How to Use PortableApps.com to Launch Apps from USB

What’s smaller than a desktop, laptop, tablet, IPad or smartphone?  You guessed it, a USB flash drive!  Can you really tote around applications on one that can be run from any Windows host computer?  You bet and it’s as easy as can be thanks to a great website www.portableapps.com

Before you do anything, head over to the Portable Apps Applications page.  You’ll be amazed at the free open source software that you can launch straight from your flash drive.  Internet apps like Google Chrome, FileZilla, Firefox & Skype.  Music and Video apps like VLC media player and Coolplayer.  Office apps like Foxit Reader and Openoffice.  And a whole bunch of utilities like Teamviewer, 7-zip and Lightscreen.

Using these apps requires a small download of the Portable apps platform to your USB jump drive.  From there, follow the wizard to configure the drive and select your apps and then you’re off!  The company homepage touts the software as fast, flexible and free.  Even better, since the applications are installed and run from the jump drive, no trace is left behind on the host computer.  Just plug in your jump drive and the apps menu will automatically pop up.  This allows you to take a customized environment to every computer you work at and consistently work from it.  Since it’s a normal flash drive at the same time, you can store all your pertinent documents and files like usual on the leftover space on the drive.

Updating apps is done with a simple button from within the Portable Apps menu–Get More Apps.  No need to navigate back to the www.portableapps.com website, a portable app directory will appear allowing you to check off and add apps easily.  I liked the info showing not only the download size of the app but also its actual size when installed.  This helps when using smaller jump drives. 

In the end, Portable Apps represents a convenient, free way to keep your digital life consistent even when you’re on the go.

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

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