Collection:Windows

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This collection is maintained by the Free software replacement project team.

Microsoft's software is malware, we urge all Windows users to switch to a free GNU/Linux distribution as soon as possible.

Here is a list of popular free software applications that run on Microsoft Windows — along with the proprietary applications they replace. If you are still a Windows user, you can take a first step towards free software by installing these applications.

When we say these application programs are free software, we're talking about freedom, not price. It means that you are free to use these programs constructively, either alone or in a community, while respecting the freedom of others. The source code is available, so that you can study the software, adapt it to your needs, fix bugs, and release versions with new features. You can also convince or pay others to do these things for you. You are also free to give away and free to sell copies, under the terms of the applicable free software license. These programs are free software because you have freedom in using them. Free software develops under the control of its users.

Microsoft Windows is a clear and instructive example of nonfree software. Its source code is a secret, so programmers cannot learn from it, fix it, adapt it to their clients (your) needs, or even verify what it really does. If you share copies with your neighbors, you will be called a “pirate”, and users have been threatened with imprisonment for this. Nonfree software is completely controlled by its developer, who also has power over the users. We started the free software movement because this power is unjust.

Using free software on Microsoft Windows (or any nonfree operating system) is the first step towards freedom, but it does not get you all the way there. You're still under Microsoft's power as long as you use Windows, including using

  • The compatibility layer software Wine.
  • The userlands:
    • Windows Subsystem for Linux
      • Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) available for installation on Windows Server 2019 (version 1709) and later, or Windows 10 or later.
      • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) for Windows 10 build 18917 (also known as Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Windows 10 version 2004, or version 2004, codenamed "20H1") or later.
    • Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) available for installation on Windows 11 or later.

However, on this page we're concerned with the first step.

Free programs

Type Free program[1] Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender

FreeCAD
OpenSCAD

AutoCAD
Autodesk Maya ("Maya")
Autodesk 3ds Max
Accessibility Hpp-logo.png Windows Narrator[2]
Anonymous P2P GNUnet DC++
Antivirus ClamWin Avast Antivirus

AVG AntiVirus
F-Secure
Kaspersky Anti-Virus
McAfee VirusScan
Panda
Norton AntiVirus

BitTorrent client Tribler BitTorrent
qBittorrent
Compiler Mingw-w64 Microsoft Visual C++
Desktop publishing Scribus Adobe InDesign
Microsoft Publisher
QuarkXPress
Diagramming software Dia Microsoft Visio
Document viewer Evince Adobe Reader
Microsoft Reader
Nitro PDF Reader
Email client, news aggregator[3] Claws Mail Microsoft Outlook
Windows Mail[4]
Multimedia communication Hpp-logo.png Ekiga

Gajim
Jami
Jitsi Desktop
Linphone
qTox
Wire

Line
Microsoft Skype
Paltalk Desktop
Riot.im
Signal
Viber
WeChat
Instant messaging client Pidgin (pidgin-otr)

Psi
PyBitmessage
Ricochet

ICQ
Telegram
Trillian
Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Rufus Etcher
UNetbootin[5]
Windows To Go[4]
Media player VLC media player (VLC) PowerDVD
Windows Media Player
Apple QuickTime
RealPlayer Basic
Numerical computing GNU Octave

Scilab

MATLAB
Office suite LibreOffice Microsoft Office
Online storage ownCloud (client) Apple iCloud
Dropbox
Nextcloud (client only)
Proxy server Privoxy
Raster graphics editor GIMP

Krita
Tux Paint

PaintShop Pro
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Paint[4]
Text editor Gedit

Notepad++
Vim

Notepad
Vector graphics editor Inkscape

Xfig

CorelDraw
Adobe Illustrator
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
VPN client OpenVPN
Web browser[3][4] Tor Browser Chromium
Google Chrome
Internet Explorer[2]
  1. This is a selection of the more common free software applications available for the Microsoft Windows platform, and is nothing like a comprehensive list. You may want to check the Runs-on/Windows category for more software. Windows-only programs may be listed here as well but has external links since the Directory only includes program entries for GNU systems.
  2. Included in the operating system and usually not possible to remove.
  3. Mozilla branded programs such as Firefox and Thunderbird are not free software unless their names are changed. This is due to Mozilla's trademark policy that forbids selling copies of unmodified executables.
  4. GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) dropped Windows support after version 38.8.0.
  5. Recommends nonfree software.

Windows-only free software

ClamWin

ClamWin is a free antivirus tool with graphical user interface to the Clam AntiVirus engine.

Notepad++

Notepad++ is a text editor that supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window.

Rufus

Rufus (the Reliable USB Formatting Utility, with S) is a free portable application that can be used to format and create bootable USB flash drives or Live USBs. Contents

See also

External links



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