Top downloads of 2013

This year the tech world buzzed about iPad Mini and Microsoft Surface, Android vs. iPhone, PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One, smart watches and fitness bands, Google Glass and Chromecast. Newsworthy gadgets all, but their sleek screens and circuits are nothing without the software that operates, connects, and protects the devices, not to mention makes them more fun and useful.

But you already know that, because you good guests of our site have downloaded just under 800 million apps in 2013. That would be double the worldwide gross of "Gravity," if downloads were dollars, and it's more than two times the number of people who watched freaky Norwegians ask "What Does the Fox Say?" and seven times the viewership of Super Bowl XLVII.

So, what had you downloading in droves? Everyone's looking for virus protection and media management. For Windows fans, the keys were security and utilities, while Mac heads were minding their music and graphics. Our most popular app for 2013, Avast Free Antivirus, had more than 53 million downloads for Windows and nearly 1 million for Mac.

Read on to see the most-downloaded apps for Windows and Mac, and click the links to read our editors' reviews and get the free products, if you don't have them already. To keep current with new software in 2014, check our latest reviews (Windows, Mac) or subscribe to one of our weekly email updates. Happy New Year, and happy downloading!

Top 10 Windows downloads

  1. Avast Free Antivirus
  2. AVG AntiVirus Free
  3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  4. CCleaner
  5. YouTube Downloader
  6. Free YouTube Downloader
  7. Advanced SystemCare
  8. Hotspot Shield
  9. Virtual DJ
  10. WinRAR (32-bit)

Top 10 Mac downloads

  1. VirtualDJ Home
  2. Microsoft Office 2011
  3. Avast Free Antivirus
  4. Adobe Photoshop CS6
  5. Hotspot Shield
  6. VLC Media Player
  7. Skype
  8. JDownloader
  9. RAR Expander
  10. Mozilla Firefox

Julie is managing editor of and has been cooking up tech editorial since 1996.