Hard drives are becoming huge these days, and most applications have begun to make use of the abundant space that barely ever gets filled up. I’m a big proponent to full-featured applications as long as they serve a purpose, but size isn’t always the best representation of quality. To prove that, I set out to find 15 top-notch apps that take up little to no room on your hard drive.
The first thing I did was setup a few requirements for the applications that I was going to look for:
- A download size smaller than 250KB (I caved in and included one program that was 252 KB though)
- I preferred apps that didn’t require any installation
- They must run on Windows (at least compatible with XP, but most listed work on Vista as well)
- Has to be completely free
One of the problems I ran into is that many programs include installers with the download, and doing so often adds a considerable amount to the download size. After some careful deliberation I still decided to go with the download size as the deciding factor for this article, and not the actual size of the program once it is setup on your computer.
I’ve listed each of the 15 programs below, and sorted them with the smallest program first. Next to all of the apps you’ll see the download size, and some of them also specify that they don’t require installation. A few of the programs we have also written about before, and we give links to our reviews on those apps. Some also have similar, but more feature-packed siblings, and we’ve listed those in case the small size isn’t the primary characteristic you look at.
Without further ado I present to you our top 15 ultra tiny apps:
- jRes [5KB] – No Installation Required
Description: Switch between all available resolutions using a simple System Tray icon.
- WinRoll [9KB] – No Installation Required – Our Review
Description: Roll windows up so that only the title bar of the window is visible.
- GhostIt [11KB] – No Installation Required
Description: You can assign certain windows to have a “ghosting” effect. When a ghosted window loses focus it stays on top but becomes ultra-transparent.
- Mouse Emulator [14KB] – No Installation Required – Thanks for the tip “s”!
Description: Control the mouse using the number-pad on your keyboard
- SlimFTPd [59KB] – No Installation Required
Similar: Quick ‘n Easy FTP Server
Description: There is no GUI for this FTP server application, but everything can be edited through a well-explained text configuration file. I’ve yet to see another FTP server that has a footprint as small as this one.
- Switch Off [64KB]
Similar: WinOff, Power Manager, Shutter, and PowerOff
Description: Schedule your computer to shutdown at a specified time, or you can easily access the shutdown options from the System Tray.
- Taskix [64KB] – No Installation Required – Our Review
Similar: Taskbar Shuffle
Description: Rearrange Taskbar items using this super-small app. Prior to this I used Taskbar Shuffle, but this is much smaller and does the same thing.
- TinyResmeter [92KB] – No Installation Required
Description: Monitor your system’s resources with this customizable application. You can pick and choose which stats you want to see, and you can customize the look as well.
- TrayIt! [144KB] – No Installation Required
Similar: TrayDevil and DM2
Description: Minimize windows to the System Tray therefore decluttering your Taskbar!
- TweakUI [147KB]
Description: Customize dozens of hidden Windows XP options. This is a must-have for anyone running XP!
- winMd5Sum [181KB]
Similar: digestIT, HashOnClick, MD5 Column Display
Description: Calculate the MD5 checksum so that you can make sure files were downloaded without becoming corrupt.
- Unlocker [192KB]
Description: Unlock files that are still considered “in-use” by the operating system. That way you will be able to deleted them without restarting your computer.
- uTorrent [219KB] – No Installation Required – Our Review
Description: This is hands-down my favorite BitTorrent downloader.
- Notepad2 [243KB] – No Installation Required
Description: A great Windows Notepad replacement that has dozens of settings you can configure.
- Total Copy [252KB]
Similar: Copy Handler and TeraCopy
Description: This one barely broke the 250KB limit that I was shooting for, and so I thought I would include it. With this you’ll get a better file transfer manager that can pause and resume file transfers. You can also impose speed limitations so that the transfer doesn’t hog all of your network bandwidth.
Did you even realize that there were so many tiny apps that are this useful? I’ve only begun to scratch the surface, and there are hundreds more that are just as good if not better. I just wanted to diversify the list, and tried hard not to list programs that performed similar functions as one another.
If you know of any free tiny apps that you use on a regular basis, hit us up in the comments below. Let everyone benefit from your knowledge!