Don't-Miss Utility software Stories
Not many people realize that you can customize the look of your Windows 7 password logon screen. You can do this without touching critical system files, thanks to Windows 7 Logon Background Changer.
WinZip 17 lets you archive, encrypt, convert, and share your files across multiple services. New integration with cloud storage services and social networks keep this venerable compression utility relevant.
Feature-rich Fantasy Grounds II helps you bring a tabletop gaming group together, no matter how far apart you are. The steep price takes a commitment worthy of a tenth-level paladin.
Auslogics Duplicate File Finder provides a simple and easy way to get rid of duplicate files. It's not the most full-featured program of its type, but works just fine...and it's free.
Easy Duplicate Finder is a feature-rich duplicate file detector that can keep your file chaos under control. Though powerful, it's expensive and sometimes buggy.
With Ninite, you can install numerous free applications at once. It's free, elegantly presented, and easy to use.
If you use its monitoring function to log installations, Ashampoo Uninstaller 5 works well and has many other cleanup functions. To make the best use of it, install it early on a new system.
Encrypt entire drives with DiskCryptor, which runs as a service and is configured via a dialog. It also works in Windows 8 desktop mode.
PerfectFileRecovery isn't cheap, but offers plenty of file recovery features for the money. It also works on Windows 8.
Synchronize local radio broadcasts with the picture on your TV using this handy audio delay utility.
If you're upgrading to Windows 8 from XP or Vista, PCmover will let you move your applications and data to the new OS as you can from Windows 7. It's faster than manually reinstalling programs and selecting settings, but you sacrifice control.
Control two PCs using one keyboard and mouse with the free version of Multiplicity 2.0 and up to nine PCs with the pay version.
Dr. Fone offers an easy, but pricey, way to use your PC to recover files accidentally deleted from your iPhone or iPad. Its results aren't perfect, though.