Would my Windows PC run faster if I only installed portable apps?

Excavator12 September 8, 2010
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Would my computer perform better if I only installed the portable/USB versions of programs instead of the standard versions? If so, how should I go about this? Install into some folder on my C drive? Create a new partition just for my ‘portable apps’? Install them onto a USB drive that I keep plugged in? Appreciate any advice.

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  1. Vishalkhandelwal
    November 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    i don't think portable software added registry to the computer

  2. sonu
    September 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

    running portable software makes them slower. when u run such apps, registries are added into windows registries. next time u run that app, registries are overwritten. this process makes running apps slower that installed apps.

  3. Ed
    September 25, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I have a unique take on this to offer :)

    I use both Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista on my computer. What I've done is install and use Dropbox on both partitions (same account) and run portable versions of the programs I need in Windows and Ubuntu using WINE emulator.

    However as I like/use Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, it's the main reason I use portable apps on my hard drive as I can sync those profiles those programs make into the portable apps directory and then when I'm out travelling and can't take my laptop with me, I copy the portable apps directory over to a flash drive and take that with me.

    When I return, I copy and update the files in my portable apps folder and then have Dropbox sync everything up.

    Great way to do things I find, especially as I use Ubuntu more, but when I travel I often can't take my laptop with me!

  4. DrphilGood
    September 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    On my last computer I used liberkey on a separate partition because I was dual booting win7 and xp and I wanted the same apps across both platforms. The funny thing was that some of the apps worked in linux mint automatically with wine.
    Come to think of it, I loved it. Mostly because you could have a huge library of apps(100+) that was automatically updated. All a click away across all your systems. I even kept is in sync with a usb drive.

  5. Wolfgangwhs
    September 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I don't think there is much to be gained. A SSD for your OS and the apps, a decent processor and plenty of RAM will do much better. With the low prices of hardware these days there is no need to stand on your head to gain performance.

  6. Shikhanshu
    September 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    most of my apps are portable. i keep my OS on a separate partition (C:) and all data including the portable apps on D: . here is my take on this:
    1. speed: i have noticed absolutely no shortcoming in speed or functionality. just as good

    2. integration: someone said above erroneously that OS integration is not possible; that is wrong, for those apps that u really want integration, you can enter registry values yourself for right-click menu etc...

    3. the most important reason i use portable apps: in future if i have to re-install my OS, nothing breaks and no installs are needed! install windows and i am good to go!!

    the only flip side: you have to maintain your own shortcuts to the apps as and when u add new... but thats nothing...

  7. Mike
    September 18, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I agree with the answers above.
    Keep in mind that Windows will still add things to all the MRU lists etc. increasing registry size no matter what. That's a fight you can't win.
    Unless the registry is damaged or the ntuser.dat massivly grown it won't have much influence on performance. Try creating a new user and see if things go more smooth.

    What really slows down the PC are the more "obvious" things:
    - cluttered and fragmented hard drive [FYI Vista and 7 do auto-defrag]
    - background tasks and agents from various programs [try different anti-virus]
    - shared resources [second physical drive >> partitions]

    Installing and updating hardware drivers! Just because something is running doesn't mean it's doing a good job, generic drivers are performance killers - people often forget installing mainboard chipset drivers.

  8. Oron Joffe
    September 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    As others have said, the only way in which portable apps are faster is that they don't make the registry larger. On the other hand, in order to acheive this they need to emulate the registry, so I doubt that they would be any faster in themselves (in fact, in my experience they are marginally slower).
    You can install them on any drive you like, it makes no difference (but obviously, the faster the drive, the better!). If you want to keep your computer running at top speed, keep the hard disc defragged and optimised. Also, install as few apps as possible. Finally, you can try something like Microsoft SteadyState, or DeepFreeze to prevent the system from having any permanent changes made to it at all, so it will always revert to its previous (defragged, optimised...) state, but this is not suitable for absolutely everybody.

  9. Mayank
    September 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Well, Using Portable Apps Will Keep Your Computer's Registry Clean.
    And As We Know Problem Starts With Registry and If Registry Gets No Harm It Will Neither Harm Your Computer By Slowing It Down Or Something Like That.
    So Yes, Portable Apps Will Help You Perform Better and Quickly.

    And As Far As The Second Part Goes, It's Optional And Your Decision As To Where You Want To Keep The Portable Apps.
    Only One Disadvantage With Using Portable Apps Is You Want Options Stipulated For The Particular Program In Your Right-Click Menu.
    For E.g. - If You're Using Portable Winzip. You Won't Get The "Create As Archive" Or "Add As Archive" Type Of Options.

  10. Excavator12
    September 10, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for the input....I'm trying out the portable apps only thing right now...performance is a bit slower...I think I'll install full versions of the programs I use pretty regularly, and for the programs that I'm just screwing around with I'll go portable if possible.

  11. Josh Fox
    September 8, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    This would help keep the registry and startup clean, but most of the stuff that slows down your computer doesn't come in portable form. If you did want to do this anyway, you could install the PortableApps platform to a directory in the root C: drive and install the apps there. Or, you could create a folder in the C: drive to install apps to and create desktop/start menu shortcuts manually. Keep in mind though, portable apps aren't always designed with all of the features or functionality of full versions.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother too much with trying to use portable versions for primary use. But, it's always a good idea to keep a flash drive handy with some select portable apps, such as antivirus, malware remover, and other security/maintenance tools.

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