Best Free Portable Applications

 Best Free Portable System Tools

Best Free Portable Backup Program & Folder Sync Utility:

Toucan -- Download | Support | Forum | Editor Review

Description: Toucan has a simple interface for syncing and backing up. It allows you to easily keep the same files and folders on multiple locations. If you want to sync to a flash drive, just use its "mirror (update)" function to periodically add new programs and remove unwanted programs from the flash drive. Or use its backup tab to archive your folders and files to a backup location. The encryption and other components look much more complicated for some users. But it comes with a help manual if you need its advanced features.

"If you are looking for a light weight portable backup solution this little app has your number. It supports incremental and differential backups, zip or 7-zip compression, AES 256 bit encryption using ccrypt, and a simple restore feature." Verified TruPortable.

Another interesting approach is to backup portable apps or your essential archives to a secure online backup site. For example, Windows Live Skydrive allows 25 GB of space, or use DropBox if you don't need as much space and want to share files. See our review for other options.

Alternate Sync Products: FreeFileSync | Folder Synchronization Utility

Related Products to Backup Profiles: FEBE (Firefox only) | MozBackup (Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.)

Best Free Portable Software Update Monitor:

FileHippo Update Checker -- Download | Editor Review

Description: Keeping software up-to-date is sometimes essential for security, especially with critical Windows updates and risky software (browsers, office document apps, media players, PDF viewers, Java/Flash player plugins, etc.). Secunia OSI is an excellent online app to run every once in awhile, but it requires the Java plugin. It searches for apps with security flaws, and it scans for Windows patches to make sure you haven't forgotten or ignored the sometimes annoying Windows update messages! But it's limited to risky and common software.

To check for newer versions of the rest of your software, you can use a general software update monitor to automatically search your PC for applications in need of updates. FileHippo's Update Checker is "easy to use and provides direct download links" from a very reliable site. You can also click on "Settings" and add custom search locations, such as for your portable app folders. But it only searches for the updates of apps listed on its download site, so it may not be enough on its own and may require supplemental manual update checking. Writes setting changes to registry.

Best Free Portable Screen Capture Utility:

PicPick -- Home | Download | Support | Editor Review

Description: Again Windows comes with only very basic screen capture features. You can use the "Print Screen" button to copy the screen to the clipboard (or hit ALT at the same time to copy an active window to the clipboard), but PicPick has better flexibility and features, and many additional tools. It's "user friendly and suitable for most average users. A right click on the tray icon shows a context menu for capturing full screen, active window, window control, rectangular, fixed or freehand region. Supports auto-scroll, dual monitors, sound effect and multiple formats. An image editor is included, plus extra features such as a color picker, screen ruler, protractor, cross hair and whiteboard." Verified TruPortable.

Alternate Products: FastStone Capture (TruPortable)

Best Free Portable File Manager:

xplorer² lite -- Home | Download | Editor Review

Description: If you have had two or three windows Explorers open, then you might benefit from a feature rich file manager. xplorer² lite "is easy to use and learn, has a similar interface to Windows Explorer, and supports dual panes and folder tabs." Now, if I could just remember to use it! Verified TruPortable.

Alternate Products: FreeCommander Portable | XYplorer

Best Free Portable Encryption:

TrueCrypt -- Home | Download | FAQ | Forum | Editor Review

Description: Encrypts your files to protect your personal information while in transit or in cases of stolen or lost computers or flash drives, or just to lock out prying eyes and malware from your personal or private files. "TrueCrypt is a seasoned, widely-used encryption program. Its open source status allows the all-important peer review of the source code required for a trustworthy encryption program." Limited function in portable version and writes settings to registry.

Other types of freeware also encrypt to some extent, such as file archive and folder sync programs.

Related Articles: Portable Mode/Traveler Mode | Encryption is Not Enough | Encryption Utility for Work

Alternate Products: FreeOTFE (Creates entries in registry)

Best Free Portable Zip Utility:

7-Zip -- Home | Download | Support | Editor Review

Description: A much better app for archiving is the portable 7-Zip. It allows you to compress, encrypt, and set passwords for your backups. I found it easy to use. It was especially good for uncompressing files/folders in its file manager. "It's easy to install, gives meaningful error messages, and is capable of uncompressing from multiple embedded files. Even though it handles fewer archive types than some other programs, it's a fantastic program that will fill 99% of all your file archiving needs." Verified TruPortable.

Use Peazip or IZArc (etc.) below if you need additional formats.

Alternate Products: PeaZip (TruPortable) | IZArc | Universal Extractor

Editor's Advisory Note: IZArc is now bundled with OpenCandy. See this article for more information.


Best Free Portable Data Recovery / File Un-delete Utility:

Recuva -- Home | Download | Support | Editor Review

Description: Recuva is a "quick simple solution, copes well with the flash memory used in digital cameras, MP3 players, or USB drives". It recovers files from damaged or formatted drives, deleted emails (Outlook, Thunderbird Windows Live), and deleted iPod music. On its default settings, it has fast scans, but if you need to do a deep scan to find a deleted file, then it will take much longer. Make sure to recover files to a different drive to improve your chances of recovery. As a nice extra, it can erase most files it finds. Verified TruPortable.

Best Free Portable System Information Utility:

SIW -- Home | Download | FAQ | Editor Review

Description: Windows has some built-in system information features in its control panel. But SIW is a much better option and it does even more than all the scattered Windows tools lurking in unseen places. It "displays detailed specs for motherboard, BIOS, CPU, devices, memory, video, disk drives, ports, printers, operating system, installed programs, processes, services, serial numbers (CD keys), users, open files, system uptime, network, network shares, as well as real-time monitors for CPU, memory, page file usage and network traffic. It also displays currently active network connections, passwords hidden behind asterisks, installed codecs, and more."

I did receive an antivirus warning for its Eureka password revealer, but that's a false positive if user initiated.  The network activity meter didn't work for me (probably my firewall is the culprit). And I much prefer to use the handy Process Explorer to view running processes and CPU/Memory activity. But the great thing about SIW is that it brings together all your system information into one portable app. Verified TruPortable. Advisory: SIW is bundled with OpenCandy. More information here.

Alternate Products: PC Wizard (Writes settings to registry) | CrystalMark2004

Best Free Portable Desktop Search:

Everything Search Engine -- Home | Download | FAQ | Editor Review

Description: "It finds files on your hard drive faster than any product we’ve tested. Even on a terabyte sized drives containing hundreds of thousands of files your search results appear near instantaneously. That’s impressive in itself but there's more. Everything indexes your disks in seconds rather than hours. That means no more laborious background indexing that slows your computer to a crawl. Everything only searches file names not the contents of files. However in this role it is a product without peer." Verified TruPortable.

Related Portable Apps


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if you have clamwin, you might as well pair clam sentinel with it to give it real time scanning. it has a portable.

yes indeed I will check it out and see how it can be added . thanks

Additional Portable Apps for Anti-Malware Removal

winpatrol has a portable version:

Best Free Portable Software Update Monitor

yes, filehippo is great. but Sumo is far better (free and has portable) and detects everything on your system, not just filehippo software.

can i get kcsoftware on my android as my laptop wont downlad

i don't consider Comodo System Cleaner truly portable. i used it and liked it. eventually removed it. months later upon investigation found parts of 2 drivers on my system that google revealed came from CSC (was hard to find in google though). you can find them yourself with anvir taskmanager free (go to bottom and press drivers) or with esets free taskmanager tool (maybe even with free runscanner). drivers name was just a bunch of small case letters.

The ClamWinPortableDBUpdate link above leads to a non secure site, so please have a look into it.

Also, I would like to mention that there is a portable version for Superantispyware.

Thank you.

thanks, Superantispyware portable link is there . there no longer seems to be a secure site for ClamWinPortableDBUpdate