If you are the tech savvy guy in your group, then you certainly needed at one point or another to have a bunch of programs in order to fix someone’s computer. But regular programs don’t quite cut it, they need to be installed, they occupy lots of space and so on. The obvious solution is to use Portable Programs.

By using this type of programs you can quickly access any file type you need or do whatever you have to do without losing any time with installers and configurations. Also, Portable Applications are small, so they can fit on a SD card or a flash drive, and you can carry lots of them with you all all time. There are lots of Portable Programs on the webm just waiting for you to come download and use them, and to give you a helping hand, I put together a list of portable programs to get you started.

These apps are designed to save you time, having small and fast installers and lots of features so you can do just about anything you would do with the full programs, but much faster. Also, websites like PortableApps or Ninite allow you to quickly download and install all the programs you need on a computer, with one simple installer. This type of portable programs are probably the best solution when installing a new OS on your computer and the best part is that you don’t have to keep an installer with you, just login to your account and download what ever you need, with all the recent updates.

Top 13 Portable Programs

1. Notepad++ Portable

When it comes to text editors, Notepad++ is one of the best. Many programmers know this portable program very well, because it’s useful in viewing just about any code in line view, find errors and correct them with ease. Also, Notepad++ offers many more features than the regular Notepad.

2. OpenOffice.org Portable

For those who want to do a quick edit on a document and do not have MS Office installed, or do not have time for the MS installer which takes ages to finish (hopefully, with Windows 8 and Office 13 they will fix this), OpenOffice is the best solution!

3. FileZilla Portable

If you ever worked in WEB design, then you probably used or head of this program. FileZilla allows you upload web pages or websites to your domain in no time. It loads in no time and it allows you to modify your website with just a few clicks. Also, the interface is very simple and intuitive.


4. µTorrent Portable

I have been using µTorrent for more than 3 years now and I must admit this little guy is one of the best torrent downloaders out there! Definitely better than BitComet!

5. GIMP Portable

Linux users will recognize this great portable program in an instant. A great photo manipulator, much better then the Windows Paint program. Although, not as complex as Photoshop, it still gets the job done quickly.

6. Google Chrome Portable / Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition / Opera, Portable Edition

I merged these three browsers into one category because, first of all, they are all great browsers and second, because they are all used by many people. I won’t discuss which is the better browser, I have used them all and I love them all, but in my opinion, they are equally good.

7. Skype Portable

When it comes to IM programs, Yahoo! and Skype are probably the best (sorry Google, not this time). And because Skype has a more simpler installer and it offers a host of great features, I feel it definitely deserves a place on this list.

8. Audacity Portable

Packaged as a portable program, Audacity allows you take an entire recording studio wherever you go! Featuring lots of editing option, this is by far one of the best audio editing programs. Although it occupies pretty less, keep in mind that the temp files it creates are pretty big. But nevertheless, it’s a great audio editor!

9. VLC Media Player Portable

VideoLan Media Player, or VLC is one of the best video players out there. No need for big installers or codecs, just run this app and you can view just about any video file! Also, the 200% volume option is great, giving you more sound from the same track.

10. Linux Ubuntu / MS Windows 8

These two operating systems might not be portable programs, but they do have a feature that make them worthy of this list: Live CD. For those of you who don’t know what this means, this option allows you to fire up the OS without installing anything on your hard drive. I can’t even count the times I recovered files from broken computers with the Ubuntu Live CD.


Remember these are just a few portable programs that come in handy, but there are many more on the web. I tried to get you started here with a few basic portable programs that everyone needs. Keep them stored on a DVD somewhere, you might find that you will often need them and they will be a lifesaver when you do!

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I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.