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Plugin to install on Windows
The plugins and apps that we will show you in the following chapters are all free, so they can be downloaded by all owners of new computers with Windows 10 immediately after the first start or after having performed a complete format or a Windows 10 recovery.
HEVC video playback
Unbelievable but true on Windows 10 it is not possible to play videos in HEVC format without paying! Using the app Movies and TV included in the system, a window will appear in which we are advised to purchase the codec separately.
To avoid buying the plugin required by Microsoft, we advise you to focus on VLC as a media player, so as to get support for all codecs on the market for free (including the HEVC codec) in one fell swoop. The program in question can be downloaded from the official site for all versions of Windows.
If we have never used VLC before, we recommend that you read our guide on 10 hidden VLC tricks and features.
Universal password manager
Among the shortcomings of Windows 10, we also point out the absence of a true universal password manager, able to work within browsers and in the applications that we open from time to time on the computer. To solve the problem we can install on the computer Bitwarden, the online password manager that can be downloaded for free from the official website.
With Bitwarden we will have a secure and efficient online password manager, with dedicated applications for all modern operating systems, extensions to be integrated on the main browsers, and also apps for Android and iPhone / iPad devices, so as to be able to keep all the passwords of the sites and services we access are always available.
To learn more we can read our guide Alternatives to LastPass to save passwords for free.
This is not a program but a set of libraries on which many programs for Windows are developed: it is, therefore, advisable to install it in advance to have support for all the most complex apps and programs.
.NET Framework once installed will automatically update Microsoft in Windows updates, so we will always get the latest updated version right after the first installation. To install it quickly on all PCs, all we have to do is open the official page, press on Download and start the installation as usual.
To learn more we can also read our guide on how to install Microsoft .NET Framework.
Another series of indispensable libraries for start some programs (especially games) it’s Visual C++, of which all versions released so far and still supported by Microsoft (from 2010 to 2019) must be installed.
To start, download the most recent versions by clicking on vc_redist.x86.exe e vc_redist.x64.exe below the section Visual Studio 2015, 2017 e 2019, then scroll down the page to download Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012 e Visual Studio 2010.
Windows 10 Update Assistant
If we have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 as an operating system it is advisable to install on the computer Windows 10 Update Assistant, a plugin able to check compatibility with Windows 10 and proceed (if necessary) to the system update.
This plugin is a lot also useful on PCs with Windows 10 already installed, since it signals the release of new versions of the operating system, check if we have the latest version installed and start the download of the latest supported version.
To learn more we can read our guide Check which Windows version and what computer I am using.
The first essential program that we recommend you install on your PC is Everything, available for free download from the official website.
This program provides an enhanced search engine for any file or folder on your computer, with results obtained in a few thousandths of a second. With Everything, searching for files on your computer is much easier and more convenient than using the search engine integrated into the Start menu.
Google Drive PC
Another program that cannot be missing on a modern computer is Google Drive, the Google cloud synchronization system available from the official website.
By pressing the key Download below the section Backup and synchronization we will download the Google Drive client for PC, in which it is sufficient to enter the login credentials of any Google account to obtain a folder synchronized with the cloud, where it is possible to access all personal files and save even the most important documents.
To learn more, please read the guide Google Drive Offline to access document files without the internet.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe owns one of the most important programs for a computer: Adobe Acrobat Reader, still, the best program to open PDF files. To get it, all we have to do is open the official website and press on Download Acrobat Reader top right.
At the end of the download, we start the installation and wait, so that we can open all the PDFs with the best reader on the market. It must be said that PDFs can be opened on Windows 10 even without Adobe Acrobat Reader, taking advantage of the PDF reading capabilities present on the Microsoft Edge browser: however, viewing on the browser is very basic and most of the tools available on Adobe Acrobat are missing. Reader.
To discover valid alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader we can read our guide Best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader to read and open pdf.
Windows is able to extract and open archives and ZIP files, but for licensing reasons, it is not able to open files compressed in RAR, just as it is not able to open other compressed archives (just think of 7z or APK, or DEB archives). To avoid getting stuck with a RAR file and not knowing how to open it, it’s worth installing 7-zip free, to open Zip Rar and all archives.
7-Zip works as a stand-alone program and as a Windows plugin, ie it integrates into the system to automatically open any type of compressed file. When we download a ZIP or RAR file from the Internet, just press the right mouse button on that file and choose to extract it with 7-Zip in a folder of your choice or in a folder with the name of the compressed file.
Another program that has become indispensable for those who work on the computer is Zoom, which can be integrated for free in Windows 10 by downloading the client from the official website.
Zoom is the most popular free video conferencing program, offering 40 minutes of high-quality live video for up to 100 users connected at the same time; the limits can be removed by paying for one of the licenses offered by the service, but we can easily settle for the free version for occasional video conferencing or for meetings of small and medium-sized companies.
To learn more we can read our guide How to use Zoom, the most used program for videoconferencing.
Another program that has become indispensable over the years is TeamViewer, the remote desktop control program available for free (for non-commercial use) from the official website.
With this program, we will be able to control our computer remotely (for example the office PC directly from home, in smart working), provide help or assistance for users or friends in difficulty with the computer, or provide complete control over our computer for an IT expert friend (who can thus help us in case of problems or difficulties).
To learn more we can read our guides Teamviewer: improve the quality and speed of remote connections and How to use Teamviewer: PC control via the internet, remote assistance, and videoconferencing.
With the plugins and programs that we have recommended above, we will be able to prepare Windows 10 for any use, avoiding running into unknown errors, unrecognized or impossible to open files, missing updates, or computers not up to the job…
On the same wavelength as this article, we can also read the guide to 10 Programs to always and immediately install on Windows PCs.