Lifehacker Pack For Windows 2013: Our List Of The Best Windows Apps

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Windows has more great programs than we can count, but some are essential to just about every PC setup. In our fifth annual Lifehacker Pack for Windows, we’re highlighting the must-have downloads for better productivity, communication, media management and more.

Pictures: Perfect Vectors/Shutterstock and Litz/Shutterstock

The Lifehacker Pack is a yearly snapshot of our favourite, must-have applications for each major computing and mobile platform. If you’re curious to see how things have changed this year, here’s last year’s Lifehacker Pack for Windows.

The Ninite Pack

As always, we have the good folks at Ninite helping us out this year, creating a one-click installer for the 2013 Windows Lifehacker Pack. You can download the entire pack together or just pick the apps you want, and Ninite will install them all at once — perfect for new Windows installations or setting up your friends with a good set of apps. And, just like last year, we have two packs for Windows: an Essentials pack that everyone should have, and an Extended pack, which includes some tools that more hardcore users will probably need around.

Unfortunately, the Ninite pack is missing a couple apps from the list — most notably CCleaner (because it didn’t want its software in Ninite), Bins and Fences (both of which are paid apps). So don’t forget to grab those ones manually after you’ve installed the rest of the pack with Ninite!

Download the 2013 Lifehacker Pack Here.


Productivity

Launchy


much more than thatit is our favourite

Download Page


ResophNotes and Evernote


plain text notesSimplenoteDropbox figure out how to use it

Download Page for ResophNotes and Evernote


Icon: Jayvant

PhraseExpress


save you hours of typingwhile it has its problemsBreevy

Download Page


Wunderlist


how you work bestit would be Wunderlistdoing

Download Page


LibreOffice and Microsoft Office

When Google Docs just isn’t enough for your word processing needs, you need LibreOffice, the feature-packed, cross-platform, 100 per cent free office suite. When LibreOffice’s word processor, spreadsheet tool and presentation creator don’t cut it, Microsoft Office will undoubtedly fit the bill (albeit at a price). If you just need to view Office documents, you can check out the Microsoft Office Viewers instead.

Download Page for LibreOffice and Microsoft Office


SumatraPDF


Don’t do itour favourite PDF editorPDF-XChange

Download Page


Internet and Communication

Chrome


Firefoxmore than enough

Download Page


Thunderbird


sometimes you just need a desktop clientwhen Gmail goes downslowed developmentPostbox

Download Page


Pidgin


an app like PidginPidgin’s fantastic plugins

Download Page


Skype


our favourite video chat program

Download Page


Music, Photos and Video

VLC


does it wellisn’t our favourite video playerPotPlayerPotPlayer

Download Page


Handbrake


ripping a DVD to your computerconvert big Blu-Ray rips

Download Page


Plex


XBMC or Plexstreaming video to your mobile devices

Download Page


Picasa


fantastic app

Download Page


Paint.NET


Download Page


Winamp


we’d recommend Winamp

Download Page


Spotify


pluginsRdio

Download Page


Utilities

Dropbox

These days, lots of us have more than just one device. Maybe it’s a work computer and a home computer, or maybe it’s three computers, a smartphone, a tablet and a time machine that runs Linux. Whatever your span of devices, Dropbox is absolutely essential for keeping all your files (and other stuff) in sync. You get 2GB of free space to start, but it’s really easy to load up on extra space for free.

Download Page


uTorrent


speedprivacy

Download Page


Skitch


Download Page


Growl


building an awesome, consolidated notification system

Download Page


CrashPlan


back up to an external drivereally easy to set up

Download Page


CCleaner


a bit of maintenance

Download Page


Revo Uninstaller


Revo fixes that problem

Download Page


7-Zip


7-Zip is the tool you wantsending sensitive information online

Download Page


Avast! Free Antivirus


perfectly struck with Avast

The Extended Pack

So you’ve got the basic essentials that every computer should have, but there are other programs we’ve found ourselves installing time and time again whenever we boot up a new Windows installation. That’s what the extended pack is for: they aren’t essentials, but they’re tools we think are really great and deserve to be part of your regular arsenal.

.NET, Silverlight and Java

.NET, Silverlight and Java are three frameworks that you might not always need right away, but you may somewhere down the line. If you know you’re going to need them in the future, go ahead and download them right now. If you aren’t sure, it won’t hurt to hold off. Just make sure to disable Java in your browser while you’re at it.

Download Page for .NET, Silverlight and Java


Teracopy


Download Page


Bins


combines multiple icons into one stackcleaning up your messy taskbarworth shelling out for

Download Page


Fences


divides your desktopcreate a clean, organised desktopold, free version of Fences here

Download Page


Belvedere


any set of criteria you desirekeep themselves organised

Download Page


iTunes, MediaMonkey, foobar2000


sync to iOS with a bit of work

Download Page for iTunes, MediaMonkey and foobar2000


Notepad++


miles beyond Windows’ built-in notepada lot of plugins

Download Page


AutoHotkey


add your own shortcuts to Windows Explorercreate a customised boss keyput your computer to sleep

Download Page

Comments

  • Avast vs MSE… the freeware version of Avast was not used in the test against MSE it was the full version, the Free version is good but MSE is better. Also since then MS have updated and brought it back up to scratch.

    • I agree. A couple of these apps are probably a tad more redundant in Win8 (terracopy, for example), and windows defender does a great job.

      But, that’s the brilliance of Ninite! Just ignore the apps you don’t need.

        • Yeah if you start multiple file transfer windows they all merge into one window with a queue, and you can pause and resume file transfers as you please. Not as feature packed as Teracopy but was enough to make me not bother reinstalling when I upgraded to Win 8.

  • Anyone else having problems with Evernote (not Evernote Touch) on Windows 8? Mine just refuses to launch.

  • Fences is something I was eyeing off the other day actually… might give the free trial a… err… try.

  • a great alternative to “Revo Uninstaller” (which requires installation to make it run) is “IOBit Uninstaller” (which is a standalone, albeit portable, utility that doesn’t require installation) … seems to be just as thorough at removing all the rogue code & registries etc.

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