What are portable apps?

By Charlotte Parker 24 Apr 2018
portable apps

If you've heard the term 'portable apps' and you're not sure what it means, you're in the right place. We've had a look at what portable apps are and why they are so useful.


What 'portable apps' are


To understand 'portable apps', first you should know a bit about how the full versions work. When you install something, lots of files are created and put into different places in your computer. That's why, when you go onto another computer, you can't take it with you. A portable app stores all the files in one place, meaning you can easily move it between computers.




Here's a few of the reasons you might want to use a portable app:

  • Portable - The main reason is so you can use it where ever you want. A portable app can be put onto a USB stick or memory card and used anywhere. This can be especially useful if you use public computers, like in the library.
  • The same settings - Usually you'll set up an app so that the settings suit you. For example, if you use Google Chrome and have extentions and bookmarks set up, you'll always have them available in the portable version.
  • Security - Because the portable app isn't being installed, they don't leave any files behind. Even if some extra files are created, they'll be stored in the same place as the app on your USB drive. That means you can take your USB with you when you're done and not risk leaving any data behind.




You might think that using a smaller, portable version of an app is a no brainer, however there's some situations where installation is better. Here's a few examples:

  • Not all apps have a portable format.
  • Some portable apps won't have all the features that their installable counterparts do.
  • Some portable apps don't update automatically, so you'll have to check for the latest updates manually.

Depending on the app, you might find that the installation version works better for what you need.


Where can you find them?


There's lots of places on the internet where you can find lists of available portable apps. They're usually grouped together by the app types, like web browsers, games, office suites and antivirus programs, which makes it easier for you to pick the ones you use.

One popular site for finding them is Portable Apps, where you can search for the app you want, or have a browse to see if there's any others you might like to use.


Hopefully that's everything you need to help with portable apps. If there's anything else you need help with, you can contact Team Knowhow Experts.

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