Congratulations! You just unwrapped a new Windows 10 PC for the holidays! Now you're wondering what the best apps are to install on your new machine. Fortunately, we're here to help, with some of our top picks to try out on your new PC.
We've rounded up our favorite and most-used apps and utilities for the technology we use every day. Check out our other picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs. We've also listed our favorite games for iOS and Android from this year.
Over the break, take some time to get organized and ready for the new year. It's hard to go wrong with to-do app Wunderlist, and the full-featured app has reminders, due dates, and perhaps most importantly, it seamlessly syncs across iOS, Android, Mac, and when you need it, the web.
Windows 10 has a great Snipping Tool built-in, but Lightshot makes things even easier to share a screenshot with some annotations. You can even assign the app to use the default PrtScn button on a keyboard, and have it automatically upload and copy the URL to the clipboard to make it easy to share screenshots on social networks, in emails, and over messaging apps. Best of all, it's free.
Available for download here.
Similar to Evernote, Microsoft's OneNote note-taking app can be almost anything you want it to be. You can save text, pictures, and links to your library, and it's all synced to the cloud for easy searching and sharing. It's also available for iOS, Android, and Mac, so you can sync all your notes across all the devices you own.
Chrome is still the best Windows browser thanks to its many extensions and apps. The built-in Chromecast support also makes it the best way to stream anything to your TV, whether it’s The Verge or an episode of Game of Thrones.
Available for download from Google's site.
These days there are so many messaging services that you're probably using a combination to speak to friends, family, or even coworkers. Franz combines the most popular ones into a single app so you don't have to go install a bunch of different apps. You can tab through services quickly, and popular services like Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, Telegram, and WeChat are all supported.
Available for download here.
Twitter's default app for Windows 10 is fine, but it's rather basic. If you're looking for TweetDeck on Windows, then meet Tweeten. It takes the web interface of TweetDeck and makes it a lot more Windows 10 friendly, with some additional options to make it fit well into Microsoft's dark UI.
If you read a lot of news then an RSS reader is essential. Nextgen Reader is the best you'll find on Windows 10. It’s a clean, useful $1.99 app that works well with a touchscreen or a keyboard and mouse. You can sync for offline support, pin feeds to your Start screen so you never miss a thing, and much more.
If you're a fan of organizing your photo and video collection then download Plex. It's free from the Windows Store, and it creates a media center of all your content that you can stream to all your devices. If you've also got an Xbox One, then you can download the app to your console and start streaming content from your PC.
VLC Media Player has been around for years, and it's still an essential Windows app. It might not be the best-looking media player, but it plays everything perfectly and you don't have to pay a cent.
Available for download from VideoLAN.
Steam is Valve’s downloadable storefront where you can buy popular games like Fallout 4, indie titles like FTL, and everything in between. You can even connect your PC up to your TV and use the Big Picture Mode to turn your PC into a console.
Available for download from Valve.
Readit is by far the best Windows app for Reddit fans. You can get notifications, Live Tiles, and support for gold features all as part of a well-designed app. It's also free and runs across Windows 10 devices and Windows Phone.
If you were lucky to get a Surface device over the holidays then Sketchable is one of the best apps to show off your Surface Pen skills. You can use it to draw and doodle for hours, and it even supports the Surface Dial if you're interested in taking your drawing skills a little further.
If you’re still using Windows’ default notepad app, you’re doing it wrong. Notepad++ adds powerful features like regular expressions, tabbed browsing, and the ability to compare two documents side by side. Color-coded syntax highlighting makes it particularly useful if you code or work with websites.
Available for download from Notepad's site.
Wox is full-featured launcher that lets you find apps and files or quickly search the web. If you're used to Alfred on the Mac, or want a more powerful way to search your PC then Wox is the best alternative right now. Wox is free for use and open-sourced at Github, and you can even extend its functionality with plugins.
Available for download from Github.