20 Important Software for Your New Windows Laptop or PC

Article Note: This article “20 Important Software for Your New Windows Laptop or PC” was first published on 30th March 2020. We last updated this article on 17th February 2023 with fresh information.

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!

Discovering quality software can be a time-intensive and confusing task with a considerable number of choices obtainable on the internet. But don’t worry! We have compiled our top 20 list to provide you access to only the best must-have programs out there. With these recommendations, take advantage of reliable apps that perfectly fit your needs for maximum productivity and success.

1. Google Chrome

Software Category: Web Browser | Pricing Model: Free


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!

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

Related: 8 Best Appointment Booking / Scheduling Software in the Market.

2. Norton

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


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!

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

3. Microsoft Office 365

Software Category: Office Suite | Pricing Model: Premium


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!

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

4. Microsoft OneDrive

Software Category: Cloud Storage | Pricing Model: Freemium


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!

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

5. WhatsApp

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


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!

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

6. VLC Media Player

Software Category: Multimedia Player | Pricing Model: Free


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!

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

7. TeamViewer

Software Category: Remote Connectivity | Pricing Model: Freemium


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!

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

8. Paint.NET

Software Category: Image Editor | Pricing Model: Free


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.

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

9. Spotify

Software Category: Digital Music Streaming | Pricing Model: Freemium


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.

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

10. Thunderbird

Software Category: Email Client | Pricing Model: Free


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.

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

See also: The 10 Best Mac Apps You Should Install & Use.

11. CCleaner

Software Category: Performance Optimizer | Pricing Model: Freemium


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!

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


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!

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

13. Steam

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


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.

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

14. NordVPN

Software Category: Virtual Private Network | Pricing Model: Premium


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!

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

15. Bitwarden

Software Category: Password Manager | Pricing Model: Freemium


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.

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

16. SHAREit

Software Category: File Transfer App | Pricing Model: Free


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 in providing 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.

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

17. Internet Download Manager

Software Category: Download Manager | Pricing Model: Free


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.

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


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!

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


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!

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


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.

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

Related: How to Use Agile Project Management Software for Client Work?



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 the 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.

Have another computer software that could be useful? Let us know in our comment section so others can take advantage too!

Author: Alexa Bliss

We have written this article in association with Alexa Bliss. Alexa is an experienced content writer who is 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.

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SouvikWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".