How to Create Portable Version of Applications for Windows

A portable application or software is a click-to-run type of software application. You can run it on any compatible PC without installing it. Upon clicking, it will extract the required files to a temporary folder and run from there. And you won’t need admin rights to run them. So, you can create portable a version of useful applications for your Windows PC and copy them to your USB. After that, you can use them on any Windows PC without installing.

This is especially useful when you don’t have the right to install applications on a PC. Just plug in your USB drive and run the portable application when you need it. This will also ease your work a lot. For example, you can run a web browser, Notepad++, VLC Player, etc. from your USB on any Windows PC.

SEE ALSO: How to Make Zip of Death of Zip Bomb?

Create Portable Applications for your Windows PC

We will need some basic and open-source utilities to make a portable version of any application. Here is the list of applications we need.

After you are ready with prerequisites, follow these steps.

Step 1: Install WinRAR and Universal Extractor 2 on your Windows PC

First of all, download and install WinRAR on your PC. We will use WinRAR to finally create portable a version of applications or software for a Windows PC.

After that download UniExtract2 on your PC. After downloading, extract the zip file and run UniExtract.exe file.

Download And Install Universal Extractor 2 On Your Pc
Extract and run UniExtract.exe on your Windows PC

After that, click Next twice so that you are on the third page. Here, click the Context Menu Entries button and Enable the context menu entries.

Enable Context Menu Entries For Easy Access
Enable Context Menu Entries for UniExtract2 on Windows

Universal Extractor will start after you click Finish. You can close it for now.

Step 2: Extract Application EXE using UniExtract 2

Now, copy your application’s EXE file to any folder and right-click on it. Here, depending on the Windows version you are using, select the appropriate option to extract application files. In this tutorial, we have used VLC Player to create a portable version of applications.

Windows 11:

Right-click on the Application EXE file and select Show more options > UniExtract to Subdir.

Windows 10:

Right-click on the EXE file and select UniExtract to Subdir.

Right Click On Exe File And Select Extract To Subdir
UniExtract EXE to Subdir

You will see an extraction pop-up in the bottom-right corner of your desktop.

Universal Extractor Extracting Application Files
Universal Extractor extracting application files

Step 3: Add Extracted Files to the Archive using WinRAR

Now, go to the folder where application EXE files are extracted. Here, select all files and right-click on them. From the right-click context menu, select the appropriate option depending on your Windows version.

Windows 11:

Select all files > Right-click > Show more options > Add to archive…

Windows 10:

Select all files > Right-click > Add to archive…

Select All Extracted Files And Right Click And Select Add To Archive Option
Select all extracted files > Right-click > Add to archive

SEE ALSO: How to Compress and Extract ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad?

Step 4: Select SFX Archive to Create a Portable Application

You will see the WinRAR archiver dialogue box. Type a name for your archive (VLC Player Portable in our case). Under Archiving options, check Create SFX archive.

Type A Name For Portable Application And Select Create Sfx Archive
Type a name for the portable application and select Create SFX Archive

After that, go to the Advanced tab and click SFX options…

Go To Advanced Tab And Click Sfx Options
Go to the Advanced tab and click SFX Options

Step 5: Set SFX Options and Create a Portable Version of the VLC Player

In SFX options, go to the Setup tab. Here, type application exe name (vlc.exe in our case) in the “Run after extraction” field. After that go to the Modes tab and select Unpack to temporary folder.

Configure Sfx Options And Click Ok To Create Portable Version Of Applications In Windows
Configure SFX options and click OK

Lastly, go to the Update tab and select “Overwrite all files”. After that click OK to close Advanced SFX options.

Sfx Options Update Tab Overwrite All Files And Click Ok
Go to the Update tab, select Overwrite all files, and click OK

Finally, click OK again, and WinRAR will create an SFX archive of VLC Player. Similarly, you can make the portable version of other applications.

Portable Version Creation In Progress
Portable Version creation in progress

SEE ALSO: How to Set Video Wallpaper in Windows 10 using VLC Player?

Step 6: Test your Portable Version of Application

Now, double-click the newly created SFX application (VLC-Player-Portable.exe file in our case). It will start extracting the portable application to a temporary folder.

Run create Portable version of Applications Extraction Will Start
Run Portable Application – Extracting to a temporary folder

After successfully extracting the files, your application will start.

Vlc Player Portable
VLC Player Portable

SEE ALSO: How to Hide Files in Image using Command Prompt?

Create Portable Applications and Run on any Windows PC

Now, after you have successfully created the portable version of your applications, you can copy them to your USB drive. After that, you can simply run these portable applications or software directly from USB. You won’t need to install them on a new PC. This method may not work for all types of applications but it works for most common utilities.

Hope you enjoyed the process of creating a portable version of software applications for Windows PC. In case you face any problems, feel free to share them in the comment section down below. You may also subscribe to our newsletter to get such tips and tricks directly into your inbox.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

One Comment

  1. I followed the very interesting tutorial.

    The only difference is that I had to replace the version of the file “innounp.exe” because I had the following error:

    Signature detected: Inno Setup Setup Data (6.1.0) (u)
    This is not directly supported, but I’ll try to unpack it as version 6000
    ; Version detected: 6100 (Unicode)
    Unpacking failed. This version is not supported.

    At the end of step 6, the created SFX archive was quarantined because Windows Defender detected the following threat: Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.H!ml.

    Any ideas to solve the problem?

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