If for Christmas or Kings you are launching a new PC or laptop with Windows, it is very likely that you have the new Windows 11, in which case you can not only install anything compatible with Windows 10 and countless previous versions of the system, but also you have some exclusive Windows 11 things in the also renewed Microsoft Store.
Be that as it may, at Genbeta we have put together a list with some of the best programs that you can install in Windows 11 to get the most out of your new computer, and as we all love it when you don’t have to pay anything, all are free apps.
If you are looking image editors, developer programs, illustration apps, or a video editor good and free, no shortage of options:
Paint.net if GIMP seems very complicated to you, with the good old Paint.net you have everything you need for simple and relatively complex edits and it is much easier to use.
PhotoScape X: if you want something even simpler but also modern and well thought out for adding filters, editing RAW photos, and even creating GIFs and collages, the free version of PhotoScape is a great option.
Polarr: If what you are interested in is the digital development of RAW images and a good simple editor alternative to Lightroom, Polarr is an excellent option.
Krita: if your thing is digital illustration, few free and open source options are as complete and good as Krita, which also released a tremendous update at the end of 2021.
DaVinci Resolve: If you want a professional and powerful video editor, loaded with advanced features, there is nothing like DaVinci Resolve that offers a free version with practically no limitations.
If you can’t or don’t want to pay for Microsoft’s Office, there are plenty of free options, including one from Microsoft itself …
Office Online: from Office.com you have access to a light version of the three most used apps in the package: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. For most cases it can be more than enough and many of those who pass do not miss anything.
WPS Office: if you want more complete dedicated applications with great compatibility with doc, xls, ppt and more; this alternative is a pretty good one.
LibreOffice: If you prefer something open source and don’t need to master the programs 100% overnight, LibreOffice is also a great alternative.
Maybe you knew it or maybe you didn’t, but Windows 11 has and will have its own optimized versions of apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. In addition, heavyweights like Zoom recently arrived at the new Microsoft Store.
WhatsApp Beta: it works fully natively on Windows and is no longer web-based, causing it to consume much less RAM on our computer, a great advantage over the previous version.
Telegram: is for some the best option to WhatsApp and soon you will also have a new application optimized for Windows 11.
Zoom: you can find it from the Microsoft Store only in Windows 11, it is exactly the same classic win32 version that you can download as .exe on their website.
Discord: It also landed on the Windows 11 Microsoft Store recently and you can download it from there or from the official website.
While streaming services like Netflix have been offering their apps for years through the Microsoft Store. Versions of Disney + and Prime Video have also been released not long ago, with the great advantage that they let you watch the content in 4K and HDR. For everything else …
VLC: it is the most legendary video player that exists, and for the first time its full and classic version appears in the Microsoft Store. If you use Windows 11 you just need to search for “VLC win32” to find it.
Plexamp: if you are one of those who have music files on your computer and do not depend only on streaming, Plexamp is one of the coolest players today. Modern and feature-laden for audiophiles and music lovers … and a bit of hipsters too. It is from the same people as the Plex media manager.
Kodi: and if we are going to talk about multimedia centers, Kodi is perhaps the name par excellence in that regard, it offers an extremely complete solution for almost all needs.
If now that you have started using Windows 11 you find that there are things what do you miss about Windows 10, or someone has taken some of the options from your taskbar, you are not alone. The following are some tools to deal with those details (if they need a solution for you) and other extras that can come in handy:
ExplorerPatcher: it is used to return all the lost functions of the taskbar, even to be able to move it around. Its installation is somewhat complicated, but you can read the step by step in Genbeta.
Return the classic contextual menu: if you do not like that when you right-click now you have to do another click on “Show more options” all the time, with these instructions you can return to the same style of Windows 10.
Files v2 – An alternative file explorer that has almost everything you need to be better than Windows Explorer 11 itself.
NanaZip: a modern fork of 7-Zip that does integrate into the new right-click menu in Windows 11.
PowerToys: the tools for Windows power users that I never tire of recommending to everyone. They offer all kinds of cool enhancements and are constantly evolving.