12 Handy, Free Programs

A simple program for backing up important files and folders to USB flash drive.

Everything Search Engine
Quick and easy way to instantly locate files and folders by name.

PDF-XChange PDF Viewer
A great replacement for Adobe Reader. Works faster and better than any of the other pdf readers out there (and yes, I have tried them all).

Karen's Directory Printer
Allows you print a list of the files in a folder. A simple task that is missing from Windows for some reason.

Handy tool for cleaning and speeding up a Windows PC.

Microsoft Security Essentials
Unobtrusive anti-virus protection.

PolyEdit Lite
This easy-to-use, extremely fast word processor is a great alternative to the feature-laden Microsoft Word.

Windows Live Mail
I spend a lot of time trying out different email programs, and WLM is perfectly adequate for my purposes. It lacks features (e.g. tagging, conversation threading) found in other programs like GMail or Thunderbird, but that's fine with me.

Windows Live Photo Gallery
I much prefer this program to Google Picassa for organizing and simple editing of my digital photos.

Free for home users. Use MailStore to archive and backup old email.

Mozilla Firefox
I prefer the look and feel of the Firefox browser to Internet Explorer, Opera, or Chrome, and I use some of the handy extensions that are available. It's not as fast as Chrome, but Chrome is buggy and crash-prone.

Save snippets of text and instantly copy them into any program with a keyboard shortcut. Very handy indeed!