It’s been a good year for Free Software, and I knows that I do like me some good free software. This year, like every year at FileHippo we’ve done our best to bring you, the people of internet the best free software available.

I’ll be honest with you, I had originally intended this article to be about FileHippo reaching the 3 billion downloads marker, but at the time of writing, we were just over 2,912,048, 000, which did take the wind out of my sails. But still, 2.9 billion isn’t bad. 

There are literally thousands of free programs available to download from FileHippo, but a few have really caught my eye this year. And here they are:

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My top 5 Free software title of 2015.

1: CCleaner.

I don’t know what I would do without this perennial favorite. I like CCleaner, I always have. It’s been around for over a decade at this point, and with over 1 billion downloads globally on that time, it has to be doing something right.

I spend my days downloading and surfing the internet for work, so over the course of a month, my machine can start to clog up quite quickly, so I’ve always liked CCleaner for its ease of use and simplicity. It’s a great little prog for getting rid of junk.

2: PhotoScape Portable 3.6.3

The portable standalone version of the full desktop photo editing software is perfect for being able to run direct from a USB key, and while small, still manages to be an effective photo editing tool. It’s also free, and it’s helped me beat deadlines on the odd occasion as well.

 

3: Classic Shell 4.2.5

Microsoft would probably like you to believe that Windows 10 has always existed, and with the sheer number of articles I’ve written about Microsoft’s new OS this year, I could really understand why.  But before Windows 10, there was still Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, and no Start Menu. Classic shell changed all that, and actually turned Windows 8 into a decent OS by virtue of the fact it brought back the Start Menu. In years to come, people will wonder what all the fuss was about. I never will.

4: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2

Because despite the fact I now subscribe to Office 365, Open Office will always have a place in my heart, for being a fully functional, good alternative to Microsoft’s dominant option that is also free.

5: PDFCreator 2.2.2

There are 2 types of people in the world. Those who have to create PDFs via a Windows operating system, and those who don’t. For those that do, PDFCreator is a miracle worker. It also creates a whole lot more than just PDFs, and also features encryption options for security. Nice.

So that’s my pick for 2015.

Perhaps it’s not as exciting as I’d thought it would be, but then looking back at 2015, these are the programs that I’ve kept coming back to and the ones I’ve used time and time again, the ones that have been the most useful. And in the end, that’s why they’re my pick for this year, because I don’t know what I would have done without them.