With this article we make a nice list of the best portable programs that you can download from the internet, completely free.
When we talk about portable or portable apps or "portable apps" we are referring to those applications or programs that do not install on the pc, and that, once downloaded, they must only be extracted from the .zip or .rar archives and are immediately usable.
Basically, not installing a program means that in the computer no reference to the presence of these programs is recorded, in the registry keys or in the system files, which, therefore, work independently on the system without leaving traces.
Let's take an example to understand what it means: I download an internet browser like Firefox portable, copy the files to any folder and start it.
I surf the internet with Firefox portable, all history, cookies, temporary files, etc. etc., are stored inside the folder where I had copied the portable Firefox files.
If these files were in a folder copied to a USB stick, all the files that are created while using Firefox portable remain in that folder, so nothing is left on that PC.
When I use this portable browser again on a pen drive, on another PC, I will find myself stored all the history, cookies, favorites and so on.
A portable application is important today because it is a program that, if kept inside a USB stick, can be used on any computer, without installing anything and without touching that computer, without creating files, without modifying the registry keys, without anything being stored on that PC, except, in the case, access to Windows or Mac.
You become completely anonymous and avoid leaking information to external computers.
If it is now clear what the "Portables apps" are for, let's consider their importance in light of the fact that today an 8 GB USB stick costs 15 Euros and is affordable for everyone.
My advice is therefore to install a complete environment on top of it, formed by a series of programs familiar to the user, so that, wherever you are and whatever PC you use, at school, at work, in an internet point, you are always with your own habits, your own applications and your own custom settings.
Each portable application must be downloaded and consists of a compressed file; when extracting the files included in it, on the USB key we can then create a "Programs" folder in which to copy the extracted files.
For example with, once you have downloaded Firefox portable, I double click and tell the extraction program (not installation) that asks where to save the files, to copy them to the folder yet to be created, X: / Programs / Firefox.
The best portable programs to be copied onto the USB stick, downloadable for free individually, they are:
1) Office, Notepad and PDF reader
- LibreOffice portable latest complete version of Word, Powerpoint, Excel and all the normal office suite, which does not require installation and can be used with your own personal configurations. [Win (120 mb) / Mac].
- AbiWord, a program identical to Microsoft Word for absolutely functional and fast video writing. [Win (6.3 mb) / Mac (9.5 mb)]
- PDF document reader: Sumatra [Win (1.1 mb) ] oppure Foxit PDF Reader [Win, (1.8 mb) ]
- Notepad ++, the best free and opensource notepad explained with details in a dedicated post.
2) Portable browsers they are listed on another page with 15 different alternatives including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.
3) E-mail, chat and e-mail reading
- Mozilla Thunderbird - [Win (6 mb), Mac (20.5 mb)]
- Skype USB il portable Skype client
- Pidgin Portable sees not only Windows live messenger but also, if configured, Facebook (see other article for chat programs with Facebook) and Twitter.
4) Multimedia players for audio and video, for mp3 music and movies with all codecs
- VLC [Win (9.3 mb), Mac (24 mb)].
- PotPlayer, great program for watching videos and movies on your computer, now also portable.
- Besides Winamp portable there are other best portable mp3 players for listening and organizing music on a USB stick including Foobar2000 and AIMP.
5) View edit and browse photos of any type and image editing
- Irfanview, the best image viewer on Windows
- GIMP portable [Win (8.6 mb), Mac (87.5 mb)] best alternative to Photoshop for photo editing (see article on Gimp to learn more).
- XNView [Win, Mac, Linux] supports all image formats and is one of the Best image and photo viewer programs
6) Peer-to-peer torrent downloader
- UTorrent to download Torrent from the internet.
7) Ipod management
- YamiPod [Windows] fast and effective program (see here for the management of Ipods without Itunes)
8) Complete Hardware View
- SIW we talked about in the article on how to check the hardware of a computer.
- WinAudit useful application to get information on what PC you are using.
- CPU-Z for a detailed analysis of the processor and its use.
- Follow-Me IP shows the external ip address.
- PortableTor per browse anonymously on the internet, it is discussed in detail in another article.
- NirLauncher is the entire collection of Nirsoft programs for sniffing and retrieving settings and passwords on the internet.
- Network Scanner to scan the network and find resources shared by other computers.
10 ) Hacking
- Applications for network password recovery and for internet, messenger and everything related to access to the LAN are all portable.
- Also portable are tools for finding passwords under asterisks on the internet.
11 ) For developers
- Kompozer the visual editor for designing web pages very similar to Dreamweaver, portable, for Linux and Windows
- Server2Go - A simple Apache webserver
- Putty [Win, 0.9 mb] - lightweight ssh or telnet client
- FileZilla, the program to transfer files via FTP
12 ) Utility varies
- In another post, the best portable antivirus including: ClamWin [Win, 5.9mb] really a small but efficient antivirus, after having "installed" it you have to download the updates.
- Portable programs for recovering data from a PC that has problems starting:
Portable tools to repair Windows.
- Eraser Portable: very useful program that allows you to permanently delete any file.
- Recuva to recover files that have been deleted
- On Screen Keyboard keypad to prevent keyloggers from intercepting what is typed on the keyboard; there is a lot of talk about it in this article on how to move to protect banking and important data on the pc
- Country Codes [Win, 1358 kb] Small database with important codes and information on all countries of the world
- Converter tool unit conversion and coins
- Convert [Win, 155 kb] again for units of measurement
- PStart - To create a kind of start menu of the stick and organize the start of programs.
- Restoration [Win, 229kb] per recover deleted files.
- 7Zip for open all archives, rar zip and all the rest.
- Deep Burner Portable is the best portable program to burn and copy cds and dvds and images of cd.
Alternatively it is also great Infra Recorder.
- Virtual CD Control Panel to create disk images without having to install permanent drivers on the pc.
- Audacity, program for editing audio tracks.
- CDEX per convertire cd audio in file mp3.
- License Crawler, to find all the purchase codes or product keys of the installed software.
- Ccleaner, the program to clean Windows of useless files
- CDBurnerXP, the best program to burn CDs and DVDs
- VirtualDub, best free and open source program to edit videos.
How many others do you know?
I will keep this list updated every time you find a new application to copy on the USB stick, I hope you follow my advice because having a software environment to take anywhere, believe me, is really comfortable.
For a more concise list, look at the 10 best USB programs without installation.
Alternatively, you can download and copy the portable program suites that contain all the best and most useful tools and software on a stick.
Best portable programs without installation for USB sticks (Windows)