9 Best Open Source Programs for Windows – Help You Be More Effective

If you have a Windows PC, you know you’ve got lots of software to choose from. Sure, Windows has a few programs that can make your everyday computing tasks easier, like Notepad, Paint, and calculator. But there are other pieces of software out there that can be just as helpful, if not more so, for everyday tasks. Are you looking for Windows software alternatives?! Be sure to check out these 9 Best Open Source Programs for Windows.

Why use open source software?

Open-source programs are often of excellent quality. Developers and coders from all over the world can contribute to developing these programs. Moreover, they are generally easier to use and more secure than their closed counterparts.

Open-source software is free for you to download and use. That doesn’t mean that the software is cheap. Some of the best programs out there is open source.


1. 7-Zip

If you’re looking for a sound file archiver/unpacker, then 7-Zip is what you’re looking for. This program is incredibly easy to use and allows you to password protect your archives or even view them with an internal viewer. You can also compress your files in various formats like 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, and RAR. 7-Zip also supports multiple languages and has advanced features like CRC32 checksums, virus scanning, and more!

With all the features included in this program, it’s no wonder that 7-Zip is one of the best file archivers available. It’s free, open-source, and works on Windows 2000 or later. It’s worth trying to compress your files with a program that doesn’t cost any money but still has some advanced features (like viewing archives) built right in.

The main features of 7-Zip

High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression.

Supported formats:

Packing/unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, and TAR



2. Bluefish

A bluefish is an open-source software designed for programmers and web designers. It supports many programming and markup languages, focusing on editing dynamic and interactive websites. Its best features include multi-threaded support, project management, search and replace, auto-recovery, multiple document interface, and remote file editing using gvfs, sftp or ftp protocols.

Bluefish supports many programming and markup languages. See features for an extensive overview, take a look at the screenshots, or download it right away. Bluefish is an open-source development project released under the GNU GPL license.

Bluefish is a multi-platform application that runs on most desktop operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, macOS-X, Windows, OpenBSD, and Solaris.



3. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is an open-source program used for creating images and graphics. It works like Photoshop but without the hefty price tag. It’s also great for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. When it comes to editing photos, GIMP can do just as much as Photoshop, if not more.

While GIMP is a powerful application, its interface is not very intuitive compared to Photoshop. But you can change that by installing extensions and plug-ins or creating custom scripts. There are tons of free extensions available on the Internet – you only need to search for them.

Another thing you may find off-putting about GIMP’s lack of support for CMYK colour space used mainly in the printing industry. However, some workarounds to convert RGB to CMYK in GIMP are not too complicated.

The best thing about GIMP is that it will run on all major operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows.



4. Picasa

Picasa is a photo viewing program that helps you organize your pictures into albums based on the date they were taken or the event they’re related to. It also includes essential editing functions such as cropping and automatically fixing red-eye in photos. And it’s completely free! (It was discontinued by Google in 2016 but is still available for download).

Picasa is an image organizer that allows you to edit photos and share them on social media sites like Facebook or Google+. This program makes it easy to store and organize photos on your computer. It does not require any download or installation, so you can use it online anywhere.

You can upload new pictures directly from Picasa or add them from any website with just one click. You can also move pictures between albums and delete them when they have been uploaded successfully.



5. Audacity

Audacity is a free, open-source audio editing and recording program. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it can record and edit any audio file that you have.

Audacity has many features that make it the most popular free audio editor.

The program can import and export files in a wide variety of formats so that you can use it with almost any audio device.

Audacity also has a built-in noise reduction feature that will remove background noise without affecting the quality of your recording or streams.

Audacity is easy to use, but if you’re new to audio editing, there are some things that you should know before you start using this application.

You need to know how much disk space you have available because Audacity needs at least 50MB of space to run correctly.

You also need to make sure that your computer has enough memory (RAM) to run Audacity without crashing or slowing down while working on your project.

With these two things in mind, Audacity is one of the best audio editing programs available for free today!



6. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an entire Office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software, etc. While the interface might not be quite as polished as Microsoft Office’s, LibreOffice offers all the functionality you need to create high-quality documents, presentations, and spreadsheets — in open source form.

The best thing about LibreOffice is that you won’t have to learn how to use it. If you’ve used Microsoft Office before, using LibreOffice will come naturally — even if you’re switching from an older version of Office to a newer one.



7. Foxit Reader

The Foxit Reader is a small, fast, and feature-rich PDF viewer which allows you to open, view, and print any PDF file. Unlike other free PDF readers, Foxit Reader also includes easy-to-use collaboration features like the ability to add annotations, fill out forms, and add text to PDF documents. Foxit’s PDF readerships with all of the same great features as Adobe Acrobat Reader, but at a fraction of the size (less than 15 MB download). The best part?

Foxit PDF Reader is completely free!

The Foxit Reader is packed with convenient and easy-to-use viewing, editing, and printing features that simplify document collaboration. Foxit Reader allows users to sign documents with certificates or digital signatures, highlight text, type text directly onto the page, insert rubber stamps, and save and send documents.

Foxit Reader also includes easy-to-use collaboration features like the ability to add annotations, fill out forms, and add text to PDF documents.



8. KeePass

A password manager that stores your passwords securely in an encrypted database. You’ll need one database password to access all your other passwords. If you’re using the same password for everything, you need to get one of these!

KeePass is a password management system that helps you keep track of all your user names and passwords in one secure location. It supports two-factor authentication to help keep your account safe from hackers who might steal your master password.



9. Notepad++

If you regularly work with text files, Notepad++ will make your life much easier. The program supports tabbed editing, which allows users to work on multiple documents simultaneously. Notepad++ also has advanced features like syntax highlighting, macro recording and playback, auto-completion, etc.

Notepad++ is an enhanced version of the built-in Windows Notepad application. It’s faster, provides more features, and makes it easier to work with multiple documents.

Notepad++ is a free, open-source text file editor with everything you need for your daily programming tasks. It’s fast, easy to use, and customizable. You can also extend its functionality with plugins written in Python, JavaScript, or Lua.



Looking at the top 9 best open source Windows apps, it’s clear that this software is a welcome alternative to expensive software. While having a few open-source programs on your computer might not seem like a big deal, once you try them out and see how well they work for you, the impact is more significant than you might think. There are many programs with promising features to surface in the future as well, meaning there’s plenty to look forward to if you’re an open-source enthusiast.

Did you know that many of the most popular and practical applications for Windows are free and open source?

That’s right. There aren’t always fees associated with downloading these useful applications for everyday tasks. Some of them, like Eclipse, come with source code that you can even change to suit your purposes. The next time a friend asks you what application they should use to complete their daily tasks, you can tell them all about one of these best open source programs. You could even suggest they check out some of the other best open source programs on our list!