New Windows 10 Fixes and 10 essential Free apps
Big Changes Are Coming
New Windows 10 Fixes and 10 essential Free apps Microsoft has committed to improving Windows 10’s default apps in a bid to bring the OS up to speed with more seamless desktop app ecosystems, like Apple’s macOS Big Sur.
These changes are expected to come with the Windows 10 21H2 update — popularly known as the Windows 10 Sun Valley update — while further, more drastic app improvements are set to arrive with a more significant software update later in 2021.
The new update fixes for Windows 10 several frustrating bugs like game crash issues, alt-Tabbing Problems, the bugbear. There are a bunch of other minor fixes, so overall, this preview update could be worth getting a hold of for a number of Windows 10 users.
If you don’t have any of the above issues, you should hold off on this one as well. You don’t need to install upgrades and, as we all realize, these patches will also have unforeseen effects as well as corrections (particularly in preview).
KB4598291 update for Windows 10 has a new optional update that contains some helpful patches, most notably, will be a huge relief to the minority of gamers afflicted by crash issues. Microsoft also published patch KB4598291 May 2020 Update and October 2020 Update, this is simply a beta of the ‘C’ upgrade, which means it’s voluntary, but you’re going to have to look for it in Windows Update to catch it.
KB4598291 also provides another significant workaround for Windows 10 users that are afflicted by the bugbear, meaning that after restarting their device, they are signed out of applications and websites, meaning that they are required to sign in repeatedly over and over, again a fairly irritating glitch.
The update also addresses a number of other Windows 10 bugs, including one in Windows Explore that creates duplicates of folders from cloud providers (such as Dropbox or Google Drive). An issue with the Alt-Tab shortcut has also been fixed, which prevented users from using the hotkey to scroll through open applications.
Alt-Tabbing problems (where the order of tabbed apps changes unexpectedly) and a problem where a device wakes from hibernation and just displays a blank lock screen are also addressed. Some people have also encountered problems preventing them from opening a file on the desktop, and that has also been cured.
1. System cleaner: CCleaner
CCleaner does all those long, laborious clean-up tasks in one place. You can either run a selective scrubbing job, or set up a batch job to deal with everything at once. Just be wary of the pop-ups.
2. Backup: Cobian Backup
Cobian Backup is one of the most capable free backup packages there is. Send your files off to an external drive, send them to a network location, send them to an FTP server: whatever works.
3. File manager: Tablacus
Quite why Windows Explorer doesn’t have tabs in 2019 we don’t know, but Tablacus solves that problem: It’s a file manager that, yes, includes tabs. It also lets you tile folders in panes, and disable any components you don’t need.
4. Office: LibreOffice
Pretty much a free equivalent to Microsoft Office, and compatible with the same file formats, LibreOffice is a non-paid essential. It even does more: There’s a full database and a complex formula editor included.
Alternatively: Apache OpenOffice
5. Disk rescue: TestDisk
Whole drive letting you down? Mechanical disk giving you the click of death? TestDisk can ignore all the usual safeguards and filesystems in order to wade through the raw data, sector by sector, giving you one last chance to rescue your files.
6. Video editing: Shotcut
Shotcut has been carving out its own niche in the video-editing world, and while it’s still catching up to the big boys, it’s also entirely free – no surprises, no restrictions.
Unless you look on the Microsoft Store, where it’s inexplicably paid-for. Don’t do that.
7. Notes: Notepad++
There’s a whole lot of contextual formatting in Notepad++ (it is, after all, made for sketching code in all manner of languages), but it’s just as much a straightforward and capable alternative to Microsoft’s Notepad. And that’s a good thing.
8. Audio editing: Audacity
Audacity almost annoys us: we’re absolutely desperate to recommend something different in this slot, but there’s still nothing else that can hold a candle to it for audio cutting or tweaking. It’s a tool that everyone should have installed at all times.
9. Photo Editing: Polarr
Polarr has crept up on us over the past few years, but since it made the jump from mobile to PC app, it’s proved to be one of the coolest and most capable photo-tweaking tools available, paid or not.
Alternatively: Adobe Photoshop Express
10. Music-making: Cakewalk
Originally a DOS sequencer launched in 1987 and coming to Windows in 1991, Cakewalk recently came under new ownership and is back from the dead – those new owners decided the app was best given to the world for free.
Pro-level recording, all the tools you need to mix and master tracks, not to mention a host of software instruments and effects.