Windows 10 - The Missing Pieces

Category: Windows-10

Windows 10 is full of new features and some pretty spiffy native apps. But there’s always room on a hard drive for more apps that Microsoft chose not to include for whatever reason. Here are some of the most useful third-party utilities for Windows 10...

Add These Apps to Your Win10 PC

Since the release of Windows 10 about a year ago, I've written several articles to help folks get more comfortable and productive in the new operating system. If you're new to Windows 10, or still struggling, check out Free Training Videos for Windows 10, Ten Windows 10 Features You Didn't Know About, and Tweak Unwanted Windows 10 Features.

If you're ready to take your Windows 10 system to the next level, consider adding these third-party apps, which can complement or replace pieces of Windows 10.

Start10: The Windows 10 start menu is a big improvement over the horrible mess that Microsoft delivered in Windows 8. But it's still not comfortable if you're moving from a Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 environment. Start10 returns the Windows 10 start menu to a more familiar look and feel, and offers many customization options. Try it free for 30 days, pay $5 if you like it.

EditPad Lite: While Microsoft upgraded several native Windows apps with Win 10, Notepad hasn't changed since it was accidentally spawned in 1952, when a manual typewriter collided with a Univac computer. EditPad Lite gives you multiple tabs, automatic backups while you work, the ability to insert pre-defined text snippets, and a very powerful search and replace feature. It’s free for personal use.

Windows 10 Missing Pieces

Wunderlist: One of the most popular to-do list apps ever. It was so popular that Microsoft now owns it. The free version helps you create, edit, and organize lists of all kinds, from “grocery shopping” to “wedding planning.” It’s also easy to share lists with collaborators, guests, and others. Wunderlist syncs between computer, laptop, tablet, or phone, and even links iOS, Mac OS X, Android, Chromebook, and Amazon devices. The premium version includes sophisticated organization and collaboration tools for business.

ShareX: Yes, Windows has a built-in "snipping tool" to capture your screen, but it's rather limited when compared with this tool. ShareX offers various methods of capturing screenshots, and makes it easy to annotate, add special effects, print, or upload your images to popular cloud and sharing services.

Fhotoroom: If the Windows 10 Photo App is not enough for you, but geek tools like GIMP are too complicated, Fhotoroom may be ideal. You can edit photo files of up to 41 MB. It supports the RAW file format, plus JPG, JXR, WDP, PNG, and TIFF. This app is free, but registration is required to unlock features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) tools.

Trakter: There are so many TV shows on so many streaming platforms that it can be hard to keep track of your viewing schedule. Trakter enables you to track favorite shows and where you are in a series of episodes; find content by title, genre, producer, and other criteria; get ancillary data from the Internet Movie Database ( and other sources; filter and sort watchlists; and more. Free basic functions; only $1.99 to unlock everything.

Of course, many other third-party utilities also run on Windows 10. The Chrome browser is a good replacement for Edge, the underwhelming browser that ships with Windows 10. And VLC Media Player beats Windows Media Player hands down.

If you run Windows 10, which apps are on your "can't live without" list? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Windows 10 - The Missing Pieces"

(See all 23 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

We second your complaint GuitarRebel.

VLC does not like the upgrade so our perfect watching app is shutting down and going all audio jittery.

We got the upgrade to 10 yeaterday and I'm already getting ready to dual boot with Linux.

No warning and over an hour to install.

Not just alternatives to windows apps any more alternatives to windows would be helpful.

It threw wobblers twice both within five minutes of the end of my wife's stories. It may be my fault..... I haven't found out yet.

Do windows care about marital harmony?


P.S. Only joking about herself and me but if she ever meets Billy Boy Gates she may park her wheelchair on one of his feet and pretend to be deaf!

Posted by:

Kenn Maltby
23 Sep 2016

Thank you Jon - for providing my 'laugh of the day'

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

My favorite can't-live-without app is "Everything" search (
INSTANT results when you enter a full or partial file or folder name. Solves the old "now where did I file that" problem.
Doesn't do content search, so whenever I need that I use Windows search .. and take a nap while it runs.

Posted by:

Alberto Pinto
23 Sep 2016

This is my "Can´t live without list":

1. Printkey 2000 ( yes, after all these years )

2. Tinywall

Posted by:

Susan H.
23 Sep 2016

I survived the update okay, but not thrilled with not being able to type on the Cortana search. Not ruining my life, but it's a PIA. I understand from searches that this seems to be a common thing from the update. Does anyone have a quick/easy fix that doesn't involve my calling the Geek Squad?

Posted by:

Will J
23 Sep 2016

After 'Anniversary Update', PCMatic freezes halfway through scan. PCMatic said, "They are aware of problem".

Ok, when will it be fixed? Five days, and I'm still tapping my foot. Sigh.

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

After reading all the various Win10 issues it looks like my stable of useful,functional Winxp and Win7 pcs will be around for quite some time yet! they could have easily quit after Win7........

Posted by:

Steve Guard
23 Sep 2016

+1 for Printkey 2000

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

RE: Missing pieces. I installed Edit Pad Lite, Fotoroom & Traker. The absolute worst apps I have ever seen, bar none. The are not uninstalled.

Posted by:

Mark Miller
23 Sep 2016

I downloaded Windows 10 just before the free period ended. After 3+ hours and it didn't load and had to reload it later, I tried it for all of 1 day. Went back to Windows 7 and won't be using 10 unless it is the last operating system standing. Note: I don't have a smart phone, don't
text, snap, chat, skipe, facebook, pin, post etc.
I do appreciate your comments and guidance in this electronic world.

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

The Classic Start is a must have. My company installs it on Windows 8 and Windows 10 corporate images. I also pitch for IrfanView. It has a great screen grab feature, and is an excellent simple graphic editor as well. And even though it's almost as old as Notepad, I've been using Programmer's File Editor (PFE) for ever. Although the code is untouched since I don't know when, it still does all I need. And, while the new Task Manager is a great improvement over past versions, System Exploerer is an awesome monitoring tool.

Posted by:

Sarah L
24 Sep 2016

Classic shell is great. You ought to write about how to avoid the Anniversary Update of Windows 10. It tore files out of my lap top computer, undid so much. I had to call in help to get things back to normal. Windows did not warn or ask permission, just took over the computer while I was using it but not mid keystroke. My other computer has not been hit yet, but we are searching for a way to block the trouble-making update.

Posted by:

25 Sep 2016

Susan H. Try this link,
I had the same problem and got it working. Good lick.

Posted by:

30 Sep 2016

Classic Shell is the best and it's free. As for Windows 10, this OS stinks up the place worse then any windows of the past. I have no idea if I can uninstall the touch programs that came on my pc now that Windows 10 has moved in. Locks up my pc, dumps programs I needed with no warning, just boom, they are gone. My fairly new wifi printer can't be found by Windows 10...and those are just the major issues!

Posted by:

30 Sep 2016

Wunderlist will not fully open until I agree for it to mess with my email addresses. What the heck is going on here? What shifty scam is MS up to now? If there is one good reason for them wanting my email contacts, then I take it all back.

Posted by:

02 Oct 2016

Why has Microsoft in their infinite IT wisdom chosen NOT to include as the windows 'package' an e-mail program? I don't wish to use Microsoft's, or GMail or the chosen ones by Microsoft. I have been using OE Classic for over 12 months now and find it great.Oldies like me, started with Outlook Express and it was the most uncomplicated e-mail program , completely user friendly, and best of all, it worked! Ok, so maybe it had a few bugs, but it didn't break my system as many of Microsoft's UPDATES have done. Microsoft forever, I HOPE not.

Posted by:

edward perez
03 Oct 2016

I have been using EditPad Lite since 1998 or so. It is one of the simplest text editors I've ever used. They had a tabbed interface long before any of the browsers and other applications. You can run it from internal drive or external [flash] drive.

Some of my other favorites
* GOM Player - media player [free]
* Bulk Rename Utility - powerful renaming utility [free]
* Image Resizer for Windows - easy!!!! [free]
* CCleaner - crap cleaner [free]
* RocketDock - app/file launcher [free]
* Smart Pix Manager - all kinds of features [$50]

Posted by:

Harriette Carr
03 Oct 2016

Setup won't let me declare google chrome as my default browser despite letting me chose it? I have notified Microsoft but got no answers. Any suggestions appreciated.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2016

Just one quick comment concerning the recommendations. VLC is a nice player if not streaming/playing 4K videos. However, it is terrible with lag and stutter with 4k files. The Windows Media Player has perfect playback of the same 4k video files. Often it is not a generic one size fits all. VLC has put out several updates and the 4k playback is still not up to speed with other players.

Posted by:

06 Oct 2016

get classic shell not start 10 and it free, if you want start to look like xp

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