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8+ portable apps you should keep on your flash drive

Portable apps are one of the coolest things ever, allowing you to run PC apps off your flash drive without having to install them on the host PC.

There are loads of supported apps out there, so we chose a few that you should slap on your flash drive.

Google Chrome

Maybe you’re using a friend or loved one’s PC. Maybe you’re at an internet cafe. Maybe you’re travelling and using a hotel computer. Either way, why use Edge or Internet Explorer when Chrome will do better?

The portable app means that you can use Google’s browser on another machine, complete with your personal login information. So you’ve got your history, bookmarks and other data on hand with a few clicks.

Don’t care for Chrome? There are portable versions of Firefox and Opera as well.

╬╝Torrent

utorrent,portable apps

Need to download some Linux ISOs or ethically questionable material on a PC other than your own? There’s a portable version of everyone’s favourite torrent client.

The portable version offers most of the same features, such as bandwidth prioritisation, schedules and RSS functionality.

Fancy something different for your torrent needs? Then you should check out the portable version of Transmission.

Telegram

Say what you will about Telegram and its popularity compared to WhatsApp, but it certainly packs better PC support than Facebook’s platform.

Telegram’s portable app maintains the native app’s speed and security, cross-device synchronisation and ability to send files.

VLC Media Player

vlc media player,portable apps

It’s one of the most essential apps around, so you can’t be surprised to hear that VLC is one of many portable apps as well.

The portable version offers similar functionality once again, so keep this on hand for the more obscure music and video formats.

It’s not the only portable media player around though, as Media Player Classic is another candidate.

GIMP

It’s the program I use to quickly edit photos for use on Burn Media and, yes, it can be run off a flash drive if need be.

The app lets you resize, scale, crop, retouch, convert and batch process images in many a format. So if you need to craft an edit for Facebook or your blog, this is worth considering.

Audacity

audacity app

Need to edit or record audio on someone else’s PC? Then check out Audacity, which should do the job in a pinch.

The program offers basic editing and recording functionality, so don’t expect it to reach the heights of premium efforts. But it’ll work if you need to conduct tasks like trimming and splicing.

Want an alternative app? Then consider WaveShop instead. Need to convert audio files instead? Then the popular fre:ac utility has a portable variant as well.

InfraRecorder

CD and DVD burning has practically been relegated to history thanks to the prevalence of flash drives. But you might find yourself needing to burn a disc at a friend’s or family member’s place.

Fortunately, InfraRecorder fulfills this role, allowing you to burn audio CDs, DVDs and disc images.

Don’t care for InfraRecorder? Then give cdrtfe a try instead.

LibreOffice

libreoffice

It can’t be guaranteed that the PC you’re using has Microsoft Office installed on it. So you might want to run LibreOffice off your flash drive instead.

The suite delivers word processing, spreadsheet editing/viewing and presentation editing/viewing. In other words, it should make you somewhat productive.

LibreOffice not up your alley? Then try Apache OpenOffice, as it’s available in portable form too.

Featured image: Denise Mattox via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0, resized)

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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