Windows is a comprehensive operating system replete with tools for diagnosing, repairing, and configuring a PC system. But Windows users have also relied on innovative third-party utilities to help Windows run and work even better.
Here’s a list of excellent utilities — some from Microsoft, but most from other software vendors — that have been recommended in Windows Secrets articles.
Most of these apps have been around for years and have proven to be useful, safe, and reliable. However, it’s important to note that Windows systems are endlessly different in their configurations and applications. Which means we can’t guarantee that all of these utilities will work perfectly on every PC.
Undoubtedly, you’ll have one or more favorite utilities that are not on the list. We invite you to share them in the Windows Secrets Lounge forum. We’ll periodically update the list; if we’ve missed what you believe is a must-have app, lets us know and we’ll consider adding it.
A word on downloading some of these utilities: make sure that big Download button on the utility’s page is the right one. Some sites try to trick you into downloading third-party, often unwanted, helper apps.
(Note: We have linked each product to it’s information/download page online. Products have been recommended by Windows Secrets contributors except where noted.)
Diagnostics and repair
- Piriform CCleaner (free and paid versions)
- SlimWare Utilities SlimCleaner (reader recommended)
- ITSTH WhatsMyComputerDoing (free)
- BillP Studios WinPatrol free and paid)