Portable

The best completely Free Windows Software - Freeware. No shareware, no nagware, no adware.
Reviewed continuously, Categorized conveniently. Always up-to-date.

Portable software runs on your USB Drive
, custom flash drive, or your iPod, or a Memory stick
, or any type of external drive you plug into a USB port. You don't have to install anything on the computer's hard drive. It's like carrying your office around with you. Or... carrying your home to the office.

These kind of apps are becoming more and more popular as USB flash drives get cheaper and cheaper. If you ever do any work at more than one computer, go get one now, then install this freeware. Then you can do something else. If you want. Or, you can just hold your key drive and feel good about what you've just done.

By the way, I haven't included everything you can run this way, only those things you probably want to run this way.

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PC System Information Tool

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 13:36 in
PC Wizard

PC Wizard

System information tools provide a convenient way to give you information about, hmm, your system. Hardware information from your keyboard to your RAM. Software information about running processes and installed programs. All details of your computer are laid out neatly for information or troubleshooting.

Duplicate File Detector

Published by nedpwolf on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 12:21 in
Duplicate Commander

Duplicate Commander

It's pretty much inevitable that you will wind up with several copies of the exact same file saved on your local drives. Whether it is the same video clip, the same cute kitty photo that people keep emailing you or perhaps your term paper that you keep saving in different places.

Not only does this eat up drive space, it also makes it very, very hard to keep track of the correct, most-recent version of the file you are looking for.

Portable Note Taker / Word Processor

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 14:19 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

Jarte

Do you need to take notes when you're not on your own PC? What about modifying a Word document where no MS Word is installed? Maybe you want to have a collection of documents available with you at all times.

Jarte is a full-function word processor and note taker that runs off a USB drive. (I actually keep a copy on my phone.) Take your documents and the word processor with you wherever you go.

Portable Chat Software

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 12:48 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

Pidgin

You're on the road and need to have a quick chat with your family. You can't install software on the machine you're working on. What do you do?

Chat on all the networks (AIM, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, and Yahoo! Messenger) with one client that you carry in your pocket. Pidgin has a plugin architecture that extends to every new chat server or protocol that comes up including Skype.

Portable Antivirus Software

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 12:27 in

Tags 

Portable, Security
ClamWin

ClamWin

Yes, you can infect your personal files by plugging in your portable drive into another computer.

Do not trust a strange computer. Run an antivirus program. These days, it is not an option. It's a necessity.

Portable Photo Editor - Graphics Program

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:48 in

Tags 

Portable, Graphics
Gimp Portable

Gimp Portable

The Most Powerful Graphics Freeware is Portable

Imaging carrying the power of Photoshop from machine to machine

Portable Music Player

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:51 in

CoolPlayer

Work fine with all the standard music formats. Groovy skin

Portable Media Player / Video Player - General

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:45 in

VLC Portable

Excellent general purpose video and audio player. It handles all the major codecs and plays DVD's, CD's VCD's and all major video and audio formats. It's small and superfast with a clean interface.

Portable Picture Viewer / Image Converter

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:40 in

Tags 

Portable, Graphics

XnView

XnView is one of my favorite image viewers (along with IrfanView), portable or not. It can view practically every image format out there and can convert between them. It has a rudimentary photo editor, and it supports Photoshop plugins. Nice!

Portable RSS Reader / NewsFeed Reader

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:37 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

GreatNews

A very nice, stand-alone RSS reader. If you prefer, you can use an online service like Plucker, Yahoo, or Google, but GreatNews has more customizable features such as the ability to categorize and label your feeds. You can also modify the appearance to your liking.

Portable Email Client /Newsreader

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 11:55 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

Portable Thunderbird

It's essential to get email on the road. Both Mobility Email and Portable Thunderbird allow you to do this safely and securely. Again, without leaving traces on the host computer. Both programs are based on Thunderbird, and both are excellent.

Portable Password Protector / Password Manager

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 13:44 in

Tags 

Portable, Security

KeePass

Perhaps you don't want to save all your files, but only want a handy place to keep all your passwords. I used to recommend PINs for this category, but KeePass is open source, a big plus for encryption software.

USB Encryption Software - Portable Drive Encryption

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 13:39 in

Tags 

Portable, Security

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt isn't just listed because it's portable software. It's listed because it's the best, portable or not. You can create a virtual drive of any size you choose that contains all your private data and information. You can use it to encrypt your entire USB drive or only a segment of it if you prefer. I highly recommend this tool.

Portable BitTorrent Client

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

ĀµTorrent

Stand-alone BitTorrent client. It's not quite as powerful as Azureus, but it uses much fewer system resources. It supports all the goodies: simultaneous downloads, rate-limiting, prioritization, etc.

Portable Web Browser

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

Portable Firefox

Surf the web without leaving any clues on the host computer. Oh, and use a superior browser while you're at it.

Portable PDF Reader

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

Foxit PDFReader

Weighing in at a little over a meg, this PDF viewer is faster than Adobe Reader. Believe it or not, you might come across a machine that doesn't have Adobe Reader installed. You might even prefer Foxit. A lot of people do.

Portable Calendar / Personal Information Manager (PIM)

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

EssentialPIM

It performs all your basic PIM needs: calendar, contact manager, etc. Conveniently, you can import your Outlook information, and it supports built-in encryption. You don't want your whole life in someone's hands when you lose your keys, do you?

Portable Office Suite

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

Portable OpenOffice

Hey, is that a full office suite of applications along with your private documents in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? John Haller is a heck of a guy. He's taken several of the best freeware applications and made portable versions. The outstanding OpenOffice works great from a USB drive (as long as the drive is over 127 meg).

Portable Word Processor

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

Portable AbiWord

If you don't want or need a full office suite, take a look at Portable AbiWord. It's much smaller than LibreOffice and faster, too. John Haller created this version of the excellent AbiWord word processor to perform even faster than the original.

Portable File Undelete Tool

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

If you are truly paranoid about leaving tracks on a visited computer, run Restoration to see what files may be undeleted after you leave.

Portable Text Editor / Notepad Replacement

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Office

Notepad2

This is a lean, mean text-editing machine. Notepad2 is one of the lighter-weight of the notepad replacements, but it's still vastly superior to Windows Notepad.

Portable FTP Software

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

Filezilla

I also recommend Filezilla in my standard desktop software category. Simple and clean, it runs perfectly off a USB drive.

Portable Audio CD Ripper

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

CDex

You're at your buddy Skeeter's house, and you see he has the latest Gregorian Chants CD. What to do? Rip it to your memory stick with CDex, the best CD audio extractor around.

Portable Website Downloader

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

HTTrack

wGetGui

HTTrack is the easiest way to download a site for offline viewing (or to put on your thumb drive). Watch out, though. If you want complete privacy - no traces left on the host computer, this might not be the way to go. It saves a recent file list in Windows registry.

Portable Telnet / SSH

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00 in

Tags 

Portable, Internet

PuTTY

PuTTY is a perfectly portable application. The champion of Telnet / SSH / sFTP clients needs no installation.

update 10/5
I received an email from Lolitka mentioning that PuTTY will save session date to the Windows registry and asking if there was a way to bypass this and save the information on the flash drive. The easiest way is to not save sessions, but to invoke Putty with command-line options to automatically connect to the host. There is no way to actually save a session to the USB device that I'm aware of.