While RSS readers might not be as popular as they once were, they’re still invaluable tools for pulling together all the various content you like to read from numerous sources into a single feed. As you may expect, RSS readers don’t all work the same (find out what is RSS here). That’s why you have to compare and find the best RSS reader for Windows for your needs.
FeedLab is the perfect way to bring the power of Feedly to your Windows desktop. While you can access Feedly from a browser or iOS/Android device, so far there isn’t a dedicated Windows app. You can quickly take FeedLab for a test run before connecting to your account to see how the interface looks. Easily search for sources, organize everything the way you want, and customize your reading experience.
- Serves as a Windows desktop interface for Feedly
- Customize your homepage with a specific source, topic, keyword, etc.
- Customize layout with font, colors, etc.
- Syncs between Windows devices
- Ad-supported (plans range from $1.49 to $4.99 and include additional features)
- Only works with Feedly accounts
NewsFlow is hands down the best of the RSS readers for Windows. It’s a simple, clean interface that does exactly what it’s supposed to without any excess features. Search for feeds with keywords, URLs, and more. Organize all your feeds the way you want for easy viewing. You can customize every feed individually, including notifications.
- Search for and organize feeds within the app
- Receive notifications of new stories
- Add posts to favorites
- Add favorite sources to the menu for quicker access
- Read articles and watch videos directly from the app versus the browser
- Only for Windows devices
- The live tiles feature only works with Windows 10
RSSOwl takes more of an Outlook-style approach and may remind you of many Windows XP apps. It’s one of the best RSS readers for Windows simply for its powerful search features. Assign tags to quickly find anything. You can even perform searches within the app and save those as separate feeds for easy access. While you can donate if you’d like, you’re free to use RSSOwl as much as you want for free.
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Powerful news search filter
- Create saved searches in addition to feeds
- Create labels to easily organize feeds
- Save favorite stories to organized news bins
- Completely free
- Interface may feel dated or cluttered to some users
- Requires the installation of the Java Runtime Environment to run
Awasu is more advanced than other RSS readers for Windows. The free personal edition has a few limitations, such as no custom branding and limited plugins for additional features, but it’s perfect for most users. Easily update channels as often as you’d like, get notifications, and organize your feeds however you’d like.
- Customize entire interface, including menus, hotkeys, folders, and layout
- Save favorites
- Clean up old channels (feeds) or channels that no longer work
- Create custom search strings to find stories quickly
- Individual feeds open in tabs
- With numerous features, it can feel intimidating at first
- Not as intuitive as other options (tutorials are included, though)
If you’re looking for a more professional and powerful reader, upgrading to the Advanced ($35) or Professional ($95) may be worth it. Overall, these are geared more toward businesses, though individuals would benefit as well.
5. Ark View
Ark View is one of the lesser-known RSS readers for Windows but offers a visually pleasing interface that’s highly intuitive. The minimal design keeps clutter out so that the focus is on the content you want to read. It also offers password protection, for a fee, to protect your data sources. The ads aren’t intrusive, and every feature other than password protection is completely free.
- Search for sources or add feeds manually
- Reads content to you
- Read entire articles in the app (use “Extend” option above articles)
- Organize sources into categories
- Save favorites
- Ad-supported ($3.99 to remove ads)
- Password protection is only available in premium version ($3.99 to add feature)
Flipboard is already a well-known RSS reader but works a bit differently. Stories are curated based on user interactions and Flipboard staff. However, you can create your own “magazines” with sources that fit your interests. While it doesn’t work like a traditional RSS reader, the Windows app is perfect for any Flipboard user who wants to have their feeds on their desktop.
- Create custom “magazines” with the content you want
- Enjoy curated magazines on the topics that matter most to you
- Sync with your Flipboard account on the Web, iOS, and Android devices
- Flip through stories just as you would a virtual magazine
- No traditional RSS feed
- Adding new content isn’t as intuitive as other options
QuiteRSS might seem simple, but it works well for pulling in stories from the sources that matter to you. It sports a similar interface to RSSOwl and doesn’t look nearly as modern as some of the other options on this list. However, it also comes in a portable form so that you can take it with you on other devices. The app also imports feeds from other RSS readers (if your reader exports feeds). Plus, you can back up your feeds at any time if you’re changing devices.
- Simple interface
- Organize feeds with color-coded labels
- Save stories for later
- Share stories with others
- Quickly filter by unread
- Customize feed properties and app columns
- May feel too simple for some users
- Feed URL is required to add a new feed (Some other RSS readers automatically pull the feed based on the main website URL.)
Online Only: Feedly
If you don’t want to download anything, access Feedly on Windows through any browser. It’s also available on iOS and Android. It’s easy to create feeds, organize them, and stay up to date on whaat you enjoy reading online while in the comfy environment of Windows. Plus, it’s constantly being updated, unlike some of the options on this list.
Image credit: RSS Digital Announcement Network Technology Concept by 123RF
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