Free Software

Published February 09, 2011 by

PC Pitstop’s Top Free Software report shown below reflects our on-going attempt to expand the scope of identifying and reporting free software titles. As with previous reporting, we have limited this software listing to the top 100 titles based on the prevalence of the software for folks running the PC Pitstop applications and on-line scans. We are continuing the task of identifying free applications and it is our goal to become the most comprehensive listing of no cost software available.

The popularity percentage displayed in the freeware popularity ranking below represents the percentage of all PCs (which ran the PC Pitstop diagnostics scans last month) that had the particular freeware title installed on their PC. The Rank value is just a numerical representation of where the particular software falls in the overall list.


Free Software Popularity
(Based on PC Prevalence Percent)



77 Responses to Free Software

  1. Soooo…what do I do..

  2. Paul says:

    I have just run my scan and noticed that Quicktime and Google Chrome were installed>
    Why!!!! I don’t use chrome or quicktime.
    Why didn’t I have the option to opt out?
    I am so annoyed, you program is fix and speed up computers NOT to install unrelated programs.
    I had to run a script to completly remove chrome….it screwed up my hyperlinks in my spreadsheets and documents.

    Not happy!!!

    Looking forward to your comments

  3. One other comment. I was having all kinds of BSOD’s with my Ultimate Windows 7. I searched tirelessly and posted on forums.

    Then I saw a sale on System Mechanic Pro for $19.95. I installed it and the BSOD’s almost disappeared. Then a friend told me that Iobit’s Advanced System Care now used less memory. So I installed and ran the free edition. The BSOD’s basically disappeared. I cannot remember the last time I had one.

    It is interesting to see the System Mechanic desktop widget change colours to warn you of problems and then to look below at the log of what was done. Often it is misaligned programs or other errors that add up and cause BSOD’s because they is gone.

    Oh I should have said before I do run commercial software like Kaspersky Pure because I am all over the internet and want to prevent problems not solve the results.

    Yes I buy some software but often it happens to be on sale if you wait or at least a good discount.

    have a good!

  4. Software all good – like – all good work!

  5. Makra Ven says:

    I like this software so much but it error every update.

  6. justy says:

    MSNBC 360 with Anderson Cooper. Had a something about free download of
    software called PCMATIC.COM ( This isn’t TRUE)
    When your almost done with the download it
    ask you for $ 49.00. I don’t this is write.
    Anderson Cooper 360 watcher.

  7. sanaullah khan khattak says:

    every time i tried to install youtube downloader , I get errors, i don’t
    know what i am doing wrong!

  8. Mike Barich says:

    Sorry, that should have been SpyBOT – Search & Destroy.

    I was trying to correct it but hit Submit first somehow …

  9. Mike Barich says:

    Pretty much every comment above missed an important point. This is NOT a list of recommended software; it is only that which is on the commputers that ran “PC Pitstop diagnostics scans last month”, numbered according to the frequency of its appearance machines on those machines.

    And we are not talking geniuses here, only users smart enough to run PC Pitstop. If you read this far down the list of comments, you are probably a great deal smarter and more experienced than nearly all of them.

    Again, this is NOT a list of recommended software. From what I have read here, if it were a list of recommendations, CCleaner should be at the top. From my experience, I would have to agree with that.

    People like to recommend things they use, because convincing others helps them feel better about their own choices. I don’t care at all, I’m willing to switch horses mid-stream, or anywhere else, for better performance. I also use a lot of freeware I wouldn’t recommend because they are not good overall, but have one or more features I find useful. When I put them on other people’s computers I hide them well. I even hide HijackThis because your average newby could ruin his PC in one stroke with it.

    My own recommendations of FREE software, including the two mentioned above, would be few:

    Avira, Spyware – Search & Destroy, OpenOffice, Media Player Classic – Home Cinema, Irfanview, Burn4Free, DeepBurner, PixResizer, and FileAlyzer.

    CCleaner offers many features most users never find, like controlling startup programs. Check the other options on the buttons on the left side of the window.

    Chrome astonished me with it’s speed, proven by two identical Sony laptops side-by-side, but I resent software that doesn’t uninstall completely.

    Norton has made some machines brought to me slow to a crawl. Replacing it with Avira returned them to normal, whatever that is.

    I occasionally get commercial software FREE from GiveAwayOfTheDay. Go late in the day (a new one each day) so you can read all the comments before you download and use any of them. I’ve had great luck for years.

  10. Jim Rennie says:

    I teach free computer courses as a volunteer at the local library and have given copies of the 11/09 list to all the participants along with the URL and the suggestion that Winpatrol be considered. I don’t recall how I was able to copy and edit the file from 11/09 and can not seem to do so with the current version. Somehow, when I try to copy the current version to various utilities, it either crowds all along the left margin or has complete descriptions of each product and I don’t have enough paper to give all that information. I just want a exact image of what is on the list. Any help will be greatly appreciated by me and my classes.

  11. Barry Heath says:

    Interesting series of comments. I have to agree with pretty well all the remarks about IE; it’s glacially slow, and attracts more malware than anything else simply because it is so widespread thanks to its inclusion as part of the OS. As an alternative and very capable browser, I’d suggest looking at Opera; while it seems to address browsing from an unusual stance, it seems capable, secure and stable, and offers some features either not available elsewhere, or copied by others after Opera’s issue.
    When it comes to anti-malware applications, I have for years used ZoneAlarm under the recommendation of the IT manager of a VERY large software company. I know it’s commercial, but it’s no more expensive than others recommended; it’s stable and has never let me down, but for some reason it seems to be ignored by many reviewers.
    I apologise if this thought offends many, but I do feel that in large measure with software, as with anything else, you get what you pay for. There is no valid reason for thinking that everything connected with the internet should be free just because a lot of people think it should be; even ‘free’ software has to be paid for somehow, either by advertising – with it’s concomitant suspicion of coercion – or by the inherent altruism of its author. I’d rather be honest and pay the developer than hope that he’s doing his best for nothing.

    And for Jack Spratt’s question, AdAware, as with most anti-malware programs, will flag cookies of all kinds because it’s almost impossible for it to decide if a cookie is harmless or not; that’s your job. Pretty well all cookies track your identity and browsing history on a site; whether the site just uses that to ensure that you are dropped back into the place you were at your last visit, or uses it to track your browsing history to target advertising, your personal details, or steal your identity is for you to decide; the program can’t do it.

    • @Barry Heath:

      I have to disagree with you Barry about free programs. I go back to the DOS days when LOTUS cost $399 and Microsoft Word DOS was $200 wholesale.

      I have found MANY free programs that actually outshine the commercial stuff, especially in educational software, but that is another story. Software like cars can be very expensive or just plain and reliable, or junk dressed up. The amazing thing is if you read Consumer’s Reports which I have used since the 70′s I seldom go wrong. And their reviews put to rest the idea that “you get what you pay for”. Cadillacs, Mercedes are some of the worst expensive autos, Hyundai some of the best, just as one illustration. Likewise there is junk freeware and junk commercial software that takes them 6 revisions to get to what it should have been when first purchased.

      Microsoft might be in that category.

      Perhaps you have never heard of Gizmo. He is found along with many independent reviewers at and they recommend the best freeware programs in many categories and even for Android.

      So all of them would disagree as well.
      “You get what you pay for must be a phrase coined by salesmen because it is just not true.” May be true with some very specialized programs who have no freeware equivalent.

      Most people need email, internet security, a word processor [some may need a whole suite], some utilities, photo touchup and organizing program, video player and perhaps creator, a cd/dvd burner and of course a few others.

      But having sold computers for more than 15 years, I have to say that for almost any need the average person has, there is now free software and even cheap software which outshines Microsoft Office for most people such as Softmaker Office or Softmaker Pocket Office.

      I didn’t even mention all the free online programs including those from Google.

      Even Photoshop which I admit I have never used [or stolen] has its equivalent in GIMP.

      Others have made lists of freeware they like and use but almost always has exactly what I need.

      Check it out. I don’t even review there let alone work for them.

      Have a good!

  12. harry says:

    my MINIMAL ute recommendations for friends are ccleaner, auslogics defrag, and avira av. these are easy to execute and maintain with zero cost; an important consideration for limited budget computer users…

    run these “chores” at least once a week or WHENEVER a malware notice is publicized (better to be safe than sorry)…

  13. jack spratt says:

    What exactly is AdAware good for? How many similarly useless programs find harmless cookies.

  14. Guy K says:

    Free Programmes I use and recommend:
    Browser:- Mozilla Firefox, stable and fast (alternate Google Chrome)
    Anti-Virus:- Avast! & MS Security Essentials, I have several PC’s Laptops and use both these AV’s, they both seem to give excellent protection, are fast and small which means little or no reduction in computer performance!
    Maintenance Utility:- CCleaner!, if you get one programme get this, I use it every day and even its most basic function of cleaning browser clutter is worth the price alone ………thats FREE! I also use the registry cleaning facility it provides and have had absolutely NO problems at all
    other programmes I also use and recommend:
    Foxit reader:- tiny pdf reader (adobe is gross bloatware!)
    7-zip:- compression utility that does everything you might need.
    Revo Uninstaller:- thoroughly removes all traces of installed applications and programes from your computer, which basic add/remove will not do.
    Iobit Smart Defrag & Auslogics Disc Defrag:- both do the same job and both are faster and I believe more comprehensive than windows own defrag.
    Winamp:- my default programme for playing all music, I just like it!
    Media Player Classic:- tiny media player that plays very many formats.
    Burn4Free:- small and light cd/dvd burning programme, doesnt have all the whistles and bells of something like Nero but works very well and costs a lot less (FREE!)
    Eraser:- Totally remove all sensitive or personal data with one click.
    thats about it for me although as an aside I have just installed Windows Internet Explorer 9 (user release) on one of my laptops but its way to early to tell if its an improvement on other versions of IE as MS claim it will be!

    • @Guy K:

      I love Chrome for its speed but if you keep using it for an hour or so, it has so many entries in memory that it begins to slow down and then freeze and crash.

      So I use it for quick lookup of gmail or a few websites but when browsing longer I tend to use Firefox or Pale Moon.

  15. R.Martinez says:

    PC Pitstop Exterminate2 is a very good defense for your pc,but the problem is you have to be conected to internet,what if your pc has a virus that do not allow you to conect? it happened to me,and I had to bring Panda Antivirus Pro,from my other pc on a usb drive an use it in the infected pc, panda advise you to be on line,(I believe so you get the latest definitions)but you don’t have to be on line for it to work,and if the malware afecting you is not the latest malware,it fixs the problem,as it dit with my pc. Roberto

  16. graeme pedersen says:

    I use threatfire and Win patrol (scotty the watchdog) only. My commputer is on line 24/7 and I’ve had no problems. Threatfire doesn’t keep a list of viruses, it just warns you (as does Scotty) when something is trying to muck with your registry. Then gives you the option to let it, quarantine it or deny it. Win patrol also gives you a chance to control startup items, delayed start items, cookies, show hidden files etc. This program needs to be bought if you want to know about threats it has prevented. $30.00 once only.

  17. Rekrul says:

    Online video notwithstanding, Flash is only #1 because web designers today seem to think it’s a complete replacement for HTML.

    Another great free program is Total Uninstall 2.35, which is the last freeware version. Unlike other uninstallers that rely on a list, TU scans your registry and drive before and after you install a program, comparing the changes and saving them so that you can later fully uninstall the program in question.

    VLC – Unstable bugware that uses more CPU than just about any other generic player. Sure, it has built in codecs, but it also has so many obscure features that they have to include a shortcut to reset the prefs for when you accidentally screw it up by changing some setting you shouldn’t have touched.

  18. Ted B says:

    Other free software downloads that likely don’t fall within the top 100, but invaluable nonetheless.

    I routinely use CCleaner to cleanup the mess left behind by Internet browsing, but what about deep cleaning the registry. RegSeeker is a free registry cleaner by HoverDesk

    One suggestion, RegSeeker provides an option to backup changes before cleaning which I strongly suggest as this program digs deeper than many other registry cleaners and nasty surprises can be unpleasant. However I’ve been using it for many years and had need to restore a backup just one time. And if you are really concerned and want multiple fallback options, do a full registry backup before running the program.

    There’s another free program I recommend that offers realtime protection without consuming resources other than a tiny sliver of hard drive space. SpywareBlaster by Javacool. It functions as a passive program that, among other things, serves to prevent ActiveX based spyware from loading if inadvertently opening a website with known malware. It doesn’t remove existing malware but once the computer is clean it adds an extra layer of security to help keep it that way.

    Since the free version’s database isn’t updated automatically, I suggest to manually update it weekly to assure current protection.

  19. Bob H says:

    I wonder why KeePass is shown on the free software list. I use it, it is great! But, why would you keep it on your PC – PCMatic should not see it if you are taking security seriously – it should be on a USB memory stick, so that nobody has a chance to decipher your master password and get into your enclosed list of passwords.
    Of course, as an important software item, I believe that KeePass should be much higher up the list.

  20. JCF says:

    Sad that Essentials still not of the favorites, it’s a great anti virus.

  21. Jaime says:

    For Spyware: rates high in my book. Found problems with Adaware and had to remove it from the registry
    Anti-Virus: Avast is free and very easy to use and less user intervention. Too much drama with Norton and McAfee.
    PC-Matic will remove VLC Media from your desktop as Max Mollyn asked in an earlier comment.

    • stupified says:

      I agree MBAM is arguably the best free SA scanner around. I’m amazed how little AV software is on the list and how big a role advertizing plays in this list. AVG??? Talk about a resource hog. No self respecting tech site recommends Spybot anymore. PCTools free AV and firewall are light and excellent, and don’t require an act of Congress to remove. What about Revo Uninstaller? People wonder why their registries are a galactic mess? LOL

  22. Karen says:

    To the Mcaffee fella I don’t use it at all nor do I use Norton anymore. I am now using Vipre-Sunbelt Securities. It is great uses very little of your computers resources to run and I have never gotten any viruses. I got 2yrs for $76.00 and they always have deals on it. I would give it a chance if your really looking for something good.

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