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Portable apps, as opposed to traditional software, don’t require installation onto a computer. Their entire data set sits nicely in one folder, and terminate completely once closed. Whether you prefer using them for a clean machine or like to carry around a flash drive with loads of programs, portable apps are pretty awesome.
We’ve collected the best portable apps, but there are so many more out there. Grab your spare flash drive or empty cloud storage and fill it up with this mega-list of 100 portable apps. You’ll find tools to satisfy every software need, categorized by type.
Check out PortableApps.com’s Platform to make the installation easy.
- Balabolka — Text-to-speech program for reading on-screen text aloud.
- On-Screen Keyboard — Lets you enter text without a keyboard; perfect if your computer’s keyboard isn’t working.
- Virtual Magnifying Glass — Screen magnifier to give your eyes a break.
Audio and Video (9)
- AIMP — Portable music player and library manager.
- Audacity — The best free audio editing and recording program.
- Avidemux — A basic video editor for light tasks.
- CDEx — Extracts audio from CDs.
- cdrtfe — All-in-one CD and DVD burner.
- DamnVid — Video converter and downloader, with many websites supported.
- gPodder — Podcast manager that lets you download your favorite shows.
- MusicBrainz Picard — Music tagger that lets you edit metadata for music.
- VLC Media Player — The best media player that can handle any audio or video format imaginable.
- Database Browser — Lets you connect to and manage any database, anytime.
- Frhed — Small hex editor.
- Notepad++ — An awesome alternative to Notepad with highlighting, tabs, and more.
- Pencil Project — Prototyping tool to mock up Android, iOS, web, and more apps.
- XAMPP — Complete portable server with Apache, MySQL, and phpMyAdmin in one package.
- Artha — A full thesaurus, no internet connection needed.
- Celestia — Lets you virtually travel into space to check out planets and stars.
- GoldenDict — Dictionary and encyclopedia tool that lets you research words from multiple sources.
- Gramps — Genealogy software that assists with researching and mapping your family tree.
- Marble — Offers a virtual globe for learning about Earth.
- Mnemosyne — Flash card software for memorizing anything.
- Solfege — Helps musicians practice chords, scales, and more.
- TIPP10 — Teaches you to touch type.
- 2048 — The addicting number game where you must combine numbered titles to build up to 2048.
- A Dark Room — An adventure game that takes place entirely through text.
- Atomic Tanks — Blow up enemy tanks using a selection of crazy weapons.
- Big Solitaires 3D — Collection of 40 solitaire games; perfect if you’ve mastered Windows Solitaire!
- Canabalt — The father of endless runner games.
- Freeciv — Strategy game in which you build your empire in the stone age and advance it to the space age.
- LBreakout2 — The classic game of Breakout. Use your paddle to bounce a ball into a wall of blocks.
- Lucas Chess — A chess game that teaches you to play through increasingly difficult opponents and training exercises.
- Mines-Perfect— The classic game of Minesweeper with extra board shapes added.
- Monster RPG 2 — A nostalgic role-playing game in the style of Super Nintendo classics.
- PokerTH — Grab your sunglasses and play Texas hold ’em poker against computer players or others online.
- Scorched 3D — Control your artillery and battle your enemies in 3D.
- Sudoku — The popular numbers puzzle game with several difficulties and automatic game saves.
- The Legend of Edgar — A retro-styled 2D platformer.
- AniFX — Full-featured mouse cursor editor.
- Caesium — Lets you compress and optimize images.
- GIMP — One of the most powerful alternatives to Photoshop for advanced image editing.
- IcoFX — Icon editor for making cool custom images for folders or files.
- Inkscape — Vector image editor that provides a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
- IrfanView — Popular image viewer that offers so much more than the Windows default.
- Lightscreen — Basic screenshot tool that provides more than the Snipping Tool.
- PicPick — One of our favorite screenshot tools that includes an image editor, color picker, and more.
- RawTherapee — Advanced editor for working with RAW images.
Instant Messaging (5)
- Ekiga — Open-source alternative to Skype that includes a softphone.
- Mumble — Voice chat software intended for use while gaming.
- Pidgin — A longtime favorite chat client for accessing your AOL, Yahoo, and other accounts all in one place.
- Skype — Everyone is on Skype, so this provides easy video calling and instant messaging to your friends and family.
- Telegram — One of the best messaging apps around; it’s secure, speedy, and simple.
Office / Productivity (10)
- CuteMarkEd — A Markdown editor, perfect for writing web-ready content.
- Finance Explorer — A free budgeting software you can take on the go.
- FocusWriter — Lets you write in peace without distractions.
- Foxit Reader — Powerful PDF reader and a great alternative to the bloated Adobe Reader.
- LibreOffice — A full-featured Office suite that rivals Microsoft Office.
- Mozilla Thunderbird — Manage your email and contacts with this desktop client. It’s a great alternative to webmail on foreign machines.
- RedNotebook — A journal featuring live search, backup options, and calendar navigation.
- SpeedCrunch — Powerful calculator for any number-crunching needs.
- Stickies — Lets you add as many sticky notes as you want to your desktop.
- ZoomIt — Allows you to zoom in and annotate your screen with a hotkey. Useful for presentations.
- ClamWin — A free antivirus for scanning files on any machine. The portable version doesn’t support automatic scanning, so this is for manual scans only.
- Eraser — Securely erase your data so nobody can recover it.
- KeePass — If you don’t want to use a web-based password manager like LastPass, this open-source local manager is a great choice.
- PeerBlock — Firewall that lets you block traffic by IP address.
- Spybot – Search & Destroy — An anti-malware tool that complements a standard antivirus program.
- TDSSKiller — Removes rootkits.
- VeraCrypt — A successor to the dead TrueCrypt that allows you to encrypt any disk.
Utilities / Miscellaneous (25)
- Ant Renamer — Powerful tool for renaming files when the File Explorer isn’t enough.
- AquaSnap — Boosts your desktop productivity by adding more window options.
- CamStudio — Easy-to-use screen recorder.
- CubicExplorer — Full-featured alternative to Windows Explorer.
- Dicom — Auto-completes your words for more efficient typing.
- Ditto — Clipboard manager to keep everything you copy.
- DOSBox — Emulate MS-DOS anywhere.
- DSynchronize — Lets you synchronize multiple folders.
- Duplicate Files Finder — Helps you clean your hard drive by removing doubled files.
- FileZilla — The gold standard for everything FTP.
- JkDefrag — Disk defragmentation tool; you don’t need this for solid-state drives!
- KiTTY — Telnet and SSH client for remotely accessing to other systems. Forked from popular but clunky PuTTY.
- PeaZip — One of the best file archiving tools that lets you work with any kind of compressed file.
- Process Explorer — Gives far more information about running processes than the Task Manager.
- qBittorrent — uTorrent is an ad-infested piece of crap, so use this clean alternative for your torrenting needs.
- QuiteRSS — An RSS reader for making sure you never miss a new story.
- Revo Uninstaller — Uninstalls software and removes all leftover information from them.
- Rufus — Lets you create bootable USB drives.
- SnapTimer — Basic countdown timer.
- TeamViewer — The premiere remote desktop connection tool; perfect for using your home PC in the field or connecting to friends.
- TreeSize Free — Disk analyzer that scans your hard drives and shows you what’s taking up the most space.
- TyperTask — Basic text expansion utility for saving time on repetitive entries.
- WhatChanged — Scans for changed Registry information and files and shows you what’s different between the two snapshots.
- Windows Error Lookup Tool — Takes vague Windows error messages and gives you a plain English description of the problem.
- World Clock — Makes working with multiple time zones a snap.
Web Browsers (5)
- Google Chrome — The world’s most popular and speedy browser.
- Lynx — A text-only browser useful for seeing how your website looks to screen readers or just messing around.
- Maxthon Cloud — Another speedy, neat browser with an alternative feature set.
- Mozilla Firefox — If you’re sick of Chrome, Firefox is a great choice that’s also heavily customizable.
- Opera — Another great browser that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Portable Apps for All!
No matter your reason for using portable apps, you’re bound to find something useful here! Load up some of your favorite tools for an always-ready USB stick, or try using a few of these on your computer if their functions sound useful to you. And don’t forget, you could even load up a portable version of Windows onto a USB stick.
Don’t forget that using the PortableApps.com Platform makes managing these tools on your flash drive much easier.
Even in a list of 100, chances are we missed your favorite portable apps. Please share the ones that you can’t live without in the comments!
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