A portable app is a computer program that you can take everywhere with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer.
When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in a computer, you can access your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC.
It’s very safe because when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.
How to install portable apps?Step 1: Make sure to get the "portable" or "standalone" version at every download site. Most sites clearly label it like that. Usually it's a normal file name ending with EXE, ZIP, or PAF.EXE
- EXE files run "as is", or they self-extract after you double-click them.
- ZIP files must be extracted first. Right-click the ZIP folder > "Extract All...", or double click on it if you associate archive files with something like 7-Zip.
- If the downloaded file ends with PAF.EXE, just double-click it and install it to a folder of your choice (and if you copy over the previous version of a program it even deletes the older version first).
- Other download formats usually have a special launcher (such as the downloads for LiberKey). But sometimes you choose portable as an option during installation (Foobar music player comes to mind).
- The easiest way is to create a shortcut in a portable launcher (or the portable launcher that comes with a suite of portable programs). PStart, for example, allows you to drag and drop EXE files and automatically create a shortcut in its launcher. Whereas, PortableApps Suite type launchers automatically search its PortableApps folder and add shortcuts for you after you refresh or restart the launcher (just as long as you create individual folders for all your portable apps).
- Or go to your portable apps folder, right-click on the main application for the portable app (usually it's the one with a recognizable icon and a large file size), and select "Create Shortcut" or "Send to > Desktop". Then simply right-click the shortcut and select "pin to start menu" (Vista), or drag the shortcut to the start menu.
Or upload your portable apps to an online backup site, such as Windows Live Skydrive, if you intend on using them on various computers.
What are the best portable apps?
For home and office;
OpenOffice software suite for productivity, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, powerpoint presentations, graphics, and a couple math apps.
This is an excellent choice if you only need a lightweight word processor.
If you need specialized financial software to avoid messing around with custom spreadsheet functions.
This is a general choice for a simple burner and can be made portable.
The KM Player
This is good for playing your audio and video files and CDs/DVDs. The KM Player is "easy to use and install, has splendid playback, and plays most everything without need to download extra codec packs.