Digital privacy has been one of the biggest concerns of this modern digital era. To add to it, browsing on public networks could be even disastrous, and there have been multiple reported incidents of identity theft. There has to be a way to use the computing power, but without leaving a trail behind. These concerns led to the creation of a software that just lets you install and use software without leaving a trail behind. That is how Portable Apps came to being.
What are Portable Apps?
‘Portable Apps’ is an open-source platform developed to support software that could run without installation on a native device. Portable Apps was developed to cater to them modern digital life-on-the-go. This handy little tool could be run on your portable storage devices like Memory cards, External hard drives, USB; or on your cloud network like Dropbox and Google Drive; or also on your local device. So, this way you could also save some storage space on your local device by delegating some of the apps to the Portable software. This app mimics the exact operation of a software just as it was installed on your local device.
Created initially just for a portable Firefox application, John T. Haller, its developer, went to include tons of other powerful applications to support it. With support for both freeware and commercial applications, Portable Apps is your best bet to run lots of mainstream software on-the-go.
50 Best Portable Apps for 2016
Now that you’ve got the gist of Portable Apps, it is safe to say that there are tons of applications readily available that support this tool. Here, we will be listing out all of the best ones, which will be the ones you’ll ever need to accompany this tool.
1. Google Chrome Portable
Google Chrome needs no introducing in itself, but this portable application is just as capable and powerful as its parent application. Take your entire Chrome browsing experience with you by using Google Chrome Portable application. You can make use of Google Chrome’s versatile add-ons and syncing abilities through this portable version of the Internet browser.
Google Chrome Portable allows you to carry your passwords and browsing history along with you, leaving no trial behind when accessing on a public computer.
2. Mozilla Firefox Portable
Mozilla Firefox was the first ever portable application created and it is clear to see why. Firefox is one of the oldest and most reliable internet browser on the web and it has its own portable version. Now you can carry with you all your Firefox installed extensions, saved bookmarks, passwords and browsing history with you.
Coming just next to Google Chrome in terms of Internet browser market share, Firefox’s portable application too is widely popular among the community. This lightweight portable browser is a great solution for Mozilla Firefox users on-the-go.
3. Mozilla Thunderbird Portable
Mozilla Thunderbird is a popular Email client that even has its own portable edition. Thunderbird portable edition is a great tool to carry with you your Email networks, Email address book and your entire account settings. Mozilla Thunderbird portable also allows users to sign in securely to the app using encryption technologies.
Safe and secure, Thunderbird Portable is a great way to have the presence of a secured Email client wherever you go.
4. uTorrent Portable
uTorrent is easily one of the most popular BitTorrent clients. Torrenting is pretty popular on the web and uTorrent portable is a great way to take your torrent files wherever you go. Pretty light on your bandwidth, uTorrent portable is a great application for torrenting.
Key features of uTorrent portable include Bandwidth prioritization, scheduling, auto-downloading, etc. Now you can download on the go with this portable uTorrent application.
5. FileZilla Portable
For developers using an FTP client for managing files on their servers, FileZilla Portable is a great application. FileZilla is a very popular FTP client that features Resume on downloads/uploads, firewall support, time-out detection and more.
The features that make FileZilla so popular are now available as a portable application, for file management on the go. Use FileZilla Portable to carry along with you your server details safely and securely on a portable media device.
6. WinSCP Portable
WinSCP is an open-source freeware that lets you transfer files between a local and a remote computer. WinSCP supports SFTP, FTP and SCP. This free client for Windows, provides a secure gateway for file transferring over a remote computer. WinSCP Portable brings this tool to your portable device.
WinSCP integrates smoothly with PuTTY, which is covered later. This tool provides support for multiple languages, Graphical user interface, Integrated text editor, Support for SSH-password, SSH/Plain old FTP protocol and more.
7. KiTTY Portable
KiTTY portable is a lightweight application of PuTTY Telnet and SSH client for Windows. KiTTY is a Telnet and SSH client that allows establishing a secured connection to your servers. Sessions filter, command short cuts and transparency are some of the key features supported by this tool.
KiTTY Telnet is a part of the PuTTY client, packaged separately with more additional support.
8. Free Download Manager Portable
Downloading large files over the web generally doesn’t turn out to be a good experience due to the possibilities of a network breakdown and disconnections. Download managers are pretty popular on Windows platform, with support for resuming downloads and bandwidth optimization.
Free Download Manager Portable allows you to manage and optimize your downloads on the go. Some key features of this tool include Torrent support, download optimization, download resuming, flash video downloading and more.
9. PuTTY Portable
PuTTY is another popular Telnet and SSH client for Windows users to connect securely to their remote servers. PuTTY portable provides users with a lightweight solution to their Telnet and SSH connections. It also includes an xterm terminal emulator.
Easily connect to your servers on the go without leaving behind a trail of personal information using PuTTY portable application.
10. qBitTorrent Portable
With a strikingly similar interface to the popular BitTorrent clients, qBitTorrent is a portable and lightweight client for downloading from torrents. An integrated search engine for looking up new torrents, support for all major BitTorrent extensions, remote controlling of torrent client and Bandwidth scheduling are some of the key features of qBitTorrent client.
qBitTorrent Portable is a popular application among the community for remote downloading of torrents. qBitTorrent though not at the level of the likes of uTorrent, is still one powerful torrent client to consider for downloading on the go.
11. gPodder Portable
gPodder is a podcast management application that lets you download and manage all of your podcast subscriptions. MP3 player, mobile support, Support for YouTube, SoundCloud, RSS and Atom feeds are some of the key features of this hand little podcast management application.
With gPodder portable you can now manage your podcast subscriptions on the go.
12. Iron Portable
Chromium is an open-source code for Google Chrome browser and upon which the Iron portable is built. Iron browser portable was developed to build a better Chrome. Iron Browser portable provides a better privacy and security options as compared to Google Chrome.
Key features like time-stamps, unique id’s and custom error pages have been done away in Iron browser. This browser does not feature any of the possibilities of Google Chrome that are not well taken by privacy advocates.
Portable Apps for Developers
1. Notepad++ Portable
Notepad++ is the handy text editing tool that is pretty common among developers. It features all of the key features of the main tool, without even the need for installing it to your local drive. Some of the key features of this application include Syntax highlighting, auto-completion, Indentation guidelines, Support for many languages, extensive plugin support and more.
Text editing for writing code in all major languages like C, C++, Pascal, Java, etc. is supported through Notepad++ Portable.
2. Geany Portable
One of the most important element in the arsenal of Developers is a text editor and an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Geany Portable is an Integrated development environment that would allow you to work on simple text, html, Perl, Python and more. Its path based compiler allows users to make Geany fetch the suitable compiler for the programming language in use.
This GTK based Integrated development platform features compiling, theming, Syntax highlighting and cross-platform support.
3. Notepad2-mod Portable
Notepad2-mod is a great lightweight text editing tool for developers. It supports many major programming languages and provides syntax highlighting for many of them. Also Notepad2-mod features many key advantages over Notepad2 like Code folding, support for Unicode, UTF-8, Unix, Mac text files and bookmarks.
This application provides support for tons of programming languages and that easily makes Notepad2-mod a must have portable text editor for developers.
4. AkelPad Portable
If you are looking for a minimalistic text editor, then AkelPad is clearly a great fit for your development needs. A very lightweight, simple and fast text editor. It brings this text editor to your portable device and supports multiple platforms, Unicode codepages, Unicode strings, Add-on plugins and language modules.
AkelPad Portable is a small and fast text editor tool for your development activities. Previewing file open, Multi-level undo, fast search and replace strings are some of the key features of this portable text editor.
Portable Office Utilities
1. OpenOffice.org Portable
Apache Open Office is one of the most popular open-source freeware alternative to Microsoft Office. Apache Open Office features a complete Office Suite ranging from a word processor, presentations, drawings as in MS Paint, Spreadsheet and also database handling. Now you can work on whatever you want with OpenOffice Portable by using it wherever you go.
Compatible with Microsoft Office, It is a great open-source solution for all your office needs. This application brings all the power of OpenOffice to your portable drive.
2. Money Manager Ex Portable
Finance forms are an essential part of Office work places and Money manager Ex is a great finance manager application. Manage your inflow and outflow of money and have a bird’s eye view of your entire financial worth using Money Manager Ex. It brings this powerful tool to your portable device for managing flow of money on the go.
Key features supported by Money Manager Ex Portable include Encryption support, Budgeting, Maintain & track assets, Cash flow forecasting, Graphs/Piecharts and importing or exporting of entire financial data.
3. FocusWriter Portable
Word processing tools are inundated with tons of features and add-ons that make writers less productive. A distraction free text editor is a great tool for office use and FocusWriter is one of the most prominent of such tools. Key features of FocusWriter include auto saving of content, reloading from where you left off, hide away interface, live statistics, spell checking and themes.
The entire interface is distraction free, making it easier for you to concentrate better on your writing. It is a great tool to have if you are in need of a distraction-free writing experience.
4. PDFTK Builder Portable
Office users handle PDF files on a daily basis and managing them gets pretty havoc if not in possession of a powerful tool. PDFTK Builder Portable is a powerful portable application that lets you merge, split and watermark your PDF files.
Some of the key features of PDFTK builder Portable include Merging, Splitting Watermarking, Rotate and Password protection. Now you can manage and edit your PDF documents on the go through your portable device and PDFTK Builder.
5. Sumatra PDF Portable
For your daily dose of E-book, PDF or Comic book reading, Sumatra PDF is a great tool. Sumatra PDF is a lightweight open-source PDF reader for your portable device. This tool allows its users to access E-Books, PDF files, DjVu and even comic books!
You can now read on the go with this tool installed on your portable device. Sumatra PDF features a simplistic design, fast processing and takes up very little space on your device.
6. Sigil Portable
For people in need of handling E-book formatting on a daily basis, Sigil Portable is a powerful e-book editor. Sigil Portable is a WYSIWYG E-book editor that lets you edit E-books just like in a word processor. Sigil Portable supports a full Epub support and provides complete control over the editing of the Epub.
Spell checking, Embedded HTML, Table of contents generator, Importing & Exporting, Document validation and Metadata editor are some of the key features of this portable application.
Portable Apps for Security
1. ClamWin Portable
For keeping your system out of dangerous viruses and trojans, ClamWin offers a free anti-virus software for Windows based users. ClamWin Portable provides you safety on the go by scanning for harmful viruses right out of your portable device. It features a Standalone Antivirus scanner, a regularly updated virus database and provides higher detection rates for viruses, spyware and trojans.
The only thing that this tool lacks is a real-time scanner and is dependent on your manual scans. Still ClamWin makes up for a good anti-virus freeware for your portable device.
2. KeePass Portable
When you happen to be on-the-go at any given point of time, it is a good idea to carry along with you all your safety passwords and passkeys. KeePass is one of the popular open-source tool to store all your passwords at a single place and KeePass Portable allows you to carry this sensitive information with you all the time. All your Email, Internet and other passwords would safely accompany you through your portable device.
A master-key is used to access all of your stored passwords database. The higher level encryption ensure that your password databases are out of reach for any third person.
3. Kaspersky TDSSKiller Portable
Kaspersky anti-virus needs no introduction and is pre-dominant in the security software industry. Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller protects systems from malware in the Rootkit.Win32.TDSS family. It brings this level of security against rootkits right from your portable device.
This isn’t an entire anti-virus utility, rather it is a tool specific to fighting malware and rootkits. The tool requires admin access to operate and is free for personal usage.
4. Eraser Portable
Eraser is a secure data wiping and file-deletion tool. This is a tool for Windows that lets users erase their sensitive data from hard drives by overwriting it several times. Sensitive data like passwords, personal information and classified work details are retained usually even after deletion. When a file is deleted from a system, only its reference is removed and is not completely removed from the system unless overwritten by another file.
Eraser overwrites your chosen file for deletion several times to make sure that the data is wiped off permanently. Use Eraser Portable to securely wipe off any unwanted data after your work is done.
General Portable Utilities
1. CrystalDiskInfo Portable
CrystalDiskHealth is a free system health monitoring tool. This tool scans your HDD and SSD for its perfect and normal operations. It monitors the health status, temperature and all the graphing of hard drives associated with the system.
CrystalDiskHealth Portable also tells how many times a disk was accessed and for how many hours it was operating continuously. Use this portable application on your device to monitor the health of the system that you are operating upon and check for any unusual circumstances.
2. Process Monitor Portable
If you thought your Task manager was not providing you with sufficient information about the running processes, Process Monitor Portable is the tool for you. This is a real-time file, registry and process monitor tool which provides you with real-time activity threads.
Some of the key features include rich non-destructive filtering, event properties, Session ID’s and user names and more. Process Monitor Portable is a great tool to assist you in your system troubleshooting and malware hunting process.
3. Process Explorer Portable
Process Explorer Portable is a free task manager and process analyser that lets you get deep into the system process and the DLL files being associated with them. This tool will quickly show you a summary of a set of particular handles opened or DLL files loaded for a particular process.
If you are looking for some deeper insights into the way Windows applications work, this is a great tool.
4. 7-Zip Portable
7-Zip is easily one of the most popular archivers to handle many different kinds of compressed files. It is capable of handling compressed RAR, 7Z, ZIP, GZIP and BZIP2 files. 7-zip features a higher and better compression rates, offers multilingual support, provides a plethora of unpack formats and also offers its own file management tool.
All of these make 7-Zip easily a must have tool for handling compressed files. 7-Zip Portable makes it easier for you to handle compressed files on the go.
5. Autoruns Portable
At the time of system startup, there are many processes that automatically pop-up to life and Autoruns is a configuration utility to handle those processes. Autoruns Portable makes it easy to adjust the auto-starting programs, browser helper objects and toolbar objects at the time of startup.
Autoruns includes information about programs from Startup folder, Run utility, Registry Keys, Explorer shell entries, Winlogon notifications and much more. You can go beyond the MSConfig utility with Autoruns portable, all right from your portable device.
6. Rufus Portable
Creating a bootable USB device is made easier with Rufus. Rufus Portable allows you to create a Bootable USB drive right from your own portable device!
Creating a bootable USB from ISO file, flashing a BIOS or firmware and running a low-level utility is all possible with Rufus Portable. Free and Fast, Rufus Portable is your best choice for creating bootable USB drives using ISO images.
7. CrystalDiskMark Portable
CrystalDiskMark is a utility that allows users to monitor the performance of local and portable drives. It monitors the read/write speeds of all storage devices and can be used to compare the operating speed of such devices.
A multilingual support is offered by this tool and is free to use. CrystalDiskMark requires admin access to function properly.
8. Process Hacker Portable
If you are on the lookout for an advanced task management utility, Process Hacker Portable is your best bet. Process Hacker possesses a multitude of features like advanced debugging, malware detection, system monitoring, process termination memory viewing or editing and more.
Detailed system graphs, highlighted task trees, network connections, bypassing rootkits are some of the additional advanced operations that Process Monitor portable can handle.
9. Java Portable
Now Java developers could make use of the Java Runtime Environment even on the go, without installing it on your local devices. Java Portable or jPortable is an application that allows developers to use Java Runtime Environment to run it on apps supporting Java. jPortable supports Portable apps like LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox, to support the execution of JAR’s in them.
You would not be required to have a Java Runtime Environment locally installed to your device as this application works without the need for providing admin access to it.
10. grepWin Portable
grepWin portable is a search and replace utility that can be used to replace regular expressions with suitable alternatives. Supported for Windows, grepWin is capable of doing powerful searches and replace the found regular expressions easily.
A search for regular expressions could be highly customized and it is not recommended to limit these searches to a particular set of file sizes and file types.
11. WinDirStat Portable
WinDirStat is a disk usage checking utility that lets you visualize and analyse the disk usage statistics on your computer’s hard drive. WinDirStat Portable allows you to analyze disk usage and provides a disk cleanup tool packaged along with it. Directory, Tree map and Extension list views are some of the methods to visualize your disk usage information.
WinDirStat features multilingual support, supports different types of network drives and also allows creation and exporting of disk usage reports through it.
12. CamStudio Portable
CamStudio is a fairly popular on-screen activity recorder for creating screencasts. CamStudio allows these captured screencasts and audio activity to be exported in the form of video file or streaming flash video. Now you can make the most of this tool right from your portable device, with CamStudio’s Portable version.
Using CamStudio Portable you are able to create how-to and demonstration videos, without having to install any applications on your local drive.
13. BleachBit Portable
BleachBit Portable is a free disk cleanup utility to help you free off your disk space. Clearing off hidden junk files, clearing cache, deletion of cookies, clearing Internet history, clearing Temporary files, unused localisations and shred logs are some of the key tasks performed by BleachBit Portable.
Use this tool on your Portable device to wipe clean data from over 90 applications and to go beyond simple deletion of files. Shredding of files and Wiping of free disk space make BleachBit a good choice for your disk cleanup tasks.
Portable Apps for Music & Video
1. VLC Media Player Portable
VLC media player definitely needs no introduction and is easily one of the most popular media player among devices of different shapes and sizes. This tool lets you play all of your favorite audio and video files on the go with its portable version. This highly portable media player supports a plethora of audio and video formats including MP-1, MP-2, MP-4, XviD, DivX, Mp-3, m4a, ogg and many more.
VLC media player also supports playback of VCDs and DVDs. VLC media player portable can also be used as a server to stream over IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
2. CDEx Portable
CDEx Portable is a free audio extraction tool that lets you extract audio files from Audio CD’s. The individual extracted audio tracks could be stored to a specific location and be automatically named according to the disc’s online information.
Support for encoding of multiple audio file formats, Jitter correction and normalization of audio tracks and track progress are some of the key features of CDEx Portable.
3. Media Player Classic – Home Cinema Portable
Another popular media player that usually comes bundled with Windows Media Player is Media Player Classic. The Home cinema portable edition of this tool is a lightweight media player tool that supports a variety of audio and video formats.
MPC-HC features a lot of built-in audio and video codecs making it easier for you to playback all kinds of media using this tool, without installing third-party codecs.
4. TAudioConverter Portable
In addition to audio extractions, TAudioConverter Portable also allows conversion of the extracted audio files to different formats. Lots of audio encoders are supported by this tool making it easier to convert to different audio formats including MP3, AAC, AAC HE, AC3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, DTS, FLAC, PCM and many more.
The encoding time using this tool is shortened by including a multi-threaded operation of process running in parallel. Audio extraction from video files is also possible using this handy little tool.
5. Audacity Portable
Audacity is easily one of the most popular tool among audio editors across the world. This free audio editing and recording software can be used to record live audio, convert tapes into CD’s, Edit sound files, modify the speed and pitching of an audio track and much more.
Audacity Portable brings all the power of audio mixing and editing right to your portable device.
6. TEncoder Portable
TEncoder Video Converter is a free video converting tool that even allows downloading of videos. This multi-threaded video converter supports wide array of formats, subtitles, media ripping and online video downloading.
With its multi-threaded operations users can run up to 16 simultaneous process through this tool. TEncoder also allows users to download videos from YouTube and the like.
Portable Apps for Graphics & Pictures
1. GIMP Portable
There is clearly no other great free graphics and image editing tool for Windows apart from GIMP. Being capable of competing with the likes of commercial and premium products like Photoshop, GIMP is a must have tool for graphic and image editing.
Photo enhancement & retouching, creating image animations, image composition, rendering & authoring, simple paint program, batch processing, a lot of free plugins and an image format converter are some of the key features that GIMP has to offer.
Portable Apps for Gaming
1. Lucas Chess Portable
If you are bored with the availability of games on a system and are looking for some mental stimulation, Lucas Chess Portable is the right game for you. This game of chess lets you play with the computer as an opponent and begins with the easiest level. As you progress further in the game, the computer ups its level and makes it more challenging for users to win.
Limited hints, training positions and tactical combinations make this an enjoyable game of chess right from your portable drive.
2. Atomic Tanks Portable
Atomic Tanks is a widely popular and addictive strategy war game that supports many different platforms like Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and also mobile devices. Atomic Tanks demands users to annihilate the opponent’s tanks using your own arsenal and tank. In return for your deeds, you can earn money, which is then put to use in the form of upgrading one’s own arsenal of weapons.
A Wider array of weapons, landscape that could be destructed, tele-portation and changeable environment make up this fun and addictive war strategy game.
3. 2048 Portable
Being one of the most widely popular games of 2014, 2048 is the best puzzle game you can play right from your portable device. This game received over 4 million visitors in the first week itself and it stands testimony to the quality of this game. Although this is a clone of the similarly popular game Threes! released a week prior to it, 2048 makes its case for a good enjoyable puzzle game.
What is this game about? Well, all you have to do is to slide numbered tiles horizontally or vertically to bring similar numbers together, leading to their adding up. The main target of this game is to accomplish the number 2048 by adding up tiles, starting from 2, 4, 8, 16 and so forth. 2048 Portable also includes Flappy 2048 and Tetris 2048 to add to your gaming challenge.
4. DOSBox Portable
For people who are looking to play classic DOS-based games on their Windows systems, DOSBox Portable is an excellent Intel x86 PC emulator. Playing classic DOS games is actually not supported by modern day x86 and x64 based processors, but this emulator comes with, built-in features that make it possible to emulate classic DOS games like Doom (1993), X-Com (1994), SimCity (1989), Sid Meier’s Civilisation (1991) and many more.
The key takeaway here? DOSBox is not only capable of running old DOS-based games, but also old DOS-based applications, provided you have the software’s executable (.exe) file, which could be easily found on the Web. Some of the key features of this emulator include support for two types of modes: real and protected, support for different formats of graphics and it even supports sound cards. All of your classic DOS games and applications could be cherished using this emulator.
SEE ALSO: 15 Best Video Editing Software
So, now that we have come to the end of this extensive list of must have Portable applications, what are your thoughts about these tools and Portable apps in general? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.