Windows has tons of free software, and of course, there are so many websites where you can download it. The challenge is that a lot of these freeware download sites, each claiming to be the best, routinely saddle the software with custom installers, adware, crapware, and bloatware.
However, there are still quite a few reliable software download websites that don’t complicate the core installer with crapware. The following updated list comprises an exhaustive collection of sites where you can download Windows software, minus the bad stuff.
We designate the websites listed below as ‘completely safe’ due to their authenticity as the most reliable sources for software downloads. You can always be assured of finding the right product without encountering any malware, advertisements, or bloatware concerns. If your desired software is available from one of these three sources, there’s no need to search elsewhere.
1. Microsoft Store: Microsoft Store is a recommended source for downloading frequently used and popular Windows software. Apart from native Microsoft apps available on Microsoft.com, you also get access to several third-party apps designed for a Windows system.
2. GitHub: GitHub is increasingly a popular option for sophisticated software versions, as it’s one of the largest repositories of original code. Apart from mainly open-source software, you can find thousands of Windows repositories such as its latest Windows Terminal, Skype for Business, Docker, Azure, PowerToys, and much more.
3. Ninite: The website presents you with a list of popular programs to select, and you check the boxes for all the apps you want. Then, clicking the Get Your Ninite button will give you a custom installer file that bundles all the selected programs together, allowing you to install them in bulk.
4. Softpedia: Softpedia is one of the largest download sites around; it’s delivered more than three billion downloads over the years. The most popular apps are updated every day, allowing you to get clean and malware-free software that’s also as recent as possible.
5. FileHippo: This platform is a well-known site with tons of active programs broken down into categories. Each page offers a description of the software, along with its requirements and related software. The site will occasionally prompt you to download another app (such as Opera) before the one you asked for. But this is clearly labeled, easy to skip, and doesn’t push shady junk.
6. FileHorse: FileHorse doesn’t have a massive repository of software. Instead, this site focuses on stocking the best and most useful programs. Each product page has screenshots so you know what to expect, plus version compatibility, a changelog, links to old versions, and more.
7. FilePuma: It has a pretty basic interface and focuses on simplicity. Search for the software you’re interested in, or browse its categories to find something new. Since the categories have the most popular tools right on the homepage, it’s easy to see what’s on offer.
8. SnapFiles: This platform looks like a lot of the other download sites we’ve featured, but it has a few cool functions that make it worth a look. One of these is the Freeware Pick on the homepage, which highlights a piece of software you might not have known about. And under More at the top of the page, you’ll find a Random Pick, which is also great for discovering new software to download.
9. Softonic: This is one of the oldest downloading portals where you can get freeware, shareware, and a trial version of the software. The best thing about Softonic is that the site is updated frequently and adds software regularly.
10. CNET Download: This platform is a top choice for Windows software download. Discover millions of versions of common software for personal and professional use.