You already know that some applications offer portable or “soft” installations, but don’t you wish there was some place on the Internet where you could find any portable application? Although few, the good news is that there are some!
Portable applications are incredibly useful. If you’re someone who is constantly carrying around a flash drive, you should always have a few of your favorite portable applications (or even a portable application suite) on it. I’ve found that portable applications are just as useful for a wide variety of uses — like when you’re setting up synchronized folders. I have a folder in my Dropbox dedicated to no-installation-required programs, and syncing it to any new desktop or laptop means that I immediately have several applications available at my fingertips. It’s rather helpful.
In this post, let me show you where you can go to find these types of portable programs.
Before we jump into a few massive directories that are filled with portable applications, it’d be smart to beat our own chest and start off with one well-compiled collection.
The applications on this page are all organized within the following categories:
- Image Editors and Viewers
- Security and Privacy Suites
- System Tools
- Web and FTP
Applications are linked to reviews that already exist on MakeUseOf. You can browse to the review pages of the individual apps and check them out in depth before you download them.
Some of the applications listed here include Songr, Pidgin, GIMP, BSNES, Notepad++, AutoHotKey, TrueCrypt, KeePass, 7-Zip, CCleaner, TeamViewer, Media Player Classic, Opera Portable, and more. For someone who wants to to quickly and easily bring together the best and most useful applications, this page is great.
This website is by far my favorite place on the Internet when I want to find portable applications of any kind. As the name implies, everything you’ll find here is 100% free and portable.
The Portable Freeware Collection immediately sorts entries by newest or latest updated, though you can toggle it so that it shows the most popular applications in an order.
One observable plus that The Portable Freeware Collection holds over every other competing portable applications directory is that it makes sure to offer as much information about each application as possible.
As you can see in this entry for WinHHTrack, it tells you about compatibility requirements; where it writes settings to; if it’s stealth; and how to extract the application and use it as a portable program. The Portable Freeware Collection is able to show more applications in their directory because of this. Some applications listed aren’t “portable” but offer instructions on how to extract the application’s files (manually or using a program like Universal Extractor) so that it operates portably.
The Portable Freeware Collection is the place to go if you’re looking for the largest source of portable applications.
Pendriveapps.com is a very large and organized directory that is quite similar to The Portable Freeware Collection, but just structured differently.
On the left-hand side of this website, there are a huge number of links that serve as categories that cover the applications listed here. These include antivirus, media players, IRC clients, email software, disk defragmenters, file managers, translators, system tools, web servers, browsers, encryption utilities, and more.
All listed applications come with a full review page that offer a paragraph introducing the application, a screenshot, the extracted size, download information, and other similar portable applications.
Pendriveapps.com is presented very nicely, it’s easy to navigate, and it offers a respectable number of applications.
TinyApps.Org offers an interesting and very niche spin to a portable applications directory. The huge majority of the applications here are portable (I’ve yet to find one otherwise) and they are all extremely small in size.
Categories include applications like browsers, text editors, graphics software, system utlities, file managers, and even software for the Palm and OS X platforms among many other miscellaneous applications.
These applications are perfect for those of you with a very small flash drive that has hardly any space left to spare; maybe one with a few hundred megabytes of space left that you really want to squeeze out. Each entry links directly to the software page, shows the size of the application, and offers a brief sentence-long explanation as to why it’s useful. Some of the applications listed here are as small as a few kilobytes in size.
PortableApps.com is one of the most well-known places on the web to go for portable applications, most specifically their famous PortableApps.com Suite. However, PortableApps.com also offers their applications in a standalone format through a directory of more than 300 apps.
PortableApps.com is great because they take some of the best applications found on the Internet and condense them into a portable form. A lot of these applications have never before been offered as portable installations. PortableApps.com makes it happen.
I love covering portable applications here at MakeUseOf, but you can’t cover all of them! If you’re as obsessed with portable tools as I am, then these five websites will do a great job of ensuring that you’ve always get your fix.
Know any other great places to find portable applications? Let me know in the comments below!
Image Credits: Thumb Drives Via Flickr
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