©2016 Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2016-06-13. 

These Freeware Corner notes are published in TAGGology, our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) monthly newsletter. They are also posted on my Freeware Corner Notes page on where you can just click on the links and there may be corrections or updates after the printed version. There may also be family history class notes about these topics on my webpage.

There are many sources of freeware, shareware, and open-source software on the Internet and this note will show a few with my comments. First some definitions.
FREEWARE means it is completely free and you can use it or give copies to anyone without restsriction.
SHAREWARE means the author has posted it so you can download a copy for free and try it out to see if it meets your needs. and, if you want to continue to use it, you are on your honor to send him or her the required fee, usually $10 or less. OPEN-SOURCE means the author has posted the program and also the computer code online for you to download and use completely free and, if you know programming, you can even alter the code to make it do what you want.

The Glary Utilities home page is  and is a program and source of freeware that I recommend highly. There are free and commercial versions of Glary Utilities and I've been using the free version for 10-15 years and have found it really helpful.  I run it on each of my computers about once a week to find and clear up problems and to check the versions of my installed programs, both commercial and free.  For one thing it tells you how fast your computer booted and that's very helpful information.  It has a 1-Click Maintenance button and takes a few minutes to go through my whole computer to see if there are problems in the registry, file structure, shortcuts, etc.  Then a Repair Problems button comes up to repair all or only the problems I want it to.  It has options to set so that it only checks certain things on your computer; for example, I never have it Disk-Repair or Defragment my Solid State Hard drive, since that's unnecessary and would shorten its life.  After it repairs any problems and empties the trash, I click the Check For Updates button and it analyzes all programs installed on my computer and sends the data to its home page to see if there are updates for any of them.  This includes commercial, as well as freeware updates.  Nearly every week there are 4 or 5 programs that have updates.  It shows me my installed version, the latest version available, information about the program, and provides a button to download the updated version directly from their website.  When I ran the Check For Updates on my desktop computer earlier today, it said there were 6 program updates, i.e., new versions of Evernote, Calibre, VLC Media Player, Ice Cream Ebook Reader, Firefox, and a math program that I use.  I like their website and, as far as I am aware, I have never got a virus from them.  The virus checker I use is AVG Free and it has never come on to tell me that a Glarysoft download has a virus, as it does for some other websites.  When I download a file, I always add the following to the name of a freeware download: -Freeware-YYYY-MM-DD.  Then all the downloads of the same file sort together and in chronological order with the latest at the bottom.  When installing or updating any program, I always use the Custom Install option, not the Standard or "Recommended" Install option, since then I can select what I want done and it doesn't change my default program for that file type.  When you click on the update button for any program, on the left side of the download page you see a list of categories of all the freeware they have.  And here is a link directly to those freeware categories .  Their website includes all of the major freeware programs that I use.  At the end of each category listing there is a See More button for additional programs and descriptions.  Glarysoft is a major source of good freeware and an easy way to keep it all updated.  However, remember that portable programs that you have on your computer are not entered in the Registry, so Glary Utilities doesn't know about them and won't update them.  You have to update portable programs in other ways and there is an entire article about Portable Apps on my Freeware Corner page.

This is a blog and website that I have subscribed to for several years -- .  It has freeware and reviews of freeware.  Much of it is too technical for me, but they also have tips and trick, reviews, and downloads of programs that are helpful.  About two-thirds of the entries seem to be "How to root (something) ..." and I don't even know what that means.  There are buttons across the top for Giveaways, Reviews, Tips and Tricks, and Downloads.  You can also do searches for things like "pdf editors" in their search box and you see a long list of tips, freeware, and reviews.  The Giveaway button shows you things that are free that day on various websites.  The Reviews button includes subcategories such as Windows, Mac, and Linux, and further subcategories include things like the Best Free Windows Software in various categories.  For example, there are articles covering The Best Free Virus Checkers, The Best Free PDF Editors, The Best Free Photo Editors, The Best Free Cloud Storage Websites, etc., all very helpful information.  They have been doing reviews for many years, so there are many such articles and they contain links of where you can download the programs.  Also, at the ends of the articles, whether reviews or not, you frequently find comments by other people that point out additional things about the programs or give alternative freeware that they have used and like.  The Tips and Tricks icon has hundreds of articles and can be searched for anything you might be looking for, e.g. "How to disable Windows 10 notifications".  Note that many of the tips and links are to other websites and not just dotTech, so be advised.  Their Downloads button takes you to a website called SharewareOnSale and seems to be mostly commercial software that is discounted, but not free.  There are free programs listed there, but I don't see any way to find them except to scroll down and look for them.  Doing a CTRL-F search for "free" on that page brings them up, but includes many other programs where the description contains words like "free upgrades".

This is not freeware, but is free commercial software.  On this website -- -- they give away for free every day a different commercial program.  You can subscribe to their daily email that tells you what the free program is for that day.  If you want the day's free program, it has to be downloaded and installed on your computer before about 1 or 2 am, Utah time.  Software companies give away copies of their programs here, since it makes their programs available to techies who can give them feedback and who may tell their friends about it.  Most of the programs they offer are not of interest to me, but occasionally they are and I have downloaded and installed some.  When they offer a program you are interested in, click the download button and save it with instructions of how to install it and what license to use to unlock it.  You can then use the program as long as you want at no charge, but you don't get updates and you can't transfer it to any other computer.  One thing I have found very helpful on this website is the comments that people make about the programs.  Frequently, someone will point out that there is a freeware program that will do the same thing as this commercial program and they tell you where you can download it.  The commercial companies sometimes include discounts for a license for the program that will allow you to get upgrades, unlike the free versions.  Another way I have used this site is to do Google site searches for information, e.g. do a Google search for "site: pdf" (without the quotes) and you get all the articles on their website mentioning pdf.  By looking at the dates of the articles, you can find ones that are recent and see if they have information about freeware or other things that you are interested in.

The website  helps find free programs that work like commercial ones.   You tell it the commercial program you would like an alternative for and it lists several.  For Microsoft Word it lists 46 alternative free programs.  For Evernote it lists 299 alternatives.  Of course, the alternatives don't work exactly the same as the commercial program, but depending on your needs, you can usually find a free program that is close enough to do what you want.  Because of the high prices of some software, many people have started using free programs, instead of the commercial ones.  The first alternative program listed for MS Word is LibreOffice and I've been using that for several years and I like some things about it better than Word.  The AlternativeTo page has filters, such as Portable, that you can use to narrow down the list and there are options for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.  It is "crowd-sourced", that is people who use the programs give their recommendations, so you can see what they think.  You don't have to be a member of AlternativeTo to use it, but joining is free and then you can give your own recommendations and be a service to others.  You might take a look at the webpage and find some alternative freeware programs for some commercial ones that you use.

There is a wealth of free software available to do many tasks, especially for tasks in family history.  The problem is finding the programs you need and learning to use them. Hopefully, this Freeware Corner article has given you some ideas and helps. I will write more on this topic in the future, since this article only scratches the surface. =====================================