The portable apps, or portable applications, are compact versions of desktop software, which do not require installation and can be run directly from a USB stick. By having all the features of the original versions, with them you can always have everything you use on your home computer or even the office at hand.
What are Portable Apps?
Portable apps are versions of Windows desktop applications, of any type or size, but altered so that they run without the need to be installed. You can use them directly on your computer, but they are designed to be saved to devices such as USB flash drives or memory cards.
So you can take them wherever you want – portable.
Some programs have tools that allow the installation of portable versions, but the vast majority are created by the community, making changes in the official installer. Portable apps are a great alternative for those who need to have the programs they use most often by hand and with their saved preferences, even if they do not have installation permissions on other computers (license per device).
What apps and programs have portable versions?
Several applications and programs for Windows have portable, free and paid versions, and even some games. As a good part of the portable applications are made available by the community, and not by the developers themselves, there are compact versions of programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Sony Vegas, Microsoft Office and After Effects, as well as the Counter-Strike game.
The problem is that the portable versions of these apps are considered pirated software, since they unlock all functions of the same, without the need of payment or go through a trial period. You can turn a premium app installed on your computer into a portable one, but only for your own use.
On the other hand, free and/or open source applications such as browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, etc), image editors (GIMP, Irfanview, etc.), cleaning apps such as CCleaner, office suites such as OpenOffice, such as Skype, audio editors such as Audacity, free versions of antivirus and firewalls, and utilities such as 7-Zip, among others, can be used in compact versions with no problems.
How to create a portable app
There are some options for creating or using portable apps. Here are three programs to create the portable applications, and a complete suite that already has a series of them ready to be loaded on the pendrive or your memory card.
The Cameyo is able to turn many software programs for Windows apps in portable and can capture both installed on your computer, as the packages directly on the site. It also has a manual editing tool for developers who want to create their own portable applications. Cameyo is free for personal use but requires a fee for use by companies.
2. VMWare ThinApp
The VMWare ThinApp, Thinstall old, is one of the most powerful tools of virtualization desktop programs, to turn them into portable versions, but it has a price. It’s professional-oriented and has a very simple method for capturing apps installed on your computer and converting them into portable apps. VMWare is free to test for 60 days but is no longer sold separately, and is included in any VMWare Workstation package, which costs from $149.99.
3. Enigma Virtual Box
The Enigma Virtual Box is a simple and free tool, exclusively dedicated to transform the executables of Windows programs into portable apps. You just need to point the path from where the installer is saved and the program takes care of creating the portable version of the software, without any files being created on the local computer.
4. PortableApps.com Suite
The PortableApps.com Suite is a ready and free solution that occupies only 12 MB of space once installed on your stick. It is an application suite that already has a lot of portable pre-installed apps, all free (without license piracy), with several functionalities: editors, browsers, development tools, audio and video players, office apps, antivirus and even games.