freeware

GreenShot review

GreenShot allows you to take screenshots in a number of different formats and then save them to a folder of your choice or send them to a printer or Microsoft Outlook. While not as powerful as some screenshot tools, GreenShot is a very good, easy-to-use tool that will provide the tools needed by the vast majority of users.

Pros

Consolidated interface: Everything you need in GreenShot is located in the menu task bar. Clicking the icon after launching the app will provide a menu to snap shots of specific windows, fullscreens, or regions. It also has a memory tool to … Read more

MSD Organizer Portable Freeware review

MSD Organizer Portable Freeware adds yet another capability to this versatile, expandable, and feature-packed personal manager: total portability. You can carry the portable freeware edition with you on a USB drive or other device and run it on any accessible and compatible Windows PC, which covers a lot of installations -- from Windows 98 and NT to the latest Windows 8 releases. Like the installed version, MSD Organizer Portable Freeware serves as day planner and calendar, contacts manager, task manager, alarm clock, and much more. You can upgrade by purchasing modules that add even more capabilities. The latest version lets … Read more

Free utility finds unwanted programs uninstallers miss

Software happens...sometimes more often than we intend.

Distributors of free apps are adept at getting us downloaders to agree to including special offers along with the programs we mean to install. Often the option to add the extra software is preselected, so we have to uncheck a box to prevent the unsolicited programs from hitching a ride.

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) can be a challenge to uninstall. I recently found myself with some PUPs that eluded the Windows 8.1 uninstaller as well as two popular utilities: Piriform's CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller. Fortunately, the system inventory created by … Read more

Free startup manager beats Windows 8.1's built-in tools

Say what you will about Windows, you have to admit the OS has legs. Still, you'd think that after all these years and so many versions, Windows would finally have all the tools users need right out of the box. Not so.

After last week's post on essential Windows 8.1 time-saving tweaks, a reader asked me which version of Windows was my favorite. As tempted as I was to answer "Windows 3.1" -- I still miss Program Manager -- I fessed up to preferring the current version 8.1 over any of its predecessors.… Read more

Block Android apps from phoning home without your permission

There's lots of talk lately about leaky apps: Angry Birds and Google Maps are among the smartphone apps accused of informing the government all about who you are and what you've been up to, as Nick Statt reported late last month.

A recent blog post by Serge Malenkovich of the security firm Kaspersky Labs questions the need for the latest version of Facebook's Android app to automatically access your SMS messages to facilitate the service's two-factor authentication.

Granted, Facebook and other app developers have perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting automatic access to your phone's network … Read more

Change your Facebook privacy settings with a click

If you're a Facebook user who has never bothered to change the service's default privacy settings, you're not alone. In May 2012, Lance Whitney reported on a Consumer Reports study that found millions of Facebook users don't use, or aren't even aware of, the service's privacy controls.

The Facebook interface certainly doesn't make it easy to adjust your privacy settings. As I explained in last September's post on how to secure your Facebook account in six easy steps, the social network has 40 individual privacy settings listed in four separate categories.

Israeli … Read more

Three privacy-focused browsers compared

Which is the safest browser? In terms of privacy, the answer may be Internet Explorer. According to NSS Labs' 2013 Browser Security Comparative Analysis: Privacy (PDF), Internet Explorer tops Firefox and Chrome by blocking most third-party cookies by default and offering a built-in tracking protection list.

In terms of security, the answer may be Firefox. When Mark Stockley of the Sophos Naked Security blog polled readers last September about which browser they considered the most secure, Firefox was the big winner, gleaning more than 50 percent of the votes, followed by Chrome with just under 27 percent and IE with … Read more

Funhouse of Horror 2013: Top 5 free scary games to download

The time has come once again for the ghosts and goblins to roam the streets for sweets. But if trick-or-treating is no longer your thing and you'd rather stay in, Download.com has got you covered with some freebie games for creating your own scarefest -- without leaving the house. In 2012, our editors scoured our extensive catalog and collected the most unusual games they could find to scare you. This time around, we dug even deeper, saw things that nightmares are made of, and brought them back to share with you. These creepy finds are listed in no … Read more

f.lux gets major, much-anticipated update

One of our top picks for best desktop software, f.lux announced Tuesday that they have released a major update to their popular screen dimmer application. f.lux 3.9 now allows your screen to go even warmer, from a previous setting of 3400K down to 2700K or optionally to 1200K, if you prefer. So now you can simulate that working-by-candlelight experience on your HD display. Movie mode allows you to keep the warm setting but preserves details in picture quality such as shadows and skin tones. This mode also has a built-in timer, which allows you to watch most … Read more

Save time and trouble with these 10 productivity tips

When you've got work to do, you don't want to wait for your computer to finish whatever system task it's doing before it gives you back control. Even worse, you don't want to spend a big chunk of your workday trying to get a balky machine to work at all.

If you're serious about squeezing every ounce of usefulness out of your computer, put these 10 productivity-boosting techniques to work.

No. 1: Check your power, check your cables, do some preventive dusting Ask any help-desk staffer and they'll tell you the one thing they … Read more