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  • Which Win10 tools do you use?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Which Win10 tools do you use?

    This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 8 months ago.

    • Author
    • #95047 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’m collecting recommendations for a roundup on Win10 tools. Do you use any that you’d recommend? Built-in, free, or very cheap. Post over on the Tool
      [See the full post at: Which Win10 tools do you use?]

    • #95160 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      A hammer and screwdriver as far as Windows 10 is concerned..JK 😉

      IIRC I did try O&O ShutUp10 to avoid telemetry whilst testing Win 10 1507 & 1511
      Haven’t tried it since 2015, anyone else?

      | 3 PC W8.1 Pro x64 | | 1 PC Linux Hybrids x64 | | 1 PC Windows XP Pro x86 (offline) |
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #95164 Reply


      Bing Weather is cool – I like historical minimum and maximum temp :).

    • #95170 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Zone Alarm Free Firewall. Replaces Windows Firewall. I can block CompatTelRunner, Cortana and several other things. I’m using it on 1607, latest build. (Or it gives me the illusion I am blocking them!)
      Don’t know if it will work on Creators Update – I leave the Tech Preview pretty much to MS’s snooping.

      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  PKCano.
      • #95221 Reply

        Dioxygen Difluoride
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’ve used Zone Alarm extensively on XP, Vista, and Seven. It would be interesting to capture network traffic and see how effective ZA’s application and process control functions actually really are at stopping stuff from slipping by. I just don’t have the patience to collect and sift through reams of packets to see what’s going out over time.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #95196 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody MVP

      My essential geek’s geek’s list here:



      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #95225 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      A few more..

      CCleaner (Portable) – is an easy to use, safe, well-known drive cleaner with other additional features including a conservative registry cleaner, startup manager and more.

      CCEnhancer – Script generator for CCleaner to access additional settings.

      Wise Registry Cleaner (Portable) – Registry cleaner with additional settings for system speed tweaks and SSD drives.
      (Note: I use this mainly for the optimizing of the system opposed to the actual registry cleaning which I only do after an un-install of a program)

      Been using these for years.

      | 3 PC W8.1 Pro x64 | | 1 PC Linux Hybrids x64 | | 1 PC Windows XP Pro x86 (offline) |
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Microfix. Reason: note added
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #95247 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      You mean ANY application or specifically tools?

      Here is some I consider tools:

      4t-Tray Minimizer
      Iconoid (save restore desktop icon positions)
      Iobit uninstaller
      Revo uninstaller
      Registry Repair
      Macrium Reflect

      There are others that I consider applications — let me know if you want them to.

      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  fp.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #95504 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        Yeah 7Zip is a must no “self respecting” machine should be with out it. CCleaner is good to but a little aggressive should you turn it loose so obviously use with care i.e. don’t select all the options. Works faster than Windows bundled app and to my mind it gets better results.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #95520 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      1. For image backups, Macrium Reflect.

      The Free (for personal use) version only loses incremental backups and the ability to restore to different hardware.

      IMO, an image backup is mandatory before applying Windows Updates, especially so if using Windows 10 with its history of flaky updates.


      2. Already mentioned earlier is Goodsync Pro, used here only for file/folder backups, but capable of more.


      Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      • #95540 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        1. For image backups, Macrium Reflect.

        The Free (for personal use) version only loses incremental backups and the ability to restore to different hardware.

        It also lacks the ability to encrypt the backup image, which is why I’ve reluctantly switched back to the buggy (but always dependable for me, once I actually get the backup image written) Acronis True Image. Macrium Reflect is great, and I do appreciate that they have a free version, but $69 for the full version (for one PC) is just too steep for me. If your use does not require any of the paid version features, I don’t think you can do better for a free backup program than Reflect.

        I’ve tried other backup programs (free versions) and found them wanting. EaseUS TODO was going so slowly that it would have taken a day just to complete my backup, and AOMEI Backupper failed to create the backup image with a cryptic error message every time (it may have been incompatible with my EXT4 Linux volumes, which Macrium and Acronis handle without issue, including restoration).

        I understand that Windows backup has made a comeback in 10. It was a part of Vista and 7, but was not in 8. The Win 7 version never worked for me even before I had any desire to back up EXT volumes or encrypt the backup set, as I have a 3TB GPT volume on my main PC, and Windows backup fails with anything larger than 2GB. Great planning there, Microsoft; one of the features of 7 was that it supports GPT and large volumes!

        • #95559 Reply


          Hate to go off-topic but I always read of people talking about buggy Acronis and I’m not sure why. Do you install it and run it from within Windows? I have used acronis for years without any issues, but I rarely install it, preferring to create and restore images using a bootable CD. I have installed it on some machines I maintain remotely, but disable it from starting with Windows and only run it manually and again, have never had an issue.

          I used it this week to do 3 P2V conversions of some old Windows 2K and XP systems. Imaged the drives and they restored dang near flawlessly in VMware Workstation.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #95625 Reply

            AskWoody Lounger

            Yes, I use Acronis or other backup programs from within Windows. This allows a number of things beyond what you can get booting the “rescue” CD/DVD/USB drive, like being able to schedule it to perform the backup unattended, and to have the system available for use while the backup is taking place.

            I have been a customer of Acronis since version 6.0 in 2002. I’ve only upgraded when there was a specific reason (and not having the latest version isn’t a reason). Even so, I’ve used seven different versions of it, I think, ending with True Image 2016. It used to be the best in the business, as far as I was concerned, but using it has become frustrating in the last few versions… things like backup jobs failing because True Image claims that the initial full version it’s supposed to use as the base for an incremental can’t be found, even though it’s right there where it’s supposed to be, where True Image created it, intact and uncorrupted. Then, when I give up on the incremental and decide to have it do another full backup instead, which is one of the options the error dialog gives (Retry, Cancel the incremental and redo the job as if the previous backup version doesn’t exist or terminate the job), it acts as if I had instead told it to try the incremental again.

            There are more issues… things like the rescue media failing to recognize Windows networking shares, or if it does, it might demand a username and password for shares that are not password protected, and nothing I enter satisfies it. Then there’s the thing where it sometimes wants to shut down to perform a restoration job where the destination is an external USB hard drive (just dismount it!), and if I allow it, it screws up the bootloader, rendering the PC unbootable, which I then have to repair before moving forward. I realize that having a dual-boot setup with GRUB makes things a bit more complicated than a Windows-only installation, but other software (like MiniTool Partition Wizard) handles this with ease, and has never failed me.

            On the plus side, True Image is quick (as is Reflect), has always produced perfectly working restorations for me, even if it was fiddly to get it started at times, and it is often on sale, so getting the full version can be much cheaper than with the competition. I think I got my two retail-boxed copies of True Image 2015 from Newegg for $15 each, and both were eligible for a free upgrade to True Image 2016 through Acronis. There are also feature-limited free versions of True Image, but they’re tied to a certain hard drive brand…. WD and Seagate both distribute True Image versions that only work if you have a WD or Seagate drive installed on the system. Otherwise, True Image does not have a free version like Macrium, EaseUS, or Aomei.

            • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Ascaris.
            • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Ascaris.
            • #95661 Reply


              Thanks Ascaris for the detailed reply. I had considered trying the scheduled features of Acronis but feel better now keeping on the way we do it now. We use it manually for full system images and use other backup software (Cobian, Bvackup, Shadow protect) for our scheduled jobs. Thank you.

    • #95649 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m a little late to the party, but I would be remiss not to mention at least two of my essential utilities. Although I’m still a (frustrated) Windows 7 user, these tools are compatible with Win10 and I’ll definitely bring them along whenever I’m finally forced to upgrade:

      7+ Taskbar Tweaker (free, http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker) – provides taskbar controls that I think should be native to Windows

      Windows Firewall Control (all features unlocked on unlimited computers for $10 donation, http://www.binisoft.org/wfc.php) – much better way of controlling built-in firewall, gives you notifications of outgoing connections and options to deal with them

    • #95856 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ve moved my WIN 10 Toolbox over here:


      where it belongs.

      Thanks, Don

    • #96083 Reply


      Spybot Anti-Beacon

      It may not block everything but, less data for Microsoft is more satisfaction for me.

    • #96138 Reply


      Whenever I meet with Windows 10 I only wish for the “Go back to Windows 7” tool from Microsoft…

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