Installing and updating programs in Windows can be time-consuming. With Ninite, you don’t have to deal with finding the right 32/64bit variant and the seemingly endless row of next buttons.
How to do it
You can install multiple applications in a single go. The procedure is straightforward:
- Visit the website ninite.com
- Check the applications you want to install or update.
- Download and run your custom installer.
Ninite will check for programs that need to be installed or updated and do the rest for you. If a program is already installed in its latest version, Ninite simply skips to the next program. You won’t waste time or bandwidth downloading unnecessary updates.
But please don’t choose more than you really need, okay?
My personal recommendations
- Paint.NET – A lovable little image editor that opens in a snap. You can crop, scale and optimise your images for the web.
- 7-Zip – The classic open source file compression program for Windows. Handles all the formats the built-in zip function in Windows does not.
- LibreOffice – Opens without complaining the Microsoft Word file that, for some reason, still finds its way into your email inbox even though we are writing 2022.
- Zoom – Google Meet and Microsoft Teams are available in simple browser-based versions, which is great. Zoom is just a bit more reliable.
- NVDA – If you build websites, you should at least test them with a keyboard and a screen reader. NVDA is a free screen reader for Windows.
Applications that are not available on Ninite.com
The following programs are unfortunately not on Ninite.com, but are worth mentioning:
- Signal – An excellent open-source messaging app not owned by Meta. If you value your privacy, try Signal for your text, picture and video conversations.
- O&O ShutUp – Stop Microsoft collecting data about your computer usage (telemetry). Turn off Cortana, Onedrive and ads (!) in the start menu.
- XMedia Recode – A bit harder to figure out than Handbrake, but incredibly versatile, and it can use your GPU for conversion. It’s fast.
Should you install free antivirus?
Probably not. Many free antivirus programs unnecessarily burden your computer, are loaded with ads, and can add unwanted functionality to Windows. The typical user is sufficiently protected with some simple precautions:
- Leave the built-in antivirus and firewall active.
- Use a standard user account in everyday life, not an administrator account.
- Use licensed or open source software, never pirated copies.
- Keep your system updated.
- Maybe check the programs you download on VirusTotal.com
Combined with a regular backup of the data you don’t want to lose, you’re in good hands. If you feel more comfortable with a 3rd party antivirus, pay for it.