Open Freely - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Open Freely

CNET Editors' review

So you've come across a file that you need to open but can't? Maybe you just want to open it but can't. Either way, the defining word here is "can't." Open Freely can shorten it to "can" and also shorten the time and effort it takes to open over 100 different file types, including common types, of course, but also a whole lot of uncommon ones, from AMR to ZIP. It can display nearly any kind of media, edit documents and images, extract files, and perform other functions.

Open Freely's installation includes the free K-Lite Codec Pack, which contains dozens of codecs for opening media files and other formats. Open Freely's main interface has an attractive, muted gray color scheme with contrasting highlights and icons that turn from dull to colorful when active. The only active icon that appears when you first open Open Freely is the Open File icon. We browsed to a folder we keep with various file types for just such an occasion, but we failed to seriously challenge the tool. PDFs appeared clearly; XML files displayed coded text; music files opened in an embedded player with a spectral display; a saved YouTube video played normally; you get the picture (we sure did, in any image format).

We could also edit files with the built-in Hex Editor; copy, save, and print files; open and make changes to Word documents; and zoom in and out. On editable documents, the program opened a toolbar with a suite of formatting and editing controls typical of a lightweight word processor. Since it uses downloadable codec packs like K-Lite, we'd imagine it's easy to upgrade and update, too.

There's no shortage of frustrations when it comes to software, so why add to them by making it difficult to open files? Open Freely's got you covered and then some.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    1.8 stars

    out of 33 votes

    • 5 star: 5
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 25
  • Current version:

    1.8 stars

    out of 32 votes

    • 5 star: 5
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 24
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 32

  • 1.0 stars

    "DON'T DOWNLOAD! FULL OF MALWARE!!!"

    February 6, 2014  |   By GGBGGB

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    None. At all. Couldn't even open the file I needed, but was listed.

    Cons

    Loaded about 6 different malware programs on my computer. Difficult to remove. Or at least time consuming to remove and REALLY annoying. Thanks CNET for an awesome product with great editor reviews.

    Summary

    Thanks CNET. I used to trust and respect your site.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Full of Malware"

    February 5, 2014  |   By TampaBayBrowns

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    The program worked in opening my SQL code

    Cons

    Full of malware. Having trouble removing it.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Opens TXT file!"

    January 24, 2014  |   By TheAlas.com

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    It says that it opens a TXT file in the description and INDEED it does! Exactly what I needed.

    Cons

    There's a button to Decline installing adware but regardless it did install some adware. It also changed my homepage, search page, new tab page, causes pop-ups, sub-pop-ups and under-pup-ups to pop-up about every few seconds offering books on how to make 25 million dollars a day by doing absolutely nothing (even a total idiot like me can do it). Since I now know how to make 25 million dollars a day by working at home I think it was definitely worth it! I had to incinerate my PC because of all the ads but when you can earn 25 million dollars a day by doing nothing who needs a computer.

    Summary

    Overall it's an exellent piece of software because it opens TXT files, which I had trouble opening before. But it doesn't do just that, it also has a whole bunch of free offers that you just can't miss! I have to give it low rating though because if everyone found out about all the fantastic offers this software gives you global economy would collapse.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great program"

    January 23, 2014  |   By AML0709

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    It works great to OPEN files. Does just what it says it does. I had several files I could not open and needed the information in them. This program did exactly that.

    Cons

    I haven't found anything wrong with it. Not sure where all the bad reviews come from.

    Summary

    Works great for me and does what it says it does.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "So terrible I wrote a review..."

    December 19, 2013  |   By Annoyed_at_OpenFreely

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    None. Wait... nope, none. Nothing. This software is the black hole into which my confidence in Downloads.cnet has fallen.

    Cons

    Everything. Not only did this software attack my computer worse than almost any virus I have ever experienced, it completely reset my router and my browser. In addition to completely ravaging my digital world, the virus-ware didn't even open the documents I needed opened. I used to trust the editors reviews and the Downloads.cnet site in general, but this single atrocious experience has completely shattered that trust. I'm so disappointed that I may never use this site again.

    Summary

    DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS VIRUS-WARE. I wish I could give it less than 0.5 stars... Terrible.

    Updated on Dec 19, 2013

    I completely agree with 'ptriulzi'. I opted out of everything and read through the 'extras'. This is just a scam and it's pathetic that someone would need a special software to view a powerpoint or word doc. This thing was incapable of opening any of the my documents. Almost EVERYTHING will open a word doc. Shoot, throw that thing in notepad and it would probably open just fine. Try opening an XFDL doc or something. This virus-ware is worthless and so is this 5-star review.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good for old WPS files on my machine"

    October 24, 2013  |   By JZweighaft

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    The direct download link to Open Freely installed cleanly to Windows 8.1 without a lot of junk requiring opt outs.

    Windows can set file type association to use Open Freely by clicking file names in File Explorer. Open Freely cleanly solved my problem of how to open 1995 vintage .WPS files on my new Windows 8.1 computer.

    Cons

    The CNET Big Green Button links may require you to opt out of a lot of spam. I didn't try those after reading the reviews.

    A copy and paste from Open Freely to Thunderbird email did not work.

    My testing is limited. I only tried a couple of Microsoft Works files. Other file types were not checked.

    Summary

    Good, but only tested on WPS files. Probably works well for most intended file types.

    Use the "Direct Download Link" (not the green download buttons) to avoid unwanted extras.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "horrible, horrible, horrible"

    October 22, 2013  |   By jpersell

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    none. absolutely none. Time waster.

    Cons

    Read these reviews before installing. The converter is awful, and the crap that comes along with it is worse. Conduit... the worst kind of adware.

    Summary

    Trusted CNET to scan and provide real reviews. Never again.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "My text ended up overlapping each other."

    October 7, 2013  |   By mykb1963

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    None that I can think of.

    Cons

    I can't get rid of the thing! Still trying!

    Summary

    DON'T DO IT!!!!!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Don't download, full of adware"

    August 21, 2013  |   By susannelayla

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    no known pros

    Cons

    full of adware

    Summary

    I felt busy, trusted download.com and the editors rating, and downloaded OpenFreely. Then spent more time getting rid of it than it would have taken to read the reviews...don't download this, it is full of annoying adware.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "TOTAL RIP OFF, worth less than free"

    June 4, 2013  |   By jamcik

    Version: Open Freely 2.0

    Pros

    Opens every file.

    Cons

    1. Cannot "save as" anything though a "save as" button is available. 2. Malware and all kinds of browser tool bars found installed after. Yes the option not to download these hidden apps is given but in such an ambiguous way u think ur agreeing to download the object program and not five discreet ones! Very disappointed in CNET. Previously my number one go to site for "safe" downloads.

    Summary

    Crap! Beware.

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Results 1-10 of 32

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Open Freely