10 Safest Free Software Download Sites for Windows


Many software download sites contain malware.

Here are the safest sites you can trust when you need free software downloads.

There are many places on the internet to download free software, but not all of them are safe. Many sites take advantage of people looking for free downloads and provide you with malicious ads, fake virus alerts, or even potentially damaging files.

While a good antivirus software will protect you from the worst sites, it’s better to avoid trusted free download sites. Let’s take a look at some of the best and safest sites to download Windows software.

In addition to general reputation and personal experience, we use URLVoid to check website security. This tool checks sites against dozens of security software blacklists. Every website here scores at least 34/36 (meaning all but one or two scanners consider the site clean).

1. Official Site

Free Software Download Sites

Before we dive into sites that offer lots of different Windows software, keep in mind that the safest place to download the most popular software is often directly from the official website. If you want to download a browser, security pack, media app, or the like, it’s not much safer than the homepage.

Some software may still try to deliver unwanted junk packages to you from the official website, but you can be sure the device is free of malware. If you don’t know an app’s download page, a quick Google search for “download Spotify” or something similar will bring up a box that takes you straight there.

2. Ninite

Free Software Download Sites

Ninite is simple. This website gives you a list of programs to choose from, and you tick the boxes for all the apps you want. Then, clicking the download button will download a special installer file that combines all the selected programs so you can install them in bulk.

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Ninite is known for its safety and security. It automatically rejects toolbars and extra trash, runs in the background, and doesn’t require you to click Next repeatedly. Thus, there is no risk of malware or bundled junk. Running the same installer file later will cause Ninite to automatically update everything you downloaded from scratch.

While there are only a few dozen apps on Ninite, it has many of the most popular Windows software such as Chrome, VLC, Zoom, LibreOffice, and more.

3. Softpedia

Free Software Download Sites

Softpedia is one of the biggest download sites ever; it shipped over three billion downloads over the years. The most popular apps are updated daily, allowing you to get clean, malware-free software that’s also up-to-date.

Moreover, it has an easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to browse programs on any platform. You can browse what was recently updated, or search using filters such as category, last update, and cost. Besides Windows, you’ll also find Mac, Linux, and Android apps.

4. MajorGeeks

Free Software Download Sites

Although the site doesn’t seem to have been updated since the 1990s, MajorGeeks has been one of the most reputable software download sites for some time.

His List of Top Freeware Choices is a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to scroll through the left sidebar and browse through all kinds of highly rated programs that you might find useful. Otherwise, search will help find what you’re looking for.

5. FileHippo

Free Software Download Sites

FileHippo is a well-known site with many active programs broken down into categories. It also has a web application repository, if you are not set just download the desktop software.

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This site will occasionally ask you to download another application (such as Opera) before the application you requested. But it’s clearly labeled, easy to bypass, and doesn’t suggest fraudulent software.

FileHippo goes a step further by also offering an older version of the software. While you generally shouldn’t install out-of-date software (for security reasons), it’s a useful option if you’re having trouble with the latest version.

6. Download Crew

Free Software Download Sites

The Download Crew website stands out for its short but informative descriptions on each app page. It’s written by real users, not just copied and pasted from the vendor’s website. You’ll learn what each app does, its advantages and disadvantages.

The top section has Featured Downloads, making it a good place to start. It also has a robust list of options for software licensing, including Open Source, Trialware, and more. This lets you track down exactly what kind of free software you’re getting.

7. FileHorse

Free Software Download Sites

FileHorse doesn’t have a huge software repository. Instead, this site focuses on providing the best and most useful programs. Each product page has a screenshot so you know what to expect, version compatibility, changelog, links to older versions, and more.

Since the homepage is divided into a small number of categories such as Video Software and Cleaning and Customization , it’s also a good place to find trusted alternatives to popular software.

8. FilePuma

Free Software Download Sites

FilePuma has a pretty basic interface and focuses on simplicity. Look for software you’re interested in, or browse through its categories to find something new. Since the categories have the most popular tools right on the homepage, it’s easy to see what’s on offer.

Other than the old version and screenshots, there’s not much else on the product download page. The only other standout feature is FilePuma’s Update Detector, which makes it easy to check for software installation updates on your PC. However, at the time of writing, it is not available for Windows 10, limiting its usefulness.

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9. SnapFiles

Free Software Download Sites

SnapFiles looks like many of the other download sites we’ve featured, but it has some cool functionality that makes it worth a look. One of them is Freeware Options on the homepage, which highlights software you may not have known about. And under More at the top of the page, you’ll find Random Pick , which is also great for discovery.

There’s also a dedicated page for Portable Apps, useful if you want to run apps without installing them. SnapFiles also displays user reviews on the software download page, plus a warning on apps trying to install bundled software.

10. Microsoft Store

Free Software Download Sites

It’s easy to overlook the Microsoft Store, which is Windows 10’s home for Modern apps. And while many of the offerings aren’t great, you can actually find some solid apps in the Store.

They also have several benefits. Store apps update automatically. And more importantly, they’re sandboxed, so they can’t interfere with other areas of your system. See if your favorite apps are in the Microsoft Store and you might be surprised at what else you dig.

Remember that no site is 100 percent safe. It is possible that a rogue ad will get through, or the site may be hacked or sold to a malicious company. But in general, the download sites we feature here are clean and trustworthy.

If the site offers a “faster” download manager, ignore it and use direct downloads instead. And before you start, make sure you can spot the ads masquerading as download links.