150 Best Windows Apps Of Year 2012

BestBest-Windows-Apps-Of-2012_-Windows-Apps-Of-2012_

2012 was a great year for tech as a whole, but there was something extra special for us Windows aficionados. That’s right, the long awaited Windows 8 launch, which resulted in a huge influx of applications for the platform. We covered a plethora of Windows applications in 2012, but if you didn’t get the time to go through them all, let us present you with a list of the top 150 free applications that we have cherry-picked from the countless we covered through the entire year, just like we did at the end of 2011. Read on!

1. Spotflux (Cross-platform VPN client that lets you encrypt internet traffic, access blocked websites and remove ads)

Spotflux-VPN-client-for-Windows

2. Google Drive (The official Windows client of Google’s cloud storage and document management service)

Google-Drive-Windows-client

3. Asus Multiframe Utility (Arrange and snap windows to 9 screen regions per monitor)

multiframe

4. OnlineVNC (Connect to a remote PC via TCP/IP protocol and control it using virtual network computing)

OnlineVNC 1

5. Blacksmith (Get Mac desktop spaces, launchpad and mission control in Windows)

Greenshot_2012-01-27_16-29-21

6. Moborobo (One of the most comprehensive Android and iOS device management tools yet)

Moborobo

7. Clover (Get Google Chrome-like tabbed interface in Windows’ native File Explorer)

Clover

8. Freemore Audio Video Suite (An awesome audio and video suite that amalgamates several handy editing and conversion utilities)

Freemore-Audio-Video-Suite-Windows

9. CrashPlan (Create scheduled data backups to local and remote PCs)

CrashPlan Backup

10. Multiplicity (Control up to 9 different computers with a single keyboard and mouse)

Stardock Multiplicity 2 2

11. Mission Control / Expose Clone W7 (Control opened windows the Mac OS X way)

Mission Control  Expose Clone W7

12. Desktop Slider (Create multiple workspaces and slide windows across the screen)

desktop slider options

13. KeyRocket (Suggests keyboard shortcuts that you can use for certain actions while you are working)

KeyRocket

14. Cloudfogger (Drag and drop files to auto-encrypt & upload to Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and others)

Cloudfogger Drive X

15. Stoffi (If Windows Media Player and Windows Explorer were to marry, you’d probably get Stoffi)

Stoffi

16. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (Fast, robust, beautiful and reliable, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition was the best antivirus app that came across our way in 2012)

Bitdefender Antivirus

17. Microsoft Research Cliplets (Create half-image, half-video animations called ‘cinegraphs’ and save them as GIF, MP4 and WMV)

Cliplets

18. Clickberry Interactive Creator (Add clickable/interactive elements to your videos and share them over Facebook)

Program Manager_2012-06-18_14-38-36

19. Cubby (Multi-platform cloud storage with a Windows client that lets you drag and drop folders to sync them between devices)

Cubby

20. BufferZone Pro (A Sandboxie-like software that lets you launch your favorite applications in a virtual environment)

Bufferzone

21. Dropboxifier (Use your Dropbox account to sync game data between different PCs)

Dropboxifier-by-DG-v0.1.84

22. DDownloads (Looking for an alternative to the ever-popular Ninite? Try DDownloads!)

DDownloads_Download

23. Save.Me (Probably the best clipboard manager for Windows this year)

Save.me 2.0.0

24. OPSWAT’s Security Score (A great Windows app that analyzes your system against security loopholes)

OPSWAT Security Score Beta Done

25. RecImgManager (Lets you backup and restore user applications and settings in Windows 8)

RecImg-Windows

26. GOM Audio (An app for audiophiles from the team behind one of the most popular media players out there)

GOM-Audio3

27. Paragon Go Virtual (Convert your PC into a guest virtual machine configured to run with VMware, Virtual Box, or Virtual PC)

paragon 1

28. Reboot-To (A free alternative to iReboot; lets you select what Windows installation your system will boot into next)

2012-11-29_15-44-004

29. KuaiZip (An file archiver and compressor that has the potential to dethrone 7-Zip)

KuaiZip

30. Norton Zone Cloud Sharing (Backup, share & sync data securely across Windows, Mac, Android, iOS & the web)

Norton-Zone-Cloud-Sharing-PC4

31. 7Conifier (Apply custom application icon packs with a single click)

7Conifier_Final

32. Free Viewer (A file editor and viewer that works with about 100 different file formats)

Free Viewer - Image Viewer Editor

33. CloudDeck (Fully functional, unofficial desktop client for SoundCloud)

CloudDeck.air

34. Wondershare vDownloader (Download Full HD 1080p videos from all the popular video streaming websites)

Wondershare vDownloader

35. InstallGuard (Not sure who’s filling up your precious HD space with unwanted apps? It’s time to block unauthorized software installations with InstallGuard.)

InstallGuard4_thumb

36. Ribbon Disabler (Disable the new Ribbon UI in Windows 8’s File Explorer and get the old interface back)

Ribbon Disabler

37. NetSpeedMonitor (Monitor upstream and downstream rate from the taskbar and maintain data transfer reports)

NetSpeedMonitor

38. Bitcasa (Offers 10GB free cloud storage space, and an unlimited plan for $10 a month)

Bitcasa

39. Amazon Cloud Drive (The Official Amazon desktop client for Windows & Mac)

Tour

40. Espera (A beautiful Modern UI-inspired music player with a ‘Party Mode’)

Espera

41. Sys Information (Don’t like Speccy all that much? Here’s another great system information tool that you can try.)

SysInformation dashboard

42. WiFi Protector (Protect your wireless internet connection with 256-bit encryption and hide your real IP address)

WifiProtector

43. Syncbox (Host your own personal cloud storage space using your local hard drive)

Syncbox server_control panel

44. EaseUS CleanGeniu (Elegant system optimizer from EaseUS that analyzes your PC’s health, finds duplicate files, cleans the registry and more)

CleanGenius-Main-Screen4_thumb

45. Fake Antivirus (Beware of cheap and fake antiviruses. Quickly detect them with this tool before you hurt your wallet.)

Fake-Antivirus-Remover_Launch3

46. Pokki For Windows 8 (Our favorite web apps aggregator comes to Windows 8; also restores the Start Orb.)

47. SnapPea (An Airdroid-like Android management application boasting an attractive design)

SnapPea

48. Voxeet (Conference calling app with a unique natural 3D perception feature that makes you feel like you’re sitting next to your contacts)

Voxeet conference

49. Smart PC Locker Pro (Automatically powers off your PC after invalid login attempts)

Smart PC Locker Pro v1.2 [www.novirusthanks.org]

50. Kuvva (Automatically changes desktop and Twitter backgrounds on a daily basis)

Kuvva-Windows

51. Folder Lock (Easily password-protect or hide files and folders through drag & drop)

Folder Lock Free

52. Feewhee (Use mouse scroll to resize windows and adjust their transparency)

Program Manager_2012-04-07_12-55-40

53. DestroyFlickr (Manage your Flickr account from your PC with this Adobe AIR-based desktop app)

DestroyFlickr Fullscreen

54. Network Sorcerer (Comprehensive client control utility for small networks)

network sorcer main

55. Perfect Effects 3 (Apply Instagram-like photo filters in layers on an entire image or specific parts of it)

Perfect Effects Free (Untitled.psd@129

56. WinPlusX (Get Windows 8 Win+X menu in Windows 7 and Vista)

Start_2012-04-11_16-22-54

57. QuickPlay (Borderless HD video player with support for up to 4K resolution)

Program Manager_2012-04-09_13-15-18

58. AntiScreensaver (Automatically disables the screensaver while specific programs are running)

Cyber-D's AntiScreensaver 2.01

59. Juicebox (Create HTML-based photo galleries and share them with your friends)

Customize

60. SearchMyFiles (Search files and folders using an extremely comprehensive set of filters)

Search Options

61. MetroTextual (Minimalistic, Modern UI-inspired text editor with syntax highlighting)

metrotextual-syntax-highlighting

62. Send to Kindle (Send documents to Kindle from Windows context menu)

Send to Kindle

63. FavBackup (Create user-style backups for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE and other browsers)

FavBackup 2.1.2

64. Visions (3D image viewer with customizable layouts and a built-in editor)

Visions

65. Familiar (Real-time photo sharing and syncing across PC, Mac, Android & iOS)

Familiar-Android-iOS-PC0

66. VarieDrop (Create resolution and size-based profiles for quickly resizing images; lets you resize a single image by all profiles at once)

VarieDrop

67. SubtitleDownloader (Auto-fetch subtitles on video file name basis)

Subtitles Downloaded

68. SmoothDraw (Digital painter with Adobe Photoshop-like layer support)

SmoothDraw 3.2.10 - CUsersTestDesktopTest.sddoc main

69. Quick PDF Tools (Merge, extract, convert & encrypt PDF files from Windows context menu)

QUick PDF Tools Main

70. Icon Generator Pro (Create HTML5/CS5 icons, logos and star badges)

Icon Generator Pro

71. myManga (Automatically downloads episodes for your favorite Manga series)

myManga.png Library

72. O&O AutoBackup (Automatically backup files to a USB drive when it is plugged in)

O&O AutoBackup

73. Elpis (Desktop client for Pandora radio)

Elpis  The Album Leaf  Blank Pages

74. PDFzen (Edit and manage PDF documents in a collaborative manner)

PDFzen

75. Name My TV Series (Cross-Platform tool to easily rename TV series episodes)

Name My TV Series - ©2010 Hans Luijten - www.tweaking4all.com

76. USB-AV (Offers malware protection for all connected USB drives)

USB AV for Windows Status

77. WinMend Folder Hidden (Set password to hide files and folders completely from the Explorer)

WinMend Folder Hidden 1.4.5.4


78. PlayClaw (Free alternative to Fraps; lets you take screenshots and record in-game video in user-specified frames per second)

quake3-2012-01-19-11-07-42

79. Midi Sheet Music (Convert music samples to sheet music)

Adele someone like you lyric.mid - Midi Sheet Music

80. SFunKey (Map Function keys to perform additional operations)

SFunKey - the Fn Key replacer by SIV

81. Lost Photos (Find images saved in your email inbox and directly share them with your friends over Facebook and Twitter)

Lost Photos Share

82. cacheCopy (Copy images based on their age, size and resolution)

cacheCopy

83. Autodelete (Delete files and folders by name and date filters)

Cyber-D's Autodelete 3.03

84. Care4Teen (Parental control tool that creates screencasts upon detection of inappropriate content)

Care4Teen Dashboard

85. Shadow Explorer (Access and export Windows shadow copies according to time filters)

ShadowExplorer

86. Z-VSSCopy (Create, access, delete and mount shadow copies on any Windows versions)

Z-VSScopy - Setup

87. ShiftN (Automatically adjust vertical line distortion in photographs of landscapes and buildings)

CUsersTestDesktopesb1 Corrected

88. Free Screenshot Capture (Screenshot tool jam-packed with several handy extra features)

Free Screenshot Capture

89. Mp3 Rename (Powerful, file renaming and rule-based music collection organization)

mp3 rename

90. gExplorer (A Google Docs management client for Windows)

gExplore_main

91. MediaPortal (HTPC app to play music, stream radio and record live TV)

92. HotKey Resolution Changer (Change monitor resolution using hotkeys)

Program Manager_2012-02-17_17-13-11

93. ClipboardZanager (Retain clipboard items even after system reboot)

Screenshot

94. Hulbee Desktop (Hard drive and internet search with word cloud support)

Hulbee Desktop

95. Sunrise Seven (Comprehensive Windows 7 tweaking and customization tool)

Version 1.2 build 60

96. Holdkey (Quickly type accented characters in any text field or program using a hotkey)

Mozilla Firefox_2012-03-06_14-11-58

97. SymMover (Move installed programs to other folders and disks without having to reinstall)

SymMover

98. Order In My Folder (Auto-sort files into folders using 8 different criteria)

Order in my Folder GUI  1.3

99. TweakNow PowerPack 2012 (An all-in-one PC maintenance suite that is definitely worth checking out)

TweakNow-PowerPack-2012-Windows-Cleaner

100. Image Resize Guide Lite (Lets you resize images without distorting the main subject with its unique Smart Resize Technology)

img19.jpg - Image Resize Guide Lite 3

101. Seam Carving GUI (Content-aware image resizing with removal of unwanted areas)

Marked

102. Close All (Quickly shutdown all running Windows applications with a hotkey)

CloseAll_2012-03-28_12-48-27

103. Snappy (Capture screenshots on time, mouse and keyboard events)

Snappy 1.5.4

104. ProxySwap (Quickly switch between proxy servers)

ProxySwap

105. IntelliAdmin (Enable Windows 7 Auto Login feature or bypass password entry at Login screen for a user-specified number of times)

IntelliAdmin

106. MComix (Drag & drop to read comics and view plain images with MComix)

[16  40]  SaturnKnight-KnightBeforeChristmas.rar

107. Jester (Text editor for comparing documents and creating songs parodies; suggests rhyming words)

Jester

108. Free Video to GIF Converter (Create GIFs from frames of videos)

Free Video to GIF Converter (www.video-gif-converter.com).png 2.png 3

109. PasteBin (Create, sort and manage text snippets)

PasteBin (64-bit)

110. Photo Basic 3 (Comprehensive image editing & archiving tool)

Welcome to the StudioLine Image Archive

111. Textaizer Pro (Convert images into text mosaic and ASCII art)

Textaizer Pro 4

112. Tiggit (Open-source indie game downloader and launcher)

Tiggit - The Indie Game Installer.png List

113. Geek Uninstaller (Portable uninstaller to completely wipe off all traces of an application from the computer)

Geek Uninstaller 1.0

114. Windows Tweaker (100+ tweaks for system utilities and UI components)

Windows Tweaker 4.0

115. Panorama Perfect (A simple but efficient panoramic photo creator)

Horizontal-Line-Correction

116. Media Preview (Enable thumbnail previews of unsupported video formats)

Media Preview Configuration

117. SyncWrite (Portable syntax editor with support for tree structure)

SynWrite Windows

118. Rumshot (Take screenshots and create themed previews with them)

RumShot

119. AutoUP (Scans for and downloads Windows system and application updates)

AutoUP

120. Eassos Recovery (A powerful file recovery software that can recover even lost partitions)

Eassos Recovery

121. Firewall App Blocker (Lets you easily add applications to the Windows Firewall block list via drag and drop)

Firewall-App-Blocker-v1.2-Beta4

122. WinLock (Lock any application window and minimize it to system tray)

2012-11-21-12_41_01-Program-Manager

123. RawTherapee (A powerful and feature-rich RAW image processing software)

RawTherapee

124. MultiWall (Set different wallpapers on your multi monitor luxury, or span one across all of them)

MultiWall-23

125. sRemote (Allows you to remotely execute commands and control your PC via Gmail account)

sRemote

126. DXPurge (Auto-Removes those .DS_Store files while transferring data from OS X to Windows)

Before14

127. WinMend File Splitter (A powerful file splitter that lets you merge files without requiring the application itself)

WinMend File Splitter

128. WinOwnership (An extremely easy way to gain full control of system files)

Undo4

129. Inesoft Cash Organizer (A superb financial management software with cloud support)

Inesoft-Cash-Organizer-Local-or-Clou[1]

130. File Secure Free (A handsome security tool with an extra topping of file backup, shredding and encryption features)

File-Backup4

131. Advanced PDF Utilities (A huge collection of PDF tools within one package)

Advanced PDF Utilities Free

132. Toolwiz BSafe (Powerful data encryption tool that lets you create encrypted file containers and mount them as virtual drives)

Toolwiz BSafe

133. John’s Background Switcher (Arguably one of the most comprehensive wallpaper customization tools for Windows)

John's Background Switcher

134. PicBackMan (One of the best software to backup images from multiple social networks to a number of cloud services including Dropbox and SkyDrive)

Program Manager_2012-06-16_12-26-22

135. Desktop Modify (Rearrange desktop icons into a wide-array of presets and shapes)

Desktop-Modify-rectangle

136. Taskbar Thumbnails Tuner (Tweak taskbar thumbnail previews in Windows 8)

Taskbar Thumbnails Tuner 1.0.0.0

137. AnyMenu (Add custom shortcuts for files and applications, and access them with the middle mouse button)

Anymenu-Main4

138. Mosaizer Pro (Photo-to-mosaic converting application with several customization options and patterns to choose from)

Mosaizer-Pro_Post-Process4

139. Windows + R Alias Manager (Create custom Run aliases for frequently used applications and files)

Win R Alias Manager Edited

140.Crystal Anti-Exploit Protection (Protect your system against unintended downloads)

Crystal AEP Main

141. DesktopSaver (An open source application that allows users to save the location of desktop icons)

DesktopSaver Options

142. SyncLib (Easily synchronize and share photos, music and videos across different platforms)

SyncLib

143. Instagrille (An app for Pokki that lets you browse and download Instagram photos on your desktop)

Instagrille_Nearby

144. NexusFont (The best font manager we’ve come across this year)

NexusFont

145. Wise Program Uninstaller (Robust application uninstaller that’s several times better than Windows’ native Add/Remove program)

wise 1

146. CarotDAV (Manage multiple cloud services from one window)

CarotDAV - Waqas - Dropbox

147. RunAlyzer (System startup manager designed to collect all the programs and their registry keys under one hood)

RunAlyzer Main

148. Rainlendar (A light, well-designed to-do list manager and calendar app for Windows)

Rainlendar

149. Toolbar Cleaner (Remove unwanted toolbars from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome)

Toolbar-Cleaner4_thumb

150. NexusFile (Dual pane file manager with FTP & archive extraction support)

NexusFile

That’s it for our 2012 compilation of best Windows applications. Did you find any new apps here that you liked? We’d love it if you mentioned your favorite ones in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends, and do stick around; we have compilations for other platforms coming up next. Happy New Year!

You might also want to check out our other end-of-year compilations:

35 Best Windows 8 Store Of 2012

100 Best Mac Apps Of 2012

150 Best Android Apps Of 2012

100 Best iOS Apps Of 2012

50 Best Cydia Tweaks Of 2012

40 Best Windows Phone Apps Of 2012

Fawad Mir and Waqas Ahmed contributed to this post

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  • Nilkanth

    Very Nice Article…

  • themanuelrc

    Man! 150 :O OMG i need more time :p

  • TECHspas

    Thanks for this awesome post…

  • Elie

    Great post , thanks

  • Shubhang

    AutoUP and the link to software doesn’t exit anymore !

  • http://twitter.com/iDidntEatUrLays iDidn’tEatUrLays

    AT is one of the finest and arguably the most informative site among it’s peers.
    The content you guys write about is so updated that it makes me wonder. Even though I check AT at regular intervals yet in this post I found so many utilities which had gone unnoticed somehow. Awesome post, awesome work guys, keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/mphunter995 Matt Hunter

    Good list of apps, you shouldn’t overlook a great one you haven’t reviewed yet called Tweaking.com Windows Repair All In One. I use this app all the time for random windows fixes as well as a good clean up after a virus has been on a system. Pair this with Combofix and Malewarebytes and you can remove any virus. http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/windows_repair_all_in_one.html

  • Geek

    Love this.very informative a useful bunch of apps for internet users that will make easy your life hahahaha.Anyway nice post.Most of them is very helpful.

  • kcd

    I can’t believe ShareX didn’t make this list. I am disappoint

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002759781843 John Nguyen

      Yup, ShareX is excellent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002759781843 John Nguyen

    Great post! Lots of useful apps.

  • thibauld

    Wouldn’t allmyapps deserve to be in this list too?

  • Lucy Andrews

    This is really helpful, thank you. Just taking notes to download later!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nauman.umar Mirza Nauman Umar

    Team Addictivetips you are great. I found very useful information at this site. Thank you so much for your efforts

  • dmachop

    Good one but I would prefer to cut down a few image-editing apps! Anyway, wonderful post!