Shareware is careware!Windows main saving grace is that it is incredibly customizable. However, it requires being knowledgeable about computers- making it hard for the people who need it most to get access to it!
Requires some knowledge of how to install programs on windows!
Removing Bloatware and SpywareWindows has a horrifying amount of bloatware and spyware! Removing it can be incredibly difficult, and like trying to seperate a scrambled egg into whites and yolks. However, we can get 80% of the way there pretty easily!
I highly reccomend downloading O&O ShutUp10++
Follow the instructions listed on the website. You can even remove the built in Windows 10 ads.
Opensource and Shareware Alternatives!I know tech nerds are always telling you to download open source programs that look old and out of date, however, they run faster, crash less, and have more features than the programs that constantly try to push ads on you. I have some programs I'm not willing to budge on (Photoshop being one) however, there are some that just are better than the built in programs by a long shot.
Replacing the Office Suite - LibreOfficeLibre office doesn't crash, doesn't force cloud saving on you, and is completely free. It looks very very similar to Microsoft Word. (It also comes with replacements for the other Microsoft programs, however I don't use the others, and I assume 90% of people don't either)
Their website is linked here: Libre Office
Replacing Windows Video Viewer - VLC media playerThe windows default video player just... isn't very good. It works well for previewing videos saved to your computer, but if you want to sit down and watch a movie? It's simply not gonna cut it. The popular (for a good reason) choice is VLC media player. It can view every video file extension- even some really obscure ones!
Their website is liked here: VLC Media Player
Replacing Chrome/Edge - FirefoxHonestly the transition to Firefox is very easy, it automatically moves all of your bookmarks and saved passwords for you. It still runs google as the search engine, just meaning that you get all of the benefits of Google Chrome, but without the downsides. It doesn't crash as often, doesn't take as much memory, and also allows you to block all trackers, ads, and even sponsored segments of youtube videos automatically. It's also a lot more safe.
Their website is linked here: Firefox
Gain more control with these programs!These are for the things I reccomend that don't fall into the earlier two categories.
WinRAR- Zip and Unzip files quickly and easily!It's wild to me that this program doesn't automatically come with every computer. I use it a lot when it comes to downloading pictures, sharing folders, and more. It compresses files so they upload a lot faster.
Their website is linked here: WinRAR
7zip - A file manager for zipped files!I also don't know how this doesn't come installed on every computer. Honestly just download it, even if you don't think you are going to use it. It'll save your ass at the most random time.
Their website is linked here: 7zip
Ninite - Install all these programs at once!Ninite allows you to select programs from a list and then download and install them all at once instead of one at a time. A massive time saver if you are someone like me. It's aimed at people who just got their computer out of the box, but if you haven't really customized your computer at all, it's really useful as well.
Their website is linked here: Ninite