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Preinstalled Apps In Windows 10 & 11

To do just about anything on a computer, you’re going to need a program or app. Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with a variety of preinstalled apps and programs that are ready to use.

In this guide, we’re going to run through some of the programs/apps that you might find useful on your home computer.

How To Access Windows Programs & Apps.

To see a scrollable list of all the programs and apps installed on your computer, in Windows 10, just click the Start button. In Windows 11 you’ll need to click the Start button and then click the ALL APPS button.

The program list is ordered alphabetically to make finding the program that you want a little easier.

Start menu open in Windows 10. Start button and  Programs List are indicated.
Windows 10 programs list.
Windows 11 start menu open. Start button and All Apps button are indicated.
Windows 11 All apps button
Windows 11 All Apps list indicated by callout
Windows 11 programs list

The Programs List.

The programs list gives you access to all the installed programs and apps on your computer. Meaning that as well as the preinstalled Windows apps, you’ll also be able to find any programs that you’ve installed yourself.


Search For A Program Or App.

If you already know the name of the program or app that you want to use, you can simply search for it rather than scrolling through a long list.

In Windows 10, click the Start button and then begin typing the name of the app you want. You’ll see the program/app appear at the top of the list.

In Windows 11, click the Start button and then type the name of the program into the search box. You’ll see the program appear in the list just below the search box.

Notepad has been typed into Windows 10 search box. It is indicated at the top of the search results list.
Windows 10.
Wordpad has been typed into the Windows 11 search box and is indicated on search results list.
Windows 11.

I find that launching programs by searching for them is actually much easier than scrolling through, what could potentially, be a very long list. Obvious;y this will only work if you already know the name of the program/app that you’re looking for.


Preinstalled Apps In Windows 10 & 11.

The programs and apps that you get preinstalled with Windows 10 and Windows 11 are generally fairly basic affairs, but for a lot of us, working on our home computers, they can be all that we really need.

Third-party alternatives will give you far more options and better control than the programs that come with Windows, but for the most part, they really aren’t that necessary. And besides, since the Windows programs and apps are already there, installed on your computer, why not use them.


Windows Preinstalled Programs For Writing

Both Windows 10 & 11 come with two programs already installed for writing. The first is called Notepad, which is a text editor and the second is called Wordpad, which is a word processor.

Being a text editor, Notepad is a very basic, very small program for handling text. Because it’s so small, it will start up very quickly on most computers. Notepad is designed primarily for, well, notes.

Wordpad, on the other hand, is a word processor, and as such, can be used to create far more complex documents, such as reports, essays and even the odd letter.

Notepad is open and "This is Notepad" has been typed into it.
Notepad in Windows 11.
Wordpad is open and "This is Wordpad" has been typed into it.
Wordpad in Windows 11.

Can Wordpad Handle Microsoft Word Documents?

Yes and no, it really depends on the document. Microsoft Word is, perhaps, the biggest, most complex, word processor you’re likely to run into. It can create documents that are way beyond the scope of Wordpad. But for the most part, most documents you’ll receive will be mainly text.

So the answer to the question is, yes, providing they aren’t too complex, in which case, no.


Windows Preinstalled Apps For Pictures

Windows 10 & 11 have two programs for dealing with pictures/images. The first is an app called Photos and the second is a very basic drawing program called Microsoft Paint (or simply Paint).

Photos is generally set as the default application for images. So if you double left click on a picture, it will usually be Photos that opens. Photos includes some basic editing tools, such as Resize, Enhance and Crop.

With MS Paint you can create, or draw, pictures on your computer.

Photos app open in Auto Enhance mode.
The Windows Photos app.
MS Paint open and a very basic house has been drawn.
Microsoft Paint.

Video And Audio Apps In Windows.

Unfortunately, neither Windows 10 nor Windows 11 includes a built-in DVD player. However, optical discs, such as DVDs are becoming much rarer than they once were, so perhaps DVD playing software won’t really be missed that much. You can, of course, stream videos and movies through your web browser from websites like Youtube, Netflix and Amazon etc.

If you did want to watch a real DVD disc though, I’d suggest that you download and install a program called VLC media player. It’s free and will play just about anything that you throw at it.

Video Editor.

Windows does have video editing software though. Called Video Editor (well what else could you call it) you can edit your own videos and add audio and effects.

Video Editor app in Windows 10
Video Editor in Windows 10
Windows 11 Video Editor app.
Video Editor in Windows 11

Windows Audio Apps.

For listening to music, Windows has two built-in programs. The default is called Groove Music in Windows 10 and simply Media Player in Windows 11.

The second audio program is the venerable Windows Media Player. WMP has been around for many years and many people will already be familiar with it. In the Computer Guides section of this site, we have a few walkthrough, How To Use Windows Media Player . It’s not a part of the course but handy to know. Just remember to come back here to carry on.

Windows 11 Media Player app.
Media Player app in Windows 11
Windows Media Player open in Windows 11.
Not to be confused with Windows Media Player

Windows Computer Security And Backup Programs.

Windows 10 & 11 both have an anti-virus and firewall program built in. It’s called Windows Security (or sometimes Windows Defender). Whilst I don’t think anyone would claim that it’s anywhere near the best in class, it could really be all you need. Windows Security works pretty well, and if you’re careful about what websites you visit, then you might not need anything else.

The Windows Security app icon shown in the Hidden icons area of Windows 11 desktop.
You can find Windows Security by clicking the Hidden Icons arrow.
Windows Security is open at the "Security at a glance" page.
Windows Security. It’s all green, it’s all good.

Windows Backup

As for backup programs and apps, Windows is quite well served. You can backup individual files and folders, either online or to external drives, or both. As well as creating backups of your whole computer, including Windows itself.

Microsoft Onedrive will back up your files to the cloud. By default, it backs up your Desktop, Documents & Pictures folders, but you can change that to include or exclude folders.

Windows File History can be used to back up any files or folders to your external USB drives.

And Windows System Image will create a backup of your whole computer.


Windows Preinstalled Apps – Summary.

The programs and apps that are already installed on your Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers really can do the job. None of them are great, but they do work, and if you don’t need the extra features that come with third-party software, then they really are worth trying out.

Whilst I’m certainly not suggesting that you shouldn’t download and install third party programs and apps, I am suggesting that you give the apps that are already installed on your computer a try. Especially if you don’t really need all the bells and whistles that come with externally sourced software.

Both Windows 10 & 11 come with many more programs and app preinstalled and ready to use, these are just a selection of the most useful for home computer owners.

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