Developers use number of tools and utilities for their application development, measuring systems performance and increasing work productivity. Below is a list of such 90 Windows based tools (freeware) for developers.
Free useful Tools and Utilities for Windows OS
1) PuTTY is a free (MIT-licensed) Win32 Telnet and SSH client. It can be used as a tunnel for a local X-server (X11 forwarding), in fact it has the ability to forward arbitrary network connections over your encrypted SSH connection.
2) FileZilla is a graphical FTP and SFTP client for windows. SFTP is FTP over SSH and is available on most Linux systems when the SSH daemon is installed and provides a secure way to transfer files. Since it provides for using a local Windows editor on the remote files it is a nice way to graphically explore and modify a remote Linux system.
3) Xming is a free X Window Server for Microsoft Windows (XP/2003/Vista). It is fully featured, small and fast, simple to install and because it is standalone native Microsoft Windows, easily transported. Xming is totally secure when used with SSH and optionally includes an enhanced PuTTY Link SSH client and a portable PuTTY.
4) WinMerge is an Open Source visual text file differencing and merging tool for Win32 platforms. It is highly useful for determining what has changed between project versions, and then merging changes between versions.
5) Programmer’s Notepad is windows editor which automatically supports both “Unix” and “Dos” line conventions as well as a number of syntax highlighting and “clipet” dialects. Use it with FileZilla for your remote Linux editor.
6) QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer. It achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU (A host driver called the QEMU accelerator known as KQEMU is needed) The virtualizer mode requires that both the host and guest machine use x86 compatible processors.
7) 7ZIP is a file archiver with high compression ratio. It is free software distributed under the GNU LGPL and supports Packing / unpacking or 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. It will Unpack RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS format files. The ability to look inside an ISO CD/DVD image and even extract the BOOT sector is really neat (as is browsing an MSI install file).
8) LibCheck – Lets you compare two versions of an assembly, and determine the differences. The tool reports the differences as a combination of ‘removed’ and ‘added’ APIs.
9) Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. It consists of a DLL (cygwin1.dll), which acts as an emulation layer providing substantial POSIX1 (Portable Operating System Interface) system call functionality, and a collection of tools, which provide a Linux look and feel. It has support for SSH client (but not the server daemon) as well as an X-server and most of ones favorite Linux/Unix development tools, but a full install takes about 2.5 GigBytes!
10) TextPad – Powerful tool for editing web pages, or a programming IDE. Supports Universal Naming Convention (UNC) style names, and long file names with spaces. TextPad also consists of keystroke macro recorder, with up to 16 active macros with built in file comparison utility. This is the reason that it is the first choice among developer community.
11) NCover – It is a powerful code coverage tool for .NET developers, and is available as a trial version.
12) Performance Console – PerfConsole is a simple performance investigation tool which tries to adopt a debugger-like experience to drilling into Visual Studio Performance Profiler–generated data.
13) Send To Toys – It is an enhancement of the Send To system context menu. Just right any file or folder, and send it to – Clipboard, command prompt, default mail, favorites, folder, Recycle bin and more. In other words, it is a time saving utility for developers.
14) Fx Cop – Powerful tool if you want to develop reusable libraries that integrate well with the common language runtime. Fx Cop recommends good practices to follow and warns about potential pitfalls to avoid..
15) StyleCop – It analyzes C# source code to add some style and consistency rules. It can be run from inside of Visual Studio or integrated into an MSBuild project.
16) Clean Sources – It is a right-click Windows shell app for .NET developers that allows you to recursively delete the contents of the bin, obj, debug, release and setup folders. It also removes user setting files and source control bindings from project and solution files from your visual studio solutions.
17) PDFCreator is a GPL PDF print driver for Windows which can create output with full control of the PDF metadata. It supports encrytion, passwords, user options/permissions,etc.!
18) Process Explorer – Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.
19) Log Parser – Command line utility that allows you to query text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files, as well as key data sources on the Windows operating system such as the Event Log, the Registry, the file system, and Active Directory.
20) Visual Log Parser – This is just a GUI on the top of Log Parser listed above. Command line becomes boring as you need to type your sql query in a DOS prompt. Visual Log Parser is very easy to use.
21) PrimoPDF is a FREE PDF print driver for Windows which can create output optmized for print, screen, ebook, or prepress. It is a great way to archive web pages especially when using the greasemonkey Annotate Links script!
22) SourceMonitor – Help you to quickly identify the code that is most likely to contain defects and thus warrants formal review. The tool is very fast and process at least 10,000 lines of code per second.
23) TCPView is a Windows program that will show you detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system, including the local and remote addresses and state of TCP connections.
24) CLR Profiler – Tool to analyze and improve the behavior of your managed applications.
25) Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.
26) Web Dev Helper – A free browser extension for Internet Explorer that provides features such as a DOM inspector, an HTTP tracing tool, and script diagnostics and immediate window to Ajax and ASP.NET developers.
27) IE Developer Toolbar – Tool to explore and modify the document object model (DOM) of a Web page. It also allow you to view HTML object class names, ID’s, and details such as link paths, tab index values, and access keys and much more.
28) Fiddler – It is a HTTP debugger which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet. You can then easily analyse all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and “fiddle” with incoming or outgoing data.
29) Autoruns has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. The Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system.
30) WinDbg – If you are working on an application where debugging is required for drivers, applications and services then these tools works best. Supports all version of Windows OS.
31) Database Publishing Wizard – The SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard allows to publish databases to T-SQL scripts or directly to supporting hosting service providers. The utility also directly uploads databases to servers located at the shared hosting provider.
32) XML Notepad 2007 – This is a free browser and editor for XML documents providing ‘Tree View’ synchronized with Node Text View for quick editing of node names and values.
33) Snippy – Powerful editor for creating and modifying Visual Studio Code Snippets.
34) A43 is a freeware file management utility for Windows 2000/XP. It has an integrated text editor with unlimited size, zip/unzip, file search to quickly locate lost files, a quick launch area, favorite buttons to quickly open those often used folders and a dual-pane view for those needing speed in file management. No need to install it and no data is written to the system registry.
35) TortoiseSVN is a really easy to use Revision control / version control / source control software for Windows. It’s not integration for a specific IDE you can use it with whatever development tools you like.
36) xdocdiff is a TortoiseSVNWith addon which can diff MS Office files (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), PDF files and OpenOffice.org files and more!
37) Process Monitor – It is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. The utility helps you in capturing thread stacks for each operation to identify the root cause of an operation.
38) TortoiseCVS lets you work with files under CVS version control directly from Windows Explorer. You can directly check out modules, update, commit and see differences by right clicking on files and folders within Explorer. You can see the state of a file with overlays on top of the normal icons within Explorer. It even works from within the file open dialog. Also you can perform tagging, branching, merging and importing, and you can go directly to a browser web log (using ViewCVS or CVSWeb) on a particular file.
39) ILMerge – Tool for merging multiple .NET assemblies into a single .NET assembly. It works on executables and dlls alike.
40) PowerShell – Windows PowerShell is an extensible automation engine from Microsoft that enables easy access to COM and WMI to provide an environment in which administrators perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.
41) Executor – Multipurpose launcher which is fast and user-friendly providing you with an advanced customizable version of windows run.
42) ZoomIt – It is a powerful screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations.
43) SlickRun – A powerful command line utility for Windows which provides you with an instant access to any program or website. SlickRun allows you to create command aliases (known as MagicWords), so C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe becomes SKYPE.
45) FolderShare – Allows you to synchronize folders between multiple computer systems, Operating Systems. It keeps important files up to date on all your computers, PC or Mac. Once you save a file in a folder, the changes will be visible on other machines as well. Widely used when you want to use shared folders to sync files with friends or coworkers. FolderShare allows you to access files and folders from remote locations as well.
46) WinMerge – It is one of the lightest and fastest merging tool for Windows that allows you to compare both folders and files. The differences are displayed in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle.
47) KDiff3 – KDiff3 is a utility to merges multiple text input files or directories which shows the differences line by line and character by character. The tool provides you with an integrated editor for handling merge-conflicts. Kdiff3 is a cross platform utility that works with Windows, Mac and Linux.
48) HightLight for Windows – Powerful sourcecode converter for Linux and Windows, which formats the code with syntax highlighting for HTML, XHTML, RTF, TeX, LaTeX, SVG, BBCode and XML files. It also highlights keywords, types, strings, numbers, escape sequences, comments, symbols and directive lines as well.
49) Humanized Enso Launcher – It provides instant access to applications and windows. With a few easily remembered keystrokes, you can launch an application, switch to a window by name, and control the state of your windows.
50) Colibri – Colibri integrates with third-party applications like iTunes, WinAmp and Mozilla Firefox maximizing your productivity while minimizing your typing work.
51) DashCommand – If you want to quickly open an application, a file or document, send an email, play some music, perform a calculation, etc then Dash Command can do wonders for you. With few keystrokes the utility correctly guesses what you want to do and does it for you.
52) Launchy – Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes.
53) USB Disabler – Yet another tool used for disabling or enabling USB flash drives on the computer.
54) Ultramon – It is a utility for multi-monitor systems allowing you to maximize windows across the desktop. You can manage more applications easily with Ultramon which also provides multi-monitor support for desktop wallpapers and screen savers.
55) DiskView – Nifty disk space usage manager that shows how disk space is being utilized, and gives a visual report of disk health within Windows Explorer.
56) SequoiaView – Provides a Treemap of your disk usage.
57) WinDirStat – It is a disk visualization tools that allows you to view disk usage statistics on Microsoft Windows.
58) 7-ZIP – If you are looking for free compression utility for better compression then you can use 7-ZIP that can provide between 2% and 10% better compression than ZIP.
59) xplorer2 – It is a free desktop file and information manager that integrates the best features of Windows’ shell architecture.
60) TimeSnapper – Small, lightweight but very powerful and useful tool that keeps track of your daily activities as screenshots with pre-defined interval in the background of your computer. TimeSnapper lets you play back your daily activities just like a movie.
61) AutoHotKey – With AotoHotKey you can automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can create hotkeys for keyboard, joystick, and mouse. It provides you with a flexibility to turn any key, button, or combination to a hotkey.
62) NetPing – NetPing is an extensible utility that allows for custom display of networked Windows computers, as well as the ability to perform custom actions on these computers.
63) OverDisk – Tool that provides disk usage statistics in a pie chart view allowing you to quickly find out how a partition’s space is distributed among the file system hierarchy.
64) Cygwin – It is a Linux-like environment for Windows consisting of a DLL (cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux API emulation layer providing substantial Linux API functionality and collection of tools to provide Linux look and feel.
65) RealVNC – VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. RealVNC is a remote control software which lets you see and interact with desktop applications across any network anywhere on the Internet.
66) Synergy – With Synergy you can share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems without any special hardware requirement. All you need is a LAN connection.
67) WireShark – It is the most popular network protocol analyzer and runs on most computing platforms including Windows, OS X, Linux, and UNIX.
68) Unlocker – If you are unable to delete any file or folder and get this message – “Cannot Delete folder – It is being used by any other person or program” or “Cannot delete file: Access is denied”, then use Unlocker to delete locked file or folder.
69) Console – Provides multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles on Windows console window.
70) CrossLoop – Powerful free screen sharing system, based on VNC. Also allows you to connect Windows and Mac together.
71) File Hash Checker – It lets you compute the checksum value MD5 and SHA1 hash of any file. You can then check the computed hash against a database of known MD5 and SHA1.
72) Eqatec Profiler – EQATEC Profiler is a .NET code profiler that helps you to spot the problem in application’s slow code.
73) SharpKeys – It allows you to remap windows keys. For example, if you accidentally hit Caps Lock often, you could use this utility to map Caps Lock to a Shift.
74) Ultradefrag – UltraDefrag is an open source free disk defragmenter utility for Windows based PC that defragments all files including system files like page file, registry hives, hiberfil.sys file and many other files locked by the system when windows is running.
75) NetWrix USB Blocker – A freeware tool that enforces centralized access control to prevent unauthorized use of removable media that connects to computer USB ports.
76) SkyDrive Explorer – It is a free extension for Windows Explorer that maps your SkyDrive account as a regular Windows drive. With SkyDrive Explorer you can access your documents stored in Microsoft Live SkyDrive service using Windows Explorer.
77) S3E Client – S3E is Amazon S3 client that allows you to manage buckets, browse objects, upload and download objects and transfer files between your computer and Amazon S3 account.
78) NetMeter – Identifies how much traffic is running over your network.
79) Lockhunter – Tool to delete blocked files into the recycle bin so that you can restore them later, if deleted by mistake. The tool also allows you to copy or rename a locked file.
80) PingPlotter – Free Traceroute application that allows you to “trace” the route between your computer and a web site or Voice over IP provider and then provide you performance metrics in a graphical interface.
81) CCleaner – CCleaner is a freeware utility used to optimize a computer by cleaning irrelevant registry files. It makes your Windows OS to run faster, more efficiently and gives you more hard disk space.
82) Lexar Image Rescue – It is a powerful image recovery software that lets you recover lost or deleted files from any type or brand of memory card, using any card reader. With Lexar Image Rescue 3 software you can easily recover lost or deleted images, videos and audio files.
83) Terminals – It is a secure, simple multi tab terminal services/remote desktop client.
84) CodySafe – Portable applications Manager that easily manages your documents, multimedia files and pictures on your USB or flash drive.
85) PackageFactory – PackageFactory for U3 allows you to convert any application or EXE into a U3P Package File, for free! Once U3P Package File is created you can install it onto any U3-compatible flash drive.
86) xPortClone – xPortClone is a small utility that allows you to backup files from a removable device to your hard drive. It can be used with iPods, USB drives or even CDs or DVDs.
87) WheelMouse – Tiny tool to control the sound volume on your computer just by rolling the wheel of your wheel mouse
88) Free Antivirus Tools – Binary had has a library of hundreds of free antivirus tools and utilities to remove trojan, spywares and adwares from your system.
89) Screen Capture Tools – Browse the library of free screen capture utilities for your Windows machine.
90) Desktop Torrent Clients – Lets you search torrents right from your desktop from multiple torrent indexers at once, without opening them, saving a lot of time. The tools also allow you to download torrents without having to switch pages.