A portable application or software is click-to-run type of software application. You can run it on any compatible PC without installing. Upon clicking, it will extract 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 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 specially useful when you don’t have rights 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 web browser, Notepad++, VLC Player etc. from your USB on any Windows PC.
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Create Portable Applications for your Windows PC
We will need some basic and open-source utilities to make portable version of any application. Here is the list of applications we need.
- UniExtract2 (Universal Extractor 2) – Download
- WinRAR Archiver – Download
- Application’s EXE file – we have used VLC Player in this tutorial. You can download it from here.
After you are ready with pre-requisites, 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 version of applications or software for Windows PC.
After that download UniExtract2 on your PC. After downloading, extract the zip file and run
After that, click Next twice so that you are on third page. Here, click Context Menu Entries button and Enable the context menu entries.
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 upon the Windows version you are using, select appropriate option to extract application files. In this tutorial, we have used VLC Player to create portable version of applications.
Right-click on Application EXE file and select Show more options > UniExtract to Subdir.
Right-click on EXE file and select UniExtract to Subdir.
You will see extraction pop-up in the bottom-right corner of your desktop.
Step 3: Add Extracted Files to Archive using WinRAR
Now, go to the folder where application EXE files are extracted. Here, select all files and right-click on them. From right-click context menu, select appropriate option depending upon your Windows version.
Select all files > Right-click > Show more options > Add to archive…
Select all files > Right-click > Add to archive…
Step 4: Select SFX Archive to Create Portable Application
You will see WinRAR archiver dialogue box. Type a name for your archive (VLC Player Portable in our case). Under Archiving options, check Create SFX archive.
After that, go to Advanced tab and click SFX options…
Step 5: Set SFX Options and Create Portable Version of VLC Player
In SFX options, go to Setup tab. Here, type application exe name (
vlc.exe in our case) in the Run after extraction field. After that go to Modes tab and select Unpack to temporary folder.
Lastly, go to the Update tab and select “Overwrite all files”. After that click OK to close Advanced SFX options.
Finally click OK again, and WinRAR will create SFX archive of VLC Player. Similarly, you can make portable version of other applications.
Step 6: Test your Portable Version of Application
Now, double-click newly created SFX application (
VLC-Player-Portable.exe file in our case). It will start extracting the portable application to temporary folder.
After successfully extracting the files, your application will start.
Create Portable Applications and Run on any Windows PC
Now, after you have successfully created 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 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 portable version of software applications for Windows PC. In case you face any problems, feel free to share them in comment section down below. You may also subscribe to our newsletter to get such tips and tricks directly into your inbox.