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Sure, there are millions of Windows apps which can be useful to you in some way or another. But, let's ask which can drastically improve the capabilities of your PC/laptop and render enhanced performance?
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1. Process Explorer
If you're still using the age old Windows Task Manager then it's about time you tried Process Explorer, which shows details of all running processes. It allows you to see active processes and also find out which program has a particular directory/file open.
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2. VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is one of the all time favorite apps that is not just popular on Windows environment but also on Linux and Mac OSX. It is an excellent media player, offering far more than the default Windows Media Player and Real Player. Even in full screen mode, it comes with all the desired capabilities, superb sound playback, CD/DVD ripping and more.
It can play almost any format of video that you throw at it, and also comes with marvelous transcoding capabilities that are literally unmatched by any other media player on the market. What's more, it is an open source project, so it is totally free to use!
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If you're always busy reading feeds of your favorite websites, FeedDemon is one of the best RSS readers you will ever find. Developed by NewsGator Technologies for the Windows environment, it’s simply a treat for the RSS readers, and now the latest version FeedDemon3 has been rolled out to the market.
You can download the fully functional version of FeedDemon3 here.
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Whether you're having installation issues, are prone to getting PC viruses and malware, or simply struggle to find those pesky product IDs every time you want to reinstall a program (none more so than Windows) well here is a handy Windows utility for you.
With Keyfinder you can sit back and let the program find all your product IDs. Then simply save the product ID on a notepad or print it for future reference, thanks to this Magical Jelly Bean Software.
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If you haven't been using Snagit, and are struggling with the default notepad or MS Paint as are provided by Microsoft, here's some good news for you. Snagit is a superb screen capture tool that allows you to take a “snapshot” of literally anything on your PC screen. Having done that, you can store/send it, or even convert it into a detailed graphic.
Using Snagit you can also compare two or more code snippets. This tool is extremely popular amongst the IT pros too!
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6. ClipMate Clipboard Extender
You can save a whole lot of hard work and probably thousands of useless keystrokes a year with the ClipMate Clipboard Extender, developed by ThornSoft. Microsoft never bothered to let you copy thousands of clips at a time, but Thornsoft did - so, why bother wasting your time?
However, it is not a freeware utility; you can try the ClipMate Clipboard Extender by downloading a 30-day trial version. The full version with licensing costs $34.95, which is definitely a worthy investment.
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TrueCrypt is an absolute gem of a file encryption utility that allows you to lock up an entire thumb drive, or a particular folder full of private files on your hard drive.
The free TrueCrypt software can let you create a virtual encrypted disk, and is capable of encrypting an entire partition/drive you've installed your copy of Windows.
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8. µTorrent Client
Love to download the latest music, videos, movies and utility software? Then µTorrent is the way to go!
You can simply download the software that you need from the Internet, with the help of µTorrent Client, which is not only light on your system (only few KBs), but extremely easy to set-up and use. All you need to do is start a torrent download and leave the PC on for the download to complete.
Remember, it may take several hours to even a few days time for lengthy downloads to complete and once the download is 100% complete the client starts seeding the peers. So, you should be careful enough to STOP the download and delete the .torrent file so as to ensure that your Internet bandwidth is not used after the download completes.
µTorrent Client for Windows is a freeware utility and you can download it here.
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7Zip is one of the best free extracting and archiving tool for the Windows environment. Of course, there is WinRar, but it’s again a shareware and not a free goody! 7Zip supports all the archiving formats such as .rar, .zip, and its unique.7zip format.
What’s more, it is also available for the Linux operating system and Mac OS X, so you should not have problems using 7Zip to open Mac files in the Windows environment and vice versa.
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CCleaner is a great way to get rid of all the unnecessary junk on your system including damaged registry entries and partially uninstalled traces of programs that have been long gone.
It is totally free and this handy utility currently boasts of over 260 million downloads to date. It hardly takes a second to run, and works extremely efficiently on even age old systems.
For more on the best apps for Windows take a look at these Top 10 multimedia apps.