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  1. #1
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    Excellent free utilities for Windows 10


    Field Notes

    Excellent free utilities for Windows 10


    By Tracey Capen

    As Windows has improved, third-party utilities have become less critical.

    But small, fast, and free tools still make maintaining and troubleshooting Windows systems including Win10 easier.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/excellent-free-utilities-for-windows-10/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    The link just sends me to a 'Renew your subscription' page, even though my subscription hasn't run out yet.
    I've found several instances of this recently, and its bloody annoying!

    Alex

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1ex View Post
    The link just sends me to a 'Renew your subscription' page, even though my subscription hasn't run out yet.
    I've found several instances of this recently, and its bloody annoying!

    Alex
    The link goes straight to the article for me so maybe they fixed the link.

  4. #4
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    One free and very useful utility is the Ditto Clipboard Manager. I use it to enter common strings. It's main job is remembering copy/paste entries. How ever it has a quick search function that recalls the string you knead instantly. Any Windows user that doesn't use Ditto is wasting their time, IMHO; unless there's some other similar utility that I've not seen yet.
    Last edited by BillyHow; 2016-05-03 at 18:02. Reason: Typo Key rather than Clip

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    For those, like me, who have upgraded to Windows 10 but still prefer the look of Windows 7 I suggest they try installing Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/) which does what I need.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Those Nir Sofer utilities are still useful tools. And they still drive antivirus programs crazy. But I still love the tools, so I make exceptions in my Windows and AV security settings where possible. Or hit Allow Always when a popup alert comes on my screen about these programs.

    In Windows 10 Pro I use these utilities less than I did in Windows 7 Home, because so much of what they do is now built into Windows, if you know where and how to look and set things up.

    It's never fun to do things the Microsoft way, with Group policy Editor. RegEdit, etc., but this is the preferred way to make the changes work and stick around for awhile.

    The improved and expanded Windows 10 Task Manager is a real bonus. It eliminates most of my need for special diagnostic utilities if something is hogging Windows or hardware resources unexpectedly. Which does happen from time to time. Not always Microsoft's fault but sometimes...

    I get the full Windows Secrets Newsletter, and I like things this way. I can ignore what I don't need to know one day, but have it at my fingertips a few days later when I have more time on my hands.

    I feel satisfied enough to re-up my subscription at the standard rate when the time comes this summer.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-05-04 at 02:36.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    Nirsoft has too many utilities to keep up with on a one X one basis.

    I use WSCC (Windows System Control Center), which provides an integrated UI for Nirsoft & Sysinternals utilities. Getting updated to the latest versions is as easy as clicking on the updates link at the top of the WSCC window.

    There are paid and free versions.

    It's about the best thing since sliced bread! [lol]

    http://www.kls-soft.com/wscc/index.php

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    WSCC has always been free and still is for personal use. Buying a license only allows you to add your name to the Registered To on the About tab, it does not add any functionality to the program. It also comes as both an installer and portable version for both 32 and 64 bit systems. This software has always been one of the programs I carry on a flash drive along with my Geek Toolkit.

  9. #9
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    Re: "A quick tip for entering repetitive text"

    I was surprised that this reader elected to buy an $80 piece of hardware to address this issue. PhraseExpress (http://www.phraseexpress.com/) has been my single most-often-used utility for many years, to the point where I don't even realize I'm using it most of the time. It will let you package up text strings of any length and number of lines and invoke them with any key combination you choose. My email address is Ctrl-Shift-E; my twenty-line online meeting invitation is Ctrl-Alt-M, and so forth. It works no matter where you are: Outlook, Word, NotePad...have yet to find an application where it doesn't work, but you can optionally limit it to work only in certain programs. I believe that the latest version lets you use successive letters to trigger replacements, so you can (for example) build your own spell check that works everywhere in Windows, not just Word. If you forget a "hot-key" combination od don't set one, you can call up PhraseExpress and select on manually. (I just went to the website and see that it has a lot of new capabilities I haven't tried yet.) Don't remember what/if I paid for it, but it doesn't matter.

  10. #10
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    You need to watch for PhraseExpress swallowing Tab characters if you use any sort of auto-fill software, Keepass specifically.

    cheers, Paul

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