Softpedia User Help Page

Table of contents


Softpedia is a library of over 600,000 free and free-to-try software programs for Windows and Unix/Linux, games and drivers. We review and categorize these products in order to allow the visitor/user to find the exact product they and their system needs. We strive to deliver only the best products to the visitor/user together with self-made evaluation and review notes. We add more than 100 items on our sites every day. All our services are FREE of charge for the visitors/users. There is a membership system, but it does not require a paid subscription, although it offers a series of advantages for the registered user.

Softpedia is composed of the following sections, each one with a specific purpose:
  • The WINDOWS section lists a wide range of freeware, shareware, trial, and demo software products for the Windows OS.
  • The GAMES section provides gamers with the latest demos, patches, trailers, information on upcoming release and so on.
  • The DRIVERS section helps you find the latest drivers for your hardware, for all versions of the Windows Operating System.
  • The MAC section lists a wide range of freeware, shareware, trial, and demo software products for Macintosh Systems.
  • The MOBILE section is designed for mobile phone enthusiasts and people interested in communication industry news.
  • The HANDHELD is a resource for handheld device owners: device information and reviews, plus tens of thousands of software products.
  • The NEWS section is updated daily with the latest IT and science related news and articles.
The Navigation Menu is located in the header and is composed of six buttons, one for each Softpedia section: Windows, Games, Drivers, Mac, Mobile and News.

The Softpedia Search Engine has two modes:
  • Quick Mode performs a quick search using a search term provided by the user, without imposing any restrictions on the returned results
  • Advanced Mode enables the users to use a lot of new options. They can specify the type of product to search, and even a certain category to search in. They can specify the fields to look in while searching. They can filter the results by some criteria (license type, last update time, and so on).
Category Structure:
The categories are arranged on a multi-leveled tree-like structure, the root (C:) being the Category List (the list of the top-level - Level 1 - categories). Hence, a category such as C: \ Others \ Font Utils shows the user the way categories and software is organized on our site.

Clicking on the parts of this path takes you to that specific place. For example, clicking on C: takes the visitor to the category list, while clicking on Others leads the user to a page listing the sub-categories of the Others category. Clicking on Font Utils will take the visitor to a page listing the programs in this category.

Sometimes the number of programs in a category is very large, so they are listed on multiple pages, 30 on each page. The program listing format is similar to that of the index listing. An additional option is that users can sort the programs list by some criteria as: Last Update, Number of Downloads and Rating.

Membership System

We have implemented a general membership system on Softpedia and related sites. Therefore, when registering on any of our three sites, that specific account will be valid on all of them. Moreover, if a user logs in on one of the sites, he/she will be automatically logged in on all others.

Being a registered user brings some advantages such as: being able to post comments on the software presentation pages, being able to post comments in the news pages, the possibility to send interesting news to friends and others.

Note: Being a member of the site automatically makes you a member of our discussion board.

Reporting Broken Links

When accessing the download page associated to each product we present on our sites, you have the option to report a broken link. However, you should not abuse this, and preferably manually check if the producer's homepage is still online.

The comercialware products do not have a downloadable version available on the internet, so they cannot be downloaded from our sites, there are no mirrors available.

Troubleshooting Download Problems

In the following guide we will try to help users which have problems related to downloading files. We will list here solutions to the most common problems that may arise, for problems not solved here, please send us a message using the feedback page.

1. I clicked on download but nothing happens. I see only a popup with some text and banners.
Among the text you are seeing in the download popup, there is the mirror list (the list of locations where the file you are trying to download is available). Click on one of the mirrors, and choose "Save" when prompted.

2. I'm using a download manager and it asks for a password when using mirror (
You are probably using DAP (Download Accelerator Plus) or some other download manager that does not send some information needed to start the download from our mirror. The solution is to use another mirror or switch to a download manager that manages properly the referer.

3. While trying to download I get a page that says something about "Offsite linking". I'm not using a download manager.
You are either using a firewall program that blocks the referer, or you are downloading by Right Click + Save As... Simply left click on the link, and close firewalls that block the referer (or change settings).

4. I receive "timeout" errors or the download stops before it is complete. Why?
Usually this is because the connection between the server and your computer has been lost. This is caused by a network congestion. You should try again at non-peak hours, or use a download manager to avoid redownloading the whole file. Here is a list of download managers you can choose from. Alternatively, this may be caused by a temporary connectivity problem between your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and the website hosting the file. Try again later.

5. I downloaded the file. What should I do with it?
If the file you just transferred has an .exe extension (the last three letters of the filename), then just double-click it to launch the installation process (follow the on-screen instructions). Otherwise, in most of the cases it is a .zip file (a compressed file which contains one or more files). You will to uncompress the archive to access the installation program. To do so, you need to have installed an archiver (program that handles compressed files) unless you are using Windows2000 or WindowsXP which have builtin .zip support. To get an archiver program, go here.

6. I receive errors saying that the zip file is corrupted. What should I do?
Most likely, in the download process, an error has occured, and that lead to the corruption of the file. The solution is to re-download the file, and if you are not yet using a download manager, it is high time to do so. Here is a list of download managers you can choose from.

Softpedia Secure Downloads

Download links marked with the text "Softpedia Secure Download" depict download sources located on servers owned and controlled by Softpedia. All files available from those mirrors have been thoroughly tested for viruses and other malware. Moreover, these files will always be available, you will not encounter errors such as "bandwidth exceeded" or "file not found", our servers are reliable and secure.

Software Submission

Software developers can submit their products directly to us by filling in the form available on the "Submit Program" page which can be reached using the link in the site's menubar. Here is a shortcut.

You have 2 options for submitting products. One is to fill the entire form, the other is to provide a PAD-file (more details about PAD-files here). The second options is much better, both for the developer and for us. The producer submits only once the PAD-file URL and from that moment, the new versions of the product will be published in a very short time on our sites thanks to a proprietary automated system of monitoring coupled with a PAD-file database. To submit a PAD use the form in the Submit Program page, or click here.

Note: Before submitting a product, please check by searching if it is not already listed on our sites.

Information about the poll system

You will notice that some articles in the Softpedia News area have polls attached to them. These are articles we consider are most interesting and would like to enable visitors to express their opinions.

Anyone is allowed to vote in the polls, even unregistered users. However, please note that:
- if an unregistered user votes in a poll, his vote is logged via his/her IP address, which will not allow further votes into the same poll from that IP address
- if a registered user votes in a poll, his vote is logged via his/her member ID; this enables other votes from the same IP address

Licensing models explained

Please see the dedicated pages for: freeware/free software, non-free software and ad supported software.