Thought I would suggest what I consider my essential software list - stuff that I install on every Windows machine I have after doing any reinstallation.
Firefox - I’'ve been using Firefox since around 2017, after switching to Chrome in around 2008/2009. I have now ‘degoogled’ my life and the modern Firefox browser both performs well and is excellent for privacy.
Bitwarden - a free password maanger, open source and works really well. You can even host your data on your own server for the ultimate in privacy - I may post a tutorial on this at some point, let me know if you might be interested.
Bitbleach - An open source alternative to CCleaner which I used to use and recommend until the started bundling software/malware.
Libreoffice - Microsoft Office is of course the ‘gold standard’ but I have acess to this via my work PC. For my own home use I stopped subscribing to Office 365 a while ago and find Libre is good enough for basic letter writing and spreadsheets.
ShutUp10 - a ‘tweaking utility’ that does a good job of neutering some of the more privacy-questionable features of Windows 10.
AdGuard Home - I hate internet ads in general and while I understand websites cost money to run (this one certainly does) I feel that the argument has been lost since internet ads got so bloody obnoxious. Ublock does a good job in Firefox but by running all DNS queries through AdGuard Home it means mobile apps can’t get around the filter and makes using my phone at home a lot more of a pleasant experience.
It’s a bit tricky to set up but well worth it and in my opinion a better piece of software than Pihole.
What software do you put on every machine you have?