Download A Bagful of Free Microsoft Software


Surprisingly, many computer users are not aware that Microsoft offers literally hundreds of free applications. These free applications range from highly specialized system applications, down to the type of applications average users can make good use of on a daily basis.

The following is just a small sampling of these free applications, broken down by category.


Microsoft Security Essentials

imageMicrosoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft last year as a free  replacement application for Windows Live OneCare.

Microsoft Security Essentials is easy to set up and run, particularly for new users. And, the interface is positively simple offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.

Download at: Microsoft

RootkitRevealer v1.71

imageRootkitRevealer is an advanced rootkit detection utility. It runs on Windows NT 4 and higher and its output lists Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit. RootkitRevealer successfully detects many persistent rootkits including AFX, Vanquish and HackerDefender.

Download at: Microsoft

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

imageTo help you assess the overall state of security on your computer, Microsoft provides a free scanning tool – Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), which will scan your system and provide you with a report on your computer’s security, based on Microsoft security recommendations.

MBSA includes both a graphical and a command line interface that can perform local or remote scans, of Microsoft Windows systems.

Download at: Microsoft


SyncToy 2.1

SyncToy 5 SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders.

SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.

Download at: Microsoft

Process Explorer

imageFind out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.

Download at: Microsoft


imageSee what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.

Download at: Microsoft

File Storage

Windows Live SkyDrive – 25 GB of free online storage

imageStore, access, and share thousands of documents, photos, and Microsoft Office files on Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive password-protects your files so you control who has access to them.

Download at: Microsoft

Money Management

Office Accounting Express 2009

image Even if you don’t run an office, you can still use this terrific application to managing your credit cards, and bank accounts, and if you have a PayPal account, you’ll find it easier to complete transactions using Office Accounting Express.

If, on the other hand you do run a small business, you’ll find increased functionality within this program, including  the ability to handle payroll, vendors,  invoices, quotes, cash sales, and more.

Note: This application is no longer available directly from Microsoft. Download is still available at the link below.

Download at:

Web Development

Visual Studio 2010 Express

image Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition is an incredibly functional and easy-to-use free application that will output a unique, custom designed website, to promote your club, hobby or business, or to put your favorite family/holiday photos online.

It couldn’t be easier. As Microsoft says – “Get started quickly by becoming familiar with the Visual Web Developer environment with the Introduction to Visual Web Developer 2008 video”.

If you are an amateur, or even if you are a proficient web site developer, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, will surprise you with the professional quality that you can achieve with this application.

Download at: Microsoft

System Virtualization

Virtual PC 2007

image Regular readers of this site are probably familiar with the benefits of running in a virtual environment (a virtual machine acts like a standalone computer), while surfing the Internet, or while testing new software. Microsoft’s Virtual PC application allows even less technically inclined users to run in this mode, in a way that’s easy to understand, and easy to use.

Download at: Microsoft

Web Based Applications

Windows Live Essentials 2011

imageDo more with Windows on your PC with free programs for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, social networking, and more. Get it all in one simple download.

Download at: Microsoft

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Desktop Applications, downloads, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Microsoft, Software, System Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Live SkyDrive, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

10 responses to “Download A Bagful of Free Microsoft Software

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  4. Bill,
    Thanks for the article.
    I found a couple of utilities, which I’ve downloaded.
    It is always the way with computers, start looking for one thing, and end up somewhere entirley different.


  5. Hi Bill, thanks for the reminder about Microsoft’s free tools—it’s easy to forget about them with all of the different applications / programs users have running on their PCs. I just recently read a review of Windows Live Essentials and was wondering if you have tested it out before?

    • Hey TuneUp,

      Yes, you’re right. We don’t often think of “Microsoft” and “free”, at the same time. But, in fact, there are a huge number of free applications available from MS. Mainly system utilities, as you know.

      I do use Live Essentials, but only the Live Writer application (have done so for years) – even though I hold a number of HotMail accounts. I suppose I’m old fashioned, in a sense, since I much prefer standalone applications. Bundles like Live Essentials can often be problematic – here’s an example.

      When Essentials 2011 came out of Beta (just a few weeks ago), into the final release, I had a significant problem installing the final. The built-in uninstaller, in the Beta, did not sufficient clear out registry entries to allow the new install of the final release. Since Essentials creates over 2,000 registry entries, manually cleaning them out was a real hassle. I think an average user would have just given up and gone back to standalone apps.

      Always good to see your comments.


  6. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your note back and for sharing your experience the beta version of Essentials 2011. After all of the issues you encountered, I don’t blame you for sticking with the standalone applications 🙂