Favorite free Windows toys…

Though I’m a Linux bigot, I work generally on a Windows laptop. Below is a list of my favorite free toys/tools that I use regularly. I’ve had good luck with all of them:

  • Unlocker Assistant – for unlocking pesky locked Windows files or drives.
  • I8kFanGUI – for controlling your laptop fans
  • TrueCrypt – for creating a mountable encrypted drive from a file or external media
  • CCleaner – cleans up your registry and other crap.
  • Cygwin – Unix emulation with complete Unix command set and environment for Windows
  • Malwarebytes – finds malware that most major AVs don’t.
  • TweakUI – free Microsoft tool (“PowerToy”) to tweak your system
  • Process Explorer – free system monitoring tool
  • Putty/WinSCP – great SSH tools (does telnet and FTP too)<
  • RealVNC – VNC remote desktop sessions
  • SolarWinds TFTP – standalone TFTP server useful for upgrading the IOS on a Cisco router
  • TeraTerm Pro – a much better replacement for serial Hyperterm (see UTF-8 version here for one with Windows installer). NOTE: The latest Putty now supports serial, so for basic uses that may be all you need.
  • WindDirStat – find where all your disk space is going.
  • Wireshark/WinPcap – for snooping networks
  • MBSA – Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer to find your big security holes
  • Windows Installer CleanUp Utility – Microsoft tool to remove unremovable/uninstallable program entries
  • PowerBooster 2k – Hitachi laptop disk performance tool
  • Google Earth – just a cool way to look at the world
  • MediaMonkey – one of the best MP3 player/burner/managers I’ve seen.
  • Fat32Format – format FAT32 drives of any size
  • HDD Health – monitor SMART drive output (may also want to see SpeedFan).
  • UltraISO – great for unpacking/manipulating CD ISO images
  • FastStone Image Viewer – very quick JPEG/GIF/TIFF/RAW viewer and editor (good for single images).
  • Picasa – Very nice and fast image organizer and editor (good for directories of images)
  • SyncToy – Microsoft disk-to-disk, directory-to-directory synchronizer (faster than backups). Personally I actually use the for-pay ViceVersa PRO but…



  1. ron Avatar

    FTP Manager Lite is one of the best free FTP and SFTP client software. The clean interface is super easy to use. It will perform your files transfers quickly and efficiently. It also supports FXP for superfast server to server transfers.

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