If you’ve just bought a new computer or reinstalled Windows, the first thing you’ll probably do is install apps. While there are dozens of fantastic Windows programs, knowing which ones are essential for Windows 11 makes the process of setting up a new installation go more smoothly. Therefore, here we are with 21 must-have Windows 11 apps and software you need to install right away in 2023.
Must-Have Windows 11 Apps and Software in 2023
Third-party software installation on Windows has never been a problem. As a result, we’ve put together a list of the best Windows 11 apps that you should try in 2021. The majority of these apps are available for download through the Microsoft Store app on your Windows PC, but they can also be installed manually.
No, we’re not talking about well-known apps like Microsoft Teams, Google Chrome, or Firefox; instead, we’re talking about some lesser-known but extremely useful third-party apps that will improve your Windows 11 experience.
Let’s go over 21 essential apps for Windows 11 that everyone should install right away, along with some alternatives, in no particular order.
1. Best Internet Browser: Google Chrome
Google Chrome is still our preferred browser, which is unsurprising. It’s lightning-fast, has handy features like the ability to instantly search Google for an image, and a large library of Chrome extensions.
When you add in cross-platform syncing, which allows you to open tabs from your desktop on your phone and vice versa, you’ve got a fantastic browser for all purposes.
Chrome, on the other hand, is not without flaws. Many people dislike Google’s pervasive tracking in Chrome, which eats up a lot of RAM. The good news is that you can choose from a variety of fantastic browsers, including Firefox and Opera.
Even the built-in Microsoft Edge browser is now based on Chromium, so if you prefer Microsoft’s approach to Google’s, give it a shot.
Download: Google Chrome (Free)
Download: Firefox (Free)
Download: Opera (Free)
2. Best Cloud Storage: Google Drive
Google Drive is the cloud app service you should install if you only have time to install one. It comes with 15GB of free storage that can be shared across your Google account, including Google Photos and Gmail.
Google Drive has an app for every major platform, allowing you to take your files with you wherever you go. The desktop app makes it simple to back up folders on your computer and external devices, in addition to syncing files you place in the dedicated Google Drive folder.
It’s also incredibly simple to share files with others, and the service integrates nicely with Google’s productivity suite. Google Drive is a must-have Windows 10 app, whether you use it as part of your backup plan, as a cloud flash drive, or to set up shared folders with others.
You can get plenty of storage space and organize your files logically by service if you use OneDrive, which is built into Windows 10, or another free cloud storage provider.
3. Best Music Streaming: Spotify
Listening to music on your computer used to entail tenaciously importing and organizing an MP3 collection. That is no longer the case; music streaming services have rendered the purchase of individual albums, either physically or digitally, obsolete.
There are many music streaming services available, but we believe Spotify is the best option for Windows 10. Spotify’s ad-supported free plan allows you to listen to as much music as you want, and there are a number of Spotify Premium plans that are well worth it for frequent listeners. Spotify also hosts hundreds of podcasts, allowing you to listen to everything in one place.
Unlike some of its competitors, Spotify has a dedicated Windows app. Apple Music or YouTube Music, on the other hand, maybe a better fit if you’re already invested in another ecosystem.
Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)
Visit: Apple Music (Subscription required, free trial available)
Visit: YouTube Music (Free, subscription available)
4. Best Office Suite: Libre Office
At some point, you’ll probably need a tool that allows you to work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You may believe that purchasing Microsoft Office is the only way to do so, but this is not the case.
LibreOffice is a must-have for any Windows user. It’s a free and powerful office suite that includes replacements for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other programs. You’ll be flying through your work with LibreOffice once you get used to a few minor aesthetic differences from MS Office.
It’s worth noting that OpenOffice, a once-popular alternative, is now essentially defunct. Try FreeOffice if you don’t want to use LibreOffice. You can also use web apps like Word Online or Google Docs, but we’re concentrating on full desktop downloads right now.
Download: LibreOffice (Free)
Download: FreeOffice (Free)
5. Best Image Editor: Paint.NET
Everyone should have an image editing program installed, whether they want to try their hand at basic image manipulation, need a way to blur sensitive information in screenshots, or want to retouch old photos. Although Photoshop is the industry standard, there are a plethora of free tools that are more user-friendly.
Paint.NET is an essential Windows application for image editing. It’s far more powerful than Microsoft Paint, but it doesn’t have as many confusing features. In just a few clicks, you can blur out parts of an image, auto-level photos to improve their appearance, and add text and shapes to your photos. You can also expand its functionality with a variety of plugins.
If you find Paint.NET to be too basic, GIMP is a more advanced alternative that is also free.
Download: Paint.NET (Free)
Download: GIMP (Free)
6. Best Media Player: VLC
You probably don’t watch local videos very often because of YouTube’s ubiquity. However, everyone should have a good video player on their desktop for when they need to play local media files. Even if it’s not one of the first things you think of installing on a new computer, it will come in handy at some point.
VLC Media Player, which has a tonne of features and can play nearly every video and audio format imaginable, is the best tool for the job. VLC is a free video player that you should download while you’re setting up your PC. You’ll avoid having to fiddle with video codecs or using QuickTime, which is no longer supported on Windows.
Download: VLC (Free)
Taking a screenshot on Windows is useful for a variety of things, including capturing funny moments and keeping track of important data. The basic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch apps only provide a rudimentary feature set, so you’ll need something more in your essential Windows app collection.
ShareX is the most powerful free screenshot tool available. ShareX has an impressive feature set for no cost, with a variety of capture methods, a solid built-in editor, the ability to run automated steps after taking a screenshot, and extra tools like a colour grabber and ruler.
If ShareX is too much for you, try TinyTake instead. It’s a little less complicated, but it’s not lacking in features.
Download: ShareX (Free)
Download: TinyTake (Free)
8. File Compression and Extraction: 7-Zip
Simple zipped files are supported natively by Windows, but anything beyond that necessitates the use of a more powerful tool. While a file extractor isn’t the most exciting software category, it’s still a must-have PC app for working with any type of archived files you might come across.
7-Zip is the industry standard when it comes to file compression and extraction software. It’s small, takes seconds to set up, is simple to use, and stays out of the way when not in use. Advanced features are still available in 7-Zip for those who require them.
7-Zip’s only flaw is its shabby appearance. If you still can’t get past that, check out PeaZip, a similar tool with a much more appealing interface. In any case, you don’t need to pay for software like WinRAR.
Download: 7-Zip (Free)
Download: PeaZip (Free)
9. Messaging: Rambox
Your friends probably use at least one messaging service during the day to keep in touch with you. There’s no way we could pick the best messaging service because it’s so dependent on what your friends use. There are simply too many options. So why not put them all together?
We think Rambox is the best Windows messaging app. If you’re a user of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype or any of a slew of other popular messaging services, this app is for you.
Every service you use gets its own tab in the app, so you can keep track of everything in one place. Open these apps in your browser would have a number of disadvantages, including the inability to shut down a running program, which this app alleviates.
Because of this, Franz’s free plan offers more than Rambox’s free plan does.
10. Clipboard Manager: ClipClip
As a Windows app, a clipboard manager is essential because it saves you considerable time. Clipboard managers allow you to keep track of the last several dozen items that you’ve copied to your computer’s clipboard.
You can use ClipClip to manage your Windows 10 clipboard. With the app, you can keep track of your copying habits, bookmark useful passages, create folders for pre-written text like addresses and email responses, and more.
However, you can customise the app’s hotkeys and clipboard monitoring, as well as specify which data the app ignores. Forget about managing your PC’s clipboard again if you include it in your list of essential Windows software. Nevertheless, ClipClip is one of the must-have Windows 11 apps.
Download: ClipClip (Free)
11. Password Manager: Bitwarden
It’s impossible to keep track of all of your passwords, even if you tried. The reason you need a password manager is because of this fact. Using this service, you only have to remember one master password, which is the only password you’ll ever need to remember.
You can’t go wrong with Bitwarden, the best free password manager on the market. To quickly auto-fill passwords, you’ll need both the desktop app and the Bitwarden browser extension. To get started with a password manager, read our comprehensive how-to guide.
Download: Bitwarden (Free, subscription available)
12. Backup: Backblaze
Backing up your computer is critical because a natural disaster, break-in, or malware attack could wipe out all of your files. You don’t want to lose all of your documents, photos, and other files, forcing you to start over.
Backblaze is a great backup service for Windows 10 that we recommend. The service backs up everything on your PC, as well as any external drives you connect, to the Backblaze cloud for a few dollars a month. You don’t have to worry about selecting what gets backed up, and your backup size is unrestricted.
Backup is worth paying for, even if it’s the only app on this list that doesn’t have a free version. If you ever lose all of your files, the app will quickly pay for itself.
Try EaseUS Todo Backup Free as an additional backup layer, or as your primary backup if you can’t afford Backblaze. It’s a simple tool that allows you to create local backups of your files.
Sfware data Recovery is also a great tool that you must download.
Download: Sfware Data Recovery
Download: Backblaze (From $6/month)
Download: EaseUS Todo Backup Free (Free, premium version available)
13. Storage Management: TreeSize Free
Everyone has experienced the frustration of running out of storage space. A disc analyzer is one of the other apps you should install on every Windows system.
TreeSize Free is an easy-to-use program that helps you figure out what’s taking up space on your computer. Simply open it and tell it which disc to scan, and it will sort all of your PC’s folders according to their size. You can then see which files are the largest on your computer and delete or move them as needed.
Don’t waste time manually searching through folders for large files—let this useful tool do it for you.
Download: TreeSize Free (Free, premium version available)
14. Scripting: AutoHotkey
AutoHotkey is a program that you should download if you want to automate more on your computer. It’s a custom scripting tool that allows you to define your own commands, making it as versatile as your imagination allows.
Quick text expansion, automatic typo correction, overriding certain keyboard keys, and creating macros to perform multiple actions with a few keystrokes are just a few examples.
AutoHotkey can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a very useful tool to have. Nevertheless, AutoHotKey is one of the must-have Windows 11 apps.
Download: AutoHotkey (Free)
15. Best Battery Manager: Battery Mode
Users in Windows 10 had the option of selecting one of three presets: “Better battery,” “Balanced,” or “Best performance.” There was also the option to set different presets for network and wall socket operation.
These options are still available in Windows 11, but the flexibility has been reduced. Users cannot, for example, set different presets for battery and plugged-in operation.
This is where the Battery Mode feature comes into play. The app is simple to install and use. The user can choose from five different presets after installation, ranging from battery saving to best performance.
The battery level can also be easily controlled using the slider under the presets – this is a must-have app for Windows 11.
Download: BatteryMode (Free)
16. Customize Dark Mode on Windows 11: Auto Dark Mode
On our laptops and smartphones, many of us prefer to use dark mode. However, many people dislike using dark mode during the day because it causes eye strain.
Android and iOS both have an automatic dark mode switch from sunrise to sunset, but Windows 11 does not.
Auto Dark Mode is supposed to be the end-all solution to this issue. The app lets you set a custom timer for dark mode without having to go into the Windows 11 settings and do it manually, as the name implies.
You guessed it: an automatic sunrise to sunset option is available.
Is there anything else the app can help you with? Yes, without a doubt. You set the UI to work in light mode, as well as a dark mode for apps and a light mode for apps.
As we all know, dark mode saves battery life to a degree; the app can even switch to dark mode when it is unplugged. What a fantastic idea!
Download: Auto Dark Mode (Free)
17. Best File Manager for Windows 11: One Commander
Microsoft has specifically optimized the file manager in Windows 11 to improve usability. However, some settings became unnecessarily complicated as a result of this, and the file manager has never been known for its flexibility.
One Commander is a replacement for Windows 11’s default file manager. The app’s download and setup are both quick and painless, and it’s easily one of our favorite Windows 11 apps.
You have a lot of options when it comes to setup. You can, for example, choose from five different themes, customize the taskbar layout, and use a file manager that looks like it belongs on a Mac.
We prefer the macOS layout because of the flexibility it provides, which makes working with multiple files a breeze.
Download: OneCommander (Free)
18. MacOS Spotlight on Windows 11: PowerToys
Do you want to improve your Windows 11 experience? Want a Windows version of Apple’s Spotlight search feature? Then you’ve come to the right place. PowerToys is a fantastic app for all of these enhancements.
To begin, the app enables the Spotlight search option, which is similar to that found on MacBooks, but on a Windows 11 machine. This is extremely useful when you need to find a file or launch an application as quickly as possible.
Let’s say your boss approaches you while you’re playing solitaire, and you need to launch Excel right away so he doesn’t see you. Editor’s note: (If only!)
“Awake” is another exciting feature. The app, as the name implies, allows users to keep their screens awake and prevent them from going into hibernation without having to fiddle with the settings in Windows 11.
This can be very useful in some situations, such as when performing a critical task or installing a game. Definitely, a Windows 11 app to try out.
Download: PowerToys (Free)
19. Best File Transfer Windows App: KDE Connect
Apple’s Airdrop is well-known for seamlessly transferring files between Macs and iPhones. Further, it is one of the must-have Windows 11 apps. Windows, on the other hand, hasn’t had such a feature in a long time.
We were able to locate an app that allows you to transfer files from your Android smartphone to your PC quickly and easily. KDE Connect is an easy-to-use app for transferring files between a PC and a smartphone.
All you have to do is download the app to your computer and smartphone, and then use it. Simply ensure that both devices are connected to the same WiFi network, and file transfer should be seamless. In fact, one of the most useful apps on the list.
Download: KDE Connect (Free)
20. Best Download Manager for Windows 11: Internet Download Manager
We’re sure you’ve encountered a situation where you’re downloading a large file and it gets interrupted for some reason, causing all of your progress to be lost. Isn’t it a pain in the neck?
Download managers are useful in this situation. Among the best download managers on the market, IDM is our favorite.
Users can manage all of their downloads in a systematic manner once the program is installed, which makes it extremely useful. It also allows you to pause downloads in the middle and resume them later. In the event of a power outage, the download will automatically pause to save your progress.
IDM’s segmentation technology, according to the app’s developer, can speed up downloads by five times. The app is free for the first 30 days, after which users must pay $24 for a lifetime subscription.
Download: Internet Download Manager
21. Best Social Media Apps Companion: Franz
Franz is the last app on our list of best apps for Windows 11 (get the reference?!) and one of our favorites. Essentially, the app brings together all of the most popular social media apps in one place. Whatsapp. Instagram, Slack, and any other app you can think of are all supported.
This means you won’t have to open multiple Chrome tabs to access each social media site separately. Plus, juggling all of these mediums at the same time is a breeze.
For anyone who needs to interact with multiple social media platforms at once, this is a must-have.
Download: Franz (Free, Subscription)
Well, these were the 21 must-have Windows 11 apps and software you can download in 2023. Further, these apps will no doubt work great in Windows 10. We hope this guide helped you.
If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our other gaming, troubleshooting, and computing guides. Furthermore, if you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comment section below to contact us.