Open source software list for windows 10
An awesome & curated list of best applications and tools for Windows.
*Please, consider supporting my work as a lot of effort takes place to generate this list! Thanks a lot.
Items marked with are open-source software. Items marked with are free.
- Caprine – An elegant Facebook Messenger desktop app.
- Discord – Discord is a free voice and text chat client for gamers and non-gamers alike. You can use it from your browser and it’s available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Hexchat – IRC client based on XChat
- LimeChat – Instant messaging application.
- mIRC – An Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client.
- Quassel – Quassel IRC is a modern, cross-platform, distributed IRC client.
- Riot – A decentralised encrypted comms app for the Matrix.org ecosystem.
- Telegram – A messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super fast, simple and free.
- Waow – Awesome WhatsApp Web Client to deliver you the best WhatsApp experience.
- Franz – A messaging app for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram and many many more.
- 7-Zip – Open source Windows utility for manipulating archives. Formats 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR are supported fully, other formats can be unpacked.
- Bandizip – A lightweight, fast and free All-In-One Zip Archiver.
- PeaZip – Archiver and file compressor. Extract 7Z CAB ISO RAR TAR ZIP archive files.
- Riot – Compress images either by file size or by many other image attributes.
- WinRAR – A powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files.
- Data Rescue – Comprehensive and professional Hard drive recovery software that can recover your photos, videos, documents.
- Ontrach EasyRecovery – Has filtering tools to help sort the large amount of data the software can recover.
- PartitionGuru ｜ Eassos Recovery – Data recovery with partition recovery.
- Recuva – Recover your deleted files quickly and easily.
- Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Remote recovery option to recover data from another computer over a network.
- TestDisk – Powerful free data recovery software primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again.
- Bookviser – Awesome application for Windows 8 devices to read eBooks in a simple way.
- Calibre – Powerful software for e-book management and conversion.
- kobo – Incredibly ugly but powerful software for ebook management and conversion.
- Mailbird – IMAP and POP3 email client, featuring customization, complete touch support and multiple language support.
- Mailspring – A fast and maintained fork of Nylas Mail, built on modern web technologies.
- Nylas Mail – An extensible desktop mail app built on the modern web.
- Postbox – The Power Email App
- Thunderbird – Email client with minimalistic design.
- BlueMail – beautifully designed, powerful and easy to use email app if you’re looking for cross-platform functionality.
- 0 A.D. – A free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare.
- Awesome Games – List of games hosted on Github.
- Freeciv – A Free and Open Source empire-building strategy game inspired by the history of human civilization.
- Godot Engine – Free and open source game engine. Easy to get started and flexible for intermediate users.
- GOG – DRM-free game store with a lot of old games but also has a rich collection of new games.
- Itch.io – Install, update and play indie games.
- LuaStudio – Free game development tool/engine. Create games and other graphic focused apps on Windows using Lua/LuaJIT programming language. Export them to many platforms including iOS, Android and Mac.
- Origin – Like Steam, but for EA.
- Steam – Largest online video game retailer. Desktop app allows you to organise your library of games and play them at any time. But you already knew that.
- Unity – Free game engine. Easy to pick up and use with a number of tutorials.
- Unreal Engine – Another free game engine. Lots of documentation and easier to pick up, but you pay 5% royalties to Unreal when you make money from UE-based games.
- Warsow – Free & fast-paced FPS game for Windows.
- Blender – Fully-featured extensible cross-platform 3D content suite.
- Gimp – Open source image editor.
- Inkscape – Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
- Krita – Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program.
- MapTiler – MapTiler generates zoomable raster maps from images in user-defined coordinate system.
- Paint.net – how can you live without paint.net?
- Box – Ability to sync more than 100,000 files and supporting both special characters in file names and file paths longer than 256 characters.
- Dropbox -Simple, elegant and versatile (PC, Macs, Android…) cloud storage solution.
- Google Drive – Cloud storage solution deeply integrated in the Google ecosystem.
- pCloud – A swiss based privacy first cloud provider. Also offers one time payment lifetime plans.
- Sync – Encrypted file storage that stores all files in canadian datacenters
- Mega – Encrypted file storage.
- OneDrive – Best cloud storage solution for Windows users.
- Arq – Backs up your files to your own cloud account (Amazon Cloud Drive, AWS, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, OneDrive, and SFTP).
- Bvckup 2 – Light, versatile data replication software.
- Duplicati – Free backup software to store encrypted backups online For Windows, macOS and Linux.
- Alacritty – A cross-platform, GPU-accelerated terminal emulator
- Babun – Alternative Windows shell based on Cygwin.
- Cmder – Console emulator package with clink shell.
- ColorTool – Set custom color schemes for the Windows Console with support for iTerm color schemes.
- ConEmu – Customizable terminal with tabs, splits, quake-style and more.
- ConsoleZ – Modified version of Console 2 for a better experience and a better visual rendering.
- FluentTerminal – A Terminal Emulator based on UWP and web technologies.
- Hyper – A terminal built on web technologies.
- Kitty – advanced Putty (SSH and telnet client).
- MobaXterm – Xserver and tabbed SSH client.
- mRemoteNG – The next generation of mRemote, open source, tabbed, multi-protocol, remote connections manager.
- MTPuTTY – Multi-Tabbed PuTTY.
- Putty – SSH and telnet client.
- Terminus – modern, highly configurable terminal app based on web technologies.
- Windows Terminal – Microsoft’s official new terminal for Windows.
Proxy and VPN Tools
- Algo – Personal IPSEC VPN in the cloud.
Windows 10 Setup
- Win10-Initial-Setup-Script – Powershell script to turn off or on various defaults in Windows
Windows 8.1 Setup
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If you don’t trust the security and privacy policies of the mainstream apps or simply want to use completely free apps, then open source apps are just the type of apps you want.
As the name implies, open-source apps have their source code available to the public to inspect and even modify. This ensures they are secure and respect privacy as the vulnerabilities in the code can be detected by anyone.
Furthermore, these apps are usually maintained by volunteer developers who work on them in their free time, so they are usually free to use.
Being free and secure is more than enough reason to get open source apps, but if you are not convinced, then below are some more reasons:
- The developers work solely for their passion for the project, not for money. This leads to a better product that only focuses on usability without any bloat to attract new customers.
- Fewer bugs as hundreds of volunteer developers manage the code. More eyes increase the chances of catching bugs faster.
- They have a simpler interface (in most cases) as developers tend to focus on getting the job done instead of adding placebo features to attract customers that further complicate things.
- Extremely powerful apps can be hundreds of developers (depending on project popularity) introducing and managing features.
- Many open-source apps have plugins repositories where hundreds of plugins are available to enhance the app’s functionality further. Volunteer contributors also create the plugins.
- Popular open-source apps also have dedicated forums and communities to help and learn more about the apps.
- For enterprises, it’s also very flexible because if the company needs a different feature, then their own developers can contribute to developing it.
If you are ready to try some open source apps, then keep reading, and I’ll introduce some of the best open source apps for Windows 10.
An all-in-one image editing tool that is perfect for both regular and advanced users. Whether you want to do basic editing like resize, annotate, and effects, etc. or use advanced painting tools, GIMP has everything. GIMP also supports pretty much every photo format, and you can further enhance its functionality with plugins.
You can check out some GIMP tutorials to get started.
If GIMP doesn’t satisfy you, you can go for premium software such as Adobe Photoshop or Luminar.
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is the first app I recommend to everyone to install on their new PC. It will handle all your media-related needs without ever disappointing you. The app supports almost all audio/video formats, and you can download videos right from the VLC interface. You can also get more features using add-ons.
If you don’t afford popular antivirus programs like Avira or Avast, then an open-source antivirus program like ClamWin might work for you. It’s a completely free antivirus program that is updated regularly. The antivirus is light, but it doesn’t come with real-time protection like other premium antiviruses.
Thankfully, you can schedule scans to make sure your PC is scanned routinely.
Notepad++ is a replacement for the Windows notepad app, which is a much more advanced text editor. I personally use Notepad++ to manage my notes and content ideas as it automatically saves all the changes offline, and numbered lines are extremely useful.
Although coders mostly use it to write code, most of its features help with coding, including auto-complete based on the current context.
7-zip is definitely one of the best tools to manage archives and compress data. You can pack/unpack data in dozen of different formats and even encrypt data with AES-256 encryption. Its compression is also very powerful with multiple compression methods.
If you want to use an email client to manage all your email accounts, Thunderbird is far super than most of the premium options. It doesn’t require any setup, just provide your email and password, and it will automatically manage all the settings.
Some of the highlight features include attachment reminders, managing multiple emails at once, powerful search, sending huge files, and add-ons support.
Alternatively, you can try premium solution such as eM Client or other mentioned here.
VeraCrypt can help create encrypted storage space to securely store and manage that data if you have sensitive information. VeraCrypt can encrypt a whole disk or even a specific amount of space on your PC to store sensitive data. It can even encrypt USB drives to carry around data securely.
Your online passwords are the most important piece of information that you need to protect. If you don’t trust the standard password managers, then the open-source password manager KeePass will give you peace of mind.
KeePass comes with all the powerful features like encryption, auto-login, easy password search, password generator, secure clipboard, and much more. Although being open-source is a sufficient point to prefer it over others, you can see exactly how its security features work. It has plugins, too, to make it even better.
There are more password managers you may want to explore.
qBittorrent is a powerful torrent downloader and manager that tries to replicate the interface and functionality of the premium uTorrent app. The app lets you download torrents right inside its interface by search a custom list of torrent sites, and you can fully manage download speed, priority, and even schedule downloads. Unlike uTorrent, it doesn’t have any bothering ads.
My go-to tool when I need to clean up disk space.
WinDirStat shows all the data on a disk in a tree view where you can easily see which folders/files are taking the most space. You can also sort data by file type if you are looking for a specific file. I really like the disk map it creates to make it easier to understand what type of data is there and how much space it’s taking.
I am using Greenshot for all my screenshot-related needs on the PC, and it hasn’t disappointed me in the last 5 years. Greenshot lets you take screenshots in multiple ways and automatically saves them in your desired location. It saves not only on the PC but also lets you upload screenshots to online photo managers and cloud services.
You can also use the built-in editor to make quick edits.
If you want an exact copy of your data, then disk cloning software can help. Clonezilla is a cloning tool that will create an exact copy of your hard disk so you can easily restore data or even continue using the new disk. You can clone up to 40 disks at the same time and also secure them with AES-256 encryption.
Psiphon is an open-source VPN specifically made to access censored content. It doesn’t promise any security while browsing as it isn’t specifically made for this purpose, but you will be able to access restricted content. However, it isn’t a completely free service; you’ll have to buy points to use the VPN for a specific time.
BleachBit is similar to CCleaner, but open-source enthusiasts prefer it over CCleaner. It frees up space on your PC by cleaning temporary files and speeds up apps by deleting their junk data. It also has other tools like a file shredder and wiping free space to prevent data from being recovered. For an open-source app, I must say its interface is quite elegant.
Unlike the Windows search bar, Everything is a tool that shows all the files and folders instantly on searching. It can be a great replacement to the Windows search bar if you need to search for files often, especially if you have disabled the search bar to boost performance. The app has its own interface separate from the Windows search bar, and it’s extremely light on resources.
AutoHotkey is the perfect tool to automate many repetitive tasks by creating custom macros and shortcuts. It’s a scripting language that you can use to create macros to press different buttons and make clicks according to your requirement. There are a bunch of tutorials to get you to start using AutoHotkey.
Brave browser prides itself in offering a faster browsing experience than Chrome while still respecting your privacy and protecting you from online threats. It claims to use 33% less memory than Chrome while being 3x faster.
I really liked their stance on ads. You can disable ads or view them and earn points that you can spend on things online or withdraw as cash. What type of ads you see is also under your control.
Explore more Chrome alternative browsers for better privacy.
If you are interested in using multiple operating systems without installing them, then VirtualBox is the solution. This tool will let you create a virtual environment where you can install a supported operating system and use/manage them completely separate from your actual OS.
This can be a great solution to run un-supported apps, test apps, and basically run a separate instance of your PC without affecting the real OS.
Audacity is an audio recording and editing software that is perfect for both novice and advanced users. You can edit multiple audio tracks at a time using simple keyboard shortcuts and menu buttons. There is even a spectrogram view to analyze frequencies and individually select them.
Overall, it’s an easy-to-use audio editing software that should be able to handle all your audio editing needs. If you do get stuck, you can check the tutorials to get help.
If you are not interested in buying the Microsoft Office suite, LibreOffice can be a great free alternative. The suite consists of a word processor, presentation maker, spreadsheets, drawing tool, databases, and formula editor. It offers all the regular features you see in the top document creation tools, and you can further enhance functionality with extensions.
Out of these, I regularly use many of them when needed. In my experience, these apps are even better than the leading premium apps in both usability and features. I will also recommend you to support your favorite open source apps with a donation, as usually, their maintenance costs solely depend on donations.