The 6 Best Windows 10 Apps for 2021

You can do more with your PC than compose emails and view spreadsheets

The Microsoft Store app store is loaded with hidden gems that can not only add more functionality to your computer but might even change the way you think about using Windows 10 in general.

Here are six Windows 10 apps that more people should be using in 2021.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

of 06

Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound

Screenshot of Dolby Access in the Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Enables Dolby Atmos on home theater speaker systems for free.

  • Superior digital sound.

  • Takes gaming to another level.

What We Don't Like
  • In-app purchase required for using with headphones.

  • Problematic with some headphones.

  • Can be glitchy.

Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound enables Dolby Atmos on Windows 10 devices and also on Xbox One video game consoles.

Dolby Access uses spatial audio to create extra depth and atmosphere. This new audio technology is supported by many shows and movies on Netflix as well as newer Blu-ray and digital releases. Dolby Atmos can also enhance some major video game releases like Assassin's Creed: Origins and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Dolby Access works on computers or tablets running Windows 10 in addition to Xbox One video game consoles.

of 06

Microsoft To Do

Screenshot of Microsoft To Do in Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Connects to Microsoft Account.

  • All changes automatically saved to the cloud and synced.

  • Integrates with other MS apps, such as Outlook.

What We Don't Like
  • Could lose track of items that are automatically moved down the list.

  • No print feature.

  • Limited sort features.

Microsoft To-Do launched in 2017. The app works as a streamlined list app that supports shopping lists or more advanced plans that incorporate location data and dates.

It is the replacement for Wunderlist, and it integrates with Microsoft Outlook if you sync with a Microsoft Account.

Microsoft To-Do works on Windows 10 PCs and tablets as well as Windows phones running Windows 10 Mobile.

of 06

Autodesk Sketchbook for the Budding Artist

Screenshot of Autodesk Sketchbook on Windows 10


What We Like
What We Don't Like
  • Surface Pen required.

  • Crashes for some users.

  • No fill tool.

Autodesk SketchBook is a powerful app for beginner and professional artists that transforms their Windows 10 touchscreen device—like Microsoft's Surface line of computers—into a digital canvas.

Autodesk SketchBook boasts over 140 different types of digital brushes, a user interface that's designed for the stylus and touch experience, and a vast amount of color and effect options. When it comes to this app, you really are only limited by your own imagination.

of 06


Screenshot of Instagram app in Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Makes Instagram Stories more engaging experience.

  • Alternative Instagram stream viewer.

  • Search tags, like, and comment.

What We Don't Like
  • Touch-based navigation design.

  • Frequent updates required.

  • No right-click support.

Odds are that you already have Instagram installed on your smartphone but did you know that there's also an Instagram for Windows 10 PCs and tablets?

This free official Instagram app receives notifications about new Instagram messages directly within the Windows 10 Action Center. The app's Live Tile feature displays the profile images of people who have commented on your photos when pinned to your Start Menu or Start Screen.

By far the best perk of having Instagram on your Windows 10 device though is that it makes watching Instagram Stories a more powerful viewing experience. With the bigger screen size, watching your Instagram Stories feed feels more akin to watching YouTube videos. It's now easier to let the app play through all the latest Stories while cooking in the kitchen or working out. Your hands are now completely free when viewing them, unlike when using Instagram on mobile.

Instagram works on Windows 10 tablets and PCs and Windows 10 Mobile Windows phones.

of 06

Nextgen Reader

Nextgen reader
What We Like
  • Low cost.

  • Solid solution that integrates with Feedly service.

What We Don't Like
  • Hard-limit of 10,000 total articles at any given time.

  • Default article view doesn't always highlight image-heavy content well.

Originally launched in 2011, the Nextgen Reader offers great syndicated reading through Really Simple Syndication. Use it to sync your Feedly list or build your own curated list of RSS links. The program moves quickly and uses a well-established, responsive three-pane reading environment.

of 06


What We Like
  • Free app, frequently optimized.

  • Great design for both touch and mouse interactivity.

  • Netflix has maintained this app since 2010.

What We Don't Like
  • App content (not the movies themselves) sometimes display oddly in atypical window sizes.

Netflix proved to be an early adopter for the Windows 8 ecosystem, launching its app in 2010. The company fine-tuned the app for more than a decade, making this Windows Store app a significant improvement over watching Netflix in a browser window.

Was this page helpful?