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Crucial Application Software You'll Need on Your PC and Mac

Michael Ogolor
IT Consultant


Congratulations if you’ve recently purchased a new laptop, constructed a new desktop PC, or are simply performing a clean installation on a new solid state drive. It’s hard not to enjoy the flavor of a brand-new computer, but now you must return to productivity by rescuing your files and installing programs.

Are you unsure which ones to choose? So, let us assist you.

To help you get started, we’ve developed a list of necessary programs. Many of these apps are also available as online services, but the app versions have the advantage of being able to be used offline.

Below are top program recommendations, with a special emphasis on fantastic free software you can download right away, ranging from security utilities to productivity tools and many suggestions for the regions in between…

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Web Browsers & A vital Add-on

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac firefox
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac chrome
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac opera
  •     Majority: Download Chrome, or give Opera, Edge or Safari a chance
  •     Privacy Seekers: Download Firefox or Ungoogled Chromium
  •     Advanced Users: Try Vivaldi

Edge is a browser built on the Chromium project that comes pre-installed on Windows and has some functionality that Chrome lacks, particularly for Windows users, such as adding sites to the Start menu. Meanwhile, macOS has Safari, which is a pretty good browser by most criteria, especially if you live in Apple’s environment, and may be the reason why a large percentage of Mac users (40%) don’t use any other browser.

Despite this, most people continue to use Google Chrome as their default browser, if only because of its connection with other Google services. Chrome is also fantastic for Android users because it supports native cross-device synchronization.

Chrome is a little plain out of the box, but it does support extensions for a variety of tasks. However, the same extensions can be dangerous in terms of security, and the fact that Google logs everything you do in the browser isn’t helpful for your privacy either.

Firefox, an open-source browser with more privacy features, is a good choice. Ungoogled Chromium, on the other hand, may be an interesting choice for you if you prefer Chrome the way it is but for Google’s tracking tactics. The problem is that, while it disables numerous Google-dependent services, it doesn’t always replace them with anything else, so you should only use it if you’re sure what you’re doing.

Vivaldi is also revered by many advanced users. The ability to customize this browser is its claim to fame. It will, for example, allow you to stack tabs within tabs in one of three ways: drop-down menus, two tab bars, or merely showing the active stack of tabs. On either side of the screen, you can add a side panel with browser menus and apps (notes, mail, RSS, and calendar), as well as the opportunity to add any website.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Password Manager

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac bitwarden
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac-1password-
  • Top free: Bitwarden
  • Alternative: 1Password or Lastpass

A password manager is a must-have feature. If you haven’t decided yet, we recommend starting with the open-source Bitwarden, mostly because the free version is completely functional. Additional services, such as secured file exchange rather than just text, are available for $10/year. There are also accounts for couples, families, and organizations. If you don’t like Bitwarden for whatever reason, KeePass is an excellent free option.

Crucial Application Softwares

Backup and Cloud Storage

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac Google drive
Crucial Application Softwares onedrive
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac dropbox
  •     Begin With: Free Google Drive for documents and other essential files
  •     For Images: Apple Photos for Mac users, Google Photos for Windows
  •     For More Storage: Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive
  •     For Sensitive Files: pCloud
  •     Full Backups: Use a paid service to backup all your data to the cloud

A must-have in your toolset is cloud storage and backup. Backing up and restoring data has never been easier, and despite the large number of options, we’ve long been spoilt by Google Drive’s simplicity. Google Drive provides 15GB of free online storage, which is rather generous.

For photo-specific capabilities, Mac users can utilize the Photos App, which automatically builds albums based on the people and places in photos and syncs everything with iPhone and iPad via iCloud. We frequently recommend Google Photos to Windows customers because it has similar features. Google Photos used to give limitless free storage for photos and videos up to 16MP, but now it only offers 15GB of storage that is shared with other Google services.

If you need more storage, we’d look at all of the best options as well as the various pricing tiers before making a decision. Microsoft OneDrive, which is built into Windows, and Google One are two major Dropbox and iCloud rivals. Fortunately, cloud backup competition is robust, and prices have come down little.

If you have sensitive information, you should consider using pCloud, which offers device-based encryption to paying users, which means that even if your account is compromised, the hacker won’t be able to access your files without your devices.

There are better options than the aforementioned for full data backups (terabytes of photographs, videos, and whole disks). To begin with, you get specialized backup software, file versioning, and frequently unlimited storage, allowing you to safely dump terabytes of data. Backblaze, IDrive, Carbonite, and SOS Online Backup are all recommended cloud backup services.

Crucial Application Softwares

Computer Security

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac bitdefender
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac malwarebytes
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac virustotal
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac Emisoft

Both Windows and macOS come with adequate security out of the box if you know what you’re doing. For power users, common sense should suffice, but the ordinary user may wish to add an extra layer of safety that won’t slow down your system.

The first tool you should think about is Malwarebytes. It’s wonderful and free for personal use, and it’s a veteran specialist in combating malware and rootkit attacks. If you don’t want antivirus installed on your computer because you’re worried about over-detection, you can put the Emsisoft Emergency Kit for Windows on a disk-on-key and connect it just when you need it. You can also use to scan downloaded files for dangers before opening them.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Office Productivity Apps

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac MSOffice
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac sublime text
Crucial Application Softwares mailbird
  •     Best free Microsoft Office alternatives: FreeOffice and LibreOffice
  •     Text editors: Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code or Notepad++
  •     Free PDF editor: PDFsam
  •     Email clients: Postbox or Mailbird

OneNote, a free cross-platform program from Microsoft, is ideal for simple note-taking. You might prefer Notability if you have a Mac.

Microsoft Office is still the king of office productivity, and some people are finding it easier to justify an Office 365 subscription if they require it for work and use most of the apps and bundled bonuses like 1TB of OneDrive storage.

However, there are other free options available. If you’re using Windows, consider FreeOffice, which is the most similar free office suite to Microsoft’s. LibreOffice is another free alternative; some of our writers swear by it, while others despise it. The open-source office suite includes all of the essentials and more. The same can be said about WPS Office Free.

Apple includes a comprehensive productivity suite with every Mac, which is a terrific way to get started on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations right away.

Sublime Text, possibly the best text editor you’ll find, it is a must-have for coders and developers. Notepad++ is a fantastic free open-source alternative, but it is only available for Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s free Visual Studio Code, which is cross-platform and well-liked, is slowly but steadily gaining traction.

For managing GitHub repositories, SourceTree and SmartGit are excellent free options.

WinSCP and Forklift are respectively our favorite SFTP clients for Windows and Mac.

There are various free PDF editors available that include features that Acrobat Reader does not. To merge, split, extract pages, rotate, and mix your PDFs, try PDFsam. It’s also cross-platform compatible.

If you prefer a desktop email client, Postbox is a good choice because of its lifetime pricing policy (a free 30-day trial is available). eM Client is free and extremely customisable for up to two accounts. Mozilla Thunderbird, which is free and open-source, is a decent choice for Firefox users, whereas Mailbird is a good choice for power users who are willing to pay.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Chat and Messaging

Crucial Application Softwares whatsapp
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac slack
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac Discord
  •     Reach Most People: WhatsApp and Zoom, if you don’t have FaceTime
  •     For Privacy: Signal or Viber
  •     For Work: Slack, Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex
  •     For Gaming & Fun: Discord or TeamSpeak

The video chat and messaging apps you require are mostly determined by who you wish to communicate with. WhatsApp and Messenger (Facebook Messenger) are the most widely used personal messaging networks, and both have native desktop programs. Apple customers will like the more private iMessage, but not everyone may be available on the platform (iPhone users can also sends SMS on the same app).

Zoom has become interchangeable with video chat, and it is the greatest option for reaching a large audience. It also offers local recording and screen sharing (although you can only speak with one person for more than 40 minutes with the free plan). You can encrypt your calls end-to-end to prevent their content from being used for targeted advertising, but only those that activate the functionality will be able to participate. Cloud recording and Breakout Rooms are also disabled by end-to-end encryption. Google Meet is a good web-based option that doesn’t require any software to be downloaded.

Microsoft Teams, which is replacing Skype, may be available if you (or your company) have an Office 365 subscription. You’ll get 1TB of OneDrive storage and the capacity to host extended meetings with up to 100 people for $5 per month. Only one-on-one calls have end-to-end encryption.

You might be able to get by with FaceTime for meetings with up to 32 people if you’re a Mac user. Non-Apple device users will be able to attend the conference by clicking on the URL you send them, and everything will be secured.

If you have a choice, Signal, which is built by a non-profit group and has no adverts or tracking, is a good option. Viber is another decent alternative, with similar voice and video capabilities as well as excellent privacy features like self-deleting messages and PIN numbers for individual chats. Signal and Viber both provide desktop apps for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS.

Staying in touch with family and friends is always nice, but if you need to interact in a workgroup, Teams and Slack are the most common options. Slack’s free plan is somewhat limited, with just 10,000 messages searchable and no screen sharing, but the subscription alternatives are still a solid option for small teams, with an appealing UI and up to 15-person video conferencing. Cisco Webex is another option, as it allows you to invite anyone to a meeting via a link.

Discord, which has great messaging and video chat capabilities and is free regardless of the amount of people in the server, it is a good choice for high-quality communication during gaming or if you just want a free team collaboration tool.

TeamSpeak is also old-school useful for in-game voice chat, can be used anonymously, and allows the host more control over the server. In addition, Steam now offers a more robust in-game chat solution than in the past.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

For Gaming Experience

Crucial Application Softwares steam
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac nvidia
Crucial Application Softwares Intel
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac obs studio
  • PC gaming platforms: Steam, Epic Games, EA Origin, Ubisoft and GOG
  • Latest GPU drivers: Nvidia GeForce, AMD Radeon, Intel Graphics
  •  Streaming: OBS Studio

We have to recommend Steam first and primarily for gaming. Valve’s fantastic gaming platform excels at being a one-stop shop for most PC games. It’s a fantastic hub and game communication tool, as well as a retailer. The Epic Games Store is also a must-have at this time, mostly because it gives at least one paid game for free every week.

However, certain titles are missing from one or both of these storefronts, most notably games from EA, Ubisoft, and Blizzard. These are available through Origin, Ubisoft Connect, and GOG Galaxy. Another category of extremely popular games, such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and League of Legends, can be downloaded separately.

Try Brutal Chess if you’re fresh to the gaming world and want to play something familiar.

If you’re converting from Xbox to PC gaming, you’ll have no trouble utilizing the Xbox controller on Windows. You’ll need DS4Windows if you’re migrating from a PlayStation and don’t want to rely on Steam (it supports the PlayStation 5 controller, too).

AMD Radeon ReLive, which comes packed with Radeon Software, and Nvidia’s Shadowplay, which comes packaged with GeForce Experience, are both good for simple game streaming, but if you want to produce streams of more than just the game, OBS Studio should be your first pick.

If you’re a true gamer, however, you’ll realize that it’s not about the games; it’s all about having the most insane RGB light show. Signal RGB can assist you in synchronizing your RGB effect across all of your peripheral devices.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Video & Audio Playback and Streaming

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac MPC
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac netflix
Crucial Application Softwares sportfy
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac YouTube music
  • Audio-Video Essentials: MPC, Spotify, iTunes, Plex, Netflix, YouTube Music

While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are available on the web, their applications allow you to download movies and episodes for offline viewing, including “smart” downloads that remove the episodes you’ve finished watching and download the next ones. You’ll get access to Apple TV+ if you have an Apple device.

Music streaming is synonymous with Spotify unless you’re entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem. The free plan allows you to download podcasts, while the higher plans allow you to download songs and albums as well. Other wonderful alternative apps are YouTube Mucic and Deezer, which includes access to traditional radio stations, and CD-quality streaming with its Hi-Fi package. If you have an iPhone or an iPad and want to enjoy your movies or music on your Windows PC, you’ll need iTunes for Windows.

MPC-HC is a program that allows you to watch movies from before the streaming age. It’s also a wonderful alternative for reviving outdated computers, as it continues the tradition of emulating the Media Player from the Windows XP period. MPC-BE, a fork of MPC, departs from this principle in favor of additional functionality.

To be fair, the Windows 11 media player works well and supports a variety of formats, too. On Macs we also like to use MPV and Movist, although the latter is not free. Check out Plex if you’re using your PC as a center for streaming content around the house.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Hardware Monitoring

Crucial Application Softwares CPU-Z
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac HWMonitor
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac CrystalDiskMark

Checking to  ensure you got what you wanted and that everything is working as intended is one of the first things you should do with a new computer (at least for us, enthusiasts). CPU-Z is a free information tool that includes a CPU stress test and details your hardware characteristics.

HWMonitor displays real-time data on the voltage of your power supply, the temperature of all of your hardware, and fan speed. Try HWinfo64 if you want something similar but with a more visual result.

CrystalDiskMark will tell you if your SSD or hard disk is working to its full potential. HD Sentinel Pro displays the status of all of your drives and provides repair capabilities.

MSI Afterburner is the program to use for GPU overclocking. For Windows, SpeedFan or Core Temp, and Macs Fan Control, you can do exactly what the name says.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

File Management utilities

Crucial Application Softwares windirstat
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac irfanview

Use WinDirStat or Space Sniffer to see and visualize which files and folders are eating up the most space on your Windows PC. There are a few nice options for Macs as well: Both Disk Drill and GrandPerspective are available for no cost. DaisyDisk is another a popular choice.

CloneSpy can help you locate duplicate files if you feel they’re one of the reasons you’re running out of storage space. The Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder will find duplicate photos even if they have been significantly altered, and ViDupe will do the same with movies if you also install FFmpeg.

Try the Bulk Rename Utility if you wish to organize a large number of files by name or swiftly alter the meaningless names of all of the image files from your phone or camera.

While online browsers have had tabs for more than two decades, Windows File Explorer has failed to adopt the feature (macOS Finder does tabbing just fine).

We won’t urge you to quit using Total Commander or Directory Opus if you already use them, but they may feel obsolete to a new user.

See IrfanView for a robust and all-encompassing image viewing experience.

As previously indicated, macOS’ Finder outperforms Windows’ in terms of tabs and color tagging, but Commander One’s free version also provides two panes and customized keyboard shortcuts if you desire them.

If Windows Search isn’t performing as well as it could, even after changing the default settings, you should give Everything a shot. Wox, which uses Everything’s engine for local search, hasn’t been updated in over a year and gives an experience more like to Windows Search.

Download 7-Zip if you don’t want Windows to handle your zipping. The Unarchiver is the greatest compression software for Macs.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Image and Video Editing

Crucial Application Softwares gimp
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac Adobe Photoshop
Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac premier pro

GIMP (for expert users), (for novices), and Inkscape are the best free image editing programs (for SVG). Adobe programs are top-notch and professional among premium solutions, but there are other high-quality alternatives such as PaintShop Pro and Pixelmator.

Wondershare Filmora or Shotcut will suffice for basic video editing. Try DaVinci Resolve if you want more options. Both have free versions available. You’ll have to pay for Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro if you want the finest of the best. Handbrake is the program to use if you merely want to convert old videos to modern formats.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Operating system Add-ons

Clipboard managers are a must-have tool if you want to keep a clipboard history tool on hand at all times. Re-entering whatever you’ve recently copied and pasted expands your OS clipboard’s capabilities and makes you more productive. There are hundreds of options, but ClipClip for Windows and Flycut for macOS are our current favorites.

Although OS features for capturing screenshots and annotations have considerably improved, and you may be satisfied with what you receive out of the box, we still prefer Monosnap for its simplicity and ability to publish to the cloud.

For cross-platform remote control and desktop sharing, Teamviewer is the default solution. It’s also a useful tool to have on hand if you need to send very large files that are too large to upload to your cloud storage. RemotePC is a simple and cost-effective option.

Remote Mouse transforms your phone or tablet into a touch-screen PC remote control. It may act as a mouse, keyboard, and other input devices. It’s free and cross-platform.

Try the Display Driver Uninstaller if you feel that your display drivers were not properly uninstalled or if you want to install new drivers from scratch.

CCleaner Portable is a popular choice for general OS cleaning and tidying up, despite a few recent concerns — use the Portable version on Windows and you’ll be OK. Wise Disk Cleaner is a good choice if you choose to use anything else.

Finally, BCUninstaller will assist you in removing the majority of the apps from your computer while leaving no traces behind.

Crucial Application Software For Your PC and Mac

Some Extra stuff

We like qBittorrent for torrenting because it doesn’t have any adverts or bundled software and features an integrated search engine and media player. Deluge, which includes a lot of customizing options, may be preferred by advanced users.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, iMazing is a must-have app for performing things that iTunes can’t, such as backing up your text messages and checking the condition of your iPad’s battery. You may save images from your iPhone as JPEG or PNG with the iMazing HEIC Converter.

Rufus is a useful tool for easily creating bootable USB devices.

If you miss features that have been removed from Windows over time, Open Shell can be used to replace the old Classic Shell, which was discontinued in 2017.

If you feel the need for a VPN, Windscribe and TunnelBear are two solid free options for occasional use. You’ll have to pay for a more reliable and fast connection. NordVPN is one of our favorites.

Calibre is considered a must-have by frequent e-book readers for organizing their library and converting files to various formats.


Aside from the programs and software mentioned in this article, there are a slew of more that were not included. You might want to try out some other apps or software that aren’t included here. If it is not too much bother, please inform us about such apps/software, share your experience, and provide a suitable download link.

If any of our recommended apps/software makes you uncomfortable, feel free to study and test until you discover something that works best for you. Please feel free to comment on them as well. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you in the next publication. Cheers!

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