12 classic but essential (and free!) utilities for Windows 10 and 11

Mod your system with these easy-to-install utilities for Windows 10 and 11 to make your machine faster and easier to use.

Many of the programs I’ve rounded up here have been around through several generations of Windows. They remain popular — amid all of Windows’ changes — because they offer features that aren’t included with the OS, do something better than the built-in tools, or optimize performance.

None of these are anti-malware tools. They don’t tweak the Windows interface. They aren’t general applications (such as image editors, office tools, or web browsers). Nope. These are all niche tools with the sole purpose of making Windows better and more convenient to use. All are free-to-use or offer a free version.

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