Tech

Free: The best tools and apps from Microsoft


Many free original programs from Microsoft support you in your work on the desktop, on the system and in everyday PC life. The tools and apps can either be started immediately or are quickly downloaded from the network and then ready to go.

Microsoft makes a wide range of free software available on the Internet: If you rummage through the company’s download area, you will find what you are looking for in many areas. Some of the programs presented here are already included in the scope of delivery of Windows 10, the others can be downloaded from the network or quickly imported into the Microsoft Store as an app. For a quick download we list all tools in the table below.

The open source programs can be found on the platform

Github
; The Windows calculator can serve as an example. The Github version is based on the original Microsoft code that the company released as open source. The free access to the source code allows the cooperation of programmers who continuously expand the functionality of the program on a voluntary basis. The calculator is also available in the Windows Store.

program

description

language

Calculator

calculator

photos

Photo editing

German

Your smartphone

Data transfer phone – PC

German

Microsoft Casual Games

Games & entertainment

English

Microsoft Family Safet
y

Child protection software

German

Microsoft ICE 2.0

Panoramic photos

English

Microsoft Sticky Notes

note

German

Microsoft To Do

productivity

German

Mouse without borders

Controls up to four PCs with one keyboard and mouse

English

Office Lens

Text and document recognition

German

Onenote

Digital notes

German

Power toys

System tool

English

Sandbox

Safe system environment

German

Teams

Video conferencing tool

German

VcXSrv

Access to graphical Linux programs

English

Video editor

Video editing

German

Visual Studio Code

Source editor

English

Whiteboard

Note and drawing program

German

Windows File Recovery

Recovery of files

English

Windows subsystem for Linux

System tool

German

Windows Sysinternals

System tools

English

->

Even extensive photo and video collections under control

The photos app, which is already integrated in Microsoft's operating system, enables quick and easy sorting and editing of images.

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The photos app, which is already integrated in Microsoft’s operating system, enables quick and easy sorting and editing of images.

In earlier Windows versions you had to be content with MS-Paint and an internal image viewer, but the software was only partially suitable. The new Photos app is included with Windows 10 and can do a lot more. After starting, the tool automatically sorts all pictures and films from the Windows libraries into the internal database. Other directories can be added via the settings – this way you quickly have a good overview of your collection.

The app sorts the photos and videos by time and in self-defined albums in which you can group your files yourself. On board is face recognition to quickly find pictures of certain people.

The one-click functions improve images with little effort, and the app combines a series of photos into a slide show with sound in just a few steps. Working in the video module is also very simple: the clips are simply arranged and trimmed with the mouse. Texts and music are added using the wizard, and the finished film can be exported without any prior knowledge.

The

Image composite editor
(Microsoft ICE 2.0) combines individual images into one image. These can be panoramas or scans of large areas such as posters. An assistant guides you through all the steps from importing to assembling the overall motif. It is extremely easy to use because ICE takes over the positioning and alignment of the photos automatically. When projecting for the perfect result, the tool offers different modes.

The new Windows Terminal, which allows various input modes, offers many additional functions.

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The new Windows Terminal, which allows various input modes, offers many additional functions.

Settings and optimization in Windows take over many standard tools. Microsoft provides small additional programs for special tasks.

System internals
is a collection of tools for analyzing Windows, which includes

Process Monitor
an extension of the task manager. The tool shows information on running programs as well as access to directories, files and the registry. The filter functions help to limit problems that arise. Further tools from Windows Sysinternals determine information about accesses in the network or analyze the Windows start. The collection has grown over many years into a Swiss Army Knife for insiders. Sysinternals now has special 64-bit versions for many entries.

And with

Mouse without borders
operate up to four computers in the same network without changing your grip with a mouse and keyboard. Once configured, simply drag the mouse pointer to another screen.

Reading tip:

35 years of Windows – 35 tools and tips

Other little helpers for everyday PC and office use

Various collections of information, links and media can be implemented very quickly and easily with Microsoft Onenote.

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Various collections of information, links and media can be implemented very quickly and easily with Microsoft Onenote.

Collects notes of all kinds

Onenote
, easiest via the clipboard. “Sections”, “Pages”, the search and tags to identify content help with organization. Pen input is also supported on tablet PCs, and recordings can be synchronized with other devices via the Internet.

The program takes data from the Internet including images and additional web links. Onenote can be used in other areas: These include care instructions, assembly instructions, recipe collections, homework aids and other things for everyday life. Saving videos on the topic makes the program a universal collection for home improvement. The digital instructions can be printed out and shared with others over the Internet.

You write down daily tasks in the app

Microsoft To Do
: These can be lists for shopping, holiday preparation or party planning. Such statements are quickly written on the desktop in the Windows app. If you compare the data with your smartphone via your Microsoft account, you have the information with you on the go.

There is also a digital version of the yellow Post-its for quick notes: With Microsoft

Sticky Notes
the little helpers with important information are pinned to the desktop: Text, images and links can be processed there.

Digitize mobile phones on the desktop and documents

The connection between the Windows desktop and a mobile device is established by the tool

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The connection between the Windows desktop and a mobile device is established by the tool “Your Smartphone” in the WLAN home network even without a cable connection.

For many, the smartphone is now their universal companion – communication, information and entertainment are always with you. At the desk you can manage the content of the mobile device with the app ”

Your smartphone
“.

The program allows backups, data transfer to the mobile phone and the management of messages and calls. It is not necessary to switch to the telephone; you write answers using the PC keyboard. Android apps can even be started on the computer via the virtual emulation. To use it, the computer and smartphone must be in the same WLAN network, which even works without a cable thanks to the Microsoft account.

With ”

Office Lense
“The digitization of documents, photos and other documents succeeds in a very short time. The templates are read with a scanner or photographed with a smartphone, the software analyzes the content and performs text recognition with OCR. For example, the content of whiteboards or blackboards can be easily digitized. Office Lens is also available for Android and iOS, the data between the devices is transferred via

Microsoft Onecloud
exchanged.

With the ”

Whiteboard
“-App, groups can work together on designs over the Internet; these can be drawings, plans or collections of ideas. Touchpad, pen input and mouse or keyboard provide creative input. Changes can also be made in existing documents.

The Windows sandbox as a safe environment to try out

The

Sandbox
enables programs to be run in an isolated, secure environment. First, however, you have to activate it by checking “Windows Sandbox” under “Control Panel -› Activate or Deactivate Windows Features ”and reboot the computer.

The call is made via the start menu, then a new window opens in which a new window is running. Programs can be downloaded and tried out there. Sandbox is a way to safely experiment with potentially dangerous software.

Therefore, data or programs cannot be transferred to the normal Windows system. When Sandbox is closed, the tool deletes all downloaded packages and installations.

The feature is only available in Windows 10 Pro, but there is a trick

Activate later in the home version
.

Edit files and develop software

Accidentally deleted files can be recovered from the Windows command prompt using File Recovery.

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Accidentally deleted files can be recovered from the Windows command prompt using File Recovery.

You can quickly edit an ini file or the settings for a program with the Windows editor.

But it offers more flexibility

Visual Studio Code
, there is a sophisticated set of functions here. The program not only facilitates changes in simple text documents, but also provides many functions for editing program code. Special displays and the syntax check are part of the program. These can be HTML pages for the web with CSS or Javascript. Visual Studio Code is not just an editor, but a complete development environment. It supports many programming languages ​​such as C, C ++, Python, Java or C #.

The

Microsoft Terminal
is intended to replace the command prompt in the near future. The tool is available as open source from Github and the Microsoft Store. It allows you to open classic input, Powershell and the Linux terminal.

Experienced users get a high-performance environment to control the computer and quickly perform operations at the file level. Connections to other computers can be established using the SSH function.

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