Best Apps for Free Download – for PC, Android and iPhone

Free software can be both the best and worst thing to happen to computers, Android, and iOS devices. Many free programs have viruses, malware, or spyware that could potentially crash your device, steal your data, or leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks. For the past several months, I created a list of the best safe and secure free downloads by personally downloading thousands of software programs and apps that any new device must have to get a smooth start and perfect functionality.

Most Popular Free Downloads

Microsoft Word logo icon
Microsoft Word: Best word processor for home, school, and business
Opera: Fast web browser with built in social media apps and a free VPN
Viber logo icon
Viber: Excellent messaging platform. Supports voice and video calls
Microsoft Excel logo icon
Microsoft Excel: Top spreadsheet builder
Google Earth logo icon
Google Earth: See the world with a variety of maps and 3D imaging
VLC logo icon
VLC: Plays nearly every video format
Open Office logo icon
Open Office: Open-Source program that rivals Office 365
Chrome Logo
Google Chrome: Fast and lightweight browser with excellent security features
Adobe PDF Reader logo icon
Adobe PDF Reader: Read, annotate, and digitally sign PDFs
PowerPoint logo icon
PowerPoint: 1,000s of professional templates
Minecraft logo icon
Minecraft: Over 100 million gamers playing per month

Ranking software can be challenging, especially when you’re comparing different types of applications, such as games versus productivity tools or educational software versus utility programs. To make this process more manageable, I’ve organized the list into categories. This way, you can quickly locate the free software that suits your specific needs.

Best Free Apps for Office & Business

1. Microsoft Word

screenshot of MS Word working dashboard

I know what you’re probably thinking, how can a subscription-based program lead this list of free downloads. The truth is, I debated a long time before including it, but ultimately decided that when you combine the 30-day free trial, plus the fact that you can use the online and mobile version of Word for free, it has to be included here.

Download Guide for Word

2. PowerPoint

screenshot of PowerPoint working dashboard

PowerPoint is an excellent presentation tool. It comes with hundreds of professional templates, all of which are easy to personalize by using the drag and drop interface. You can download it for free on Android or iPhone and then save your work to a free OneDrive account so you can access it from anywhere.

Download Guide for PowerPoint

3. Excel

screenshot of Excel working dashboard

Numerous efforts have been made to develop a spreadsheet application akin to Excel; however, none have truly approached its functionality. Similar to Word and PowerPoint, you can acquire a cost-free Excel application for Android and iPhone, or opt for the no-cost web-based edition.

Download Guide for Excel

4. Apache Open Office

Open Office welcome screen

Why buy Office 365 when you can download the free open-source Open Office instead. It comes with programs that are similar to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. All of the programs are included with a single installation.

Download Guide for Open Office

5. Adobe PDF Reader DC

Adobe Reader welcome screen
Beyond its role as a PDF Reader, this software offers an array of additional functionalities. Users can leave comments for fellow readers, highlight or redact specific words, digitally sign documents, and include timestamps. A notable feature is its implementation of a tab system, akin to web browsers, enabling the simultaneous opening of multiple files. This not only enhances the user experience for me but also reduces the strain on the computer compared to programs that open a new window for each PDF.

Download Guide for Adobe Reader DC

6. Microsoft Outlook

screenshot of MS Outlook working dashboard

Outlook offers more than a mere email client designed for businesses. It provides a range of useful tools to keep you well-organized, including features for managing your calendar, to-do list, and more. With its email scanning capabilities, it helps protect against harmful files and malware while also offering dedicated apps for Android and iOS platforms. A complimentary Outlook account grants you 15GB of mail storage and an additional 5GB of storage through OneDrive.

Download Guide for Microsoft Outlook

Best Free Apps for Audio, Video, Photo

1. VLC

Watching videos on VLC

In the realm of video players, VLC stands out significantly. This exceptional open-source software possesses the ability to handle virtually any video and audio format, eliminating the need to hunt for and install additional codecs. With VLC, you can effortlessly create playlists, utilize the convenient built-in subtitle search feature, play ZIP files directly without unpacking them, and even enjoy torrent files that are still in the process of downloading.

VLC is lightweight, easy to use, and best of all 100% free.

Download Guide for VLC

2. PhotoscapeX

Photoscape screenshot

If you need a reliable program for some basic photo editing, PhotoscapeX is an excellent choice. The free version includes a complete suite of editing tools, so you can get your picture looking just right. One of the better features is the Batch Editor that will allow you to make changes to groups of pictures with a single click. It also has a GIF maker and collage creator and can convert RAW files to JPG.

Download Guide for PhotoscapeX

3. GOM Player

GOM Player screenshot

The GOM Player has a few pretty neat features that I found helpful. You can set it to always stay on top of the browser, which I found incredibly helpful as I click around a lot while watching vIdeos. It also has a transparency filter, it can be controlled by a remote control that you download to your phone or tablet.

The biggest downside is that it’s constantly pushing you to upgrade, and purchase a membership to GOM Player Plus.

Download Guide for GOM Player

4. Adobe Photoshop

screenshot of Adobe Photoshop dashboard

Photoshop is a professional photo editing software that has all the tools you need to enhance images, create brochures, and much more.

The only reason Photoshop isn’t leading this list is that the free version comes as a 30-day trial period. If you’re working on a small project, this could be the ideal solution for you.

For more information on how to get a free trial, click the link below.

Download Guide for Adobe Photoshop

5. Video Editor/Windows Movie Maker

Video Editor of Microsoft

Microsoft may have stopped supporting its once popular Windows Movie Maker, but they have replaced it with an improved version called Video Editor. It’s a great tool if you want to add 3D elements, text, or music to your videos. It also has many fun filters to give your project a unique look.

Download Guide for Video Editor

Best Free Browsers

1. Opera

Opera Browser does everything you need and it does it fast with max compatibility to thousands of extensions to customize your browsing experience. It also puts a strong focus on security and only opens safe websites while preventing others without proper security features from opening.

However, it’s the built-in features that separate Opera from other browsers. It has apps for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Pinterest, so you can stay in touch with all your contacts. You can also connect to your Twitter account so you can view your time, send tweets, and share websites and memes directly from the browser to Twitter.

In addition to downloading Opera for your desktop, you can download it for your phone and sync the browser with the My Flow feature. It allows you to send links, files, pictures, and URLs that are instantly accessible on the other device.

The Opera browser comes with a free VPN that can connect with secure servers. It doesn’t store your browser activity and has no data limits, so you can enjoy a private connection while surfing the web. There are also ad and tracker blockers that increase your privacy, whether the VPN is on or not.

Download Opera Browser for Free!

2. Chrome

screenshot of Chrome browser

Google Chrome is the fastest browser that I tested, but that fraction of a second increase in speed isn’t what makes Chrome great. It’s a huge library of add-ons and extensions, syncing across multiple devices, and the highest level of security to protect your data. From filling out forms to making payments on websites, everything is just easier with Chrome.

Download Guide for Google Chrome

3. Firefox

screenshot of Firefox browser

Firefox is by far the best open-source web browser, especially since some of the improvements that’s been added to the last few releases. While it may not be as fast as Chrome, the difference isn’t noticeable to the average user. Firefox has improved its add-on capabilities and added some great features that make it easy to save interesting websites for later, send large files, and even a built-in screenshot tool.

Download Guide for Mozilla Firefox

Best Free Communication Tool

1. Viber

How to create Viber Stickers

With over a billion users worldwide, Viber is one of the largest messaging apps today. You can make free video and voice calls to other Viber users all over the world. It takes security very seriously, encrypting all messages and phone calls. You can make voice and video calls from the Viber for Windows application and then transfer the call to your phone.

Viber for Windows will only work if you also have the app installed on your Android or iPhone device.

Inexpensive international Viber-to-phone and the ability to make voice and video calls from the Windows platform are what separates Viber from the competition.

Download Guide for Viber

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp QR code for Windows

The most popular messaging app in the world. WhatsApp has recently added group video chats to its list of features. Combine that with group messages, high-quality voice and video calls, recording voice notes, and attaching large files, and you get a must-have messenger app. The one weak spot is WhatsApp Web, which doesn’t have the option to make or answer calls. All WhatsApp communications are secured with End-to-End Encryption.

Download Guide for WhatsApp

3. Skype

Skype welcome screen

Skype is one of the original instant messaging apps and still among the best. In addition to free video and voice calls to other Skype users, it has incredibly cheap prices for international Skype-to-phone calls. It also integrates with other Microsoft programs, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There are tools for both personal and business use, such as Meet Now, which can be used for group chats and meetings.

Download Guide for Skype

Best Free Apps for File Sharing

1. uTorrent

screenshot of utorrent dashboard

If you’re going to download movies, music, software, or TV shows you’ll need a powerful BitTorrent client. uTorrent is the best option; it’s a lightweight software program that can quickly download and convert torrent files to something you can watch, listen to, or use. There are two versions of uTorrent – the classic uTorrent client and uTorrent Web. The advantage that uTorrent Web has is you can start watching video files while they are still in the download process. Other than that, the two programs are very similar.

Download Guide for uTorrent

Best Free Utility Tools

1. WinZip

WinZip dashboard

With the addition of ZSTD, WinZip is now the fastest free compression tool online. It has excellent search capabilities, the ability to merge PDF files, drag and drop functionality, and you can save the archived files to the cloud, social media, or various instant messaging platforms.

WinZip works with ZIP, RAR, 7Z, TZ, MIME, ISO, and more.

Download Guide for WinZip

Best Free Apps for Education

1. Google Earth

screenshot of Google Earth application

You can travel the world without having to leave your home with Google Earth. This is an ideal program for students, researchers, and cartographers. It even has interactive games that help teach kids geography.

Not only can you see 3D images of famous landmarks, street views, and satellite images, but incredible pictures of the stars, moon, and Mars.

Download Guide for Google Earth

Best Free Apps for Computer Maintenance

1. CCleaner

screenshot of CCleaner application

If your computer is running slower than it should, I have found that CCleaner is a great tool for cleaning it and restoring most, if not all, its speed. It can clean the registry and get rid of unused or partial files, scan the hard drive and remove unnecessary data, and improve your security and privacy by removing personal data like passwords, credit card information, config files, and more.

Download Guide for CCleaner

Best Free Game Apps

1. Minecraft

Minecraft welcome screen

With over 100 million people logging in to play Minecraft every month, it’s one of the most popular computer games in the world. Let your imagination run wild as you build whatever structures you want to protect your players from the night monsters. If you’re not interested in the monsters, you can play in Creative Mode and focus solely on building your world.

Check out the download guide to see how you can get started for free.

Download Guide for Minecraft

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