If you ever heard about portable applications then you must have a fair idea about its basics. Portable applications are increasingly popular due to their mobility and ease of use. But not all software offers their portable versions. So in this post, we will learn about what really portable applications are and why they are beneficial to users. Also, we will learn why all software does not offer their portable versions.
What are portable applications?
Portable applications are lightweight programs those can function without having them installed on the PC. You simply need to copy the file on your computer hard drive or a removable storage and run it. Portable applications do not store program settings and options in the Windows Registry. Even if you move the file from one drive to another it will equally work without any error.
Portable applications are typically downloaded in a ZIP format and extracted into a folder. The app appears as an executable file, and if it allows saving the settings, those settings will be saved in the same folder.
How are portable applications helpful?
Portable applications do not consume any heavy storage and can be carried around anywhere. Even if you are on the go, you can carry multiple portable applications in your storage drive or flash drive. They can be used simply by plugging in the removable drive to your laptop, and you don’t even need to worry about their settings or configurations. These apps can be used on any PC or laptop as they synchronize with every system.
What are the types of portable applications?
Most portable applications are system utilities such as development apps, browsers, graphics design and picture apps, internet apps, music and video apps, office apps, security apps, etc. In fact, you will find a bunch of similar apps which are mostly available for free. Moreover, you can download application suites on a flash drive those provide you a Start-style menu launcher for accessing the apps. Many of these suites contain hundreds of portable apps to choose from so that you can create your own portable workspace. Some of the popular suites are PortableApps, Lupo PenSuite, CodySafe, LiberKey, etc.
What makes an application portable?
An application is portable due to certain criteria. A portable app should be executed without having formally installed into a computer’s permanent storage drive, rather should be stored on removable drives like USB flash drive, pen drive, CD/DVD so that it can be used on multiple computers. The settings of these apps are stored and carried around with them. Portable applications leave zero footprints on any PC after being used in it, i.e. their temporary files, registry settings remove from the system after the program is exited. Meanwhile, the files created by the user can be directly saved on the same removable media on which the application is stored.
Why are not all applications portable?
All software does not offer their own portable versions because they are developed in such a way that they need certain operating systems to run in a proper way. Even some of them are built for specific operating systems and hence, do not support portability with every system. The non-portable programs must be able to find the required files or registry settings to operate properly. The portable applications overcome this by ensuring that all files and settings are locally stored in the same directory or folder as the application. Still, they use the operating system files, which is common in most computers.
Are the portable applications risky to use?
Portable applications do not include any risk factor within themselves. But in case you use them in a shared system or an untrusted one, then the chance of risk increases. Such kind of risks are specifically malware, virus, and spyware. So ensure you read the system requirements before using a portable app. Most of the modern PCs work properly, but not all might be compatible.
Where can I find the portable versions of non-portable software?
You can download the portable software from these available websites:
Gizmo’s freeware: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-portable-programs.htm
Apps To Go: http://appstogo.mcfadzean.org.uk/
The Portable Freeware Collection: http://www.portablefreeware.com/
List of Portable Software by Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_portable_software
Portable apps give you the ease and flexibility to use them anywhere, anytime without having them installed on the computer. You can even carry bulk portable apps those are required for your daily job and set up your own temporary and portable workspace. Most of the apps you use in daily life can be found in their portable version and hence, you can avail the freedom to carry them without worrying about their configurations and settings. Simply plug in your USB drive and start copying the portable apps you need. You can also download the portable suite and find all the apps in one place.