Top 10 Free Utilities

Top 10 Free Utilities Suggestions From Affordable Computer Repairs and Service

There are many free software programs (apps) available from the Internet today which aren’t included in the standard Windows, Apple or Linux distributions (distos). Here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service we share with you our Top 10 Free Utilities which we hope you find useful.

  1. Recuva which allows you to “recover your deleted files quickly and easily” – from their website. There may be some “options” when installing Recuva so please check that you want or don’t want these “extras”. I personally use Recuva Portable which I have on a USB stick because installing Recuva on your Hard Disk Drive is problematic as if you have deleted a file or files then the act of installing a program on the same drive where the files are deleted then compromises those files, basically they can be overwritten by the new software. Download from www.ccleaner.com/recuva
  2. VLC media player is a free utility which allows you to play all kinds of media formats. Download this from www.videolan.org/vlc Applicable for Windows, Apple and Linux.
  3. Angry IP Scanner which finds all the devices on your network. This can be very advantageous if you attach a printer, NAS device or anything else where you don’t know it’s IP (Internet Protocol) address. Available for Windows, Mac or Linux. Download here
  4. Macrium Reflect Free Edition downloaded from www.macrium.com/reflectfree This software allows you to “clone” or migrate you old Hard Disk to a new Hard Disk. This is essential software for someone who’s old computer needs upgrading to an SSD (Solid State Drive) when their old mechanical Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is starting to fail and slow down noticeably. This generally happens when the computer is 4 or more years old. It “clones” or copies exactly what is on your old HDD to the new SSD, thereby you don’t have to spend hours reinstalling your Windows Operating System, your programs and your data.
  5. SD card formatter available from www.sdcard.org.  This free utility allows you to format your SD card. This program allows you to format a SD card when Windows won’t do that for you so it has better control over SD cards. Corrupted of malfunctioning cards are best formatted using this software and many can be recovered whereas Windows may not be able to do this.
  6. The Etcher program allows you to create USB bootable drives when needed. Available from www.balena.io/etcher and once installed you can download an image file and use that to create a bootable USB drive of your new Operating System. This can be Windows, Apple Mac or Linux. It is a very handy tool to have especially for an emergency situation where an install needs to be performed after a crashed computer which won’t boot. Even if the “image file” is compressed e.g xz files.
  7. When it comes to free utilities, IO bit Uninstaller is very handy.  It is a program on Windows computers that allows you to totally un-install software programs you no longer require. Windows un-installer (found in Control Panel – Programs and Features) often leaves “residue” files when un-installing which can turn out to be troublesome later on. Also sometimes Windows un-installer will not un-install a program, then it’s time to use IObit Uninstaller. Available from: www.iobit.com/en/advanceduninstaller
  8. Adobe Reader DC – not really a Utility program as such but much more preferable to Windows 10 Edge as a PDF file reader. Download from www.get.adobe.com/reader/ Just be careful to untick any of the “Optional Offers” such as McAfee or Chrome Extension if you don’t require them.
  9. Adwcleaner available from www.Malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner This software cleaners viruses and unwanted attachments from your Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Internet Explorer. As their webpage suggests “The World’s most popular adware cleaner finds and removes unwanted programs and junkware so your online experience stays optimal and hassle-free. The usual anti-virus programs will NOT do this generally for you. Download and place the file on the Desktop (it’s not an installable program – it just runs from the icon) and run it to see what it finds. With this type of program always make a backup of your data before running it.
  10. Bluescreenview from www.niresoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view allows you to find out why and what gave you the now famous BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) which many a Windows computer wants to show you. After getting the computer up and running again (if possible) this software once installed will scan all your minidump files (created after a BSOD episode) and displays the information about why the computer crashed and the likely suspect file with filename, date/time and basic crash information. A very handy utility to try and “fix” your BSOD nightmares.

Please note: when installing software from the Internet we would always advise you to go directly to the source of that software (e.g. google, adobe, Malwarebytes etc) as there are many dodgy websites that “look” that they are the correct ones but aren’t and the likelihood of downloading a virus is ever-present.

We hope that you find a couple of the free utilities that we have listed for you useful, if not, let us know which free utilities you believe are better!

If you are at any point not sure of what to do next with your problematic computer or need help and advice then please do not hesitate to call us here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service.

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