Reviewed Free Portable Software Applications and Games for USB. Here you will find the best free portable games, software and applications for Windows that can be stored and then run directly from a flash drive, pen drive, thumb drive or other removable storage device. Bring your favorite office applications, email, web browser, instant messaging, games, graphical editors, media player, antivirus, recovery tools, encryption utilities, P2P file sharing utilities and more with you on a removable USB drive.
What is a Portable Application?
A portable application, also known as a portable app, is a stand alone software program that was designed to be used from a removable storage device, such as a USB flash drive or an external hard drive, without needing to be installed on a computer’s hard drive. Because they are self-contained, they can be run directly from the removable storage device, without being installed on the host computer’s operating system.
Stand alone applications are popular because they allow users to easily carry their favorite software programs with them to use on any computer without leaving any trace of their activity behind. They are also useful for people who need to work on multiple computers and don’t have administrative rights to install software on all of them.
How do Portable Apps for USB Work?
In most cases, portable apps work by storing configuration settings and changes to a configuration file (such as an ini file) on the USB drive. This config file can usually be found in the directory where the application is stored. Making it easy to keep your preferences the same when running the software or game between multiple computers. In some cases a data file such as portable.dat is used to force those ini configuration file changes to remain in that local folder.
Note: A stand alone program that offers no user configurable preferences might also be considered a portable application, if it doesn’t write preferences back onto the host pc.
The Best Free Portable Software for USB
On this site you will find a neatly categorized extensive selection of only the best portable software, tools, utilities, and games that are free to run from USB. Most of these are self executing programs and games for Windows, though I plan to review and include Mac OS and Linux portables at a later point in time.
Most of the software reviewed here has been created by their respective authors with the intent to be run entirely from external removable USB devices such as a flash drive. Sometimes even allowing users to save their changes and personalized settings back to the same device.
Additionally, some may also be available as a stand alone executable. In which case everything is self contained. Making it so you do not need to keep track of multiple folders and files.
What are some Popular Portable Apps and USB Games?
Here are a few popular recently reviewed or updated portable apps and free games that can be stored and run from USB. You can browse the Free Software Categories to find many more.
Fat32 Format USB Drives Larger than 32GB
Force FAT32 format USB by using a FAT32 formatter. The FAT32 file system is capable of formatting drives larger than ...
Deluxe PacMan Portable Arcade Game
Deluxe PacMan is a Free portable PacMan arcade game that was created by Neil Roy. Game play and functionality is based ...
Urban Terror Free Tactical Shooter Game
Urban Terror is a free, multiplayer, first-person tactical shooter video game. It is known for its fast-paced gameplay, ...
CPU Z – Portable System Information
CPU Z is a tiny portable system information tool that can be used to check and display CPU, Memory, Motherboard and ...
Nexuiz – Free First Person Shooter Game
Nexuiz is another great Free First Person Shooter Game. This is a portable game, meaning that it can be run directly ...
Warsow Free First Person Shooter Game
Warsow is a Free First Person Shooter Game. One of the best free portable, fast paced, multiplayer 3D (FPS) first ...
JPEG and PNG Stripper – Remove EXIF Data
JPEG and PNG Stripper is a Freeware Portable Exif Metadata removal tool created by SteelBytes. It can be used to ...
Free Mp3 Downloader – Music2PC
Music2PC is a freeware standalone MP3 Music Downloader created by David Hall. According to David, This non-bittorrent ...
Those are just a handful of the free applications, USB games, portable apps for work, and other useful flash drive tools and software I have found, categorized, and reviewed over the years. Shared with the world in hopes that you and others might also find them useful.
Do you know of any missing free software, application, tool, or game that should be listed? Are you an author who would like to have your portable utility or game reviewed? If so, simply use the contact form to contact me with your submissions and or suggestions.
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