Don't-Miss Stories

Essential free software you can't afford to miss

No cost, no regrets. Our picks cover security, diagnostics, browsers, games, and entertainment.

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BootRacer review: Utility will time your PC boot, but won't speed it up

BootRacer is a simple, free download that will time and record your PC's startup time. If you need to actually speed up the boot...well, that's on you.

Search files in a flash with SwiftSearch

This tiny utility lets you find files almost instantly, and you can run it off a flash drive.

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UndeletePlus Review: Recovery program works well on simple tasks, but try before you buy

UndeletePlus is easy to use, and it retrieved and restored one of my two missing test files perfectly.

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Disk Investigator review: Find deleted files and more with this free utility

Free program Disk Investigator tells you what's on your hard disk. It takes its time, but it's worth the wait.

Fragging wonderful: The truth about defragging your SSD

We know defragging a hard drive can improve performance, and we've heard the opposite about solid-state drives. We analyze the tech reasoning and put four defraggers through their paces on both kinds of drives. The results may surprise you.

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Can you record a Netflix stream for offline viewing?

There are some utilities that make it possible, but use them at your own risk.

Learn which startup programs are safe to remove

Free utility Should I Remove It? uses crowd-sourcing to help you figure out which items you can ditch.

Add a hard drive-activity LED to a laptop that lacks one

Free utility Activity Indicator adds an HDD status light to your System Tray.

Use Net Uptime Monitor to help diagnose Internet problems

When trying to troubleshoot a flaky Internet connection, this simple utility can help.