A flash drive for all occasions: a set of portable applications that you should have with you
Portable apps are simplified versions of the main apps. This can be expressed both in a smaller size of the program, and in the absence of some additional functions. The executable files and any other files associated with the operation of the application are stored in the same folder, which means that you can run them directly from a USB drive or from cloud storage.
Portable applications do not change the Windows registry and do not leave any configuration files behind. This is very handy when you can’t get administrator rights to install software, for example, on shared computers at a library, university, or work.
Of course, smartphones allow us to stay productive even when we are not at the workplace, but technically their functionality is limited. Yes, we can create a document for the boss, apply an effect to a photo, or edit the code thanks to the abundance of mobile applications. However, this is less effective than portable programs that we can use on any computer, taking them with us.
The laptop is the logical solution to this problem that most people come up with. This is really very convenient, but did you know that you can always carry a complete set of software with you to increase your productivity? Yes it is. What’s more, you’ll have the tools, media players, and games you need right at your fingertips and run them on almost any PC.
Portable applications are certain stand-alone tools and programs. You can only take the ones you need with you. In addition, you can use a whole set of applications, which already has a wide selection of software. One such portable software suite is the PortableApps suite.
In this article, we’ll focus on a few of the best standalone apps in different categories based on their purpose.
Chrome Portable / Firefox Portable
We started this article with a focus on productivity. Portable apps will help you stay productive wherever you are, and you can do this by keeping all the functionality of your preferred web browser.
Portable versions of Chrome and Firefox will help you with this. You can launch your favorite browser and surf the web on any PC without leaving any personal information about yourself. Both portable programs weigh a little and retain their main functions, as well as the ability to install additional extensions and themes.
For most people, a set of office applications is essential for work. In the world of portable applications, there are several options that differ from the familiar LibreOffice Portable. For example, its full-featured successor OpenOffice, which includes a text editor, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and a database management tool that is compatible with Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, Lotus, and several other popular applications. Moreover, it is absolutely free to use. If you can’t connect to the Internet to access your Office 365, this portable program is just right for you.
Sublime Text Portable, Visual Studio Code, WinMerge
If your job involves writing and editing code rather than Word documents, you’ll need Sublime Text Portable to run existing projects on someone else’s Windows PC (other alternatives: Visual Studio Code, Notepad++ Portable ). This code editor is compatible with many programming languages and markups and has various features such as code editing on wide screen monitors. All settings are easily configured using JSON files.
A trial version of Sublime Text Portable is free to download, but the company says you’ll need to purchase a licensed version to continue using the program. The base license costs about $80 and is only for one user, not one PC, so you can use it on any number of computers (and operating systems).
If you’re working with a lot of text files, WinMerge can be a godsend for visually splitting and merging text files. Also, if you need to securely upload files to a server, WinSCP is the best choice for the job.
GIMP Portable, IrfanView
LibreOffice Portable includes photo editing software, but if you’re serious about photo editing, you’ll most likely need something like Gimp Portable. It is a full-featured image and photo editor that can perform tasks such as retouching photos, recomposing images, and creating new drawings.
IrfanView Portable is suitable for viewing any image (the list of supported formats is huge), and also allows you to quickly crop or rotate an image and save a new version of it.
Foxit Reader Portable
The ability to create, read or annotate PDF documents is a daily need for millions of people, but having a computer with the necessary tools at hand is very difficult. Luckily, there is Foxit Reader Portable, a powerful and free PDF viewer. The program is able not only to view, but also to create PDF files. It has comprehensive protection against possible attacks.
Sumatra PDF is another open source PDF viewer.
LastPass Pocket и Keepass
Password managers are an invaluable tool for managing login credentials. It allows users to use many complex passwords while only having to remember one master password. The two most popular software on the market are LastPass and Keepass. There are several options for using these programs, especially if you do not have administrator rights to install them on a particular computer.
The easiest way to work with Lastpass is to install it as an extension on your portable browser (Firefox or Chrome ).
LastPass Pocket is a standalone application for Windows and Linux that can work without a browser. This means you will be able to run it from a USB stick and have access to your passwords. It also has data backup capability and will even let you access the password vault offline so you can see your secure notes without an internet connection. The only problem is that the data on the USB drive may not be completely up to date, especially if you haven’t synced with the main program for a long time.
7-Zip is a popular Windows file compression utility that hit the market in 1999. The program uses its own archive format (7z), but can read and compress files in several other formats, including ZIP, TAR, RAR, and ISO.
If you are dealing with compressed files, then having a portable version of Zip2Fix can help you recover corrupted files from any archive.
CamStudio Portable is a portable screen capture software that can be used to record all screen and audio activity on PC. This handy application can be used to create demo videos of various programs, tutorial presentations, troubleshooting videos. Video files are saved in AVI format. The program can be used absolutely free of charge (even for commercial purposes).
SpaceSniffer Portable, Eraser
SpaceSniffer is a graphical disk usage analysis tool that helps you visualize what files and folders are stored on a disk. In particular, it uses the concept of Treemap, developed by Ben Schneiderman. The free analyzer includes features such as drag and drop, zoom, filtering, support for NTFS alternate data streams, and more.
Eraser is a security utility that allows you to delete data from your drive without leaving any traces. It works by overwriting the data (several times) using certain patterns, so the files can’t be recovered later with other tools.
Wise Disk Cleaner Portable, GeekUninstaller
There are a huge number of cleaners, but finding one that is both portable and free is quite difficult. It is worth, firstly, turning your attention to Wise Disk Cleaner. We already wrote more about utilities for cleaning the system in this article.
Wise Disk Cleaner does what any other disk cleaner does – it removes temporary files, history, cookies, and autofill forms. In addition, the program also includes features such as the "Slim down" mode (removing unnecessary junk from the list of installed programs on the PC – in fact, this is the removal of those programs that you have not used for a long time).
GeekUninstaller Portable is a nice addition to the aforementioned cleaning programs. It takes a different approach and will help you remove programs from your computer without leaving any traces.
VLC is a popular open source cross-platform media player that can compress audio and video files in various formats. The portable version can be launched from a cloud folder or from an external drive. The media player is completely free and has many useful features, making it a must-have component for most portable software collections.
If you wish, you can also use Media Player Classic and its portable version – Home Cinema Portable. This program is lightweight and supports almost all popular audio and video file formats.
A Dark Room Portable
In conclusion, let’s add some primitive games that you may remember about when you do not have access to the Internet.
Doublespeak Games has released an open source text-based role-playing game for web browsers called A Dark Room. The gameplay begins innocently enough: the user wakes up in a dark room and must keep the fire burning. As the game progresses, you take on more and more responsibilities, collecting materials and interacting with characters in the text world. The game has already gained huge success on Android and iOS devices.
A text-based adventure game is like a good book – you can’t put it down. And now, thanks to this portable application, you can play it on almost any computer.
The Legend of Edgar Portable
Those who want to enjoy a dynamic picture can try playing The Legend of Edgar Portable. This 2D platformer is more like an adventure game that you can find in a cassette box for a 16-bit console. The main character you will play as is Edgar. He goes in search of his father, who he believes has been captured by an evil sorcerer.
The game takes up about 100 MB of free disk space and includes huge levels with different art, a rather large list of weapons, exciting boss battles and much more.
A couple more portable applications
Free Download Manager helps users to download multiple files not at the same time, but one by one. This results in faster data downloads and less Internet connection consumption.
Stickies Portable gives you the ability to store notes on your desktop that you can take with you everywhere.
The clipboard manager makes it much easier to re-type text you’ve recently copied. It adds many new features to the Windows clipboard by default. Ditto is just the portable solution that is used for this purpose.
Based on TechSpot.