We all know the ritual that awaits us when we buy a new desktop computer or a new laptop, or when the hard drive holding all our precious installed software dies. The ritual of installing the operating system along with the dozens (at least) of crucial software takes very long. And the task itself is, actually, very unnecessary.
Some people prefer creating backup images of their hard drives. But to be up to date, you would need to refresh your backups often, making such an effort just as much time-consuming as reinstalling all your software.
It is much simpler and safer to only backup your documents and use portable software instead of installed software.
What Is Portable Software?
Portable software is the kind of software that doesn’t require an installation procedure.
This explanation might seem trivial at first, but it has lots of consequences — all of which are advantageous.
Advantages of Portable Software
A portable software…
- is fully contained within its own folder
- keeps all its settings and dependent libraries within its own folder
- doesn’t add entries to the Windows registry, so it doesn’t slow the computer down a bit
- doesn’t make any changes to your computer whatsoever outside of its own folder
- can be easily copied or moved to another folder or another computer without the need to make any extra changes
- can be simply erased without it leaving any traces of itself on the computer
In practice, the above list is very advantageous for privacy-concerned people.
Also, there are no headaches with a portable software — if it breaks, just delete its folder, and your troubles are gone in an instant.
Obviously, not all software packages are available in portable versions. Most well-known, widely-used, and usually open-source programs come in a portable flavor. But some commercial monster-packs are not portable and likely never will be.
Portable Software Resource Sites
You can find and download stand-alone portable software one by one from their various developers and creators. Or you can download prearranged software toolkits that bundle together many of the most well-liked apps.
Here are the links to some of the most well-known portable software resource sites:
I am sure that you will be surprised how many of the programs you are already using have portable versions available.
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