List of portable applications

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 21, 2006
Updated • May 3, 2013

I know I have some geeks among my readers that like to put a collection of applications and tools on a tool's DVD or USB flash drive to carry it around with them at all times for emergencies and when they are asked to troubleshoot or repair computer systems.

use an usb stick to have some of their beloved applications at hand or start them from their for security reason. has a nice list of portable applications that can be run from a portable device. Every application is sorted into one of nine categories like Networking and Internet, Password management and Document editing. Take a look, everything is linked to its own Wikipedia site and / or the developers website.

Most links of the article point to Wikipedia pages, which means that you have to click at least twice to get to the author's page where the programs can be downloaded from.

An alternative is the Portable Apps website which is offering downloads and reviews of hundreds of different portable programs for the Windows operating system. The site basically lets you download and install the portable versions on your computer. While this may sound strange at first, installation in this case means deployment, and not writing to the Registry or system files.

The Portable Freeware Collection is a second alternative. I personally like this one better, as it is linking directly to downloads and the developer website. The site features reviews by users, as well as information about the portable software, compatibility information, and possible restrictions that you may come upon.

Each program on the site is listed with its name and devleoper, as well as a short summary of what it is all about, and a category it is listed in. You can browse the website by category, or look at the recent updates listing if you prefer to find out what's new on the site or updated recently.


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  1. James Fuller said on July 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    There’s another reason to love portable software, namely to prevent the ever-growing, never-shrinking, un-editable ~\WinSxS\ directory structure from filling up your Windows partition with tribbles (trekkies will understand the reference) which it eventually will. Portable software just gets copied in and run without using a Windows installer. Windows is none the wiser and doesn’t copy great hunks of it to WinSxS.

    PS yes, it’s been explained to me many (many, many) times that the things in WinSxS and below are not “really” space-eating files, they’re just hard links. But what does understanding that get me? It’s WINDOWS EXPLORER that doesn’t understand. And if Explorer thinks, rightly or wrongly, that your C: drive is full because of what it thinks is an 85GB WinSxS, then bro you are dead in the water and you have no choice but to reformat and reinstall.

    Portable software is the fix for this hideously ill-thought-out design.

  2. gnome said on March 21, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Oh come on. We’re not freaks :)
    Cheers for the link…

  3. Niko said on March 21, 2006 at 11:01 am

    very useful. an additional portable usb device might be required to install every handy application mentioned. ;)

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