Getting a new PC
can be a magical moment, and turning it on for the first time is always a fun experience. But that can all take a backseat once you have to start setting everything up how you like it. New PCs don't come with all the apps you use, so you have to start all over again. That begs the question: what are the first five apps you install when you set up a new computer? Of course, everyone's answer is different, so we'll get things started with our own list of indispensable apps for Windows 10.
1 - Windows Package Manager (winget)
Package managers aren't really new, especially for Linux users, but until Microsoft launched its own last year, I had never really gotten into them. However, I have to say I really fell in love with the concept. Like other package managers, winget is a command line-based tool that lets you quickly search for apps and install them in a single interface. You can use commands like search, install, upgrade, and more to manage your apps. You can even import a list of apps you've installed, so when you set up a new PC, you can import and install them all in one go. Using this kind of tool can seem clunky at first, but it can actually be a lot faster once you get used to it.
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It's likely that Microsoft will eventually bundle Windows Package Manager into Windows itself, and if you're using Windows 10 Insider builds, it's already installed by default. If you're not, you can join the Insider program for Windows Package Manager
to get updates for it automatically through the Microsoft Store. The tool is included as part of the App Installer
listing on the Store. Finally, you can download the latest version from the GitHub repository
, if you want to handle everything manually.
2 - Unigram (and other social apps)
One of the things we use our computers for the most is talking to our friends and family. So of course messaging and social apps are essential to many of us. My social app of choice is Unigram - an unofficial client for Telegram. Now, there are official Telegram clients for almost every platform, including Windows 10, but Unigram is really cool if you're a fan of Microsoft's design language. The experience is built almost completely on native UWP technologies, so it looks exactly how you would expect a Windows 10 app to look. Plus, while it's unofficial, the Telegram team actually supports Unigram development, and the app is even listed on the official Telegram website
. Most new features arrive on Unigram alongside other versions, sometimes even faster than on Telegram Desktop. Oh, and did I mention it works on Xbox consoles?
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You can download the latest version of Unigram from the Microsoft Store
. Of course, there are a few other messaging apps I use until I can convince everyone to use Telegram/Unigram. Microsoft Teams
has a version for personal use that I use for video calls, Facebook has an official Messenger app
, and if you only use Instagram for the DMs, I really like Indirect
. Much like Unigram, it's an unofficial client that leverages a lot of the Windows 10 design elements, and it's completely focused on the messaging experience on Instagram.
3 - myTube!
myTube! (yes, the exclamation mark is part of the name) is another unofficial client, this time for YouTube. I first used it back when I had a Windows phone, which Google refused to support. Like Unigram, myTube! implements a ton of design and UX elements of Windows 10, which makes it feel right at home. The interface is completely optimized for touch, too, and video playback and scrubbing works really well with both a touchscreen and a mouse. You can easily cut through the clutter by going straight into your subscriptions, and it has a lot of nice features. It can remember where you were last time you watched a video, it has its own watch history that can choose to separate or merge with your official YouTube history, and more. Some syncing features are limited by Google's APIs, but I still love it.
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One thing you may or may not like is that myTube, by default, won't play ads. If you're not paying for YouTube Premium or a channel membership but you still want to support your favorite creators, there's an option to use the YouTube web player for videos, which will load the ads as usual. You will be sacrificing some myTube! features, though.
You can download myTube! from the Microsoft Store
4 - FeedLab
Microsoft includes a News app with Windows 10, but it's really meant to deliver more mainstream news from a specific set of sources. RSS feeds can still be a great way to get news from all the sources you like, and I enjoy FeedLab a lot. My original choice would have been Nextgen Reader, but sadly, that's not available anymore. FeedLab is an unofficial client for Feedly, which is a very popular RSS feed aggregator. In addition to showing you headlines, Feedly lets you read full articles for many websites directly within the app. When you sign in with Feedly, all your sources and categories are imported as they are on the website, so things will feel pretty familiar.
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Feedly also offers a lot of customization options like light and dark themes, setting your homepage, changing how you prefer to see the news headlines, setting notifications, and so on. Like other apps on this list, it uses some Windows 10 design elements, and it has support touch gestures to make the experience that much better on tablets. The app is ad-supported, but for $2.99, you can remove ads and get access to offline mode, so you can sync your articles and save them for when you don't have internet. You can download it on the Microsoft Store
5 - Feem
As connected as all of our devices are today, I still don't think there's an ideal way to send files from my phone to my PC out of the box. Both Windows and Android offer nearby sharing options, but they're not cross-compatible. Feem is a cross-platform service that does just that. You can use your home Wi-Fi or create a Wi-Fi Direct connection to send files from your phone to your PC, usually much faster than by uploading them to a cloud service. It supports any file type you might want, and you can send multiple files at once, so the whole experience is pretty seamless.
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Of course, there are plenty of cloud storage services that let you access files on all kinds of devices, but if you're not willing to pay for cloud storage, Feem is a great tool. You can download it from the Microsoft Store
, but it's also available on other major platforms
including Android, iOS, and macOS.
If you're wondering why Google Chrome or any other browser isn't on this list, I actually really like the new Edge browser from Microsoft. It's installed automatically on recent versions of Windows 10, but if you have an older machine, you can download it here
Those are just my picks, though, and I know have a very particular taste. What apps do you always install as soon as you set up a Windows PC? We'd love to hear your thoughts!