Ultimate List of Free Windows 7 Software & Resources from Microsoft

Microsoft’s Windows 7 is new, but there’s already a great deal of “Free Software & Resources for Windows 7”
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scans PCs, programs & devices to check if it’s able to run Windows 7
SecurAble, by Steve Gibson, quickly tells if your computer supports 64-bit, as well as “Hardware Virtualization”.
Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) Detection Tool checks if PC supports HAV, and if it’s enabled.
Group Policy Settings Reference lists GPO settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files.
Release Notes focuses critical issues, such as those likely to affect a majority of users and may cause data loss, installation failure, and security issues.
Things to Know collection of less-serious issues likely to affect a smaller number of users and have milder consequences if not avoided.
Windows 7 SteadyState Resources configures shared-computer access (eg: schools, libraries, and Internet cafes)
Windows 7 Upgrade Paths outlines supported and unsupported upgrade paths for editions of the Windows 7 operating system.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1  updates the latest support level, provides ongoing improvements to Windows 7 by including previous Windows Updates as well as continuing incremental updates to Windows 7 based on customer and partner feedback, and is easy for organizations to deploy a single set of updates.
Windows 7 Service Pack Blocker Tool allows organizations to temporarily prevent installation of the Windows 7 Service Pack update through Windows Update.
For Consumers & Home Businesses:
Windows Easy Transfer migrates important files, e-mail, pictures, and settings from your old PC to your new one. 
Download Windows Easy Transfer for:
For Small & Medium Businesses:
USMTUser State Migration Tool for IT Pros migrating other users. USMT is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) helping install, customize, and deploy Windows 7. (Support: Documentation):
For Big Businesses:
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDToolkit) 2010 is the recommended process & toolset for automating Windows Desktop & Server deployment.
Additional Deployment Tools:
    • Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) evaluate & mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows, a Windows Update, or a new version of Internet Explorer.
    • Desktop Deployment Planning Services is a Software Assurance Packaged Services Benefit that offers pre-deployment planning designed to help guide customers through deployment and business value planning stages of Desktop implementation.
    • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit an agentless toolkit finds computers on a network, performing a detailed inventory of the computers using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), the Remote Registry Service, or the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
IBM Hardware Pack provides guidance on consolidating workloads with Microsoft virtualization technologies on IBM System x and BladeCenter servers.
    • .NET Version Detector displays installed .NET versions. (From MSDN)
    • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) provides directory services for directory-enabled application.
    • AdblockIE – inspired by Firefox’s Adblock & Noscript. AdblockIE blocks offsite JavaScript and filters images, Flash, and frames. (From TechNet)
    • Autoruns shows 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. (From TechNet)
    • BExplorer (Better Explorer) is a replacement for standard Windows 7 Explorer with the look & feel of the Windows 8 Explorer, with some additional features.

    • BitLocker To Go Reader provides users read-only access to BitLocker-protected FAT-formatted drives on non-Windows 7 computers.

    • Bluetooth Radar “finds” Bluetooth devices for quick file tranfers.
    • Change Login Screen PowerToy Click on “Change Logon Screen”, select (and verify) your new Login Screen image. (From TechNet)
    • CoreInfo – 64-bit command-line utility showing the mapping between logical processors and the physical processor, NUMA node, and socket on which they reside, as well as the cache’s assigned to each logical processor.
    • Desktop Time Tracker keeps track of time spent on your projects from the system tray.
    • Desktops organizes applications up to 4 virtual desktops
    • Diff-IE Add-on for Internet Explorer is a prototype that highlights the changes to a page since the last time you visited it and enables you to view and compare previously cached versions of the page.

    • Disk2vhd creates a consistent point-in-time volume snapshot followed by an export of the selected volumes into one or more VHDs that you can add to a new or existing Hyper-V or Virtual PC virtual machine. 

    • DNSExchanger allows quick switching of DNS Settings.
    • Document.Viewer for FlowDocument, Rich & Plan Text Formats
    • Elevation PowerToy for managing User Account Control (UAC)
    • Enhanced Event Log Viewer makes browsing Log Files easier & faster.
    • Explore as Administrator PowerToy overcomes the limitations of Windows Explorer inability to throw up a UAC prompt when creating a folder within or copying a file into a protected folder such a Program Files or Windows.
    • Fishbowl for Facebook personalizes how you read your newsfeed, update status, comment, like, browse and upload photos.
    • GmailNotifier full Windows 7 integration, notifing when you receive email from Google Gmail.
    • Geosense provides accurate & reasonably ubiquitous positioning information without requiring or the assistance of GPS hardware, enabling more practical location-based applications and scenarios on Windows 7. (From TechNet)
    • Hidden Capture Screen and Store Running hidden captures screen at regular interval and store them on hard disk or ftp site.It sends log by email to check if it is running properly.

    • HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in is an add-on that enables Firefox users to play H.264-encoded videos on HTML5 pages by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7. This Extension adds to the functionality of the extremely popular earlier Windows Media Player Plug-in for Firefox to enable web pages that use the emerging HTML5 standard.

    • Hyper-V VM State to Memory Dump Converter (vm2dmp) converts saved virtual Machines to memory dump files for Debugging.

    • IEZoneAnalyzer is a utility for viewing and comparing Internet Explorer security zone settings

    • InkSeine search files directly from ink without transcribing queries to a search box or a separate search application. With InkSeine, you circle a handwritten phrase within your notes to create a query.
    • Insomnia (with source code) keeps your computer from temporarily going to sleep. (From MSDN)
    • IPsecPing  command-line IPsec endpoint testing / debugging tool.
    • ISO Recorder PowerToy makes images of CD / DVD to create ISO images.
    • Joulemeter estimates power consumption.
    • LogParser parses many types of textual content, it’s a mature tool with well upgraded functionality.
    • LUA Buglight identifies admin-permissions issues “LUA bugs” (Least-privilege User Account)
    • Mathematics provides a set of mathematical tools that help students get school work done quickly and easily. With Microsoft Mathematics, students can learn to solve equations step-by-step while gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus.

    • MSI Explorer to view, analyze, export and make small content changes to MSI Setup applications without requiring Visual Studio to rebuild the entire Setup Project.

    • NetMon 3.4 utility to capture and observe network traffic patterns and problems. (Support: TechNet & KB294818

      • NmDecrypt creates a new trace with decrypted frames added inline.
      • Office Parsers analyzes the Microsoft Office (proprietary) Network Protocol.
      • Simple Search searchs within frames and comments for raw ASCII like strings using a direct case-insensitive search or regular expressions.
      • Top Users shows you the heavy talkers in a trace.
NetWiz (Network Monitor Wizard) assists in using NMCAP wizard – step by step GUI leverages the powerful command line interface of NetMon in order to capture traffic.
TCP Analyzer (x64 version) analyzes network traces of TCP connections providing various performance statistics and visualizations for the captured TCP connection.
    • OffVis displays OLESS-based binary files in two ways: a hex view of the raw file contents on the left side – and the tree of objects built up from parsing those raw file contents on the right side. (From TechNet)
    • Patch Registration Cleanup ToolRepairs Windows Installer errors caused due to incorrect patch registration may be corrected using this tool.
    • Power Plan Assistant smart power plan management application. (From Live)
    • PowerGUI a graphical user interface & script editor for PowerShell.  (From MSDN)
    • PowerShell Pack 10 modules to supercharge your PowerShell scripting: manage RSS feeds, schedule operating system tasks and more.
    • pptPlex zoom in & out of slide sections and move directly between slides that are not sequential in your PowerPoint presentation (updated for multi-touch devices). 
    • ProcDump command-line utility whose primary purpose is monitoring an application for CPU spikes and generating crash dumps during a spike that an administrator or developer can use to determine the cause of the spike.
    • Process Monitor advanced monitoring tool that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.
    • PsLoglist command-line event log display utility that accepts wildcard matching for event sources.
    • RAMMap Advanced Physical Memory Usage Analysis Utility.
    • Remote Desktop Connection Manager manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs where you need regular access to each machine such as automated checkin systems and data centers.
    • Remote Server Administration Tools enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server 2003 / 2008, from a remote computer. 
    • SlickRun gives you instant access to any program or website. (From MSDN)
    • Small Business Server 2011 Professional Pack simplifies the activation and configuration of security settings, real-time backup of user data, and offline access to user files that are stored on the server.

    • SyncToy synchronizes files and folders between locations or computers.
    • Synergy easily share a single mouse & keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. (From MSDN)
    • System State Analyzer compares two snapshots of a computer.
    • Tasks.Show is a simple Windows application that lets you manage your to-do list in an easy and intuitive manner. Simply create a new task, assign it to a project, give it a deadline, and you are set. Tasks.Show provides you with a visual representation of how busy you are. Tasks display on a timeline according to project and size, and estimated amount of work.

    • Taskbar Meters three apps live on the Windows 7’s task bar: CPU Utilization, Memory, & Disk IO (along with quick access to Task Manager & Resource Monitor)
    • Terminals Tabbed Remote Desktop Client
    • Time Zone Change Gadget easily swaps time zones when travelling.
    • TweetCraft in-game Twitter client for World of Warcraft allowing you to send/receive Tweets in-game, upload in-game screenshots & AutoTweet achievements.
    • Ultimate Windows Tweaker utility for tweaking & optimizing Windows 7 “promises” to make your system faster, more stable, and secure. (From TechNet)
    • UnFreeZeMouSeW7 disable / enable standby mode on Windows 7 devices.
    • VHD Tool – create & modify VHD properties & size.
    • Virtual Machine Servicing Tool provides automated tools and guidance to update offline virtual machines, templates, and virtual hard disks efficiently and without exposing them to security risks.
    • Virtual PC allows running many applications on a virtual Windows environment (Install Notes)
    • Virtual Router turns a computer into a Wifi Hotspot using Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual Wifi)
    • WhoCrashed shows the drivers which have been crashing your computer (From Windows Live)
    • Windows 7 Command Reference describes the use of the command-line tools used to perform various tasks related to Windows 7.

    • Windows Access Panel minimizes the trouble in accessing the buried settings & “hidden” system utilities. (From: TechNet)
    • Windows Double Explorer manages two or more Windows Explorers.
    • Windows Image to Virtual Hard Disk Converter (WIM2VHD) command-line tool to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source. VHDs created by WIM2VHD will boot directly, ready for your first-use customizations. (From MSDN)
    • Windows Installer CleanUp Utility removes a program’s configuration information if experiencing installation (Setup) problems. (Support: Compatibility)
    • Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant installs the Windows Live ID online provider to link a Windows Live ID to a Windows 7 user account.
    • Windows Mobile Device Center (x64-bit version) syncs content between mobile phone and computer.
    • Windows NT Backup Restore Utility restores backups made from Windows XP & Windows Server 2003 computers.
    • WinHlp32.exe required to display 32-bit Help files with the “.hlp” filename extension.
    • Windows Speech Recognition Profile Tool – backup & restore their speech profiles
    • Windows XP Mode – run Windows XP applications directly from Virutal PC. (Notes, Required Patch!)
    • XP-More helps manage Virtual Machines duplication without editing raw XML.
    • xperfui places a gui on the command line tools – tools – trace session – boot trace allows you to get the trace file that you can display with the final utility.

Search Add-Ins:
Office 2010 Filter Packs allows indexing content of specific Office file types.
MultiMedia & Imaging Tools
    • Cropper screen capture utility making it fast and easy to grab parts of your screen. Use it to easily crop out sections of vector graphic files such as Fireworks without having to flatten the files or open in a new editor.
    • Flashcards.Show let’s teachers & students create all kinds of decks and then consume & share these cards in the form of games.(Support: Document)

    • Icon Maker creates 32-bit color icon files (sizes from 16×16 to 256×256 PNG icons)
    • Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher.
    • ImageResizer PowerToy <Right-Click> quickly resizes image files.
    • MFCopy command line tool showcasing Media Foundation APIs.
    • Movie Maker restores missing Windows 7 features (i.e. capture external video, advanced editing features)
    • MP4 Explorer extracts information, metadata and data from MP4 / MPEG-4 iso video files.
    • Paint.NET free image and photo editing software featuring an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
    • Photosynth Plug-in for Photoshop (32-bit and 64-bit) An export plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that uploads panoramic images to the Photosynth web service. (Support: Documentation)

    • Microsoft Camera Codec Pack enables the viewing of a variety of device-specific file formats in Window Live Photo Gallery as well as other software that is based in Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC).

    • RAW Codec Drivers handle RAW image files with the same ease as JPEG or TIFF images:

ArdFry (.DNG)
Adobe DNG
Canon (.CR2, .CRW & .TIF)
Nikon (.NEF Nikon Electronic Format)
Olympus (.ORF)
Pentax (.ORF)
Sony (.ARW .SR2 & SRF)
    • Rooler take measurements of everything visible on your screen. (From MSDN)
    • ScreenRecorder capture and share a file so people can watch the video just as if they are sitting next to you while showing them what’s happening on your computer’s screen.
    • Touch Pack 6 games & applications optimized for Windows 7 Touch.
    • Voice Recorder with Auto-Tune (feature used by pop-artists for pitch detection & shifting.)
    • Windows Media Encoder captures audio & video content (Support: Patch)
    • ZoomIt screen zoom & annotation tool for technical presentations. Zoom in on an area of the screen, move around, and draw. (Windows 7 Compatible)
AntiVirus & Anti-SpyWare Software (Free)
Freescale Flexis JM Badge BoardSensor Development Kit including sample source code
u-blox USB Location-Aware GPS 
Wiimote Bluetooth Driver
AeroVG Popular Theme from Windows Vista. (From: TechNet)
BGInfo displays relevant information such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more.
Bing Team’s Best Windows 7 Themes
Bing Wallpaper Downloader or BingPaper downloads daily images directly from Bing. 
Digital Blasphemy’s Free 3D Wallpapers “really-cool” 3rd party wallpapers (From MSDN)
DreamScene Activator re-enables the discontinued Windows Vista Ultimate DreamScene feature that sets a video file as your desktop background. (From Sarah @ Channel 10)
Fantasy Planet on a Starry Night 1920×1440 wallpaper (From MSDN)
Flight Simulator X Wallpaper 1024×768 & 1680×1050.

Halo Reach Windows 7 Theme

I Think Different Themes (From MSDN)

National Geographic Photo of the Day Desktop Wallpaper Changer

Office 2010 Getting Started Screensaver – Quick tips to help get you up to speed on Office 2010; offering links to more detailed articles and videos when you return to your desktop.

(RED) Wallpapers raise awareness for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

SharePoint 2010 Logo (1920 x 1280) Desktop Wallpaper from MSDN
Silverlight Team’s Wallpaper Dawn “Blue” & Dusk “Black” inspired widescreen & 4:3 desktop wallpapers
Wallpaper Generator random gradient wallpapers (Support MSDN)
Wallpaper Juggler configurable app to download wallpapers from InterfaceLIFT or WallpaperStock and change them periodically.
Windows 7 Theme Pack 20 hand-picked, nature-themed macro photos from Microsoft’s Mike Swanson. 
XBOX 360 Wallpapers (the NEW 2010 Version!)

Xbox Kinect Adventures Wallpaper (1280 x 800)

“Zune Inspired” Wallpapers from Zune-HD artist, Marius @ deviantART
IbarraReal (Ibero-American)
    • Bull’s Eye Mouse Pointer changes mouse pointer into red bull’s eye hovering over clickable controls on a Web page. (More info: MSDN)
    • Left-Handed Mouse Pointers provides a more natural feel for left-handed users.
    • PenAttention “highlights” the location of the (touch) pen without your audience seeing what you’re pointing at on the screen (From MSDN)
    • Indic Language Input Tool helps enter Indian text (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, & Telugu).
    • Maren type Arabic in Roman characters (Romanized Arabic, Arabizi, Arabish or Franco-Arabic) and it converts on the fly to Arabic script.

File Management API (x64) extends File Management APIs to not only enable the discovery and restoration of deleted files from volumes that are not encrypted but also enable the recovery of files from Bitlocker encrypted volumes.
MultiPoint Mouse SDK framework allows building applications enabling up to 25 individual mouse devices to work simultaneously on one computer.
Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos highlighting key Windows 7 features.
Windows SDK for Windows 7 & .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (ISO Version) provides documentation, samples, header files, libraries, and tools designed to help develop Windows applications using both native (Win32) and managed (.NET Framework) technologies. (Documentation: Release Notes)
Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework provides a source code library that can be used to access some features of Windows 7 from managed code.
Windows PowerShell 2.0 SDK contains sample PowerShell code and reference assemblies.


About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
This entry was posted in Links to Know Where, Microsoft Must Haves, Windows 7. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Ultimate List of Free Windows 7 Software & Resources from Microsoft

  1. Kelly says:

    Thanks Edge. Useful links.

  2. Joshua says:

    You are right about SecureAble. It told me I could run 64-bit and I can. Add to the app list Windows Media Encoder. This will record audio and even the screen if you want it to. Just pretend your using Vista. (I have not tried the 32-bit with the special Vista patch on Windows 7, but that’s what I would do. I got the 64-bit instead because I could, and it doesn’t need a patch.)

  3. samad says:

    Windows 7 !! It is new experience with microsoft windows as it is very similer to the windows vista. The 7 RC version of Windows 7 is little smaller than vista (2.35 GB) as found to be some files are squized or the separation of languages. It can be tested in a smaller system with a space of 7- 10 GB and with a RAm of 512 MB or more. It is better to be a separate partition formatted with compressed the partition and folders. It could have some new ideas to test the system and also downloading files. It is a time wasting process but good to be try as it takes several hours to download and processing the files. The Microsoft vission idea of burning files in a ISO burning software is a little difficult process. It could be burn from the ISO burning sofware in a DVD burner but it is very hard to run the files or copy in the system as got error all the times. It is better to process the file with a virtual disk drive sofware like magic drive software called Magic ISO virtual CD/DVD Manager and the ISO files can be mounted very easily and run the software quicker. also it can be copied the whole software in in any system or drives like hard drive or or DVD or to very easily in a USB drive of 4 GB to carry or to use. Hope you find these ideas to use the new Windows 7 for the test or to use for a time.

  4. ALi says:

    Nice ……..

  5. Tom says:

    Well Done – thank you for the WEALTH of info – appreciated!

  6. ZlateWay says:

    this is an awesome list :) thanks

  7. Afzal says:

    Gerat Job!

  8. Ajaz says:

    This a great job done. Very helpful. Thanks

  9. abhi says:

    hi.. what is the color setting of menu and text highlight color in windows 7.. wana make my context menu and drop down menu like win 7.. pls guide

  10. Godfrey says:

    Nice collection of vital info….

  11. Anirban says:

    Great collectn …….of suff n info

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  26. Clifford Salmon says:

    The Win 7 Resource list provided is beyond awesome. Thanks so much for thes awesome links.

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