20 Free Software for Students: How to use & Best Websites to get them in 2022

Just enrolled in college and you’re all set to begin your journey, Have you wondered if you’ve got all you need? I can tell you’re missing out on something. You need some software apps to help make your school life easy.

In this article, I’ll be showing you some free software for students you can get. They are completely free.

The reason I advise you to get these software apps is that your school life depends on them. Moreso, your life in school is probably going to be boring and stressful if you don’t get some of them.

Meanwhile, click on the table of contents below to have a peep into what you’ll find in this article.

Sincerely, you’ll be stunned at how much you can get just for free. Just download them as well.

What is a Software?

Software is a set of instructions, data, or programs used to operate computers and execute specific tasks. It is a generic term used to refer to applications, scripts, and programs that run on a device.

It often divides software into categories. Application software refers to user-downloaded programs that fulfil a want, need, or task. Examples of applications include office suites, database programs, web browsers, word processors, software development tools, image, and graphic editors and communication platforms.

Examples of software

As found on computerhope, here below are some examples of software. Some are free while some of them are heavily paid. Not to worry, I’ll give you a list of software you can get for free.

AntivirusAVG, Housecall, McAfee, and Norton.Yes
Audio / Music programiTunes and WinAmp.Yes
CommunicationDiscord, Skype, and VentriloYes
DatabaseAccess, MySQL, and SQL.Yes
Device driversComputer drivers.No
E-mailOutlook and Thunderbird.Yes
GameMadden NFL football, Quake, and World of Warcraft.Yes
Internet browserFirefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer.Yes
Movie playerVLC and Windows Media Player.Yes
Operating systemAndroid, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows.No
Photo / Graphics programAdobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW.Yes
Programming languageC++, HTML, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, and Visual Basic.Yes
SimulationFlight simulator and SimCity.Yes
UtilityCompression, Disk Cleanup, encryption, registry cleaner, and screen saver.No
Word processorMicrosoft Word

How Expensive is Software?

Software applications are really very expensive. The average cost of developing software is about $40,000. Consequently, companies attach high price tags to these apps in order to recover the cost of development.

To buy an average software, it would probably cost you not less than $200. That is a whole of money. However, I will show you how you need not pay a dime to get this software.

What are the Essential Software for my School laptop?

College students can find a lot of software applications that can help their life in school. Some apps are heavily paid but I’ll show you some of them that are free for students. So all you need to do is to download them using the links.

So in the list that comes below you will find the most essential software applications that you can use in school.

List of 20 free software for students 2022

  • ProAutodesk
  • Ccleaner
  • VLC Media Player
  • GIMP
  • AVG Antivirus
  • Avast
  • Tableau
  • LogMeOnce
  • Prey
  • Dia
  • EaseUS Todo
  • OfficeLibre
  • JabRef
  • Microsoft Visio
  • LyX
  • OneNote
  • Blender
  • Cold Turkey


Zotero is a free reference management software that is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. It aims to help students collect and save sources as they go along, making referencing for essays and projects so much easier.

This program creates bibliographies for many text editors and supports many citation styles. It can also synchronize your data with all your devices.

Zotero works by creating an online folder for your different projects, which you can add sources to with a single click, be it a journal article, a website, an eBook, or any other source. The software makes your assignment or project work easier.

Zotero is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

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2. ProAutodesk

ProAutodesk is a free software package for students that is very compatible with Windows and Mac.

The free software package includes exciting programs worth hundreds of dollars such as AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Map 3D, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

With your university email address, you can get their software free for three years if you sign up to the Autodesk Education Committee.

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ProAutodesk is compatible with Windows and Mac.

3. Ccleaner

Ccleaner is a great free software for students that works pretty well to really speed up your laptop.

Having lots of software packages on your laptop or any of your devices may get it a little clogged up. Then all you need is this software.

Ccleaner is a system-optimization tool that clears a space on your hard drive by removing unwanted files, emptying your recycle bin, and clearing your internet history, helping you ease your device of too much load.

Interestingly, it is very compatible with PC and Mac.


Audacity is a free sound and audio editing software that allows you to record podcasts, record live audio, convert, edit, copy, mix and combine files into one big production and do much more to your chosen audio.

With Audacity, you can raise the level on a file that’s too quiet, reduce noise on a recording that’s hard to hear, remove pauses and change the speed and pitch of a file.

It works with a wide range of file types. Audacity also enables you to import and export WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and create WAV or AIFF files which are suitable for burning to a CD. This is the only audio editor you need to produce great multi-track songs or conversations.

The amazing thing about it is that it’s free!

Audacity is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

5. VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a free student software that is really easy to use. It is used to play videos. This software is just amazing that it is difficult to find a format that it can’t work with.

Also, it can even play broken, corrupted, or unfinished video or audio files.

VLC Media Player is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.


GIMP is a powerful free open-source photo-editing program. GIMP is a good-quality software that offers a vast range of editing tools that allow both simple and complex photo manipulation.

GIMP has a range of plug-ins available for the software to make your editing easier and more advanced. It is as powerful as Photoshop with similar features. 

The software supports a broad range of file types including JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF, among others.

GIMP is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

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7. AVG Antivirus

Scammers are getting more experienced, so you have to be smarter about protecting your computer.  AVG is a free software for students that gives basic protection against viruses and malware.

AVG scans incoming and outgoing emails and automatically uses red, yellow, or green warnings to rate the security of results in your browser.

AVG will protect your PC, MAC, or Android devices from malicious software programs and will also block unsafe links or downloads. The software will also remind you what you’re not protected against unwanted elements unless you upgrade to its paid version.

Compatible with: Windows, Mac and Android

8. Avast

Avast is a free antivirus software that automatically scans systems and browsers for viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, and other malicious software.

Avast is free and pretty easy to use. The program can scan and protect your browsers and email from spam, phishing emails, and viruses.

The disadvantage of this software is that it can sometimes slow down performing your system, especially when a scan is active.

Avast is compatible with windows and Mac and Android.

9. Tableau

This software is a visual analytic tool that lets you see data as charts, graphs, maps, and more in order to spot trends, make interactive dashboards, and create beautiful graphics for presentations.

Tableau helps students understand large amounts of data by displaying it in different ways, helping in their presentation. With all the amazing features on how to use data analytics effectively, college students have nothing to worry about. You can get and use the software for free.

Tableau is very compatible with Windows and Mac.

10. LogMeOnce

Sometimes it’s confusing and cumbersome to use complex passwords. LogMeOnce is a software that uses fingerprint logins, photo logins or pin logins on your phone to approve logins from other devices so you can go totally password-free if you want to.

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This software allows you to use one password to access all of your other passwords. You can make complex passwords or allow LogMeOnce to come up with them for you and you’ll never have to remember them.

College students will find this software useful and it’s one of the best free software for all student.

LogMeOnce is compatible with Windows and Mac.

11. Prey

This is a free tracking software that you can download on your laptops to monitor your devices’ location and let you know when your device leaves your room or any other certain place.

College students have lots of documents, project work or school works stored on their PC that they can’t afford to lose. This free software will help you locate a missing device.

It works by sending you a report of location, screenshots, and pictures. It has a feature that enables you to sound an alarm, send a message that will pop up on the screen or even lock the device till further notice.

Prey is compatible with Windows and Mac.

12. Dia

This is a free software for making different technical drawings. It is very compatible with windows and Mac. It is an open-source diagramming program that can draw flowcharts, diagrams and circuit diagrams.

Its user face is simple enough for someone just wanting to make a flowchart.  You can also download some repository of additional shapes and objects such as renewable energy shapes, engineering and chemistry shapes.

Dia is compatible with Windows and Mac.

13. EaseUS Todo

EaseUS Todo is a program that can automatically back up your system files and other important documents on a schedule to a safe place like a local drive, external drive, or the cloud, in case you lose everything in a computer crash.

Backing up your device is very vital, and the best way to do it is regularly and automatically using this free software which is very compatible with windows and mac.

College students are advised to download and use this free software to avoid being that person who loses everything in a computer crash.

EaseUS Todo is compatible with Windows and Mac

14. OfficeLibre

 This software does everything Microsoft Office can do. Liber office can help you in creating or editing text documents and diagrams, drawings, spreadsheets, slideshows and also compose mathematical formulas and work with databases.  

It comprises six programs (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base), offering pretty much everything you would expect from MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel and more.

LibreOffice is open source, free, and immensely useful and it is available for free to all college students.

OfficeLibre is compatible with all Microsoft file formats and having a form of an online office suite.

15. JabRef

JabRef is an open-source bibliography reference manager. It’s run by volunteers who are constantly working to improve the software. This program can generate bibliographies in the latest format.

Interestingly, it is free-for-all students. You don’t have to waste your money on expensive software because you have the possibility to use this high-quality program for free.

You can import documents in different formats, search the bibliographies and categorize the entries. This free software has numerical data, so it is more accurate and easy to use.

JabRef is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

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16. Microsoft Visio

Some students will always need to create diagrams, maps or any other plans for effective study.  This free software allows the user to easily create diagrams, maps, workflows, and unique plans for studying.

It has a standard and professional version. You can also add comments to your diagrams and share them with other people.

Microsoft Visio is compatible with Windows and Mac.

17. LyX

This is a document processor program that is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The program enables students to easily create mathematical content, structure documents (for example books, articles, and essays) and even a novel or a film script.

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Lyx makes your academic or creative writing to look wonderful.

Also, LyX is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

18. OneNote

OneNote is a free computer program that can help you keep your handwritten or typed notes, audio recordings, drawings, schematics, screen clippings, documents or any other form of information in one place.

You can drag documents or other items into OneNote easily from webpages or other sources, or use the OneNote Web Clipping Tool to save entire web pages.

You can also share your notes with classmates or other people over the Internet or network. If you link to an online video, it can be played right in OneNote.

You can also use OneNote to record audio and/or video, and it will link the notes you take during the recording to the time code in the recording. It is one of the best writing tools for students.

OneNote is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

19. Blender

Blender is a free comprehensive, professional animation and open-source software. Blender is a program that has professional features to carry out different tasks for game designers or art students working with 3D modeling.

There are constant improvements made to the software by the producers which makes it an open-source software. With an exciting program like this you can create an entire film through animation and another interesting thing is that the program is free-for-all students.

Blender is compatible with windows and Mac

20. Cold Turkey

Social media can be so distractive especially when you are working on an important project or assignment as a student. If you are the type of student who works or reads with your laptop always, I think you need cold turkey software.

This program allows you to block access to certain websites during a specified time. The only way to turn it off is to restart your computer.

This program is the ideal solution for staying focused during study hours for students. Cold Turkey is compatible with Windows and Mac.


I can simply assure you that with these free software packages designed for students, your school life will never be stressful and boring one bit. Your productivity will hit the skies I can bet.

Please download them. Not to spend even a cent for any of them. All it might cost you is your data.

If you do not know how to use any of them, YouTube will be of great help.

Free Software for Students FAQs

Can I download Microsoft office for free?

Yes! You can! Whether it’s on a computer or on a phone, you can get it for free and it’s the best software for creating, editing, and managing documents.

What is the best antivirus program?

Kaspersky is the best antivirus software overall. It provides total security against viruses and malware. Unfortunately, it is not totally free.

How do students download AutoCAD?


2. Select your operating system. Then, click NEXT.

3. Read the system requirements notice. Click NEXT.

4. Choose “Business User” from the drop-down menu. Choose your language. And click NEXT.

5. Enter your personal information to create an Autodesk account. Alternatively, sign in to your existing Autodesk account.

6. Enter your business information. And click NEXT.

7. Read the Trial Notice and click BEGIN DOWNLOAD.

8. Install and start using the free trial.

Please note that there is no completely free version of AutoCAD. You’ll only enjoy free version for 30 days after which you’ll be required to upgrade to subscription level.

What is Onthehub?

OnTheHub is dedicated to removing the barriers to education by providing students and faculty with free and discounted software from the world’s leading publishers.

It helps reduce the cost of getting certain essential software applications.

With OnTheHub, students and educators save up to 90% on academic software, and can even get products for free.


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