If you’ve been using your Windows PC for some time, you already know just how many third-party programs like photo editors, games and productivity tools are available. In fact, many of these programs can enhance your computer significantly and open up functionality that your system wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What you might not know, though, is that many of the most useful programs you can find actually don’t cost a cent to use or download.
To help you get started with supercharging your PC, here are some of our favorite utilities and apps that make using Windows more productive and fun.
Facebook can be a tough habit to break — especially when work is on the line. Everyone does it, so rather than try and fail to give up the platform when important work needs to be done, you can place your faith in an app that locks you out with zero exceptions.
Cold Turkey is designed to block distracting web content and is perfect for writers, self-employed workers and anyone interested in taking a break from social media. Just set the length of time you want to block a platform, enter the web address and start the clock.
Nothing, not even resetting your computer, will stop the block from working. A handy tool for those of us with a short attention span.
Cold Turkey is compatible with Windows 7-10 and is free to download. There is also a “Pro” version with added features like passwords, breaks and daily time limits.
Mouse without borders
If you use multiple computers for work, you already know the pain that comes with managing products over several systems. Now, you can control all your computers from a single mouse and keyboard with “Mouse without borders.”
Right off the bat, you’ll not only have access to every workstation from a single location, but you’ll even be able to drag-and-drop files across computers. It’s a multitasker’s dream come true!
“Mouse with borders” is compatible with Windows 7 through Windows 10, but you will need to install it on every system you plan to use it with.
Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator
Do you ever find yourself wishing you had shortcuts for things you do on your computer often? Some commands require complex key combinations that are difficult to remember, but luckily, Microsoft Keyboard Layout creator lets you adjust their function and remap your keyboard to your heart’s content.
You can even specify special symbols and characters for every key, so you can access complex symbols with a single keystroke.
This program was designed initially for older versions of Windows, but its functions are perfectly supported all the way up to Windows 10.
Many a Windows user has felt a tinge of jealousy when they see some of the default photo apps that Macs come with. But don’t worry, Microsoft didn’t leave you hanging.
With Microsoft Photos, you can easily import your photos and videos from your device of choice and edit them with an assortment of handy tools. Plus, you can easily share your photos and slideshows with family members and loved ones using the built-in share button
If you haven’t used Skype yet, it’s one of the most simple and widely-employed conference call apps on the web. Now, Microsoft has taken over development, so the program is more secure and frequently updated.
Make free calls to family members and loved ones with Skype accounts and send media like photos and videos. You can even create a group call where multiple users can see one another. It’s a great way to stay in touch with the people that matter.
Do keep in mind, however, that Microsoft recently admitted to analyzing recordings from certain calls using the program’s translation features. So if you have something sensitive to say, you might want to say it in English.
Skype is compatible with all modern versions of Windows and receives regular support and updates from Microsoft itself.