The best free software (Utilities)

Absolute Uninstaller (Windows)
Replace the Add/Remove Programs control panel in XP to get batch uninstalls and clear out leftovers that Windows frequently misses when uninstalling.

CCleaner (Windows)
The extra C is for crap, and that’s what CCleaner gets rid of: all the detritus left behind in the course of using Windows.

CoolMon (Windows)
CoolMon displays all of your system’s vital statistics, including use of your CPU, RAM, and hard drives, internal PC temperature, and more.

Defraggler (Windows)
Defragment your entire hard drive—or just one heavily fragmented file at a time.

DriverView (Windows)
DriverView lists every single device driver running on your system, with extra info on each.

Eraser (Windows)
Shredders are popular in the office, so why not have the digital equivalent? Eraser adds a right-click menu that will do away with a fi le or folder forever.

FileZilla (Windows | MacOS | Linux)
Download this FTP client for accessing multiple sites or to use as an FTP server. In both cases, FileZilla has convenient drag-and-drop support.

Glary Utilities (Windows)
Glary offers a ton of utilities for cleaning, optimizing, and securing Windows in one package.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (Windows)
Install anything—DOS, OS/2, or any earlier version of Windows—as a virtual machine. It’ll run in a separate window on your Vista or XP desktop.

SandBoxie (Web)
Place a layer of “transient storage” —a sandbox—between your applications and your hard disk to stay safe.

SecureZIP (Windows)
Compress and decompress files on the fl y, even in e-mail through Outlook integration, and encrypt archives as desired.

Task Killer (Windows)
Stop any Windows process dead; this is handy for clearing frozen applications.

TinkerTool (MacOS)
Get access to additional preference settings in Mac OS X to turn on hidden features.

Uniblue ProcessScanner (Windows | Web)
You can do the Ctrl-Alt-Delete salute in Windows to see what’s bogging down your PC, but can you understand the results? ProcessScanner, coupled with the online Process Library, provides extra information on each process (like whether it autostarts or not, and who makes the software in question), and even lists the security risk to your system for running it.

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