The red carpet may be rolling out for Windows 8, but Windows 7 has its own merits that may have been overshadowed lately. While the computer savvy wait breathlessly in anticipation of Windows 8’s debut, others are just beginning to upgrade to Windows 7. Windows 7 utilities can be useful for the average consumer or small-business owner. Many of them are free and can help you work faster and more efficiently or just enhance your enjoyment of your computer.

While some are clamoring for Windows 8, others are just getting used to the idea of using Windows 7. If you are one of those people who hasn’t yet installed Windows 7 on your computer, then one utility you’ll want to download is the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. The upgrade advisor will detect any issues your PC may have prior to conducting the upgrade. It will list the problems it finds along with suggestions for how to solve them.

Whether you use your computer for personal enjoyment or to do business, it’s always a good idea to install as much security software as you can to keep your personal and/or professional information safe. When it comes to securing your computer, less is not more. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free utility that will give your computer added protection from spyware and viruses. If you purchase security software from a company like McAfee or Trend Micro as well, you may run into some compatibility issues. So, to be safe, check those companies’ websites to see what programs they’re compatible with and which ones they’re not.

Co-working is still pretty popular these days, so it’s not unusual to see people sitting in coffee shops working on their laptops as they enjoy tasty cups of coffee. It’s equally common to see people working on laptops while waiting to board a flight at the airport. If you’re one of those people, the Batterybar utility could be just what you need. It comes in both free and Pro editions. The Batterybar is pinned to the taskbar and lets you know how many minutes or hours of battery life you have remaining. It also lets you know how long it will be before a charging battery is fully recharged and ready to use.

Today’s documents often contain one or more images to enhance content. You may have many images in your file that you would like to use more than once. But one size does not fit all. If you find that you often have to resize images to fit documents, you will appreciate the Image Resizer Powertoy Clone, which makes the resizing process faster and easier. A right click of your mouse on an image in Windows Explorer is all it takes to get the process started.

Windows 7 has many helpful utilities that could make life easier for both the individual consumer and small-business owner. But before you run out and start downloading free utilities, think about what you really need.

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