If you’re a Windows user, you might think you know about all there is to know about the operating system. What may surprise you is that there are plenty of reliable apps to be found on your computer that you can use to make your experience better.
The best part about this is that many are absolutely free. You might not realize how many different apps there actually are in the operating system, of course, because it’s not that immediately obvious.
While Microsoft’s official suite of apps that you can pay for are awesome in their own ways, you might want to opt into some of the company’s various helpful free tools before breaking out your wallet. You never know what you might find that could be even better than what you could pay for.
Can’t bear to look away from your PC for a few moments to check who keeps blowing up your phone? You can access everything you love about your phone with the Your Phone app (aptly named, of course).
You can immediately access everything you love about your smartphone, right from your PC. Access your photos, receive and manage your notifications and reply to texts with the ease of a real keyboard on your desktop. Swanky!
Tap or click here to download the Your Phone app.
If you need help sorting out your thoughts and making lists that you can work to complete each day, Microsoft To-Do: List, Task & Reminder can help you conquer your goals. It will let you create lists of tasks, assign deadlines and see these items each day to make it easier to know at a glance what you still need to do. You can even share your list with others if you need to.
Tap or click here to download Microsoft To-Do: List, Task & Reminder for free.
Related: 5 free Windows 10 downloads you can’t miss!
Tired of taking notes with pen and paper? Opt for Microsoft’s Evernote app, which lets you save notes and other important information in one place, whether you sync across different apps or locations or keep it all on your desktop PC. You can download it and use it on your phone, or even with a touchscreen PC. No matter how you use it, it’s extremely helpful.
Tap or click here to download the free Evernote app.
Skype for Windows
You may already have a way to communicate with friends that doesn’t require you to use a cellphone, but just in case, meet Skype. As long as you and your friends and family have an account, you can make free calls to each other through this program.
No minutes required, and you can use voice as well as video. It’s free, easy to use and a quick download. You just need to create an account and off you go!
Tap or click here to download Skype.
Open Live Writer
If you like to blog or create your own websites, Open Live Writer is for you. After opening a blogging space on a portfolio site like Blogger, TypePad, or WordPress, you can write your article out in this program and then publish it straight from Open Live Writer. You can add images, links, and all sorts of different content, all that you’d like, all for publication on your blog.
Tap or click here to download the free Open Live Writer app.
If you’re considering publishing your own blog, now is the time to do it.
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Related: How to remove unwanted apps from Windows 10
You may be an evangelist of the original MS Paint. If so, you’ll be pleased to use Fresh Paint, which was popular when Windows 8 first debuted. This painting application is better than anything you’ve seen before out of Microsoft’s creative application cadre. It’s no Photoshop replacement, but it can certainly do in a pinch, and it’s very easy to learn how to use.