Most programs today have a portable version. These programs can be carried with you on a USB stick and used without installing them on a computer.
Whether you travel a lot using public computers or just want to be prepared if you ever need to reset your computer, loading a USB stick with a few useful portable programs is a great idea. But what are the best tools for USB flash drive? Let’s find out.
It would not be an exaggeration to call the web browser the most important program on any computer. And Google Chrome is currently the fastest and most powerful browser on the market.
Fortunately, Chrome is also available as a portable app. This means you can take your bookmarks and personal settings with you when you travel without having to reinstall and reconfigure your browser every time.
That doesn’t mean Chrome is the only option. If you prefer open source software, Mozilla Firefox is another great portable browser. Whichever program you choose, make sure you have a web browser on your USB drive.
Computers can work with .zip files by default. The fact is that most files downloaded from the Internet will use other archiving formats. Extensions like .7zip and .rar are quite common these days.
To open such files, you need to have a good file extraction program on your flash drive. And 7-zip is the most popular and easiest of these applications.
You can use it to open and create almost any file archive, including obscure formats like tarballs or gzips. Keep the portable version of 7-zip on a USB drive to easily open all types of compressed files.
A common reason for using portable programs on a drive is formatting or restarting the computer. Such an action can often erase all data from the PC, leaving nothing useful on it.
That’s why you should also download a data recovery tool to the USB drive. This is one of the best portable flash drive programs that allows you to partially or even completely recover all lost data.
Recuva is a great choice for this as it is a portable data recovery tool that can be run directly from a USB drive. Also, unlike most similar tools, it also has no data cap. As a result, you can use Recuva to recover as many deleted files as you want from your computer.
Image editors tend to be large programs. Programs like Adobe Photoshop require quite a lot of storage space. But what if you could carry full-featured imaging software on a flash drive?
Gimp is a relatively lightweight open source tool for working with digital images. Its feature set is very similar to Photoshop and allows advanced image editing. The best part is that it is available in a portable form that can be installed on a USB drive and run without installation.
The most annoying thing about multimedia is when reinstalling the operating system on your computer. Playing a video file isn’t as easy as just double-clicking on it – you also need the appropriate codecs.
The best way to make sure you can always play your media files on any computer is to have a good media player with you. VLC media player is probably the best choice for this, as it is a well-known open source program that supports almost all media file formats.
6. Free download manager
If you have a habit of visiting cyber cafes or rely on public Wi-Fi hotspots, you know how unstable your internet connection can be in such places. Unfortunately, downloading anything larger than a few megabytes is an exercise in frustration.
Free Download Manager is one of the best USB flash drive tools that can help you in such situations. Keeping a portable version of this program on your USB allows you to manage and speed up downloads on any PC. It can resume paused downloads, split them into parts, or even download videos from some sites.
Regarding download managers, you can also keep a torrent client on your flash drive. Since you can still download regular files without a download manager, you can’t download a torrent without a proper client.
There are many good torrent clients out there, but one of the easiest is qBittorrent. Portable qBittorrent barely reaches a few megabytes and can be downloaded without problems even on the oldest USB drives.
A web browser like Chrome can usually open .pdf files as well. But a web browser is resource intensive and you may need a dedicated PDF reader, especially on older public PCs.
SumatraPDF is a popular free PDF reader that is also available in portable form. You can put the executable on a USB stick and run it from there to open and view .pdf files without installing anything.
9. Copy Q
Clipboard Manager is probably one of the best USB flash drive tools you can get to instantly boost your productivity. Instead of keeping track of what you copied last, you can just keep copying and sort everything later.
CopyQ is a popular open source clipboard manager. This allows you to save copied text and images in customized tabs and then paste them anywhere. Better yet, it’s available as a standalone program that can be saved to a USB stick and used from there.
10. Everything is portable
Windows’ default search function can be difficult to navigate. Search results do not appear immediately, and the interface is not intuitive. Fortunately, better search tools are available.
Everything is a simple program that can instantly find any files and folders you’re looking for. Resource usage is minimal, so you can easily use it even on old computers.
Best of all, it’s also available as a portable version. Just put it on a flash drive and you can use its advanced search capabilities on any computer you use.
Do you need to store portable tools on a flash drive?
It is highly recommended to prepare at least one flash drive with a set of useful tools. You never know when your computer might crash or need a reboot. Running some important programs from a USB drive can help a lot in such a case.
Each of the applications mentioned above has been carefully selected according to its usefulness, creating a versatile toolkit that can handle the most common PC uses without installing anything.