If you’ve ever downloaded and installed free programs and had extra, unwanted stuff installed on your computer then you’ll appreciate Portable Apps.
I first discovered Portable Apps over six years ago. I know this because I logged in today and my Portable Apps profile page told me so. It also told me that my original preferred method of storing Portable Apps was a re-writable DVD. How things have changed. I updated my profile page ‘cos now I’m using USB thingies (technical term).
But I digress.
What the heck are Portable Apps?
I’m glad you asked.
Portable Apps are free, open source programs which you can use on almost any computer without leaving any footprints behind. The apps are run directly from the USB thingy instead of being installed on the computer. So when you eject the USB drive there’s nothing of the programs left behind. There’s no need to uninstall because the apps don’t get installed on the computer in order to run.
There are over 300 apps in the Portable Apps arsenal. You may only want one or two and that’s OK. You only download the apps you want to try, you can add more whenever you need from within the program. Yes, even the Portable Apps program itself runs from the USB drive without being installed on your computer.
My Favorite Portable Apps
You probably know I make videos and in the last couple of years the audio has been much better than it was when I first started. For this I thank my new microphone and Portable Apps.
I’ve always used Audacity (free) to clean up the audio on my videos, especially to remove the sounds of me breathing. I tend to breathe through my mouth when I’m speaking and so it can be quite audible. Audacity has a ‘Noise Reduction’ feature which reduces the heavy breathing to a straight line of silence. But one of the program updates didn’t include this feature. Dang! Well the feature was still there but it no longer worked.
So I added Audacity to my Portable Apps collection and it worked just as before. The next update fixed the problem in Audacity but at least I had a working version in the meantime.
As a ‘webmaster’ I like to check my websites in various browsers to make sure they look as expected. But I don’t have to install all the browsers on my computer because Portable Apps has Chrome, Firefox and Opera as well as other slightly more obscure browsers.
My favorite FTP program, FileZilla has a glitch in the latest version. It’s not installing properly and can’t use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). So, at least temporarily, I am using the portable version of FileZilla. This is what prompted me to go back to Portable Apps today and get some fresh downloads.
Another favorite of mine is OpenOffice which is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Yes, there’s a portable version of OpenOffice too.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out Portable Apps for yourself.
What are your favorite Portable Apps? Leave a message in the comments section.
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