16 Best Windows Tools for Power Users

Last Updated: October 27, 2016

Windows has the biggest selection of software in the desktop OS world – no other OS even comes close. However, this multitude of applications has one big problem – a lot of great applications go unnoticed and unappreciated. Even if we try to use all of them, there isn’t enough time in a day to carefully try and test them all, especially the tools for power users. So today, we bring you a curated list of advanced Windows tools that you can use – that we carefully picked and tested, so that you don’t have to.

1. Glasswire

Glasswire is a network monitor and firewall. It has a powerful yet intuitive interface that visualizes your network activity on a graph by traffic type, application, and geographic location. The firewall alerts you when an application connects to the internet for the first time, shows you which servers it is communicating with, so you can see potential threats and block them if necessary.

There is also a bandwidth monitoring feature that alerts you for possible internet overages, plus see what apps are using up all your bandwidth. Remote server monitoring is also supported, and these are only the features available in the free version!

glasswire

Paid features include ask to connect, webcam and mic usage detection, lets you see the device connected to your network, and a longer graph history. The paid versions of the app range from $49-$199, differing only in the number of PC’s and remote connections supported.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

2. Everything Search Engine

Everything is a search engine for your desktop. Unlike Windows’ built-in file search, Everything keeps a database of all the files on your computer. As a result, searching for any file name gives results almost instantly.

everything

Everything is fast, extremely lightweight (only a 500kb installer), uses minimal resources, updates the file index in real-time, has support for boolean operators, wildcards, filetype search, and more.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

3. TreeSize

TreeSize helps you find space hogs on your hard disk. It visualizes folder sizes via a colored bar, making it easy to distinguish which files and folders are taking up how much space.

Apart from your local hard disks, TreeSize can scan smartphones and other mobile devices connected via MTP. It can be started from the context menu of folder or drives for quick lookup.

treesize

While the basic functionality is free, there are paid versions as well. TreeSize Personal ($24.95) features include 3D charts and tree maps, list of duplicate files, and redundant file search. TreeSize Professional ($54.95) includes numerous export and reporting options, scan scheduling, and remote machine scanning.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

4. ShareX

ShareX is a free screenshot capture, screen recorder, file sharing and productivity tool. It is much more advanced than Windows’ built-in Snipping Tool, as it has various methods of capturing screenshots including full screen, window, monitor, region, freehand, and web page capture.sharex

Not only does it capture screenshots, it has customizable after-capture tasks such as annotating, adding effects, watermarking, and uploading. A must-have tool for those who capture a lot of screenshots.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

5. Breevy

Breevy is a text expander for Windows that helps you type faster and more accurately by allowing you to abbreviate long words and phrases. For example, you can define an abbreviation jsc as john@smith.com. In the future, just write the abbreviation jsc, and it will automatically expand to john@smith.com. Saves a bunch of time.

breevy

Other than expanding text, you can also configure it to launch applications, websites, files, and folders. For example, type in gg to open google.com, or type ff to open Firefox. The application is available in a 30-day trial, after which you will have to pay $34.95 to get the full version.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

6. SharpKeys

What SharpKeys does is simple – it maps one key on your keyboard to another. One common usage of this free tool is to get rid of the rarely-used Caps Lock key, and map it as an extra Ctrl or Shift.

sharpkeys

Keep in mind that SharpKeys only lets you map a single key to any other- it cannot let you swap two keys with each other, and neither can it map multiple key presses to one key. For example, mapping Ctrl+C to Page Up is not possible.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

7. Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a free command-line software manager for Windows. You can use it to quickly install, update, and uninstall applications. Instead of opening your browser, searching for a software, downloading the installer, and clicking next next finish, all you need to do with Chocolatey is:

choco install firefox sharex 7zip

And that’s it. This command will install Firefox, ShareX, and 7zip on your system automatically. No more hunting for software on the web!

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

8. Autoruns

Autoruns is a comprehensive startup process monitoring utility for Windows and it’s available for free. It shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot-up or login. It goes beyond other autostart utilities, and reports Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, and much more.

autoruns

The included Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you identify auto-starting images that have been added to your system by third-party software. Run this once, and you will probably be surprised at how many services launch automatically!

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista)

9. Quick Access Popup

Quick Access Popup (QAP) is a free tool that lets you add applications, folders, websites, and more to its highly customizable pop-up menu. Any time or anywhere you click the middle mouse button (configurable), the pop-up will open and you can make your choice.

qap

Apart from opening applications and folders, you can switch applications, open recent folders, access your clipboard history, create subfolders, and even restart, or shutdown your system.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

10. FileMenu Tools

FileMenu Tools adds a customizable context menu to Windows Explorer. It adds some built-in utilities that perform operations on files and folders such as run external applications, delete specific file types, and rename the selected files using a set of rules.

filemenutools

The extensive set of utilities lets you sync folders, find and replace a text string in all selected files, split files into multiple parts, join parts of a file which were previously split, shred files, delete empty folders, and much more for free. Do give this a try if you find the basic Explorer context menu too basic.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

11. Rambox

If you, like us, have a lot of online accounts, and are looking for a single program in which all these accounts will run, look no further than Rambox. It acts as a single place where you can organize your Gmail, Telegram, Slack, Outlook, Skype, and over 65 other services. Say goodbye to opening a dozen browser tabs, or opening a different app for every service.

rambox

Additional features include locking the app, do not disturb, badges, per-app notification toggles, and full screen mode. What’s more, Rambox is cross-platform, free and supports configuration sync. That means you can configure it once, and run the same configuration on your Windows, Linux and macOS machines.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Linux, macOS)

12. WSUS Offline

If you have multiple Windows systems, it can be very time-consuming to update them all one by one. Moreover, downloading updates for multiple computers takes up a lot of bandwidth, and is a nightmare for people with low data caps.

WSUS Offline is a free tool lets you download all the files required for updating Windows at once on your hard disk, or optionally on a pen drive. You can then copy over the files and run the update tool on any and as many systems as you like, thus saving time and bandwidth for each system you set up.

wsus

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8, 7)

NoteWindows 8 is not supported. It is therefore recommended to update to Windows 8.1 from Windows Store before running this tool.

13. AES Crypt

AES Crypt is a lightweight, free and easy-to-use file encryption software. It uses the industry standard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to encrypt files. Simply right click the file you want to encrypt, and select AES encrypt – it will prompt you for a password, and create an encrypted copy of the file. You can now safely carry the encrypted file on a pen drive upload the file to a cloud server. Even if someone gets a hold of the file, it will be unreadable unless they know the password.

aescrypt

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista; Linux, macOS)

14. Ditto Clipboard Manager

Ditto is a free clipboard manager application. It stays in your system tray, keeps a history of the text, images, and files that you copy, and lets you access them at a a later time. It preserves the data even across system reboots. This is in contrast to the regular Windows clipboard that only keeps one copied instance in memory, and does not persist across reboots.

ditto

Note: After you start Ditto for the first time, Windows firewall may alert you that this program is trying to request access to the internet. This is for the sync feature to work. However, since the clipboard might contain sensitive data, we recommend that you deny it access to the internet as a precaution.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

15. Patch My PC

If you have a lot of applications installed, are you tired of updating all of them one by one? If yes, then look no further than Patch My PC. It keeps over 100 programs up-to-date on your computer. It is also an easy way to install or uninstall any of these programs on your computer. Run it, and you get a list of installed programs. It shows you which ones are not up to date, and lets you update all of them with a single click. You can even schedule updates to automatically run at a specified time.

patchmypc

That is it for the free users. For enterprises, Patch My PC offers a different, more enterprise-focused catalog of supported products, and lets you manage multiple, even 1,000+ machines simultaneously. It is free for personal use and if you wish to use it in your company, you can get a quote here.

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7)

16. Input Director

Input director is a software KVM for your systems. It enables the control of multiple Windows systems using the keyboard/mouse attached to a single computer over Wi-Fi. Switch control between systems either by hotkey or by moving the cursor off the screen edge on one computer – it is nearly as seamless as having multiple screens. The installation, however, is a bit tricky to get right, so make sure to read the install guide beforehand. The tool is free for non-commercial use.

inputdirector

Download (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP)

SEE ALSO: How to Remotely Control Windows PC from Android

Add these best Windows tools to your PC

And that is all for today’s roundup of the best Windows tools for power users. Firewalls, search engines, text expanders, encryption tools, clipboards managers, we tried to cover all grounds here. If you can think of more power tools for advanced Windows users, or believe we missed something, drop us a line in the comments section below.

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