The Tucows site has closed its doors and shipped the famous cows off to the local burger-flipping joint. In the early years of the broadband Internet the Tucows site was a go-to-place for desktop PC freeware for Windows, and well-known for its “two cows” graphic logo.

Key ongoing alternatives for users of desktop PCs and classic Windows freeware in 2021 are…

Softpedia. The usual go-to, found from a general shallow-search search-engine such as DuckDuckGo. Mixes trials with well-documented freeware, but it’s obvious which is which.

Lo4D, I rarely use it, but it’s useful if you want a second opinion on a Softpedia find.

MajorGeeks. The best for tracking freeware on a daily or weekly basis, re: what’s new or updated. Also very comprehensive. Just avoid the scattered text ads for downloads of the Malwarebytes software, which is ‘limpet-ware’ — it does what it says, but is a lead-in to a purchase and is extremely difficult to remove once installed.

OldApps is also useful if you need a specific older version. Despite the name, it’s classic Windows desktop software and not mobile apps. It also has some Mac pages.

GitHub Search can be useful, if you know what functionality you’re looking for and the precise terminology. Such as Scan Tailor Experimental 2015 for automatic de-curving of photos of opened book pages.

A final backstop is The Internet Archive Software Collection which has all sorts of golden oldies for Windows. Also ISOs of old magazine cover-CDs and DVDs.

Being a bit of a connoisseur of rare or overlooked graphics and utility freeware for the Windows desktop, I also know that many nice bits of freeware never reach such sites, and reside on the maker site or some specialist software-specific directory like Paint.NET Plugins Index. Sometimes the latest updates from a solo maker are only ever posted on forum threads, with Dropbox links, and that’s the last you hear of him. In such cases, a search with a deep-search engine such as Google is often needed, as such recent or forum-buried things are usually not highly ranked by the search-engines. Yippy can also be useful for finding free scripts.

Finally, avoid sites like FileHippo, which used to be good but have turned to the dark side.