What if Microsoft brought Disney with them

100 free programs from Microsoft

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10 (top programs)

Microsoft PowerToys are a legendary software collection that was available for Windows 95 and Windows XP. In 2019 Microsoft released a new edition for Windows 10 - which shares the name with the original package, but has little to do with it functionally. With the modernized suite, you can adjust key combinations, position windows optimally on the screen and display hotkeys in conjunction with the Windows key. An example of changing shortcuts is changing the function of your shortcut menu key on the keyboard. It is possible to assign her Ctrl-Shift-Escape and let her start the Task Manager. You don't call it up any faster.

»Download: Download Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10

Microsoft Power Automate Desktop (top programs)

Automate your PC with Microsoft Power Automate Desktop. This is done (almost) without programming code, which is why we sometimes talk about low code programming or no code programming. You can develop your own useful applications using the mouse (drag & drop). In the tree area on the left there are numerous ready-made categories with many sub-functions that you can select and configure. This is how you click automations together: A few clicks of the mouse are sufficient to, for example, copy predefined files to a defined location. You can also handle actions related to "mouse and keyboard", "Outlook", "clipboard", CMD sessions (command line) and much more. A Microsoft e-mail address and Windows 10 are required to use. Training time is necessary, programming skills are not.

»Download: Download Microsoft Power Automate Desktop

Windows Movie Maker (Top Programs)

Windows Movie Maker (WMM) is used for video editing and was integrated in Windows XP / Vista, since Windows 7 it is no longer part of the range of functions. The WMM version, which can also be retrofitted with Windows 10, is noticeably better than the weak on-board counterpart from earlier: The current version has a ribbon menu. Beyond this modern operator guidance, the functions for freeware are also powerful: With the tool, you can shorten videos, merge photos into slide shows and combine photos with videos. You can optionally store music and insert transition effects. In the end, the application encodes a WMV or an even better compressed file in the MP4 container.

»Download: Download Windows Movie Maker
»Windows Movie Maker: The Best Video Editing Tips

Outlook.com (Top Web Application)

Microsoft Sway (Windows 10 app and web service, Office)

With Sway Microsoft provides an alternative method to PowerPoint to present something to an audience. With the web and app-based solution, you can create small websites from text and images. Templates make it easier for you to get started: You can enter texts freely, and for image design you can draw on online suggestions with a Creative Commons license. You can share finished presentations with others thanks to the generated URLs.

»Download: Download Microsoft Sway (Windows 10 app)
»To the web service: Microsoft Sway

StickySorter and Microsoft Sticky Notes (Office)

With StickySorter you can attach virtual sticky notes to a kind of pin board. You can use the keyboard to write down what is important to you on them. For example, you can create shopping lists or lists with important dates. With just two clicks or the F function keys, you can give the sticky notes an individual color. Thanks to a search function, you can find the text passage that interests you in many of the notes. Microsoft Sticky Notes is an alternative: The Windows 10 app replaces the short notes on-board tool, is similarly simple and offers a jump list entry to add notes by right-clicking on the system tray icon.

»Download: Download StickySorter
»Download: Download Microsoft Sticky Notes (Windows 10 app)

Microsoft Whiteboard (Windows 10 App, Office)

Creative people let off steam in the Microsoft whiteboard: they place pieces of paper and add notes to them, draw lines and import image files. If there are no suitable files, search for online material with the integrated Bing and insert it.

»Download: Download Microsoft Whiteboard (Windows 10 app)

Microsoft Journal (Windows 10 app, Office)

The Microsoft Garage app "Journal" allows line drawings to be made. There is no need for a touch monitor, a mouse is sufficient. But if you have such a display and a pen, you can also operate the application with it - particularly conveniently.

»Download: Download Microsoft Journal (Windows 10 app)

Windows calculator (Windows 10 app, Office)

The Windows 10 on-board resource app "Calculator" is powerful: its window can be scaled in contrast to the Windows 7 / 8.1 counterpart. Thanks to Fluent Design, the app is transparent and the desktop shimmers through. There is a programmer and scientific mode, each of which takes "dot before line" into account. With converters you can master the conversion of "volume", "length", "weight and mass", "temperature", "energy", "area", "speed", "time", "power", "data", " Pressure "and" angle ". Illustrative comparative values ​​appear during calculations: At Zoll, for example, the app gives joking references to paper clips, hands and jumbo jets. The conversion of currencies accesses the Internet and takes current exchange rates into account.

»Download: Download Windows calculator (Windows 10 app)
»Windows Calculator: Interesting Unit Comparisons
»Windows 8.1 / 10: Convert liters to tablespoons - using a calculator

Excel template: monthly budget (Office)

Photo calendar (Excel template, Office)

The Excel template "Photo Calendar" in XLTX format helps you to have an orderly everyday life. You enter upcoming appointments there and keep an eye on them. There is one tab per month; You can switch between them with a click in Excel or LibreOffice Calc at the bottom of the screen. It is nice to see that each monthly sheet comes up with a different picture: each is a photograph of food.

»Download: Download photo calendar (Excel template)

Microsoft Dictate (Office)

The Office add-in "Microsoft Dictate" works with artificial intelligence and with Word, Outlook and PowerPoint (from MS Office 2013) together. The application takes voice commands via the PC microphone and transcribes and translates them. The operating system required is Windows 8.1 or higher, similar to the Presentation Translator.

»Download: Download Microsoft Dictate

Windows Maps (App for Windows 10; Office)

If you want to do route planning on your PC, notebook or tablet, you can use Windows’s own map app. You can choose to see an aerial view or a street view; the display of traffic incidents and camera content is optional. You can move the section using drag & drop, or you can navigate using the input field.

»Download: Download Windows maps (app for Windows 10)

Bing Maps (Office)

Bing Maps is an equal competitor to Google Maps. With the help of the cloud service, users plan routes (for cars, public transport or walking) and search for locations and shops - all in the browser.

»To the web service: Bing Maps

Microsoft News (Windows 10 App, Office)

The Microsoft News app keeps you up to date with the latest news: These are sorted into the sections "My News", "Headlines", Politics "," Panorama "," Entertainment "," Finance "," Sports "," Knowledge " & Technology "," Digital "," Videos "and" Picture galleries ". The operating concept is made up of tiles: You click on these elements with pictures to read a message. Various sources come together and provide you with extensive information; and represented the t3n magazine.

»Download: Download Microsoft News (Windows 10 app)
»Download: Download Microsoft News (Android app)
»Download: Microsoft News: Download the news (app for iPhone & iPad)

Continue on PC (App for iPhone & iPad, Office)

With Contunie on PC, you can send websites that you have opened on the phone or iPod touch to the PC. Then put your work there - and look at the pages on the larger screen. It is sufficient to call up the menu in the iOS browser Safari and select the "Continue" symbol. You share the content with him. So that it arrives at the PC, select "Phone> Add mobile phone" in the Settings app (press Win-i). The "Your smartphone" app opens on the PC and you follow the instructions.

»Download: Download Continue on PC (app for iPhone & iPad)

Mail and Calendar (Windows 10 App, Communication)

With "Mail and Calendar" you can keep in touch with others and keep an eye on your appointments. The following download link takes you to the Microsoft Store, which you can use to upgrade the applications. But this is only necessary if you have uninstalled it.

»Download: Download mail and calendar (Windows 10 app)

Your smartphone (Windows 10 app, communication)

Windows 10 Update Assistant (Tuning)

The Windows 10 Update Assistant fulfills a double function: it updates an outdated Windows 10 to the latest major release. In this way, you can avoid any imminent end of update support - and benefit from functional modernizations. The portable tool also upgrades Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. It is sufficient to run the wizard. It checks whether the PC is compatible, downloads the setup data of the latest system when the light is green and imports it without any loss of data.

»Download: Download Windows 10 Update Assistant

Media Creation Tool for Windows 10 (Tuning)

If the PC paralyzes, a (re-) installation of Windows 10 helps to bring the pace up to speed. The system starts faster than Windows 7, for example, thanks to modern background technology. The interface is more modern than the 7 system and Windows 8.1. The highlights include the start menu with a combination of list entries (Windows 7 style, classic) and modern Windows 8-like tiles. The voice assistant Cortana shows off its artificial intelligence; maximizing windows is exclusively animated. The command line understands useful key combinations for the first time. Furthermore, only Windows 10 has RAM data compression. A virus protection (AV) is already built in, it is renamed Microsoft Defender Antivirus and now protects so well that competing AV providers could fear for their existence in the future.

Microsoft officially let users switch from Windows 7/8 (.1) to Windows 10 free of charge by July 29, 2016. A free upgrade is still possible today: Microsoft never ended the offer, but is not raising the bell. Once you've switched, you can keep Windows 10 permanently. With the Media Creation Tool for Windows 10 offered below, you can download an ISO file of the latest OS or transfer the system setup data from the Internet to a bootable USB stick.

»Download: Download the Media Creation Tool for Windows 10

Windows 10 Refresh Tool (Tuning)

Do you want to renew your installed Windows 10 in order to thoroughly rid it of malware and / or to do it again quickly without manual cleanup? You can perform a reset both in the Settings app and with the Windows 10 Refresh Tool. This is more easily accessible and an assistant gives you the choice of whether you want to keep your personal files or destroy everything. Incidentally, the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool does the same thing and even more; However, if you don't want to create an ISO file and just want to refresh your PC, the Windows 10 Refresh Tool is the right choice.

»Download: Download the Windows 10 Refresh Tool

Sysinternals Suite (Tuning)

The Sysinternals Suite is a zipped collection of over 70 useful system programs by Mark Russionvich. The developer is now part of Microsoft. Its utilities can be used independently of one another; you can either unzip them all or individually. The tools clean up the autostart, simulate blue screens (NotMyFault), enlarge display contents and much more. Some of the applications come in 32- and 64-bit versions - and there is a graphical or command-line-based version, or both. The latter applies to autoruns, which probably knows, reads and clears out all of the many Windows autostart ramps. How to make Windows faster and more stable.

»Download: Download Sysinternals Suite

Autoruns (tuning)

Many programs integrate themselves into the autostart when they are installed, so that they load automatically when Windows starts. The more applications that come together, the slower Windows works. With Autoruns you free the many autostart ramps from unnecessary entries and make the system faster and more stable. Autoruns lists all applications that load when you start up without any action on your part. With one click you remove the corresponding tick and prevent the automatic start. The tool detects more autostart applications than MSconfig (Windows 7) or the task manager, which has functioned as an autostart manager since Windows 8.

»Download: Download Autoruns
»Start your PC faster with autoruns: How to optimize the autostart

Process Explorer (Tuning)

The Process Explorer is a full-blown alternative to the Windows Task Manager. The free tool informs you about all currently running programs and many details. You will receive information about the memory and processor utilization as well as which program is malicious according to the online virus scanner VirusTotal. If the Task Manager fails to end a process, the Process Explorer sometimes succeeds. It marks processes with colors: Applications that have just entered the RAM and recently terminated applications differ in their visualization - this helps with troubleshooting.

»Download: Download Process Explorer
»Download: Download Process Explorer Portable
»Process Explorer: The better task manager for Windows

Autologon (tuning)

The Sysinternals Suite and the separately offered "Autologon" tool automates the logon to your Windows user account. This is useful when there are several accounts. In Autologon, you enter the account that is always to be logged in when the PC is started, including its password. Entering the phrase is no longer necessary when the computer is started in the future. The portable helper is an alternative to netplwiz or control userpasswords2: It is one and the same Windows on-board tool, this also allows auto log-ins without entering a password, but is less accessible than Autologon.

»Download: Download Autologon

Windows Terminal (Windows 10 app, tuning)

The Windows Terminal is almost a mandatory download for Windows experts: The tool combines the command line, PowerShell and (if installed) the Linux command prompt in one window. You can activate the latter by adding the "Subsystem for Linux" via optionalfeatures.exe, for which we have published another guide. The terminal allows access to the command interpreter with tabs so that you can use several of them in parallel. There is also the option "Azure Cloud Shell". You do not (yet) change the settings of the terminal using a GUI (graphical user interface), but using a text editor by adapting the settings.json file.

»» Download: Download Windows Terminal (Windows 10 app)

Windows Commands Reference: All command line commands from Microsoft as PDF (tuning)

There are countless commands for the command line that you can use to work more effectively on the PC. Microsoft explains in detail how to use some of the most important ones in an English-language PDF documentation. There you will get to know the syntax, i.e. the basic structure of a command. In addition, there are parameters that specify a task and a practical example - this is how you change things with, for exampletime 17:30:00 (requires a command line started with administrator rights) the Windows time.

»Download: Download Windows Commands Reference

Windows 10, 8 & 7 as a virtual machine (tuning)

Would you like to test Windows in a virtual machine? Then the web service modern.ie (see download link) is helpful: Microsoft offers images for the virtualisers VirtualBox, Vagrant, VMWare, Hyper and Parallels. You choose from a drop-down menu whether you want to download Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. These are enterprise editions that are mostly used in companies. The images are primarily intended for testing Internet Explorer (IE), because Microsoft supplies a certain IE version or, with Windows 10, the successor Edge Legacy. You can import the OS into your virtualizer without installing it by double-clicking it. The term is 90 days.

»To the web service: Windows 10, 8 & 7 as virtual machine

Windows USB / DVD Download Tool (Tuning)

With the Windows USB / DVD Download Tool you can copy the installation files from Windows bootable to a stick. It is sufficient to specify an ISO file via the "Browse" button; the application unpacks them to the external storage medium. You then install the operating system from it without an optical CD / DVD drive.It is important that your USB stick has enough storage space for the Windows you want.

»Download: Download Windows USB / DVD Download Tool

Mouse without Borders (Tuning)

With Mouse without Borders, you can operate two computers with just one mouse (or touchpad). If the devices are in the same (WLAN) network, connect them: To do this, call up the computer name and a random security code on a PC; Enter both on the other device in Mouse without borders. If the connection is established, move the mouse pointer on one of the PCs beyond the border of the screen. The cursor now appears on the other monitor and can be controlled there. If you move the mouse in the other direction, you are operating the first Windows system again.

»Download: Download Mouse without Borders

Microsoft Support Center (Tuning)

If Microsoft 365, Office, Outlook, OneDrive, Edge, Teams or Xbox have problems, the Microsoft Support Center can help. It is the successor to the Fix-it support center. The web service bundles instructions with which you can cope with common tasks and solve problems. Click on "Show all Microsoft products" to expand the range significantly: You will now find links to Internet Explorer, Visual Studio, Windows Mixed Reality, Office for Mac, Visio, HoloLens, Surface, SQL, SharePoint, Intune, Power BI, MSN and much more. Tip: Use the browser search function (Ctrl-F) to quickly find what you are looking for.

»To the web service: Microsoft Support Center

Keyboard shortcuts for Windows (tuning)

Thanks to key combinations, you will get there faster: Instead of clicking with the mouse, you press a series of keys to trigger a function. In this way you can accelerate the use of Windows Explorer, for example. A Microsoft website reveals which key combinations you should know: for Windows 10, Windows 8.1 / 8.1 RT and Windows 10.

»To the web service: keyboard shortcuts for Windows

Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (Tuning)

With the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant, you can solve a number of PC problems. With a click you choose which app is causing problems, then automatic routines try to solve the complications. The application supports Microsoft Teams, Windows, Office, Outlook, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Dynamics 365 (online), Outlook on the web and Outlook for Mac. Once you have made your choice, follow an assistant.

»Download: Download Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

Microsoft Hotfix: Hide or block Windows 10 updates (tuning)

To the annoyance of experienced users, updates cannot be deselected from installation under Windows 10; This was still possible up to and including Windows 8.1. The fact that Microsoft does not provide this for Windows 10 is problematic: You also have to accept updates that are not fully developed. This is where a manufacturer's hotfix comes into play: It enables you to block updates that have not yet been imported. If an installed update causes problems, the first thing to do is to remove it: To do this, press Win-R, enter appwiz.cpl and click on "Show installed updates" and double-click on the entry for the patch.

»Download: Microsoft Hotfix: Hide or block Windows 10 updates, download

Activation Troubleshooter (Office 365, Office 2019 & Office 2016, Tuning)

Microsoft Launcher (Android app, tuning)

Windows 7, 8 and 10: Theme and Wallpaper Packs from Microsoft (Desktop)

Microsoft offers high-resolution wallpapers for your desktop to download: The motifs can be found in categories such as "Animals", "Art (Illustrations)", "Art (Photography)", "Cars", Games "," Holidays and Seasons "and" The miracle of nature ". The file downloads are suitable for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

»Download: Download wallpaper packs from Microsoft

Windows 7/8/10: Theme Pack from Microsoft (Desktop)

If you want to retrofit several desktop wallpapers in one go, you can do this with theme packs. Microsoft offers various such designs in themepack format. These are offered in categories for Windows 7 and Windows 10 as well as in categories (such as "Animals", "Places and Landscapes" and "Designs with Sound"). The file format used has been supported by operating systems since Windows 7; If you do not want to wait a few seconds or minutes for the picture change interval selected in the system, right-click on the desktop and select "Next desktop background" in the context menu.

»Download: Windows 7/8/10: Download the theme pack from Microsoft

Bing Desktop, Bing Toolbar (Desktop)

For users of Microsoft's search engine Bing, the group offers two free tools that make searching easier: Bing Desktop and Bing Toolbar. While Bing Desktop enables fast web research from the desktop and provides a weather report, the Bing Toolbar is integrated into Internet Explorer. The "Bing Bar" is integrated as a BHO (Browser Helping Object). Bing Desktop is more up-to-date: if you enter something here and select one of the search suggestions, a bing.com hit page opens in the standard browser. A goodie is that Bing Desktop shows you a Bing wallpaper on your desktop. The Microsoft Launcher for Android does a similar thing.

»Download: Download the Bing desktop
»Download: Download the Bing Toolbar

Bing Wallpaper (entertainment)

The Microsoft search engine Bing is characterized by a background that changes every day. If you want to decorate your Windows desktop with it, you can do it with the tool Bing Wallpaper. After the installation it is active in the background. It is nested in the information area of ​​the taskbar; by clicking on the associated icon, you can access a settings menu. Here you switch to other Bing wallpapers with arrow symbols and switch "Activate daily update" on or off. Another option calls the Bing search in the browser.

»Download: Download the Bing wallpaper

BGInfo (desktop)

With BGInfo you can display a series of important PC information on the desktop. The data are superimposed on the wallpaper and are static, so they do not change when the characteristic values ​​change. You determine what everything should appear and in which optical processing (formatting): For example, consider the name of the CPU, the DHCP and DNS server IPs, the name of the network card and the operating system version. If you want to get rid of the enrichments, select a different desktop wallpaper in the Windows settings. By activating BGInfo again, you can display current hardware and software key data. BGInfo is informative, but also decorates work surfaces; The information is practical, for example, for administrators who go from PC to PC and want to see specifications at a glance - in order to then solve problems, for example.

»Download: Download BGInfo
»Adviser: BGInfo

Windows Photo Gallery (Multimedia)

Microsoft Paint 3D (Windows 10 app, multimedia)

Introduced with the Creators Update (Windows 10 1703), the Paint 3D app from Redmond helps create two- or three-dimensional objects. The built-in brushes and pens adjust sliders in terms of their strength and opacity. The app was originally intended as the successor to the classic on-board tool Paint (mspaint.exe), but Microsoft is apparently not discarding the latter tool (contrary to original plans).

»Download: Download Microsoft Paint 3D (Windows 10 app)

Fresh Paint (Windows 10 app, multimedia)

Fresh Paint is an alternative to the simple paint that Microsoft operating systems have brought with them for generations. With the Windows app, (adult) children playfully alienate pictures that they color in with various art utensils. Alternatively, you can start with a blank canvas. Fresh Paint is preinstalled on some Windows 8 notebooks.

»Download: Download Fresh Paint (Windows 10 app)

Sketch 360 (Windows 10 app, multimedia)

Microsoft SketchPal (Windows 10 app)

With Microsoft SketchPal you can create line drawings while holding down the mouse button. This is done with a brush, the background image can be changed. The app is more pleasing than the Paint 3D app; it is also an alternative to the "Fresh Paint" application.

»Download: Download Microsoft SketchPal

Microsoft Research Cliplets (Multimedia)

With Microsoft Research Cliplets, you can create videos in which only part of the image moves and another part remains rigid. After you have loaded a video file into the program, select an excerpt up to ten seconds long; Cliplets limits the length to a maximum of ten seconds. Then draw a line around the area of ​​the image where you want animation. Everything else in the video stays frozen.