3 Ways the Portable Apps Platform Will Make Your Life Easier

Jessica Cam Wong 24-05-2012

Portable apps have a huge place in my geeky heart simply because they quite numerous Top 10 Most Downloaded Portable Apps [Movers & Shakers] Read More (if you don’t believe me, check out the Best Portable Apps here The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More ). They don’t modify the registry, and can be used in different Windows machines (though there are portable Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro Read More apps The Top 5 Portable Apps For Linux Most of us know about portable apps for Windows, and how useful they can be sometimes. It's great to simply have your favorite programs and add-ons with you, especially in the case of browsers. However,... Read More for Linux as well). Up until recently though, maintaining portable apps was not pleasant for me. I’d have to go into Windows Explorer and click on the executable to launch the program every time, and if there was an update to the program, I’d have to download the program and “install” it all over again. Sound familiar?


If your answer is yes, you should probably take a look at the Portable Apps Platform, currently on version 10.0, available from the same site that offers portable versions of popular programs. You can download the Platform from this link (which leads to download links from Sourceforge The 5+ Best Sources To Download Freeware Programs Read More ). Why would this trump the current way you’re maintaining your portable apps? I thought you’d never ask.

Start Menu For Application Organization & Launch

If you have quite a few portable apps (even our suggestions from our Best Portable Apps The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More reach 50+), having a way to access them is probably optimal. I used to create a toolbar in the Windows taskbar, but as the list of portable apps grew and grew, the toolbar would take its sweet time loading, which means it would freeze all the time. The Portable Apps Platform is a great way to launch one of your portable programs without any such hassle.

portable apps

You can select for the Platform to sort your programs by category, by alphabetical order, or either with favorites and recent apps displayed first, something that the program calls “Smart” organizing.

portable apps platform


Other options include themes and other preferential settings, e.g. whether to display only open-source applications, whether to disable the scrollbar, etc.

portable apps platform

Update Existing Portable Apps The Easy Way

Portable applications are usually in heavy development, and you probably don’t want to miss important updates on the applications you love. If you don’t want to check for updates on a program manually and have to do this 50+ time for all of your portable applications, the Portable Apps Platform will also be a big time-saver. You can select to update on Platform startup and even update to the beta (less stable) versions of your preferred programs.

portable apps platform


Since I have checked the option for the Platform to check for updates on startup, it notifies me of updates every time I click on the Portable Apps Platform in my taskbar.

apps portable

As you can see, the Platform displays information about the download file size as well as a brief description of the app in case you have forgotten. If you simply do not want in on a specific update, you can simply click Cancel and be well on your way to seeing the Platform start menu.

Obtain New Portable Apps

Another neat feature from the Platform is that you can browse through the portable offerings of the mother site,, without even needing a web browser. Simply click on Apps from the start menu, and you’ll see several options, from which you will want to click on Get More Apps.


portable apps

Then you will see a neat list with all the portable apps from the site’s Directory, along with descriptions, download file size and installation space needed.

apps portable

Since the list is quite extensive, it’s times like this that you will find our Best Portable Apps page The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More handy.


If you use portable apps frequently, you’ll find the Portable Apps Platform quite useful. It’s definitely something you should have in your portable app arsenal!

Can’t get enough of portable apps? Check out some awesome portable games, cool portable app launchers CodySafe: Application Launcher & Powerful Companion For Your Portable Apps [Windows] In the last several years, portable apps have really gained huge popularity among Windows users. But if you have a huge collection of portable applications on your thumb drive, you will know that going back... Read More , our editor’s favorite portable apps Five New Useful Portable Apps For Your USB Stick Read More , check out other portable app suites 4 Portable Application Sites & Suites You May Not Know About At MakeUseOf, we have provided you with countless articles on perfecting your USB flash drive with portable applications. If you've yet to see our Best Portable Apps page, you need to give it a look.... Read More or learn how to create your own How To Create Your Own Portable App For A Flash Drive Read More portable How To Easily Create Your Own Portable Apps Read More apps Create Groups Of Portable Apps Using Cameyo [Windows] Read More ! Let us know your favorite portable apps in the comments below!

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  1. Keith Swartz
    October 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Portableapp is just what I need! Thank you Ms Wong. I shall be following you on Twitter.

  2. Alex Hernandez
    October 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks, Very nice.... Fire_dragon.....

  3. Kevin Vaillant
    September 27, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Portable Apps Platform is awesome. I use it with my laptop that has an ssd. I find I can save space on my ssd by using portable apps, apps load a little slower but not slow enough to make it unbearable.

  4. Igor Rizvi?
    August 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

    put it on usb and it works awesome

  5. douglas
    July 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

    SOLD to the man with the funny hat!!!! Now where do I find the download button?

  6. douglas
    July 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

    SOLD!!!!! now where do I find the download button?

  7. Christopher Hayden
    June 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I used to use portable apps and it was good software to carry around on your jump drive I forgot about them im going to be using it again with my new flash drive

  8. Kelvin Zhang
    June 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    By any chance does this violate copyright acts?

    • Jessica Cam Wong
      June 4, 2012 at 2:45 am

      "Most applications published by are released under open source licenses. They may be freely copied, redistributed and modified within the terms of the licenses applying to each product. " - PortableApps' Copyright disclaimer page (

  9. Mr.Reality
    May 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I'm sorry if the question sounds rather stupid, but... What exactly is a portable app? :)
    And why would it be better than, say, cloud applications, which don't need to be installed?

    • istivan
      May 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Simply put, portable apps are programs that don't need to be installed. Cloud apps would depend, to a certain degree at least, on internet connectivity. They might also require a browser to be launched from.

      Portable apps are useful because you can carry them around on a USB stick and run them directly from there on another computer without installing. If I'm nto mistaken, the specification also states that their portable apps do not leave any traces on the computer they are run from. Some portable apps (from other sources, for example) might leave some trace.

      I basically like using portable apps to have less stuff installed on my computer and easily carry my preferred apps to use on other computers.

      Hope this helps

    • TwistedTrunk
      May 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      The best way to explain this would be to describe what a normal installed app is.. so when you double-click an exe (or msi) file and install an app some of the things it does (or could do) are :
      - write values to the registry
      - inject library files, other system files into the Windows system folder
      - add items to the windows startup folder to start up each time you log into your Windows OS
      - might come bundled with other toolbars, or software
      - potential clash/conflict with other similar software
      - startingup various services, etc. etc.
      the point being that in many cases you contribute to the Windows OS starting up more slowly and/or performing more slowly/sluggish over time. Ofcourse, if you have a beast of a machine and don't care much then you'll hardly notice such slowdowns (unless it is over an extraordinarily large amount of time).

      With portable apps, for the most part everything "installs" into just one folder locally on your computer that you can copy over to your USB drive and take with you (so for example if you use Pidgin portable chat - which integrates gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. - and you copy it over to a usb drive you can take your contacts, your chat history etc. where you go... same logic with portable email apps. You could even take various anti-spyware/malware programs this way and be sure to scan a potentially virus infect computer (for example at a public place) before working on it..

      with cloud, yes you could do this but then i think you're limited to what apps you're 'cloud service provider' puts on there because you sure as heck wouldn't have access to installing whatever you want... so much more limited choice of apps to use (again this could be fine if you're the sort of person who has a set choice of apps and doesn't want to go outside of it.. but there are many that do). Secondly, some are also a little wary of their information being available "in the cloud" a place i won't call 'public' because yes it's restricted, but still it's out of your control when it's not on your local computer.

      So anyway.. there you have it.. some points from my side. Hope it helps :)