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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