Karl's Freeware Links

Below is a list of links to great free software.  Note that most of these links will direct you to the developers' home page, rather than to the download itself.  There you should first read the description, licensing terms, and instructions, before downloading the software.  Note also that many of these sites support commercial software, and you may have to look for the links to the freeware versions.  Additionally, many of these sites offer other free and commercial titles which you may find useful!

I enthusiastically advocate the use of Open Source software, and the support of those who are engaged in this effort!  If you are unfamiliar with Open Source, please follow the links below for an introduction to these alternative licensing concepts, and acquaint yourself with software motivated by excellence—not by profit.

All external links open in a new tab or window—simply close to return to this page.     —— Last updated 06 Jun 2024 ——

WARNING!  Very many download pages will try to 'entice' you into installing other software in addition to the title you are requesting. This option is almost always enabled by default. Be especially on guard against this and, unless you are absolutely certain you want the additional software, uncheck that option! Do not allow them to install anything you are not explicitly requesting!

Internet Filters — eliminate unwanted porn, spam, scripts, adware, spyware, & viruses

OpenDNS web content filtering, anti-phishing, DNS and navigation services—use this!
    DNS servers:
MVPS HOSTS file blocks ads & banners and protects the user from web parasites—recommended
SpywareBlaster protection against spyware, adware, browser hijackers, and other unwanted software
Ad-Aware anti spyware—highly recommended

Spybot-Search & Destroy anti spyware / privacy software (you have to look for the free version)
IObit Malware Fighter advanced malware & spyware removal utility
Spyware Terminator spyware removal and prevention with real-time protection
SUPERAntiSpyware detect and remove Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
ClamWin Free Antivirus Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) for Windows (Open Source GPL)

avast! Home Edition free antivirus software detects and removes all forms of malware
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition great free antivirus software
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware get this—you will need it!
Microsoft Security Essentials real-time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software
AdwCleaner removal tool for adware & hijackers (found an infection nothing else could!)

Internet Browsers & Email — a selection of alternatives to Internet Explorer you might like

Tor defend against network surveillance and traffic analysis (Open Source)
Firefox Internet browser (Open Source MPL/LGPL/GPL)—recommended
Google Chrome runs web pages and applications with lightning speed
Opera another alternative Internet browser
Sun Java Java Runtime for intranet applications
Adobe Reader to open those .pdf documents (warning!  uncheck McAfee Security Scan Plus)

Office Suites & Utilities — office software as good as Microsoft's, without the high price!

LibreOffice comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite (Open Source LGPLv3)
WordWeb thesaurus and dictionary for Windows—neat & handy!
akFontViewer view samples of installed fonts
Microsoft Office viewers links to free programs to view, print and copy Microsoft Office documents
Windows Live Essentials useful add-ons still available from the Internet Archive (see ghacks.net for caveats)

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Graphics Editors — software to view, manipulate, & edit your digital images

The GIMP GNU Image Manipulation Program (Open Source GPL)—recommended!
FastStone Image Viewer an image browser, converter and editor with a lot of nice features
ColorPic easy color palette creation and grabbing—recommended!
Pixia painting tool for full color graphics
IrfanView one of the most popular viewers worldwide!
AlternaTIFF web browser add-on that displays TIFF image files
TinyJPG Smart WebP, JPEG and PNG compression — Excellent!
      get the Developer API - 500 images/mo. free.
Easy Screen OCR An easy & simple PC screenshot OCR and translation application — Excellent!
      $15 lifetime + use Google API @ 1000/mo. free.

Useful Utilities — perform those impossible tasks, and just make your life easier!

CCleaner removes unused files from your system—recommended!
Defraggler versatile file defragmentation tool—recommended!
DoubleKiller fast and easy to use application for finding and removing duplicate files
SearchMyFiles finally!  a duplicate-file finder that lets you sort & select by path!
ReNamer exceptional bulk file renamer (Creative Commons License)
Replace Text a string-replacing utility designed to operate on multiple files at once
Find And Replace find and replace text in multiple files - so easy!

Tidy Start Menu easily rearrange and put your Start Menu in order
ImgBurn a CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning applicationwith several advanced features
InfraRecorder CD/DVD burning solution for Windows, with a wide range of powerful features (GPL)
DeepBurner advanced and extremely powerful CD and DVD burning package
Notepad++ source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages (GPL)
Code Compare an advanced visual file and folder compare tool - exceptional!
Screen Scales measure distance and angle between points on screen - best I have seen!

Rufus format and create bootable USB flash drives
"All Control Settings" quick access to all Control Panel options in a single place in Windows 7 & Windows 8
Open-Shell-Menu (formerly Classic Shell™) return the Start button and other usability features to Windows 7, 8, & 10
TweakUAC™ disable annoying Vista UAC (User Account Control) popups (there IS a God!)
Startup Control Panel manage programs that start automatically (XP)
E_Cloaker foils spambots by encoding the email addresses on your websites
NirSoft NirSoft web site provides a unique collection of small and useful freeware utilities, all of them developed by Nir Sofer.

ShowKeyPlus Windows product key finder and validation checker.
Driver Booster Free No.1 free driver updater. Automatically scan and update your device drivers. Where has this been all my life!

Portable Applications — applications that require no installation—run on any computer from your flash drive!

PortableApps.com carry your favorite computer programs with you (Open Platform & Open Source)
Pendriveapps.com reviewed and categorized free and Open Source portable applications
100 Portable Apps software you can carry on a portable device and use on any computer
Portable Freeware Collection easily move from one machine to another—run off a USB memory stick
Portable Python Python® programming language preconfigured to run directly from any USB storage device

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Educational — quality educational software for children

SchoolForge.net dedicated to furthering the use of open resources in education (FLOSS)
Open Admin for Schools secure, web based School Administration Program (Open Source GPL)
Educational Freeware free educational software and games
Asymptopia Software home to some wonderful, free math and word games
Grey Olltwit Educational Software educational programs, games, and others (paid website membership)

Tux4Kids high quality educational software (Free-Software / OSI Certified licenses)
Tux Typing educational typing tutor for children (Open Source General Public License)
Tux Paint award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (Open Source GPL)
Tux of Math Command cute, fast-paced math practice game for grade-schoolers (Open Source GPL)
TuxMathScrabble a math version of the classic word game "Scrabble" (Open Source GPL)

Multiplication Station teach your child how to add, subtract and multiply (Open Source GPL)
RekenTest freeware educational software to practice arithmetic skills
GCompris educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10
Algodoo combines physics and art in a playful way (requires a fast computer)

Miscellaneous — neat stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else

Celestia real-time 3D space simulation (GPL)
Stellarium free open source planetarium for your computer (GPL)
Adastra Freestar less resource-intensive planetarium—very good & difficult to find
Microsoft Agent downloads obtain text-to-speech engine for Adastra Freestar speech function

Google Earth fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain
Audacity® easy-to-use audio editor and recorder (Open Source GPL)
Miro HD video player (Open Source GPL)

Awesome Library 37,000 reviewed resources, including the top 5 percent in education
10 Finger BreakOut improve your typing skills with this free typing tutor / typing game
Senselang online free touch typing program
Binary fun screensaver—scrolling 1s and 0s

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Freeware Websites — if one of these sites doesn't have it, or link to it, it probably doesn't exist!

download 3k Tech News, Tutorials, Answers, Software Reviews... & Software!
FileHorse.com Fast & Simple Way to Download Free Software for Windows
Gizmos Freeware Reviews reviews and links to the best freeware programs
DonationCoder.com official home for professional-quality freeware/donationware programs

The OSSwin project Open Source for Windows—everything imaginable!
MajorGeeks not all freeware, but lots & lots of it!  well categorized
SnapFiles shareware and freeware Internet tools downloads
DownloadCollection best software downloads collection

FreewareFiles.com free software resource—check it out!
FreewareWeb.com well organized, regularly updated freeware archive
The Software Patch software patches, updates & upgrades

Game Downloads mostly abandonware—see their FAQ page
GearDownload.com mostly shareware (lots!), but freeware also... not easy to search
Best Freeware Download HUMONGOUS!  well-categorized, well-indexed, terrific freeware site!
cnet downloads comprehensive site—look for the 'Top freeware' link

Information Websites — Educate yourself about Internet hoaxes and other security threats, find computer help

Tom's Hardware How to Securely Erase an SSD or HDD Before Selling It or Your PC — debunks all the misinformation out there!
Lifehacker Fix an Unresponsive Windows Explorer Window with the Green Loading Bar
Comparitech How to start Windows 7/8/10 in safe mode (see their other security guides as well!)
snopes.com Urban Legends Reference Pages
Hoaxbusters the Big List of Internet hoaxes
Vmyths.com Truth about Computer Security Hysteria
Spyware Warrior A wealth of resources to help you fight spyware and adware
Hardware Hell Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell computer help
KarlSwartz.com/tech KarlSwartz.com Karl's computer help and links to great free and open source software

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