many games you can buy and play.
  • This platform lets you talk with friends and join gaming groups.
  • You can create your own games and put them on Steam for others to enjoy.
  • There’s a community market where you can buy and sell in-game items with other players.
  • Players find deals often, as Steam gives big sales several times a year.
  • The app also keeps your games up to date automatically.
  • Parents can control what their kids see and play with Family View settings.
  • If you have problems with a game, Steam offers help through guides and forums.
  • Thanks to Steam Cloud, your game saves are safe, and you can access them from any computer.

Alternatives of Steam: EA Origin (Free) | Epic Games (Free) | Ubisoft Connect (Free) | GOG (Free).

14. NordVPN

Software Category: Virtual Private Network | Pricing Model: Premium

A screenshot of the NordVPN website.

With 14 million customers around the globe, NordVPN is a leading provider of virtual private networks (VPNs). Boasting an expansive network with 5,600+ servers in 85 locations across 59 countries, their cutting-edge technology ensures users can securely and reliably access content from any corner of the world. What’s more?

Their intuitive Windows, Mac OSX/iOS/Android compatible apps make it easy to get connected quickly while they also provide tutorials for setting up on many other devices like Linux or Android TV! Ultimately providing excellent performance all around – no matter what type of service you require – NordVPN will help keep your digital life safe and secure.

NordVPN offers stellar performance and a wealth of features that make it an attractive choice for secure internet browsing. Recently, the company has implemented many improvements too – all while maintaining its no-logging audit to ensure user privacy is upheld. Although NordVPN isn’t the cheapest option out there, those who invest in this polished service will enjoy reliable protection and results that prove well worth it!

Key Highlights:
  • Large server collection: NordVPN has lots of servers all over the globe. This means you can connect to many places for fast and secure internet.
  • Windows-friendly: You can quickly set up NordVPN on Windows 10 and 11. It’s made to work well with these operating systems.
  • Regular updates: The NordVPN app for Windows gets new security features often. This helps keep you safer online.
  • Fast speeds: With NordVPN, your internet is very quick. You won’t have to wait long for websites or videos to load.
  • Extra privacy tools: Beyond VPN, NordVPN gives you more ways to protect your privacy. It even includes antivirus software.
  • Top-notch VPN: People think NordVPN is one of the best VPNs around in 2024. They trust it to keep their internet use private.
  • Advanced features: NordVPN offers special options like double-hop connections and hidden servers. It also supports Tor for extra secrecy.

Alternatives of NordVPN: ExpressVPN (Premium) | Surfshark (Premium) | Proton VPN (Freemium) | Atlas VPN (Premium).

15. Bitwarden

Software Category: Password Manager | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the Bitwarden website.

Bitwarden stands apart from other password manager tools with its open-source license. This means that users have visibility into the development and contributions of the app, making it a highly secure option for data protection. With easy setup in minutes, support on unlimited devices, encrypted sharing, and more – Bitwarden is an ideal choice for taking control of your online security needs.

Bitwarden’s security is second to none, making it a great choice for those looking to keep their sensitive information safe. It’s also incredibly versatile; the app works on virtually every browser and device – so you can take your passwords with you wherever life takes you! On top of that, it boasts an impressive suite of features while remaining user-friendly. The icing on this password cake? No matter what plan or product users choose they will benefit from Bitwardens’ open-source security and cost-effective pricing options.

Key Highlights:
  • Your data stays safe because Bitwarden encrypts everything before it leaves your device.
  • You can use your fingerprint or face to unlock Bitwarden, which adds more security.
  • Since Bitwarden is open source, anyone can check how it works to make sure it’s safe.
  • There’s no cost to start using Bitwarden; it offers strong password management for free.
  • Bitwarden is handy at home, at your workplace, or when you’re moving around.
  • This software has extra security steps that help keep your passwords even safer.
  • With Bitwarden, you can store and handle all your passkeys in one secure place.

Alternatives of Bitwarden: 1Password (Premium) | LastPass (Freemium) | NordPass (Freemium) | Dashlane (Freemium) | KeePassXC (Free).

16. SHAREit

Software Category: File Transfer App | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the SHAREit website.

SHAREit offers users a simple, streamlined way to share files between Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS – without complex configuration or reliance on existing native sharing options. However, this convenience comes at the cost of having content and adverts pushed in your face for certain devices. If you are looking for an easy file-sharing solution but don’t want those distractions it may be best to look elsewhere!

SHAREit has made a strong effort to provide user-friendly device-to-device file-sharing capabilities. Transferring data is generally easy and speedy, though there may be some challenges to establishing connections due to technical complexities.

Key Highlights:
  • Quick transfer: SHAREit moves your files really fast, much quicker than using Bluetooth or normal Wi-Fi.
  • No size limit: Send big movies or lots of photos at once without any trouble.
  • Works with Many Devices: Whether you have a phone, tablet, or PC, SHAREit can connect them all.
  • Cross-platform: You can send stuff between an iPhone and an Android or a Mac and a Windows PC.
  • Lots of users: With over 2 billion people using it, SHAREit is one of the most popular sharing apps around.
  • Extra features: Besides sharing files, you can also check out cool videos and play games in SHAREit.
  • Simple interface: The app has easy icons that help you figure out what to do quickly.
  • Safe sharing: Even though some folks worry about safety, many people use SHAREit without problems.

Alternatives of SHAREit: ShareX (Free) | Dukto (Free) | Zapya (Free).

17. Internet Download Manager

Software Category: Download Manager | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Internet Download Manager website.

Internet Download Manager has revolutionized the way we enjoy online videos, with its ability to capture them automatically and bring their downloading process home. With just one click on an enabled IDM extension in your browser settings, you can have all kinds of files ready for download! Alternatively, URLs may be simply pasted into the dashboard – it’s that easy. And if at any point during a downloads progress, you need to pause or resume; fear not – IDM got you covered there too!

Internet Download Manager has won over legions of fans – and for good reason! Its simple user-friendly interface, combined with its ability to swiftly detect files available online, makes downloading faster and more efficient than ever before.

Key Highlights:
  • IDM speeds up downloads. It can make your downloads go up to 5 times faster.
  • The software lets you pick up paused or broken downloads where they left off, so you don’t start over.
  • You get a free trial to see how IDM works before deciding to buy it.
  • IDM fits right in with web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for easy use.
  • The main screen has buttons that are simple to use, making download management a breeze.

Alternatives of Internet Download Manager: Free Download Manager (Free) | JDownloader (Free) | Ninja Download Manager (Free).

18. Google Photos

Software Category: Online Image Hosting | Pricing Model: Freemium

A screenshot of the Google Photos website.

Google Photos is an all-in-one picture solution for mobile and web devices that backs up, organizes, edits, and shares digital photos with ease. What sets this app apart from the rest is its impressive use of AI to create captivating photo art out of your snapshots – offering you unique ways to discover and share special moments in life.

Google Photos is a powerful photo storage, organization, and sharing tool. Its core features make it stand out: not only does it offer 15 GB of free storage space compared to Apple’s 5 GB with iCloud Photo Library, but you can also enjoy clever extras like Locked Folder for private photos; Cinematic Moments which brings two similar pictures together in pseudo-3D animation; Memories that look much like personalized Instagram Stories as well as new Collage editor options, Magic Eraser effect seen on Photoshop editors or more printing opportunities – making every picture perfect!

Google Photos is one of the essential Google tools, and it’s no surprise that practically everyone has utilized this platform at some point. With its pocket-friendly cost, intuitive search feature, and endless storage on the free tier there are plenty of advantages to using Google Photos for storing all your photos or videos. However, performing a simple capitalization error when searching can yield odd results; plus basic editing features leave room for improvement as well as an upcoming termination to unlimited storage plans – but despite these drawbacks users looking to get started with cloud photo/video storage will find everything they need in Google Photos!

Key Highlights:
  • You get plenty of storage for all your photos and videos at high quality.
  • Advanced AI editing tools are available through the Magic Editor feature.
  • The app sorts your images by when and where they happened without any work from you.
  • Look for words within pictures to find exactly what you need.
  • Buy things straight from a photo if something catches your eye.
  • Pick people or dates you want to keep private, hiding them within the app.
  • With Google Photos, organizing and sharing your visual content is simple and smart.
  • Whether you use Windows 10 or Windows 11, this app works well on both.
  • Access it on your desktop through the Google Photos desktop app or download it directly to your computer.

Alternatives of Google Photos: Amazon Photos (Freemium) | iCloud Photos (Freemium) | Adobe Creative Cloud Photography (Premium).

19. Adobe Acrobat Reader

Software Category: PDF File Reader | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the Adobe Acrobat Reader website.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the go-to choice for viewing PDF documents. With this trusted software, you have convenient access to all types of content from any device — maintaining optimal quality and clarity every time! Collaborate in real-time with your team by editing forms or adding digital signatures to shared files. Plus, keep everyone on track by highlighting key points and creating personalized text boxes within various PDFs online — and that’s just a few reasons why it’s loved worldwide!

Boost your business capabilities with the help of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Enable all employees to view, sign, comment on, and share PDFs effortlessly. Easily deploy this powerful tool as a volume license in seconds – providing quick productivity across every corner of your organization!

Key Highlights:
  • Opens all kinds of PDFs: Adobe Acrobat Reader can open just about any PDF file, whether it’s simple text or complex forms.
  • Print and sign documents: You can print your PDFs easily. This software also lets you sign documents digitally.
  • Make notes on PDFs: While reading a PDF, you can highlight text, leave comments, and even draw on the document.
  • Free to use: Adobe Acrobat Reader doesn’t cost anything. That means anyone can use its basic features without paying.
  • Trusted and secure: Lots of people trust Adobe because it’s known for being safe. Your files are in good hands.
  • Works across devices: You can use Adobe Acrobat Reader on different kinds of computers – like Windows 11 laptops or MacBooks.
  • Easy to set as default: You can make this program the main one for opening PDF files with a few clicks.
  • Always getting better: Adobe updates the reader often, so you always have the latest tools to work with your PDFs.

Alternatives of Adobe Acrobat Reader: Foxit PDF Reader (Free) | Sumatra PDF (Free) | Slim PDF Reader (Free).

20. OBS Studio

Software Category: Screen Recorder | Pricing Model: Free

A screenshot of the OBS Studio website.

OBS Studio is the go-to open-source program for gamers who want to share their gameplay with a global audience. This powerful tool can enable game streaming on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, as well as screen capture recordings – plus it offers an intuitive setup wizard that makes getting started a breeze! Whether you’re new to gaming or an experienced player looking for more flexibility in your video captures, OBS Studio has something that fits every need.

OBS Studio is a great option for advanced users looking to customize their video recording and production experience. Its low impact on frame rates makes it an affordable choice even with budget systems, so those wanting the most bang for their buck should consider OBS Studio when creating that perfect channel or streaming setup. While not as beginner-friendly as some other programs, its extensive customization capabilities make learning how to use this program worth the effort.

Key Highlights:
  • It’s completely free and open source, which means you can use all its features without spending a dime.
  • Compatible across Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, OBS Studio meets the needs of various computer users.
  • The software excels in capturing and mixing live audio and video, offering high-quality production capabilities.
  • You get to enjoy a clean interface that simplifies navigation and use, even if you’re new to such tools.
  • Setting hotkeys lets you control recording functions with the touch of a button — streamlining your workflow dramatically.
  • The ability to manage recording quality ensures your videos look professional whether you’re making content for fun or work.
  • With OBS Studio, live streaming becomes more accessible because you can broadcast video directly on popular streaming services.

Alternatives of OBS Studio: ShareX (Free) | Debut Video Recorder (Freemium) | CamStudio (Free).

Related: Be prepared to pass your exam using Microsoft AZ-500 exam dumps and practice test questions prepared by ExamLabs.


Software You Must Have on a New Laptop or PC: FAQs.
1. What’s the first software I should install on my new laptop?

Right after you get a new laptop, install antivirus software to protect your computer from viruses. Windows Defender is great for Windows 11, but there are other options too!

2. Do I need a password manager on my PC?

Yes, a password manager like Bitwarden or LastPass keeps all your passwords safe and helps you log in quickly without remembering them manually.

3. Why do people talk about LibreOffice? Should I get it?

LibreOffice is a free office suite that lets you work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations — just like Microsoft Office but without any cost! It’s perfect for typing up reports or making cool slides.

4. Can I edit photos on my laptop with free software?

Sure can! GIMP is a powerful photo editor that’s totally free. It works like Photoshop so you can make your pictures look amazing without spending money.

5. How do I save my files online and share them easily?

Use cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to keep your files online where they’re safe — you can grab them from anywhere and share links with friends fast!

6. If I love watching movies, what’s good software for that on PC?

VLC media player is awesome for watching movies because it plays almost every video file out there! Plus, it doesn’t cost anything — it’s super easy to use.

7. Why do I need different types of software on my laptop?

Each type of software has a job that helps you do things easier. For example, Microsoft Office lets you write documents and make presentations; VLC media player plays videos and music; GIMP works for editing pictures; and antivirus software keeps viruses away.

8. Can I talk to friends on my computer without using my phone?

Absolutely! Install apps like Skype, WhatsApp, or Telegram to chat with pals around the world right from your laptop.

9. Is there free software that’s safe for my PC?

Yes! You can find many secure freeware options such as VLC media players for videos and music streaming, and LibreOffice as an office suite alternative. Just be careful to read privacy policies before downloading.

10. Should I pay for all the software on my Windows PC?

Not always! There’s shareware — try before you buy — and free alternatives too. However, some proprietary software may require payment if it offers unique features you need.

11. If I am not using Windows OS, what are other key applications I could use?

For Mac OS X users – consider iCloud for storage backup! If Linux is more your style with distributions available for tablet computers through systems like SteamOS — you’re covered too with lots of open-source options.


Software You Must Have on a New Laptop or PC: Conclusion.

As a computer or laptop user, having the most essential software is key for staying productive and organized. Download these 20 must-have programs now to experience optimal performance from your device! Plus, with an added layer of security ensuring data safety – you’ll have peace of mind while still being able to enjoy yourself along the way.

You’ve got the list, now make that new laptop or PC work wonders for you. These tools are game-changers! They make things simple and fast, so you can get more done without hassle. Remember to stay safe on the web while enjoying all these great features.

Now take that step! Get these awesome programs on your device today!

Author: Alexa Bliss
We have written this article in association with Alexa Bliss. Alexa is an experienced content writer who has been working on the Nursing Assignment for the past three years. She is also a tech-savvy person who is very much keen to know about technological products. Apart from this, he is an excellent speaker.

Note: This article was first published on March 30, 2020. We last updated this article with fresh information on January 23, 2024.

Disclosure: Some of our articles may contain affiliate links; this means each time you make a purchase, we get a small commission. However, the input we produce is reliable; we always handpick and review all information before publishing it on our website. We can ensure you will always get genuine as well as valuable knowledge and resources.
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Published By: Souvik Banerjee

Souvik BanerjeeWeb developer and SEO specialist with 20+ years of experience in open-source web development, digital marketing, and search engine optimization. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions (RSWEBSOLS)".