100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (for Mac and Win)

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Free Portable Apps This stuff can be installed on any portable drive, i.e. USB thumbdrive, PDA or an iPod. You can use them at work, school, or any other place where you can plugin your device. Check them out, you can either scroll-down for relevant category, i.e office software, email tools, messengers, games, etc. or get a ‘all-in-one’ package (all essential tools) . While there are more apps for windows users, I tried to include a mac version for each essential tool. All free. Enjoy!

Update: After reviewing comments and suggestions on this articles as well as running a survey for best portable applications we came up with an ultimate list of apps. Check out our newly launched Best Portable Apps page.

What is a portable program ? : A portable program is a piece of software that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any other computer. It can be your email program, your browser, system recovery tools or even an operating system. The coolest part about it, is that all of your data and settings are always stored on a thumbdrive so when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.

  1. Portable Office Software
  2. Portable Email/Calendar/ToDo Programs
  3. Portable Text and Voice Messengers
  4. Portable Media Tools (Audio / Video)
  5. Portable Graphics Viewers and Image Editors
  6. Portable Browsers and Web Tools (FTP, Feedreaders, Torrent clients”¦)
  7. Portable Security Software
  8. Portable Games
  9. Other Portable Utilities
  10. Portable Developer Tools (Techies Only)
  11. All-In-One Packages
  12. Portable Operating Systems (‘HowTo’ Articles)
  13. USB ThumDrive Tips

Portable Office Software

  • Abiword [Win (6.3 mb) / Mac (9.5 mb)] – word processor (compatible with Microsoft word)
  • OpenOffice [Win (65 mb) / Mac (127 mb)] – free alternative to Microsoft Office (fully compatible with Microsoft Office docs)
  • PDF Viewers: Sumatra [Win (1.1 mb) ], Foxit PDF Reader [Win, (1.8 mb) ]
  • Notepad ++ – feature-rich Notepad replacement.

Portable Email/Calendar/ToDo Programs

Portable Text and Voice Messengers

  • All-in-One (Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, etc.): Gaim [Win, 6.9 mb], Miranda IM [Win, 1.2 mb], Adium [Mac, 15.5mb], Trillian [Win]
  • iChat [Mac] – requires locally installed iChat
  • Newspeak [Mac, 1mb] – Newspeak Cocoa IRC client
  • Skype – exlpains how to make skype portable

Portable Media Tools (Audio / Video)

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  • Audacity [Win (2.4 mb), Mac (5mb)] – simple audio editor and recorder
  • VLC [Win (9.3 mb), Mac (24 mb)] – powerful media player that plays almost all popular audio and video formats
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with Media Player (resource unaccessible) – another powerful media player for playing all conceivable formats
  • iShout [Mac, 7mb] – record and listen to your favorite internet radios.
  • CocoaJT [Mac, 8.7mb] – stream live TV programs from major broadcast channels.

Portable Graphics Viewers and Image Editors

  • GIMP [Win (8.6 mb), Mac (87.5 mb)] – free alternative to Photoshop
  • IrfanView [Win, 1013kb] – fast graphic viewer with basic image editing features
  • XNView [Win, Mac, Linux] – image viewer and converter (supports more then 400 image formats)
  • Inkscape [Mac, 24.6mb] – scalable vector graphics editor

Portable Browsers and Internet Tools (FTP, Feedreaders, Torrent Clients…)

Portable Security Software

  • Antivirus: ClamWin [Win, 5.9mb], Dr.Web CureIt [Win, 5.5 mb]
  • Keepass Password [Win, 1mb] – securely store and manage your passwords
  • Omziff [Win, 0.5mb] – lets you encrypt/decrypt a file, using secure encryption algorithms. Also includes a password generator, file shredder, file splitter and some more tools.
  • LockNote [Win] – simple text file that lets you store sensitive info with 256bit password encryption.
  • RoboFor2Go [Win] – secure password manager and form filler
  • Smart Sniff [Win, 57kb] – lets you inspect network traffic that passes via your network adapter.

Portable Games

  • Sudoku – popular puzzle game
  • Bricks2000 – popular tetris clone
  • Logix – something similar to minesweeper
  • Gem Drop – fast-paced puzzle game
  • GeneRally – 2D racing game
  • Nagaskaki – chess game
  • NarkoMania – cool minesweeper clone
  • NeverBall – part puzzle, part action game

Other Portable Utilities

  • 7Zip [Win, 1.1 mb] – file archiver and compressor, supports 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR and more
  • Registry Tweaker [Win, 1.52mb] – registry tweaking tool
  • Restoration [Win, 229kb] – handy program for recovering deleted (or formatted) files
  • YamiPod [Win] – powerful iPod manager (copy mp3/AAC files to and from your iPod, import/export playlists, search for songs, remove duplicates,..).
  • Drive Manager [Win, 1191 kb] – quick summary for each local and removable drive.
  • PStart – lets you organize and create menu-like list for quicker access to your portable programs.
  • SyncPAppX – script that syncs preferences between portable and local applications.
  • RQ Money – handy utlity to manage your credits and debts
  • SIW – a system analysis tool that tells you almost everything you need to know about a computer, i.e. hardware, configuration settings, etc.
  • WinAudit – one more analysis tool
  • Convert [Win, 155 kb] – fast metric unit conversion tool (distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass…)
  • UK Calender [Win, 321kb] – straightforward calendar with ToDo and reminders
  • CPU-Z [Win] – provides detailed info about your processor and other components
  • Country Codes [Win, 1358 kb] – a small database of country codes and additional information for all countries.
  • TreePad Lite [Win, 866kb] – personal database program, lets you store all your notes, emails, bookmarks, etc. into one well-structured file
  • StartupList [Win, 158 kb] – displays all items that are in any way related to your computer startup and are executed without any user interactions
  • eTextReader [Win, 279kb] – read plain text files provided by Project Gutenberg in a book-like manner.
  • Index Your Files [Win, 640kb] – provides an easy way to create index databases (of specified folders and drives) for quick file/term search
  • RockXP [win, 768kb] – handy utility for retrieving Win XP’s product key
  • WhoisThisDomain [Win, 42kb] – view owner and registration info for any domain name
  • Converter – portable unit convertsion utility

Portable Developer Tools (Techies Only)

  • Nvu [Win (7.3 mb), Mac (12 mb)] – easy-to-use webpage editor. Simpler alternative to Dreamweaver and Microsft Frontpage
  • Server2Go – apache webserver (no configurations needed)
  • InstantRails[Win, 60mb] – contains Ruby, Rails, Apache, and MySQL, all preconfigured and ready to run.
  • Putty [Win, 0.9 mb] – lightweight telnet and SSH client
  • Follow-Me IP – displays your external IP address
  • XAMPP [Win, 25/17 mb] – integrated server package of Apache, mySQL, PHP and Perl. Just Unzip and Run
  • HTTP File Server [Win] – simple and easy-to-use file server for personal file sharing.
  • CurrPorts [Win, 46kb]- lets you view a list of ports that are currently in use, along with applications that use them
  • FTP Servers: Quick’n Easy FTP Server [Win, 355kb], PureFTPdManager [Mac, 10.9mb]

All-In-One Packages

  • PortableApps Suite [Win, 89.5mb] – includes 7 programs for essential needs (office, email, IM client, etc.) + cool Startup manager and backup utility
  • FSuite [Mac, 668.3mb] – over 30 useful tools in one file (Office, Graphic, Audio, Video, Internet, Developer Tools and Games)

Portable Operating Systems (‘HowTo’ Articles)

USB ThumDrive Tips

That’s mainly it… In case you’re looking for something that wasn’t mentioned above, there are a couple of resources you may want to check out. These are Portablefreeware.com and Tinyapps.org

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.