Best Open Source Programs For Windows 10

As the name implies, open-source apps have their source code available to the public to inspect and even modify. This ensures they are secure and respect privacy as the vulnerabilities in the code can be detected by anyone.

Furthermore, these apps are usually maintained by volunteer developers who work on them in their free time, so they are usually free to use.

Being free and secure is more than enough reason to get open source apps, but if you are not convinced, then below are some more reasons:

  • The developers work solely for their passion for the project, not for money. This leads to a better product that only focuses on usability without any bloat to attract new customers.
  • Fewer bugs as hundreds of volunteer developers manage the code. More eyes increase the chances of catching bugs faster.
  • They have a simpler interface (in most cases) as developers tend to focus on getting the job done instead of adding placebo features to attract customers that further complicate things.
  • Extremely powerful apps can be hundreds of developers (depending on project popularity) introducing and managing features.
  • Many open-source apps have plugins repositories where hundreds of plugins are available to enhance the app’s functionality further. Volunteer contributors also create the plugins.
  • Popular open-source apps also have dedicated forums and communities to help and learn more about the apps.
  • For enterprises, it’s also very flexible because if the company needs a different feature, then their own developers can contribute to developing it.

If you are ready to try some open source apps, then keep reading, and I’ll introduce some of the best open source apps for Windows 10.

Handbrake

When it comes to backing up your DVD collection, in case of fire/kids/life, it’s tough to beat the awesome feeling that comes from a completed Handbrake session. Despite its highly customizable nature, Handbrake also provides you with some helpful presets to make the disc to file conversion as painless and simple as possible. I personally appreciate the preview mode myself.

Filezilla

Whether you’re still using traditional FTP to upload your files to a server or keeping it secure with SSH keys using sFTP – FileZilla has you covered. I’ve long believed that FileZilla is among the best in class FTP management applications on any desktop operating system. You can drag-drop, change permissions, even master through thousands of batch transfers without breaking a sweat!

Juice

Despite statements to the contrary, podcasts are not dead. Many of the most popular is booming right now and you can use Juice to capture all of your favorites, automatically. Thanks to the magic of RSS enclosures, your favorite podcasts can simply appear on your PC as they’re released. Not sure what to listen to? No biggie, they have a huge directory of podcasts to choose from. How’s that for convenience?

VLC

When I watch a video on a PC, I run VLC. To me, it doesn’t matter if that PC runs Windows or Linux, my expectations on what I want from my video player are the same. As a general rule, VLC will play just about anything. VLC works like a champ for anything audio- or video-based, ranging from FLAC audio to DVD playback.

GIMP

It often amazes me how frequently I find myself relying on GIMP these days. From image combining to extraction, GIMP is simply one of the best tools in my toolbox. Admittedly, I’ve used it for so long that using anything else is out of the question. I have a workflow that works for me and GIMP is at the forefront of any serious creative project I have to accomplish.

LibreOffice

I’ve found that many people who honestly don’t know anything about running Open Source software are, in fact, running a fairly current version of LibreOffice. Usually, these individuals read about it somewhere, found it for free, or had it installed by someone they knew. The one common thread all of these folks seem to share is the fact that it’s being used often and dependably. Whether I’m running calculations with Calc or word processing with Write, these are my go-to apps within the LibreOffice suite. Impress for presentations is also fantastic and worth your consideration.

Clementine

The very first time I switched to an open source jukebox media player for my music, I ended up with amaroK on Linux. Years later, I’ve found myself using a fork of this media player called Clementine. It offers the best features anyone could want in a music player. I’ve been known to plugin to my Spotify account and export my playlists. This way if I ever switch to something different, say Google Play Music, my playlists will remain intact. That is the power of Clementine, folks.

Notepad++

Very few applications have shook my view of using Windows harder than Notepad++. Suddenly I find myself using a sane, usable text editor that doesn’t leave me frustrated! In my humble opinion, it’s the most amazing text editor ever conceived of for Windows users. Notepad++ features a tabbed interface with macro support, customizable GUI, Perl Compatible Regular Expression Search/Replace, and zoom functionality. Bundle all this with its syntax handling and you’ll never want to close this editor!

VirtualBox OSE

Most people don’t think much about the licensing of the VM software they use. But if you’re using VirtualBox OSE, you could be using the Open Source Edition to boot another OS within your host Windows installation. Side note, I like to think that using VirtualBox is a great way to get to know Linux…without any lengthy commitment!

WinDirStat

Trying to track down large files that are stealing precious hard drive space can be a pain. But Windows users rejoice, there’s an app that can help you with this challenge – WinDirStat. Designed to be a visual application, WinDirStat will literally show you which files and directories are taking up the bulk of your hard drive space. To make things easier, you’ll also find that WinDirStat provides pretty solid tree-map support as well.

Wox

Not to be confused with Woz, the co-founder of Apple, Wox is a keyboard launcher designed to make you more productive at your Windows computer. For me, I can’t even fathom using a computer without a good keyboard launcher. So if you were to drop me in front of a Windows box today, I’d be using Wox without a second thought. Using Wox, I can search the Web, locate files to open, and even startup programs!

AutoKey

Automating Macros and repetitive tasks can be a real pain. Lucky for you, there’s an open source application called AutoKey to take the sting out of the experience. Even with documentation, there is a learning curve involved, yet once you get the hang of it you’ll never look back. At it’s simplest, you can think of AutoKey as software designed to automate keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can even use it to help with typing. For example, abbreviations can become full sentences or paragraphs. It’s actually pretty amazing what can be done with this application.

Greenshot

Gone are the days of taking screenshots only to drop them into some paint-like program! With Greenshot, you can take a screenshot and then add annotations, or even export a screenshot straight to a printer. Need to highlight or obfuscate parts a screenshot? Not a problem! Only wish to take a screenshot of a region of the screen? Again, this is doable without any issues. Greenshot is a must-have application for Windows.

Conclusion

No matter how good a tool any of these platforms have to offer, your Windows 10 PC or laptop won’t be able to show it off to its fullest potential without one thing – other users. The best open source programs for Windows 10 are only as useful as the people that use them. Fortunately, with Windows 10 boasting cross-platform compatibility and unprecedented user access, finding those users has never been easier!

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