E.in PC should relieve you of work and not burden you, but unfortunately the latter is more and more the case. Because some programs have gotten complicated because their manufacturers are under the pressure to innovate and keep expanding their functions. In particular, new editions of chargeable products appear every year with additional features that not every user needs. Some developers are also redesigning operating concepts and interfaces, which is supposed to be innovative, but which makes it difficult to use. Some applications that have evolved over time appear so overloaded that you hardly (want to) achieve your goal with them. The name of such functional monsters is bloatware and you will not find such in the following: Articles and photo series introduce you to tools that are kept lean and simple. Some of the tips run without installation and therefore set the entry threshold particularly low.
Easy to use software
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Master pictures, music and videos with free tools
More and more devices come with a camera function, but often photography is not the focus at all. The results often appear correspondingly mediocre. With Paint.NET If you improve the functionality, the program lies between the extremely simple (inefficient) Windows standard tool Paint and the powerful alternative GIMP (not as intuitive as possible). Optionally, Paint.NET optimizes the colors of a recording with the help of a fast automatic menu bar or you use manually applied editing tools. PhotoBuzzer helps if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to fine-tune a photo: it applies random changes to the loaded image by clicking on the red button that gives it its name, the buzzer. You click on the buzzer until the result suits you and save with a click.
Does Windows refuse to open an audio, video, image, or PDF file? For the FreeFileViewer is not a problem. Although it has hardly any options for editing files, it “cracks” the most important file formats. If you want to quickly catch a glimpse of the content of a (strict) file, this tool is ideal. The all-rounder is also ideal VLC media player, which plays music and video files as well as movie DVDs, on the latter the Windows 8.1 / Windows 10 Windows Media Player fails. VLC also shows photos that you feed to it, but the focus is on audio / video playback. Incidentally, the developers of VLC once had a video editor up their sleeves, but nothing has been heard from him for a long time. For video optimization, it’s better to use a tool like Open Shot Video Editor. The balance between good functionality and user-friendliness is right here.
Work faster with tuning tools
There used to be more chargeable optimization programs for Windows than today, the number of free tools is still considerable, but hardly a tuner is enough CCleaner approach. Although it has grown functionally with updates, classic maintenance work is still in the foreground. This includes deleting ballast from the NTFS file system, cleaning up the registry and clearing out the autostart ramps. You can also uninstall unwanted programs and apps from the CCleaner. The developers have given their tuning tool a new, simple area with the “Health Check”, which is where CCleaner starts. The alternative area “Advanced cleanup”, which is just a click away, offers more functionality.
Is suitable for more speed Driver Booster Free: The IObit program is a master at opening out old drivers and replacing them with newer versions without user intervention. This often makes Windows faster and more stable. Another tip is that Ashampoo WinOptimizer 16, which you can get here as a free full version. The all-rounder suite combines many functions and makes them easily accessible via categories. You can choose to display the module names as they are or in the form of function descriptions. The three included live watchdogs are practical, for example, which automatically increase the priorities of program processes after being activated once. A one-click optimization bundles the modules Drive Cleaner, Registry Optimizer and Internet Cleaner and thus sub-cleans systems in one pass.
The right helpers for the office
PCs are not just for entertainment and are also there for work. Microsoft Office Online appeals to all those who prefer the original office package from the software giant – after a free registration, it is fully functional in the browser. Microsoft’s functional reduction is an advantage here, as the training period is shorter. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote have a ribbon-like user interface in the online version, similar to the installable, chargeable siblings. Sumatra PDF shows “only” PDF documents without any frills, but if you just want to read the content, you will not be bothered and will benefit from a better security situation, since hackers hardly attack the tool because it is not widely used. PDF24 Creator creates new PDF documents from almost any printable application with a virtual printer, i.e. with the key combination Ctrl-P. Doesn’t promise too much in terms of fast service Business cards in 2 minutes: Click on tabs to quickly put together a printable profile about yourself.
It gives you a boost for your everyday office life Filelist Creator: The exclusive CoBi tool comes from the author of this article and hooks into the context menu of folders. The tool was created because Windows itself can output folder contents as a list, but only with a lot of effort via the command line. Their command to you “Giet” the tool in a convenient two-click application: Right-click on a folder whose contents are to be perpetuated as a text file list. In the next step, click the file list creator from the context menu and hey presto, it creates a TXT document with an inventory at the storage location of the folder.
Increase security: additions to the virus scanner
An antivirus program should be mandatory on every (Windows) PC. Such software offers solid basic protection, but by no means seals off perfectly against malware. If you want more security, you can also use it Spybot Search & Destroy and or AdwCleaner. Both free Windows from intruders, should any have established themselves in the system. SpyBot has an immunize function so that spyware & Co. does not become lodged in the future: You can use it to change the Windows hosts file so that malicious websites cannot be accessed across the browser. If you have locked out criminals, you should protect important files from other PC users: it works EasyCrypt. The tool in Windows 8 design has only two buttons, one to encrypt and the other to decrypt. The AES 256-bit encryption used is considered secure.