What are Windows Portable Apps and How to Use them

Sometimes a computer’s effectiveness is measured by the applications it’s powerful enough to run. And indeed, that’s the main reason computers exist as hardware – to run software/applications. Did you know that there are Windows Portable applications that you can carry with you and run on any Windows computer?

For Windows computers, there are several ways to get an application to run. However, the most common method is to run the application setup file either directly on the computer or from an external storage device and follow the installation prompt.

If you use it frequently on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, it makes a lot of sense to install applications on your computer. Installing applications that you rarely or rarely use wastes time and consumes your computer’s storage space. This is where Portable Apps come into play.

Portable Applications are computer applications that you can use without having to install them. This is very similar to the concept of Android Instant Apps; Mobile applications that you can use without installing them on your Android smartphone.

Description of Portable Apps

Portable Applications are software designed to be used without being installed on the host device/computer. They are usually used from a USB drive or other external storage disk. Portable Apps give people the luxury of carrying and using PC software in multiple (computing) environments without having to carry their computers everywhere.

Picture Portable applications act as standalone software that takes advantage of the processor and RAM to run. Its operations are independent of the storage of the host device. This means that Portable Apps do not automatically create, write or store configuration settings or any other files on the computer on which they are used. Instead, the created files are stored on the storage device they are used on (USB pen drive, external hard drive, etc.).

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In terms of context, if you use a Portable Scanner application from a USB flash drive on your home computer, all browsing sessions, saved pages and passwords, cookies, etc. stored in a specific location on the flash drive. After that, you can plug the drive into a different computer, run the portable scanner app, and have full access to everything you do in the browser.

So yes, your computer (or any computer) is just one host of your portable application – it only needs a host for it to run.

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Why Should You Use Portable Apps?

There are quite a few benefits associated with using Portable applications on your Windows PC.


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Portability is the biggest advantage of portable apps. The ease of portability that comes with their use. You can carry your most frequently used application on a flash drive in your pocket and use it on any computer, anywhere in the world. This is much easier than navigating around with your (large) laptop.

Portable apps can even be uploaded to cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox. That means you don’t even need to carry any storage disks. Save your portable app in the cloud and use it anywhere.


It is very difficult to keep track of you or your information as portable applications leave almost no data (files, settings, etc.) on the computer they are used on. Portable applications leave no traceable footprint on the host. Temporary files created by the application are deleted by default when you exit the application. This makes them perfect for general PC use.

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So next time you go to the public library and don’t want to use the library’s browser to surf the web, you can boot your USB drive and use a portable browser instead.

easy to use

Portable apps take up zero storage on the host. The file sizes are small and they take up almost zero space on your storage disk. On average, portable apps range in size from about 4MB to 10MB. You can move as many applications as you want on a flash drive.

About usage, download them to your computer or storage device and click to run. It’s that easy.

Disadvantages of Portable Apps

Limited Functions

Portable apps are mostly watered down versions of regular software. And for this reason, some portable apps don’t have all the features and functions that usually come with full versions.

In general, the most basic features are almost always found in Portable apps.


While there is a large collection of Portable applications in different categories, not all software companies create portable versions of their applications. Some applications require access to create and store certain files and settings on the host in order to function correctly, which defeats the purpose of Portable applications.

easy to lose

Windows Portable Apps

This is not bad at all. You lose the storage device holding a portable app, you lose the app and its data. Physical damage or an unexpected power (voltage) surge can also damage the drive holding portable applications.

That’s why you should occasionally create a backup of your drive or store your Portable apps in the clouds.

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How to Use Portable Apps

As mentioned earlier, Portable apps are very easy to use; just download and click to run. Simple. But where do you find these apps?

There are several platforms that provide these apps, but one of the most popular and reliable is PortableApps. The platform is a reliable repository for portable apps, and on the website you can find all the app categories you want (more than 400 apps).

PortableApps.com also acts as a launcher that helps you effectively set up applications for use on your PC. To show you how, we will download a portable application – a game of Chess. Follow the steps below as they apply to all types and categories of portable apps on the platform.

Stage 1: Visit the PortableApps.com app list.

Step 2: Tap the app that interests you.

What Are Portable Apps?

Stage 3: Tap the green ‘Download from PortableApps.com’ button.

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Step 4: Open your computer’s File Manager and navigate to the folder where the downloaded application is located. Now let’s extract the Portable application from the downloaded file.

Step 5: Right click on the file and tap ‘Run as administrator’.

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This opens the PortableApps.com installer.

Step 6: Tap Next to continue.

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Step 7: Now select the folder where you want the portable app to be extracted and hit the Install button.

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Step 8: After extraction and installation in the target folder, tap Finish to exit PortableApps.com installer.

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Step 9: To run the portable application, open the folder where you extracted the application and open the portable application folder. In this case, it is the folder.

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Step 10: Then double tap the app to run it.

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Here he is. The game (or any portable app you downloaded) starts playing without any problems.

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Try Portable Apps

Portable apps are really handy if you are data and security conscious about leaving usage data on common apps and computers. You can keep your app in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go. If you don’t have a computer of your own or you hate to carry your laptop in your backpack when you travel, Portable apps give you the luxury of having all your computer programs and files on one storage device. The best part – they’re free. Give a chance.

Next: Now that you know what Portable apps are, you should also check out some of the best Portable apps in the article linked below. We’ve also listed some portable gaming apps.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.