FULL Portable USB Apps
Portable apps, as opposed to traditional software, don't require installation onto a computer. Their entire data set sits nicely in one folder, and terminate completely once closed. Whether you prefer using them for a clean machine or like to carry around a flash drive with loads of programs, portable apps are pretty awesome.
FULL Portable USB Apps
We've collected the best portable apps, but there are so many more out there. Grab your spare flash drive or empty cloud storage and fill it up with this mega-list of 100 portable apps. You'll find tools to satisfy every software need, categorized by type.
No matter your reason for using portable apps, you're bound to find something useful here! Load up some of your favorite tools for an always-ready USB stick, or try using a few of these on your computer if their functions sound useful to you. And don't forget, you could even load up a portable version of Windows onto a USB stick.
After earning a degree in Computer Information Systems, Ben left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. He's been covering tech tutorials, video game recommendations, and more as a professional writer for over nine years.
If you are used to working on insanely restricted computers, such as work or college computers, you need to find workarounds for a lot of things you normally do. Luckily, portable apps are here to save you, so from now on, you should be keeping them on your USB stick at all times.
Although Skype is being eclipsed these days by other VOIP platforms such as Zoom and Facebook Messenger, it still remains a favorite for people keeping in touch with friends, family, and work colleagues. The portable version gives you the ability to stay in touch wherever you can plug in your USB stick.
When it comes to playing every type of video and audio file possible, VLC Player remains the absolute reigning king. In all of the years I have used it, it has never let me down once. Now you can use it as a portable app to watch your TV shows and movies on the go.
Portable apps really do have a lot going for them. The fact that they are only for Windows computers though is a lot to do with how the operating systems are set up, and anyone who does not use Windows is just plain out of luck.
When deciding which portable apps to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as different software is target at different needs. You will also need to ensure that the portable apps you are looking at provide the tools that you will need to use, so as to not waste your time with unnecessary downloads and installs.
To test for the best portable apps we downloaded and set up each piece of software, then tested it to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each portable app to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.
Portable apps have several advantages: they make it easy to switch between different computers because you can take your software with you, they don't interfere with any other programs installed on your PC, and they can be used on PCs with restricted user permissions (at work or school, for example).
The program itself is an EXE file, but the extracted folder will also contain associated files including fonts and settings, which are essential for it to run. Some portable apps have optional language files, which will add to the size considerably, so consider opting out of these unless you need a language other than English.
All the popular browsers have portable editions, but for sheer convenience we've opted for Google Chrome Portable. Because it's linked to your Google account, all your bookmarks and preferences are automatically synced, making it the best choice for working on the move.
Like many portable apps, LibreOffice Portable is made using open source (opens in new tab) code. This takes some time, so it's a few versions behind the installable version of LibreOffice. However, that time has been well spent and it's well optimized for use on the move, with easy access to documents stored on a networked drive, an FTP server, or cloud storage (opens in new tab) account.
It's easy to open files from a local drive, networked storage, or a URL, making GIMP Portable brilliant for editing pictures remotely. The portable edition is based on the full version's current stable release, so you'll get all the latest features and built-in extensions.
Portable Software Applications and Games to run on a USB.Free portable games, portable applications, and open source software tools and utilities that can be stored and run directly from a USB flash drive. All without the need to install to a PC. Bring your office applications, email, web browser, instant messaging, games, graphical editors, media player, antivirus, recovery tools, encryption utilities, P2P file sharing utilities and more with you. And then run them from a removable pen drive.
On this site you will find a neatly categorized and extensive selection of reviewed portable games, software tools and utilities. Do note that most of these will only run from within Windows. Though I have plans to review and include Mac OS and Linux portables as well. All at a later point in time.
Do you know a missing application that should also be listed? Are you an author who would like to have your Free portable utility or game reviewed? Feel free to contact me with your software submissions and suggestions.
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Portable apps are lightweight versions of applications - either in size, functionality, or both - that don't use an installer. These can come in really handy as executables and any files associated with their operation are contained within a single folder, meaning you can run them directly from a USB drive or a cloud folder synced across PCs. Portable apps don't modify the Windows registry or leave behind configuration files on the host computer. This is especially useful in situations where you may not have administrative rights to install software, on public computers at a library, university, or at work.
While smartphones allow us to be productive on the go when needed, it's not always as glamorous as it sounds. It may be technically possible to do things like hammering out a document for your boss, touching up a photo, or editing some code thanks to the cornucopia of mobile apps on the market, but we find we're most efficient when we have the right tool for the job, and often times that tool is a bona fide computer.
Portable apps are available as standalone solutions - meaning you grab only the ones you need - or as part of a bigger platform or suite of apps that offer a variety of software to choose from -- the most popular of which is the PortableApps suite.
The idea of this article is to highlight the best standalone apps across a variety of categories. We took an internal survey among TechSpot staff members, what we use to be productive, and then researched more available portable titles that could be useful to carry around with you. Since we started this list, we've kept on adding more portable apps on TechSpot downloads which are kept up to date regularly, and as usual we're accepting your suggestions and recommendations to grow this list further.
CamStudio Portable is a screen capture program that can be used to record all screen and audio activity on a PC. This handy app can be used to create demonstration videos of software programs, tutorials for presentations, troubleshooting videos that can be passed along to IT for resolution and more. It turns out standard AVI video files and like many of the apps featured here, is free - even for commercial use.
There are other media playback programs that are honestly quite good. Among the ones that have a portable version, you could try MPC-HC, a lightweight media player for Windows that supports nearly every common audio and video file format, and PotPlayer which is often considered as a solid VLC alternative.
Note: Do not attempt to configure portable mode on an installation from the Windows User or System installers. Portable mode is only supported on the Windows ZIP (.zip) archive. Note as well that the Windows ZIP archive does not support auto update.
The data folder can be moved to other VS Code installations. This is useful for updating your portable VS Code version, in which case you can move the data folder to a newer extracted version of VS Code.
On macOS, you need to place the data folder as a sibling of the application itself. Since the folder will be alongside the application, you need to name it specifically so that VS Code can find it. The default folder name is code-portable-data:
By default, the default TMP directory is still the system one even in Portable Mode, since no state is kept there. If you want to also have your TMP directory within your portable directory, you can create an empty tmp directory inside the data folder. As long as a tmp directory exists, it will be used for TMP data.
That's it. The next time you insert your PortableApps USB flash drive into a computer, the apps menu will automatically pop up. If it doesn't, you can just browse to the USB flash drive and double-click on Start.exe.