There is an entire world of apps for Windows 10. Some are incredibly useful, others are fun, and a few seem to perform minor miracles (like recover deleted files from an SD card). BTA’s IT experts have distilled their favourites to seven they think you may find handy, particularly if you have a techy streak. Even without a techy streak there are bound to be a few on this list that you will want to download.
Bring Back Deleted Files – Recuva
When you empty the Windows recycle bin, files aren’t destroyed, rather the space they occupy is earmarked for new data. If you delete files on a USB drive or SD card, they are treated the same way, but without the recycle bin as a safeguard. And if you delete files on an SD card using your phone or tablet… well, you are in trouble. That is where Recuva can help. It is free for personal use and it will scan the flotsam and put the pieces back together. So long as you haven’t added new data, it (almost) always works.
Play Music & Videos Without Extra Software – VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player plays almost anything, including YouTube Flash FLV files, without additional software or downloads. VLC has very simple but effective controls—it plays internet streaming media with a click, records played media, converts between file types and can even take individual frame screenshots. Plus it will start playing files before the download is finished, and in our experience seems to tolerate incomplete or damaged media files very well.
Keep Track of Your Hard Drive Space – WinDirStat
Where does all the hard drive space go? Find out with WinDirStat, and then delete what you don’t need. This app is suited for the techier user, but is simple enough anyone could use it. The file-explorer view (that you are most likely used to) allows you to navigate even your most unruly folders easily. Or you can use the colourful ‘tree map’. Either way you are able to delete files directly from WinDirStat. It is free, fast, and there is nothing to install. Also, if you need help, its Help info is actually useful.
Access Your Music, Videos & Photos Anywhere – Plex Media Server
We love Plex. You can use it with any device – a Roku on your TV, on your iPads, Android phone… whatever. And it will give you acess to your movie, TV and music collection. It is almost like magic. Setting it up is easy. Just download the Plex program and install it on your PC. Point it to your media files. Then do the same thing on your other devices, your tablets, game boxes, phones, etc. As long as they are attached to the same network, you get immediate access to everything on any device. Roku and Apple TV pick up the Plex channel automatically, and you can connect to it remotely from anywhere in the world, using any browser you like.
A Great Notepad – Notepad Next
Perhaps you have a paper notepad next to your desk. Or maybe you don’t want to give up using the old Windows Notepad. But if you are open to a new notepad, try Notepad Next. It has tabs for working on multiple documents. It saves your changes automatically. And it doesn’t store your stuff in the cloud. You can get Notepad Next from the Windows Store, for free.
Make Calls, Send Texts, Transfer Pictures & Video – Line
If you have had it with Skype, or simply don’t want to pay to make calls or send texts, videos, images or audio messages… try Line. It is completely free and it runs on anything, including Android, iPad, iPhone, MacOS and ChromeOS. Line makes its money by selling emojis and stickers (apparently more than a billion stickers are sent every day). The limitation to it is that you can only use your Line account on one mobile device and one PC. Beyond that, you would have to open another account.
Easy To-Do Lists – Wunderlist
Microsoft liked Wunderlist so much it bought the company. And we like it too. You can create a shopping list and share it with other members of your household. It has due dates, and automatically generated reminders. You can assign tasks to someone else and keep track of whether they have done it. It is kind of like the Apple ‘Reminder’ app, but for lists instead of the odd reminder. Simple to use, and free – why not try it?
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