13 Kinds Of Portable Apps You Should Always Carry With You

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Windows has so many apps. Some like Chrome, Office, etc, are used every day, all day. Then you’ll find more obscure apps like TrueCrypt or Recuva – single purpose software that you need once in a blue moon. But when you do need it, there’s no time to go download.

Portable apps for Windows are used for two reasons:

  • For keeping obscure single use apps handy for when you need them.
  • Always carrying apps like Recuva, TrueCrypt, and your personal favorite browsers with you in a pen drive when you need to use/fix someone else’s PC.

Portable apps, just like their desktop counterparts, are dime a dozen and it’s possible to over do yourself if you’re not careful. Read on to find out the must have portable apps for Windows.

What’s The Best Way To Download Portable Apps In Bulk?

Portable Apps1

You’ll find more than a dozen apps listed below. What if you want to download them all? Use the Portable Apps suite. It acts as a downloader app – simply check the apps you want and it will download them for you.

Follow our guide to load up your USB pen drive with your favorite portable apps. Pen drives are cheap nowadays. I recommend buying a 4-8 GB keychain drive specifically for this purpose.

1. Browsers Of Your Choice: Chrome, Firefox, Opera

Firefox 29 Windows

It’s best to carry your favorite browser with you. What if you’re asked to use a Windows XP PC with Internet Explorer 6? (A misfortune I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.) Here are some more recommendable browsers:

2. Antivirus, Antispyware, and Antimalware

If a PC is overflowing with viruses, chances are it won’t let you connect to the internet or let you download an antivirus app. This is when one of the following portable antivirus apps will come in handy.

Speaking of things you don’t want crawling around your PC, how about malware? Those sick buggers just won’t leave after getting in. They’ll stop you from accessing the internet, won’t let you open websites and make your computer a living hell. Get one of these little bug zappers and have it ready to go on your portable drive.

3. FTP And Server Apps: Filezilla, XAMPP


FileZilla is the FTP client of choice for many, and it’s available as a portable app. If you’re looking to start an offline server for development on a new machine, XAMPP’s portable app will come in handy.

4. Downloaders: uTorrent, qBittorrent

Q Bittorrent

qBittorrent, our favorite uTorrent alternative is available as a portable download. So is uTorrent, if you still prefer it for some reason.

5. PDF And Text Readers

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Adobe Reader is the worst, no?. Well if a free open source alternative is available, I’ll always choose that. The portable versions of Sumatra and Foxit are both great PDF and text file readers.

6. Password Managers: KeePass And LastPass Offline Access

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Carrying an offline copy of your passwords in a USB drive? KeePass is the best way to do it. There’s also a way to do this with LastPass.

7. Archive Utility: 7-zip

7-zip will unzip it all.

8. Document Editing: OpenOffice, Notepad++

Notepad 2 Border Maker

You can’t buy Microsoft Office for every PC you work at. OpenOffice’s suite is surprisingly close to Office. Take the portable app with you.

Notepad++ is great for writing anything from notes to coding. And the app’s plugins will increase your productivity exponentially.

Did you know? Google Drive’s Docs, Sheets and Slides can be used offline. Just go to Drive’s website and enable offline access from settings. You’ll need to be running Chrome for this tough.

9. For Recovering Lost Files : Recuva


What if a PC is too far gone? Recover the important files via Recuva and format that thing.

10. On-The-Fly Encryption: TrueCrypt

Need to encrypt files while on the go? TrueCrypt is for you.

11. Image Editors: GIMP, RIOT, Irfanview


Irfanview is best for basic image editing and viewing. When you need to batch process images, RIOT will have your back. GIMP is for those high level image editing tasks.

12. System Cleaners: CCleaner And Glary Utilities

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Clean the system from temporary files, registries, old files, etc, with the portable version of CCleaner and Glary Utilities.

We’ve done an in-depth comparison between the two apps if you’re interested to know more about them.

13. Uninstallers : GeekUninstaller

GeekUninstaller will uninstall any app you need and will clean up the files left off by the install.

Whats Your Must Have Portable App?

Did I miss something? What portable app can’t you live without? Let us know in the comments below.

Top image via Shutterstock

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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