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Recommended Software

These are the apps I use the most and recommend for you to try out!

Name: Vivaldi
Category: Browser
Download: https://vivaldi.com/download/
The sheer amount of customization you can do with Vivaldi is simply impressive. Whether it's moving your tabs to the sides or bottom, changing your icon theme, accessing e-mail in the sidebar, organizing tabs into workspaces, or loading custom browser CSS (even Firefox can't do that anymore!), Vivaldi never disappoints.

It runs on Chromium, meaning that it has support for the latest features and websites, as well as being the most performant and supporting Chrome extensions! If you don't want the Google integrations, you can disable them easily in settings.

It's completely free and doesn't have any tracking, all these make it my top pick for browsers! And if you use currently Opera GX, you can add Discord and Twitch to the sidebar!

Name: MPC-BE
Category: Media Player
Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/mpcbe/
MPC-BE is very simple and lightweight. It smoothly plays high-bitrate videos on lower-end systems, and even has HDR support! It has frame-by-frame seeking, a key feature missing in VLC. It can also render transparent videos. Everything can be easily accessed with the context menu or menu bar.

Unfortunately MPC-BC is only available for Windows, so on Linux and Mac you'll have to use MPV or VLC.

Category: Media Player
Download: https://getwacup.com/preview/
WACUP is an acronym for WinAmp Community Update Project. It's the Winamp you know and love, with updates and extra features! You can choose between tons of windows and arrange them in any configuration you like. It's very lightweight, and I use it to open any audio file.

My favorite feature of Winamp/WACUP is the MilkDrop 2 plugin, a configurable music visualizer that sends the audio data to randomly selected shaders.

Name: Obsidian
Category: Productivity
Download: https://obsidian.md/download
Obsidian is the best Markdown note-taking app. The advantage of taking notes in Markdown as opposed to traditional formatting is that you can easily change the formatting just by typing, instead of pressing buttons or using key combinations.

Obsidian is chock-full of features, including Kanban boards, a 2D canvas, a graph view, and tons of themes. You can also make multiple vaults (profiles) for work, school, and personal notes. Everything is completely free! I use Obsidian on my home and school laptop, on my school laptop I have a minimal theme and no plugins installed to help me focus.

Name: 7-Zip
Category: File Archiver
Download: https://www.7-zip.org
7-Zip is the best file archiving tool out there. It invented the .7Z file format, which is very widely used. You can create 7Zs, ZIPs, TARs, and WIMs, and open more. You can even open executable files and filesystems! You can also create a Self-Extracting Archive, which is an EXE that extracts data to a location.

Compressing and decompressing data is very fast, and it's completely free! (cough WinRAR cough) As with all the apps on this list, it is very lightweight and snappy. You can access it with the context menu to extract/create an archive or verify a checksum.

Prism Launcher
Name: Prism Launcher
Category: Game Launcher
Download: https://prismlauncher.org/download/
Prism Launcher is an advanced launcher for Minecraft, with an easy mod, mod loader, and modpack downloader. You can update all of your mods with the click of a button! Prism Launcher is a fork of PolyMC, which was a fork of MultiMC.

FastStone Image Viewer
Name: FastStone Image Viewer
Category: Image Viewer
Download: https://www.faststone.org/FSIVDownload.htm
There are many image viewers but few come close to the simplicity and ease of use of FastStone Image Viewer. I've been using it for years, I've tried XnView and IrfanView but I came right back to FSViewer. It has lots of intuitive shortcuts, a minimal UI, and opens instantly. It also has a rudimentary image editor and blur tool, the ability to crop to your clipboard, and an image compressor!