Freeware Top 30

The following is a list of 30 freeware programs that I cannot live without. I wanted this to be the one page a reader can turn to get all the essential free programs they need to install on a new computer. This list doesn’t cover the best free program in every conceivable category, but for those categories that are represented the programs showcased here in most cases, I would argue, are best-in-class.

This list last updated July 17th 2010: 1- Everything des!top file search that will transform the way you use your "# $- Launchy my favorite launcher 3- LastPass centrali%ed, cloud-based password manager &. e!pot the world’s most advanced free virtual des!top app '- "#g$urn simple yet powerful #()(*( burning software +- %vast solid, effective free antivirus ,- ThreatFire powerful, memory-resident -nti.pyware protection /- &i'ogo easy screen sharing and remote access application 0- (i)er right clic! 1minimi%e2 to snap windows to pre-defined si%es 10- Pea*ip powerful archiving tool to manage 3I", 4-4, and more than 1$0 compression formats 11- +,E a visual environment for ideas, notes, thoughts, and everything else. 1$- (uper-opier accelerate, pause, and resume file copying and moving operations 13- Fast(tone "#age +iewer a versatile, practical image viewer 1&- uTorrent powerful, lightweight Torrent client

1'- ./ ir small yet versatile multiple-pane file management app 1+- P F/0-hange +iewer: the best free "(5 document viewer 1,- The 1&Player the only media player you will ever need 1/- Partition 2i)ard partition manager and hard drive maintenance tool 10- (end to Toys add any folder to 6indows’ send-to conte7t menu $0- 3pen344ice5org e7cellent free 8. 9ffice alternative $1- File&enu Tools enhance your right-clic! conte7t menu with a wide range of tools $$- 6and$ra'e converts (*(’s to media files for your "#, i"hone, or portable media device $3- 7evo ,ninstaller removes all traces of an uninstalled program $&- &p3Tag powerful audio tag management tool $'- + Flic' convert video files to (*( $+- 2in(-P powerful 5T" client $,- --leaner reliable hard drive and registry cleaner $/- Feed e#on: e7cellent 4.. reader with :oogle 4eader support $0- P F-reator convert any document to "(5 or image formats 30- FreeFile(ync powerful folder comparison and synchroni%ation tool .ome notes before proceeding
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ownload lin's for each program are provided at the end of each mini-review. "nstalling so4tware a lot of software tends to bundle other software, typically ;ahoo, <ing, and -s! toolbars, in their installers= the good news is that you can always unchec! these options during the installation and disallow this, so pay attention when you install and unchec! anything you don’t want. The sorting order: don’t put too much meaning into it, as comparing most of these programs to each other is very much an e7ercise in comparing oranges and apples. 2indows 7 89 $it all programs listed here are guaranteed to be +&bit 6in, friendly >as well as 3$bit ?", *ista, or 6in,@. In the case that they may e7hibits some Auir!s or incompatibility it is indicated in the te7t below.

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1/ Everything: des'top 4ile search that will trans4or# the way you use your P.ounds hyperbolic, perhaps, but I stand by it 100B. 1Cverything2 is a super fast des!top filesearch that integrates in the right clic! conte7t menu. It is fast for the simple reason that it does not scan the hard drive to build its database, but rather uses the raw 8aster 5ile Table for DT5. drives, which logs all changes made on the partition.

This means that you as the user do not have to worry about whether the database you are searching is up to date, about doing manual re-inde7ing operations, or about areas on your hard drive that are not included in the database= you Eust use it and it wor!s. The down side is that 1Cverything2 will not wor! on non-DT5. formatted drives >ta!e my advice and convert your 5-T3$ drives to DT5. anyway@. It also will not search networ! drives >although it will search e7trenal DT5. formatted drives@. 4ight clic!ing 1search everything2 on folders will soon become your method of choice when see!ing, well, anything. -nd I am happy to report that the conte7t menu entry wor!s on both 3$ and +& bit systems. 1Cverything2 is relatively low on resource consumption >11 megs on my "#@. It wor!s on 6indows ?", *ista, and 6indows ,, 3$ and +& bit. F :o here to download. -lso see my original Cverything review. - close second choice Gocate3$= in contrast to 1Cverything2, Gocate3$ scans your drive to inde7, but is super powerful des!top search all the same.

2/ Launchy: #y 4avorite launcher

If you hear 1launcher2 and the image that comes to mind is stac!s of organi%ed shortcuts, this program will be a revelation. Gaunchy loo!s li!e a floating search bo7 on your des!top >which is e7actly what it is, see screenshot@. To use, simply invo!e Gaunchy >by default, using the -ltH.pace hot!ey combination@ and type in the name of the app you see! in the search bo7. 5or e7ample to run a program you would type in the first few letters and Gaunchy will interactively display matches for programs found on your computer. ;ou are unli!ely to need more than a few !eystro!es before it narrows down the list of results to the program you see!.

Gaunchy will inde7 the start menu and Auic! launch folders for shortcuts >i.e. files with .ln! e7tensions@. ;ou can add places as well as file e7tensions you want it to further inde7 >e.g. loo! in 1program files2 for .e7e e7tensions or a folder where you place portable apps@. ;ou could tell it to inde7 any type of e7tension= for e7ample inde7ing 1my music2 for .8"3 files will turn Gaunchy into an instant local music loo!up and launch tool. It can also be used to launch :oogle searches and do a number of useful tas!s. 9nce I got used to this one I began to wonder how I ever managed without it. F :o here to download. -lso see my original Gaunchy review.

3/ LastPass: centrali)ed: cloud/$ased password #anager

files. multiple :mail accounts@. 6hich is to say it will loc! away all your passwords for all your online accounts in a centrali%ed place. etc@. and will interactively detect any passwords manually entered and as! if you would li!e to store them in Gast"ass. The last word on Gast"ass is that at this point I cannot live without it and I install it on all my computers. which means that it is worthless to anybody who might access it >e.s #ost advanced 4ree virtual des'top app Iow would you li!e a ’tabbed des!top’ where each ’tab’ displays its own programs. F :o here to download.g. If you need to !now more about how secure Gast"ass is I suggest :oogling it. The encryption)decryption is done locally on your computer.e. I am very comfortable recommending this after almost two years of using this and after seeing the !ind of critical acclaim it has received >among which is a "# 8aga%ine Cditor’s choice award and other accolades@. 5irefo7. 5irefo7. Gast"ass supports multiple profile for a single page >e.This program will store all of your passwords in encrypted form in the cloud >i. It can also optionally detect and fill in forms for you. . the Gast"ass developers. and then let you retrieve them securely when you need them via its Internet C7plorer. and (e7pot is the best freeware virtual des!top program around.g. . or #hrome e7tensions. on a remote server supplied by the developers@.upports maEor browsers. That’s pretty much the idea behind virtual des!tops. The reason Gast"ass is secure is that the data stored remotely is encrypted. hac!ers. as this discussion has ta!en place in many a forum and this is not the place for it. and #hrome= alas no 9pera support as of this writing. including IC. 9/ e!pot: the world. and allow you to access them via a single password that unloc!s them all. and icons or even its own wallpaper and display resolution.

-nd while most virtual des!top apps will let you relegate specific windows and programs to specific virtual des!tops. </ "#g$urn: si#ple yet power4ul . F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. -lso see my original (e7pot review. This is managed via hot!eys= e. tas!bar1.even(e7 chec! out my article entitled 1.favorite plugin of mine is . 5or more on . (e7pot has a breadth of functionality and is e7pandable via a plugin architecture.even -pps that wor! really well in the 6indows . . see screenshot to the right@. select files and folders and clic! shiftHaltH3. what I li!e about (e7pot is that it lets me relegate icons across my different des!tops as well. something which no other free virtual des!top app will. This means that I can !eep all of my wor! icons on my first des!top and shift all of my personal icons to the second des!top >as an e7ample@. launchbar >and is simply awesome.= + $urning so4tware . and they will be instantly be teleported out of sight to your third virtual des!top.even(e7.g. which places my virtual des!tops as thumbnails on the 6indows .

e.9 and several others@. #LC. but it will cover all of your #( and (*( burning needs. (*(. The only drawbac! it has is that it may reAuire users to be somewhat technically savvy at times in its reliance on building images to perform some operations. the differences in performance between the two are so slight as to >probaby@ not be statistically significant. Imgburn is also lightweight and offers a portable version. can burn (*(’s from *I(C9MT. although it can add trac!s to image files. including burning to #(. I. and offers unmatched simplicity in interface. 46. It also cannot build multi-session discs >i. 8/ %vast: solid: e44ective 4ree antivirus I had previously written a freeware antivirus comparison article. see here@. -vira -ntivir and -vast. can burn music #(s from audio files >via #LC images. allows overburn. I feel it easier and more reliable to recommend -vast as my free antivirus of . Eust to name several of its features. To be sure. (ual layer. Imgburn can create and burn dis! images in most formats ><ID. can ma!e bootable dis!s. -vast presents an advantage in that you do not have to thin! about the >non@issue of email scanning that comes up with -ntivir or worry about any type of nag screen. It may not be the most full-featured so-called 1Dero replacement2 out there. even I( (*( and <lu 4ay dis!s. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. folders.Imgburn gets the Eob done. this antivirus program comes in at a close second to -ntivir for most metrics= however. add data to a disc that already has some data burned onto it@. and two programs stood out. -lso see my original Imgburn review. 7elated If you want a more user friendly and a more 1typical2 e7perience then by all means chec! out my other favorite #()(*( burning software #(<urner?".

ou will need to register the free version of -vast by obtaining a >free@ registration code using a valid email. brand new and >so-called@ %ero day threats. This program is geared towards behavior-based protection. Thus is it is >a@ less dependent on constant system and hard drive scans and >b@ provides good protection against un!nown. but which for me is a non-issue. . and the program is world-class. . which some users find Auir!y and unintuitive. 6ith -vast you can be sure that you very well protected.choice because the recommendation comes with less caveats and Aualifications. It is also very effective and provides e7cellent protection. The last thing to mention about -vast is its rather uniAue interface. 7/ ThreatFire: power4ul: #e#ory/resident %nti(pyware protection Threat5ire is a memory-resident antispyware protection software that protects in real-time and is low on system resources. F :o here to download. and the registration process has to be repeated annually. which means that it !ic!s in whenever it senses something suspicious is ta!ing place.

send files to participants. It also offers the option to video record your session for later playbac!. I say this because it has been both my e7perience as well as that of friends whom I recommended it to. guaranteed.ou can also switch roles at a clic! of a button such that you are broadcasting your screen or your computer is being accessed. Dote Threat5ire now wor!s on both +& bit and 3$ bit machines. >/ &i'ogo: easy screen sharing and re#ote access application 8i!ogo is the !ind of software that will leave your colleagues. whether or not you also use a firewall program. . and collaborators e7tremely impressed. if that is what you need. . 6hat it is is a free program that will let you share your screen remotely with one or many remote collaborators. friends. I will say however that adding a firewall would be a good idea= see below for a free 5irewall recommendation. F :o here to download >get the free version@. -lso see my original Threat5ire review. customers. and even share a virtual whiteboard for shared scribbles and illustrations. whereby you can ta!e the driver’s seat remotely if they give you permission.The bottom line use Threat5ire and one of the two antivirus programs mentioned above and you will have all the protection you need. It also provides remote access to their computer.

ou will need to create an account using a valid email address. -lso see my original 8i!ogo review. would li!e a Auic! and handy way to resi%e the browser window to pre-defined si%es. It is useful for all sorts of everyday. and is available for "#. -ll they need to do is visit a L4G which you send them and enter an access code. powerful. the entire platform is otherwise browser based . . or Ginu7. that they are using.The main reason I li!e this software is that you can perform the screen sharing or remote access functions without reAuiring that your collaborators install software on their machine or register for an account. so you can share your screen with anyone regardless of the 9. . but also especially useful if you are a web designer who. -lso worth noting is that 8i!ogo is multiplatform.i%er lets you right-clic! on the 1minimi%e2 button of a window to select a number of pre-defined window si%es that you can choose from. The other reason I li!e 8i!ogo even when such free screen sharing tools have been proliferating is the sense that this software is constantly being improved >while some others seem to have burst into the scene and !ind of languished@. say. then instantly resi%es the window for you. which the program will generate for your session. 7elated a close second choice Team*iewer= highly acclaimed. versatile. ad-hoc use. F :o here to download. 8ac. -nd although your remote collaborators will have to allow a small e7ecutable to run on their machine. ?/ (i)er: snap windows to pre/de4ined si)es .

es there are still people out there paying for 6in%ip >I wor! with some of them@. but the reason it is here is because after almost two years since I originally reviewed it. . . +&bit >I’m not Auite sure@. -lso see my original . but for the rest of us I would recommend "ea3ip.3ip@. it is still one of the first things I install on my computer >I now firmly believe that this function should have been built into 6indows@.This may seem a a bit of an odd choice in a 1favorite freeware2 list. N3ip.i%er review. loo!s good. although it may be that the installer version offers better compatibility with 6indows .i%er offers a portable version.and is Auite powerful. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. . and . 10/ Pea*ip: power4ul archiving tool to #anage *"P: 7%7: and #ore than 120 co#pression 4or#ats I am often surprised as to how freAuently I am as!ed about a good free archiving software. integrates well in the 6indows conte7t menu. Eust because there are so many e7cellent ones >some of my favorites are TL:%ip. completely free and open source.

to name a few features. it is also a full featured archive management program offering archive splitting. and the ability to 1flatten2 subfolder views. and even command line support. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK.E: a visual environ#ent 4or ideas: notes: thoughts: and everything else5 .The reason "ea3ip is featured on my 1best of2 page rather than any of the others is that it offers e7cellent compatibility with both 3$bit 6indows as well native +&bit 6indows . conversion. Eoining. whereas some of the others are stuc! in a 3$bit world and are yet to offer +&bit conte7t menu support >note . encryption. offering advanced filtering. -nd aside from its support for a vast range of compression formats. self-e7traction >in . "ea3ip is multi platform >6indows)Ginu7@.3ip also offers +&bit support= in fact . and offers a portable version as well. boo!mar!ing.. -n interesting and easily overloo!ed feature of "ea3ip is the fact that it is a fairly sophisticated file browser. 11/ +.3ip and -rc formats@.

Try it out= chances are you will li!e it and. Dote you will need to register with a valid email to download. -lthough you properly classify *LC as a mind mapping program. It is by no means a perfect program is. I’ve never really Auite understood mind mapping programs. It also encompasses a "owerpoint-li!e presentation engine that can create presentations out of mindmaps on-the-fly. it is innovative in many ways and the more I use it the more I li!e it. li!e me. no’r have I ever had any inclination to use them= however. -lso see my full *LC review. and the more I see the potential that it has to offer. it is more accurately a visual environment for wor!ing with many different types of information.*LC is one of the most interesting free programs I’ve seen in a long time. F :o here to download. this program has become indispensable to me as a platform for organi%ing notes and thoughts visually. come to depend on it. and in fact could and should become much better= however. 12/ (uper-opier: accelerate: pause: and resu#e 4ile copying and #oving operations .

although I did encounter one minor glitch in that if the files you are copying or moving reAuire administrative privileges the program will li!ely fail your operation rather than simply as! for a user confirmation. Tera#opy@.uper#opier can significantly speed up the process of copying or moving files across drives. transferring about ' gigs and hundreds of files to an e7ternal hard drive using Tera#opy and timing it. 7elated for another similar software that is e7cellent chec! out the aforementioned Tera#opy. li!e me. here. and here@= however if you want a reliable. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. 13/ Fast(tone "#age +iewer: a versatile: practical i#age viewer 5irst off. . .uper#opier is the one I would recommend in hindsight. This is especially the case if.uper#opier= the latter was appro7 1'B faster. I have previously mentioned a couple of other similar programs in this blog >#opyhandler. This tiny utility >less than $ megs in memory@ runs in the bac!ground and !ic!s in automatically whenever file copying or moving operations are initiated in 6indows e7plorer. here. if you’re wondering why I am featuring this program rather than :oogle’s "icasa..< drives to bac!up your data= in which case .uper#opier can be particularly valuable. I actually did a little test. -side from speeding up these operations it will let you pause a copy or move operation and resume it later on.tone *iewer is the program I would recommend. 9nce you start using this it is hard to go bac!. 1wor!horse2 rather than 1showhorse2 type image viewer then 5ast. you use e7ternal hard drive and)or high capacity L. then immediately deleting and repeating with . I’ve reviewed Auite a few image viewers on 5reewaregenius. the reason is that although I am Auite fond of the latter program I personally prefer a straight image viewer minus "icasa’s image library management)web album functionality. including many with stylish interfaces and 3( effects >eg. but .uper#opier wor!s well on 6indows. when its convenient. +&bit.

5ast. including drawing and annotation tools >the options available for annotation of images are especially useful@. only when you need them. It also supports a wide range of image formats. C7tremely simple but very practical and effective. F :o here to download.9ne of the reasons this ma!es my top list is that. chec! out Irfan*iew and ?nview. and the lightweight 5irst Impression.tone. It has also been recogni%ed for its stability as well as possibly being the fastest out there in terms of downloading performance I’ve reviewed a handful of Torrent clients on this blog and flirted with a number of other clients= however. 5or other interesting image viewers. *Epeg. but move your mouse to any of the & sides of the screen and various controls appear. 19/ uTorrent: power4ul: lightweight Torrent client uTorrent is a powerful and feature-rich <itTorrent client that nonetheless manages to be very light on resources >less than 11 megs in memory@. for other e7cellent free image viewers >which incidentally are amongst the most powerful you could find@. . 7elated although I prefer 5ast. 5ast. chec! out *iewer$ >with intuitive tagging functions@.tone Image *iewer also offers an e7cellent set of image editing tools and filters. when viewing images.tone employs a simple yet brilliant device in it’s user interface it displays images using 100B of your screen area. this is without a doubt the best torrent client available >free or paid@.

its stability and reliability. This program’s strong suite is the very nice user e7perience it provides >I particularly li!e the way you can Auic!ly shift across different window pane setups using tiny buttons on the program toolbar@./ ir: s#all yet versatile #ultiple/pane 4ile #anage#ent app O-(ir is a free file manager )6indows C7plorer replacement that provides dual and multiple pane file management and a nice set of features. say. and that it has emerged as the de-facto. and browsing compressed archives as folders. . I actually used it as my default 6indows C7plorer replacement on ?" because I li!e its interface and because it is relatively light on resources.ome of the features it provides include folder and file filtering via search bo7. in conEunction to uTorrent. O-(ir can integrate within 6indows’ right-clic! conte7t menu and can be used as a direct 6indows C7plorer replacement. folder and pane combinations@. It is designed to ma!e it less li!ely that your downloads might be trac!ed bac! to you if this is something you might be worried about. mobile apps and remote-control client use when developing apps that interface with a des!top-based Torrent client.<. saving favorite folders. multi-platform Torrent client that developers of. .-side from its simple user interface. 1</ . O(ir can also be run portably from L.e. saving entire 1views2 >i. F :o here to download. one of its strengths is that it is constantly being developed. 7elated you might want to use "eer<loc!. -nd although O-(ir is not as full featured as some other file management programs >such as LltraC7plorer for e7ample@.

shapes and lines and even a 1stamp2 tool to name a few. .!ip -dobe’s free reader altogether and use this one. 18/ P F/0-hange +iewer: the $est 4ree P F docu#ent viewer Cvery "# needs a "(5 viewer.F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. chec! out the above-mentioned LltraC7plorer. . and will invariably prove e7tremely useful. and "(5-?#hange *iewer without a doubt has emerged as the best free alternative to -dobe -crobat 4eader. stic!y notes. and meeting all your "(5 document reading and form-filling needs. These tools wor! with any "(5 document. 7elated for another recommend file management program. te7t bo7es. this program provides a good array of "(5 annotation tools forms@. -lso see my full O-(ir review. -side from integrating with internet browsers. even "(5’s that are not designed to be interactive. such as a typewriter tool.

:o to the 1Cdit2 menu.Dote that the free version of "(5-?#hange *iewer includes inactive entries in its menus and interface for some of the paid version’s offerings. that it uses to decode and play media files without having to install these system-wide on your machine >which is something that most media players do and which results in these filters ta!ing up resources on your system. if need be. which includes a "(5 to (9# conversion option via uploading to an online conversion engine. and chec! the bo7 that reads 1Iide restricted ’"49’ functions in the free version2. as some sort of teaser. 1t/ The 1&Player: the only #edia player you will ever need The P8"layer is a feature-rich. 9n the flip side. -lso see my original "(5-?#hange *iewer review. free media and (*( player that will handle any media format that you throw at it. 7elated for an alternate e7cellent free "(5 reader. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. commonly !nown as codecs. 6hat’s interesting about The P8"layer is that it comes with self-contained. The P8"layer can ta!e advantage of any codecs which may be independently installed on your system. internal filters. chec! out Duance "(5 4eader. then preferences then registration. These can be somewhat annoying and I recommend you go to the settings to remove them >the program will loo! and feel much better@. sometimes unnecessarily@. . -lso chec! out my article on free "(5 to (9#)6ord conversion options if that’s something you need.

and is multiplatform. deleting. . It is easy to user. has a nice interface. -lso see my full review of The P8"layer. and can perform all the usual hard drive partitioning related tas!s. resi%ing.<. It offers compatibility with both 3$ bit and +& bit systems as well as a bootable rescue version on #( on L. 1>/ Partition 2i)ard: partition #anager and hard drive #aintenance tool This is simply a must-have hard drive partitioning tool. and deleting of partitions. moving. such as creating.F :o here to download. merging. 7elated *G# 8edia "layer is another super awesome media player that will play and stream most everything. hiding.

etc. F :o here to download. the 1send to2 menu seems to be e7actly where these folders ought to be.end to -ny2 allows you to add any number of folders to 6indows’ right-clic! send-to menu. moving all of these items into appropriate folders on my hard drive. -lso. chec!ing file systems. allowing you to Auic!ly move or copy items to your favorite folders no matter where you are or what files or folders you are wor!ing with. -lso see my original "artition 6i%ard review.<ut "artition 6i%ard also performs a slew of other hard drive maintenance tas!s that I appreciate. to name a few. converting file systems >such as 5-T3$ to DT5.@. send/to #enu 9nce I accumulate too many items on my des!top or in my download folder I typically go on a cleanup spree. 1. 1?/ (end to Toys: add any 4older to 2indows. such as changing drive letters. and ma!ing the 1send to2 menu infinitely more useful as a conseAuence. .. and performing hard drive surface tests.

6ord. C7cept 8. 9ffice is not free. 20/ 3pen344ice5org: e!cellent: 4ree &( 344ice alternative Get’s face it everyone needs either 8. C7cel.end to Toys review. -lso see my original . It also works well on both 64 bit as well as ! bit "#$s. or "ower"oint. F :o here to download. we live in the present and most of us need a good.Why am I including this program in my list of must-have freeware? Because I have been using it for a number of years now and it still is one of the first things that I seek when I install software on a new machine. and while web-based solutions such as :oogle (ocs or 3oho may or may not be the wave of the future. des!top-based office suite. or all of them. .

-lso see my full 9pen9ffice. 9ffice programs you will be able to be up and running with 9pen9ffice in no time at all. The list of available tools and functions !eeps growing. 9ffice programs and. as most operations will be intuitive and the learning curve minimal.ymphony. but it will let you pic! and choose precisely the ones you want. 9ffice. 21/ File&enu Tools: enhance your right/clic' conte!t #enu with a wide range o4 tools Is there anything better than having the tools you need in the right-clic! conte7t menu right at the moment that you need themS The answer probably. developed by I<8. an e7cellent 9ffice .uite developed by . if you have a command line function you can use that in conEuction with 5ile8enu Tools to add your own custom command in the conte7t menu. 7elated another good free 9ffice suite Gotus .Cnter 9pen9ffice. Dot only does 5ile8enu tools give you a wide range of tools that you can install in your rightclic! conte7t menu. powerful alternatives to all of the 8. If you’re familiar with 8. formats@. moreover. with new and innovative tools and functions being added on a regular basis= moreoever.un 8icrosystems that delivers elegant.org review.orgQ also available= Italian R CnglishK. . offers full compatibility with 8. being able to both read and write 8. 9ffice document formats >including the newer 9ffice $00. F :o here to download Jportable version QQ?-9pen9ffice. but not too many things.

I personally li!e to have the 1-dvanced renaming2. 22/ 6and$ra'e: converts + . -lso see my full 5ile8enu Tools review. Iandbra!e’s interface is very user friendly while not shir!ing in terms of .s to #edia 4iles 4or your P-: iPhone: or porta$le #edia device5 This is another program that has withstood the test of time. 1. 7elated also chec! out an e7cellent alternative to 5ile8enu Tools with menu of the same functions. 5ile8enu Tools will also let you manage the other entries in your conte7t menu generally that are unrelated to it. register and unregister (GGs. very handy when uninstalled programs leave behind entries in the conte7t menu that you do not want. 1-ttributes #hanger2. F :o here to download.how folder si%es2. 15ile . and a handful of others. 1. Iandbra!e is the real deal and is easy to install and use. 1#hange 5older Icons2 and various path-copy tools in my conte7t menu. 9ther available tools split and Eoin files. Gast but not least.hred files2.earch and 4eplace2. move)copy files to favorite folders. Gammer #onte7t 8enu.

features and power under the hood. :ood free (*( decrypters are (*(5ab I( (ecrypter >the free edition is all you need@. Dote that the article was written before support for -*Is was dropped from Iandbra!e as mentioned above. Two things to note one. which is an important step that has to be done via another program. and the latest version has dropped support for -*I files which it had offered at one time. -nother e7cellent (*( decryption option is (*(&3. -lso see my full Iand<ra!e review. which only wor!s on 3$bit "#s and provides on the fly decryption. letting you plop a (*( in and convert is with Iandbra!e instantly while decrypting in real time as if the encryption did not e7ist in the first place >and without having to rip the (*( to your hard drive@ 5or a how-to guide on how to use Iandbra!e with (*(&3 to convert (*(s to media files chec! out my 1Iow to #onvert (*(s to i"hone2 article. because of the relative superiority of the other two formats which it supports in comparison. 23/ 7evo . and 4ipIt&8e >which is no longer in development but wor!s well@. is that Iandbra!e converts to 8"& and 8P* media formats only. <ut best of all it simply wor!s >and is optimi%ed for dual core "#’s@. F :o here to download.ninstaller: re#oves all traces o4 an uninstalled progra# 4evo is a replacement for 6indows -dd)4emove programs utility that filter your installed programs via a searchbo7 or sort them by column to see what the latest installed programs were. 7elated also see *id#oder. The second thing is that Iandbra!e will not remove the encryption from commercial (*(s when you convert them. . an e7cellent program based on the Iandbra!e engine but which tries to further streamline it’s interface.

8p3Tag combines a simplicity of interface with powerful functions.<ut what really ma!es it useful is its ability to scan the hard drive and 6indows registry for things that the uninstalled program has left behind and remove them. and advanced. which determine how comprehensive or conservative it is going to be when going after items that an uninstalled program might have left behind. if not TIC best. you always have the option to loo! into what it is going to delete before approving it@. F :o here to download Jportable version also availableK. I have used this probably more than the average user would and it has always delivered >note you can perform these uninstalls via the so called 1Iunter 8ode2 or 1(rag and (rop2 mode@. -lso see my full 4evo Lninstaller review. It supports every audio format under the sun and will perform all the usual mass renaming and tag manipulation . moderate. 4evo also does a great Eob removing apps that have a corrupt uninstaller or simply do not offer one to begin with. :o for the free version. 4evo Lninstaller offers three levels of intervention safe. >18oderate2 scan has always wor!ed for me. 7elated also see my article entitled Iow to uninstall anything free apps that get the Eob done 29/ &p3Tag: power4ul audio tag #anage#ent tool In the age of digital music everyone needs a audio tag management app. and I pretty much trust it blindly= however. and as far as free >or non-free@ programs go 8p3Tag is one of the best. not the trial version.

and even the community-based 8usic<rain% database >alas it does not perform digital fingerprinting via 8usic<rain%. +0H video codecs.’s@. most user-friendly e7periences. (iscogs. . 9ne feature of 8p3Tag which I am personally Auite fond of is the 6indows e7plorer conte7t menu integration >available on both 3$ bit and +& bit 9. It will also loo! up trac! information from several online sources= freedb. This simple option lets you right clic! on a folder or folders or even a selection of audio files to open the audio files in 8p3Tag. -ma%on. and &0H audio codecs@. 6hat’s more. I’ve found this option to be invaluable. it is able to process a very wide range of audio and video formats >&'H file formats. 2</ + Flic': convert video 4iles to + 6hile there are a number of free apps that can author video files to (*(. F :o here to download. which is a strange omission@.operations. and is nothing short of fantastic. -fter using this program for a few years. It also downloads cover art and can save it n the I(3Tag itself. (*(5lic! provides one of the nicest. -lso see my original 8p3Tag review. which is to say it will transfer any media file to (*(. li!e a program such as "icard does.

6in. offers a portable version. F :o here to download. -lso see my original (*(5lic! review. has a built-in te7t editor for on-the-fly edits of file right on the remote server. . The bottom line it’s simply brilliant.#" is feature rich. and >for the non-portable version@ integrates into the 6indows’ send-to conte7t menu. 28/ 2in(-P: power4ul FTP client If you’re loo!ing for a powerful free 5T" client this is the one I would recommend.9 at the end of the conversion process.(*(5lic! will also easily add menus and subtitles >if any@ and will burn to (*( or I.

Dot only does it provide e7cellent hard drive cleanup of all !inds of Eun! that invariably accumulated in and clogs up the system.I-$.6in. but that’s another story for another post. It offers a two-pane file-management view. . F :o here to download Jportable version availableK. ##leaner is also e7cellent for cleaning up your internet trac!s. and a command line interface.#" protocols over . history. batch file scripting. and supports a number of advanced functions such as directory synchroni%ation.. 4elated my second choice for free 5T" client 5ile3illa 27/ --leaner: relia$le hard drive and registry cleaner ##leaner is simply a must on any "#. and all the Eun! files that get downloaded during the course of surfing the internet..I-1 and .5T" and . is open source.#" supports 5T" as well as . but it’s one of only two or three program whose 1registry cleaning2 functionality I would use without reservations >I personally thin! 1registry cleaning2 should be a very rare occurrence in the course of using a "#. supports drag and drop from 6indows e7plorer.

rightS If you are loo!ing for a des!topbased 4.9wl. which I use and recommend. and headline based listings. The reason 5eed(emon ma!es this list and 4... when installing..9wl does not is that 5eed(emon can function as an e7cellent des!top client for :oogle 4eader. ma!e sure to be mindful of what is chec!ed by default and to unchec! the . . but even free software developers have to ma!e a living@. -lso. Twitter.. F :o here to download. 2>/ Feed e#on: e!cellent 7(( reader with @oogle 7eader support In this age of information everyone needs an 4. .ome pros and cons.g. (igg. summary. :oogle reader integration= the ability to Auic!ly post to Instapaper. give me all articles with the word 1freeware2 in the title or body@= saved searches >called 1watches2@= the ability to categori%e post via user-defined tags= Auic! switching between full. 5aceboo!. reader I would recommend either 5eed(emon or 4. "49. and delicious= newspaper style layout= system-tray notifications of new articles= content filters >e.9ne thing that annoys me about ##leaner is the strange freAuency of its program updates= if I had a dollar every time this program got updated I would be buried in a little mountain of cash. -lso see my original ##leaner review. reader.ahoo toolbar option >ironic that a hard drive cleaning program would foist a toolbar on unsuspecting users.

and really do not affect the user e7perience >note that no ads are displayed in the screenshot above@. To convert any document to "(5 or image format simply print it using this virtual printer. to image>s@ of various formats. -lso. alternately. feeds >including some unusual ones@2 2?/ P F-reator: convert any docu#ent to P F or i#age 4or#ats This software can convert most any document to a "(5 document or. Iowever. 4elated chec! out my article entitled 1Dine ways to chec! 4.. F :o here to download. It installs a so-called virtual printer driver on your machine whereby a new printer appears in your "#’s printers list. technically 5eed(emon is adware. the small sAuare ads placed in the bottom left of the screen are unobtrusive and low-!ey. .#ons does not function as a podcast receiver.

process multiple pairs of folders at once. -lso see my original "(5#reator review. and can handle cloned files >i. . load)save folder comparison sessions. symbolic lin!s or Eunctures@.e. and >c@ it is open source >in contrast to many of the others which have gone adware over the years@. create batch Eobs that can be run from the command line. "(5#reator is my top pic! because >a@ it can create image documents as well as "(5s= >b@ it does not reAuire the seperate installation of :hostscript. F :o here to download. 30/ FreeFile(ync: power4ul 4older co#parison and synchroni)ation tool This open source folder comparison and synchroni%ation tool will compare files by scanning their contents or by file si%e and date= it can synchroni%e files and subfolders.6hile there are many good "(5 virtual printers are there. It also allows for custom syncing rules and command line option.

teps or if your brand new computer is running sluggish try Iow to 9ptimi%e that Dew #omputer.< stic!@ Top Freeware Pic's 9ver and over again the team at 8aEorgee!s is as!ed what is the best program to.ystem #are has been around for many years and we have used every version.html .uites (onTt want to download. remove Eun! files. a very handy addition to your L..ync as a bac!up tool and it has become one of the first programs that I install on a new computer. . intuitive user e7perience it provides.pro version is available to add features but you will be happy with the free version. (ownload at http ))www. repair errors and much more.ystem#areM3Md'0$. If you need step by step assistance consider Iow to 8a!e .our #omputer 4un Gi!e Dew in & Casy .o..<ut the reason I li!e it is the e7cellent..maEorgee!s.ystem #are -dvanced . I use 5ree5ile. here are the best choices in that category !nown as QsuitesQ.. clean your history. This is truly an all in one suite allowing you to remove malware. -ll-In-9ne "# 9ptimi%ation ..com)-dvancedM.. >It also offers a portable version. The two-pane 1visual comparison2 simply ma!es sense.S . manage and run numerous programs to !eep your computer in tip top shapeS Do problem. here is a list of programs to help you choose from the very best. 1 -dvanced .

0.maEorgee!s. 6hile the detection and removal is very good.. accurate detection and removal and has been consistently rated a &.com)8icrosoftM. 9f the top of our head we can thin! of at least five decent.html 3 .impleM"erformanceM<oostMd. 9verall -vira has good speed. professional version is also available. out of ' by our readers. . (ownload at http ))www.+.etup was a pretty hard core twea!ing program but was abandoned in $00$. Dow you can apply this !nowledge yourself with this one of a !ind tool.imple . memory optimi%er and much. you have a lot of great free choices. If you are using an older operating system li!e 6indows ?" you will enEoy using this.ystem #are a pro version is available.html -nti-virus "rotection Cvery computer has to have some sort of anti-virus protection.com)-viraM-nti*irM"ersonalMM54CCM-ntivirusMd0''.maEorgee!s.$ :lary Ltilities :lary Ltilities is lesser !nown than -dvanced .ystem Twea!er -s! -D.com)Twea!ing. shortcuts to 6indows tools. 54CC anti-virus programs.comMM. Guc!ily. 9verall not a huge factor.etupMd1$.ecurity Cssentials 8icrosoft finally got into the game with free protection for all 6indows users in $010. (is! cleaner.maEorgee!s. 6ant to get gee!ier with itS Then try the -dvanced . process manager.. . (ownload at http ))www.early subscriptionS 6hy botherS 1 -vira 5ree -ntivirus -vira 5ree -ntivirus has been around for a long time.html 3 -vastU 5ree Cdition -vast 5ree Cdition is another free anti-virus that has been around for a long time.ecurityMCssentialsMforM6indowsMd+$&$.etup >9lder@ ?-.com)?-. tested twea!s he applies to his computer to get the most from it.ystemMTwea!erM5ormerlyM.impleM. file shredder. start up manager. The author agreed to provide a !ey to 8aEorgee!s so it could live on. gee! and he will tell you that there are a handful of safe.html $ 8icrosoft .1. it is easily one of the slowest scanners out there. registry cleaner. -lso li!e -dvanced . (ownload at http ))www.com):laryMLtilitiesMd'/. nice interface but it does seem to generate more false positives than others.ystem Twea!er that is much more li!e the old ?-setup >see below@. Dot a great choice for power users. much more. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.ystem #are and almost as good.html & ?-. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. Cffective.

html $ I9bit 8alware 5ighter Iere is another very popular program from I9<it software. If you need more help please visit our support forums. It does not have the best detection rate out there. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. "eople rarely get infected once. (ownload at http ))www. 1 .'+.com)8alwarebytesM-nti-8alwareMd'.pywareMd'11+. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.maEorgee!s.html Lpdate . but then again all anti-virus programs tend to go up and down in Auality over time.com)download.our computer hardware needs the latest drivers so everything can communicate properly and your computer can run at its best.lim(riversMd+.pyware 4emoval Iappens to everybody= your trusted anti-virus let something bad in. you will probably forget it is there.com)"andaM#loudM-ntivirusMd+1&&. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.L"C4-nti.lim(rivers has consistently wor!ed for me.3. .html .pyware has saved me a few times when other programs have failed to detect or remove a problem.html 8alware and .. -ctually. Gi!e all free malware removal tools listed here you can scan and remove for free but a professional edition is available for full time scanning and other protection so this does not happen again.com).html & "anda #loud -ntivirus "anda #loud is one of our favorites. It is lightweight and easy to use. It ends up ta!ing Auite a few reboots.com)-vastM5reeMCditionMd10+/.our (rivers The first thing any tech support person will tell you to do when you have a problem= update your drivers.L"C4-nti. fast and effective. which can be scary but so far it has not failed me. ItTs simple.com). (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. .lim(rivers offers to install some third party applications but you can opt out so pay attention during the install.lim(rivers . 1 8alwarebytes -nti-8alware 8alwarebytes is one of our all-time top downloads and for good reason. . Iere are some freebies to ta!e care of the problem.ou can loo! up and install drivers one at a time or use one of these program to simplify it. . -dd this to your toolbo7 with the others.(ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.pyware .L"C4-nti.phpSdetV+0// 3 . 5or a little over $0 buc!s you can purchase full time protection so you donTt get infected again.L"C4-ntispyware might not be as recogni%able a name as I9<it or 8alwarebytes but donTt let that stop you.

pace.weeper has been around longer than most and has some neat features.com)"#M(e-#rapifierMd'$$3.third party program called ##Cnhancer is also available adding cleaning support for hundreds of programs.html 5ree Lp Iard (rive . <y defragmenting on a regular basis you maintain good hard drive health and performance.weeper (river . It is easy to use and a pretty conservative cleaner.com)##leanerM. This also applies.com)download. It is not a complete drive cleaner li!e ##leaner but instead the perfect first tool to run on your brand new computer. If you ever updated your video drivers and your des!top got rearranged then you will appreciate this.ou need every advantage you can get in this area.com)(riverM. registry cleaner and shortcut to remove programs. Peep in mind that the 6indows built in defragmenting tool is not very good. 6e also li!e the fact that it remembers where your des!top icons are. 6e have used it on literally hundreds of computers and never had a problem.ou . It is moving beyond a drive cleaner and almost a complete computer maintenance suite.weeperMd+1.html $ Net#lean Net#lean is mainly designed to remove Eun! files and protect your privacy however it also can clean the registry. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. .pace The hard drives on computers have $ problems= they tend to be the slowest part of the computer and they tend to fail more than any other part on your computer.html (efragment . . 1 I9bit . defragmenting and bac!ing up your computer. 4-8 as well as an uninstaller. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. 6e will be repeating this very important lesson over and over because it affects drive cleaning.phpSdetV.our Iard (rive 4ead what we said above under 5ree Lp Iard (rive . It also has a start up manager. 5ragmented files are all over your hard drive slowing down access to your files. :et the e7tra Eun! off your hard drive and free up valuable space. Dot only will it scan and remove for new drivers it also includes a bac!up manager. This is the one you want. internet booster and more. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.lim ##leaner has been around and highly rated for many years.limMd&101. registry defrag.1. 1 ##leaner .$ (river . .mart(efrag The I9<it name appears in the Top 5reeware "ic!s more than once and for good reason.$$+ 3 "# (e-#rapifier Nust bought a new computerS Is it running slow because it has a lot of applications already installedS This is all that "#-(ecrapifier e7ists for.

maEorgee!s.ystem Information can pull basic.ystem Information Twea!ing.. (ownload at http ))www. often to help people diagnose problems. The only problem is that there are numerous versions available and that can be a tad confusing. 1 8o%illa 5irefo7 8o%illa 5irefo7 is one of the most popular browsers out there and for good reason.1&$. These tools can tell you what you need to !now and often will save the information in a te7t file.ou have heard the constant complaints that Internet C7plorer is a crappy web browser.com)-uslogicsM(is!M(efragMd'$++. for e7ample on our support forums. <asic will wor! for most.mart(efragMd'31/. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. (ownload at http ))www.maEorgee!s.ystemMInformationMd. -dvanced .ou can simply install and run this or get a bit gee!ier with it by going through the advanced options..$'.ou want to do a thorough defragmentation of your hard drive at least once a month. 1 Twea!ing. Twea!ing.html :et a <etter 6eb <rowser . It is fast. If you prefer Internet C7plorer then simply install the other browser and carry on. This lin! will get you one of the last est version. (ownload at http ))www.html $ (efraggler (efraggler is brought to you by the same guys who created ##leaner.com)(efragglerMd'. 6hile I donTt completely agree. -ll 3 of these defrag utilities are e7cellent but if you have ##Geaner already and enEoy it then that might be a good reason to grab this one. :ive it a shot.html $ :oogle #hrome ..html Identify .ystem #are but if you want to maintain your own computer with a handful of tools this is a great choice. If you are not happy with Internet C7plorer you should !now it will not harm your computer to try out another browser.ometimes you might need to !now what is inside your computer.html $ -uslogics (is! (efrag -uslogics is another small company who has a range of e7cellent tools. it is true that at least $ other options e7ist..com)8o%illaM5irefo7M11.com and all of his utilities are free and ' star programs so this is no e7ception.com is the same guy from "#6inTech. . (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. . moderate and advanced information.com)I9bitM..com .comM-M.com)Twea!ing. -uslogics includes a scheduler as well..com .maEorgee!s.our Iardware or #omputer . stable and offers enough add-ons to ma!e sure it wor!s e7actly as you want it to.can also get their defrag program in the above mentioned all in one suite.0M5inalMd.

if not more. 6hat better time to find a better email clientS Dot sure which to chooseS #hec! out Iow to get a better >free@ email client . the spam filter is very good and it does not reAuire any sort of registration. It also has a ton of add-ons available so you can get this email client to do almost anything you need. -gain.com)8o%illaMThunderbirdMd&0+&. Installation and setup is easy. it has been replaced with 8icrosoft Give 8ail and many people do not care for it. <ecause I rely on my router for protection.html 3 . . -s far as I recall . It is a simple. Iere are a few choices for those who need an additional layer of protection. If thatTs a must have reAuirement for you then it is worth a pee!. tabbed browsing and all the features other browsers offer but in a very simple interface. I cannot spea! to the details but here are our top rated choices. 1 8o%illa Thunderbird Thunderbird is an email client from 8o%illa who is also the group behind the popular 8o%illa 5irefo7 web browser.html "rotect your computer with a firewall 8ost computers today are well protected with 6indows built in firewall >average@ as well as a router which gives e7cellent hardware firewall protection. In my opinion :oogle #hrome can be filed under great Eust for how fast it renders web pages. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. (ownload at http ))www.0. (id I mention it was fastS (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. 6hat you might li!e about it is that it loo!s similar to 9utloo! C7press. 1 #omodo "ersonal 5irewall $ fire<wall $ "rivatefirewall :et a <etter Cmail #lient 9utloo! C7press was nice and simple but with 6indows . I li!e the portable version as you can simply bac! up the folder or move it from computer to computer. Their software tends to be great or below average.:oogle has always been hit and miss. if that is a must have feature then it is personal choice.ylpheed ITll ma!e this one short and simple.0+3.ou can have add-ons..html $ (ream8ail (ream8ail is a lesser !nown email program that is updated a few times a year at most. .ylpheed has been around longer and is updated as much. clean 3 panel interface similar to 9utloo! C7press Eust li!e (ream8ail listed above./3M5inalMMd.com):oogleM#hromeM1.com)(ream8ailMd+'+/.'0&. It also is no longer bundled with 6indows meaning you have to download and install it after you register with 8icrosoft.maEorgee!s.

(ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. time you have seen I9bit in this list. :reat program if you Eust need to diagnose the dreaded blue screen of death.html (iagnose "roblems 6ith . and not last.adly this can be as simple as diagnosing an error code or getting deep into it to remove malware or fi7 maEor issues. .html & <lue. It will not fi7 everything but itTs great at what it does. 1 I9bit Toolbo7 This is the third.html <ac!up . 6e have tested it on do%ens of computers with no issues.o once again I say to you= <-#P IT L"U 1 (ropbo7 Do need for a second hard drive. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. If you are having trouble with your wireless performance chec! out Iow to Improve . but not too bad.creen*iew <lue.than (ream8ail."ortable version also available.our #omputer . (ownload at http ))www.com)I9bitMToolbo7Md+'03. Iopefully one of these tools can help you out. 6ith (ropbo7 you can use the #loud to . This is especially useful if you have a computer that will not start at all. 6ith Lltimate <oot #( you can boot your computer from the #(W(*( drive to run tools.com)LltimateM<ootM#(Md&0/1.creen*iew scans all your minidump files created during Tblue screen of deathT crashes.our Important 5iles 8an. e7ternal drive or (*(.com).ylpheedMd'003.com)Twea!ing.ometimes you need to fi7 and error or problem.html 3 Lltimate <oot #( >L<#(@ :etting a bit gee!ier here.com 6indows 4epair :etting errors from your computerS 6indows 4epair will go through your system and reset and repair many potential problems with your computer. enhance "# security.com)<lue. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.comM-M6indowsM4epairMd. 6ith their Toolbo7 you can display)diagnose "# information.1&1.creen*iewMd+$00.maEorgee!s. Cspecially handy after a malware clean up when something li!e 6indows Lpdates stops wor!ing. and displays the information about all crashes in one table.maEorgee!s. optimi%e "# performance and repair "# problems. (ownload at http ))www.our 6ireless Detwor! "erformance . if I had a nic!el for every time I told someone to bac! up and then they complain when their hard drive crashes or their computer is formatted that they lost important files. It is portable so you can ta!e it with you. . .html $ Twea!ing.

(ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. loo! no further.html Lninstall 9ld "rograms #ompletely 6indows uninstaller wor!s. .html & Crunt Crunt allows you to bac! and restore your registry. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s. If you have a second hard drive.ou can restore images without having to reboot. (ownload at http ))www.com)ParensM4eplicatorMd301. ItXYZs perfect as is and still wor!s on the latest versions of 6indows.html #(W(*(W<lu-4ay <urning Tools Iere is an interesting category.com)IobitMLninstallerMd+&$. It wor!s better than any other bac!up li!e this and since people love to blame the registry or for problems why not get a bac!upS This has not been updated in $00' but donXYZt let that scare you away. Cither one will wor! wonders for you." Paren Penworthy .. It even has a batch mode.I.com)(riveImageM?8GMd&010..maEorgee!s. 6hen you install software often files. It does everything that I9bit Lninstaller >above@ does and I would call it a coin flip.com)CruntMd1$+. though.-pril 1$. handy for the new or overdue computer clean out. . <ut they donTt bloat your system.com)4evoMLninstallerMd'. (ownload at http ))maEorgee!s.html $ 4evo Lninstaller 4evo Lninstaller is another very popular utility in this category.maEorgee!s. 1 <urn-ware 5ree . 4.ou can also share and sync. 1 I9<it Lninstaller I9<it Lninstaller can remove programs and do a deep scan for leftover files. It has some limitations.ou can compress them as well to save space.html $ (riveImage ?8G #opy files folders or even your entire partiton to another drive. .bac!up your important files. ThatTs about it.0+.maEorgee!s. (ownload at http ))www. The biggest thing is it will only bac! up to another hard drive or on your networ!.com)(ropbo7Md+&13. folders and registry entries are left behind to clutter your system.. $011. They tend to have less features and sometimes they donTt always do what you want. .our software will live on. There are a few good burning programs but there are some pros and cons over larger commercial pac!ages. folders and registry entries.html 3 ParenTs 4eplicator ParensT has been around for years and we love it. (ownload at http ))www. Iere are some tools to be sure that you uninstall them completely.

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