Free Portable Software

Thumbdrives (Flash Drives, USB Drives, etc.) are a great way to transport your documents back and forth, but did you know that you can also run applications from your thumbdrive? Come learn about portable applications you can use at home and at school! Participants are encouraged to bring their thumbdrive.


Create an If Found File on Your USB

  1. Open your USB Device from My Computer
  2. Right-click anywhere in the White Area
  3. Choose New then Text Document
  4. Type in Your Contact Info (Name, Address, Phone Numbers)
  5. Save the file as IF_FOUND_RETURN_TO.txt

What is a Portable Application?

“Portable means carried or moved with ease. Apps means a computer program like a web browser or word processor. A Portable Apps is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device such as USB flash drive, portable hard drive and iPod and use on any Windows computer. You can access to your software and personal data just as on your own PC. And when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.” (Source:

How to Install and Use Portable Applications

  1. How to use Portable Apps
    1. Download Portable Apps Suite Lite from or use the install file located in the ALLINONE folder on this CD.
    2. Double click the PortableApps_Suite_Lite_1.0.exe file.
    3. If you get an Open File Security warning click Run.
    4. Use the box with the … in it to browse to your usb drive.
    5. Click Install.
    6. When it is finished you can start Portable apps by going to My Computer clicking on your usb drive and double-clicking StartPortableApps.exe.
    7. The suite comes loaded with some basic applications. To add more you will need to:
      1. click on Options
      2. then Install a New App
      3. locate the file (must have .paf.exe)
      4. Click on Install
  2. How to use Pstart
    1. Download Pstart from or use the install file located in the ALLINONE folder on this CD.
    2. Double click the PStartSetup211.exe file.
    3. If you get an Open File Security warning click Run.
    4. Click Next
    5. Click I Accept then Next
    6. Choose Portable Setup then select your USB drive in the Dropdown menu then click Next.
    7. Click Install Now
    8. Click Finish.
    9. To add applications:
      1. Right-click inside the Pstart Window
      2. Select Add File
      3. Locate your File (anything with a .exe, .scr, .com, .bat, or .cmd will work)
      4. Click Open
      5. You can now rename it or add additional info then click OK
      6. You can reorder your menu by dragging and dropping applications.
      7. You can also add a folder by following the same process as above but clicking Add Folder instead of Add File.
    10. When you plug-in your USB it should start Pstart automatically, if it doesn’t -
      1. Go to My Computer
      2. Double click on your USB
      3. Double click the PStart.exe

Important Note: “When you use portable apps, it’s always a good idea to practice Safe Portable App-ing. Safe Portable App-ing: When you’re done, exit all portable apps and then wait for the activity light on your removable drive to stop flashing. Then select the ‘Safely remove [device]‘ option from the icon in the system tray. If you remove the drive while it is writing, you may lose data.” (source: This is a good idea for BOTH PStart and Portable Apps!

Portable Applications

All in One

Audio / Music



Math Applications

Science Applications

Music Education

Other Education


Graphics and Drawing


Office Applications

  • Open Office
    • Writer - Word replacement
    • Calc - Excel replacement
    • Impress - Powerpoint replacement
    • Draw - Draw lets you create simple and complex drawings and export them in a number of common image formats. You can also insert tables, charts, formulas and other items created in programs into your drawings.
    • Math - Math provides numerous operators, functions and formatting assistants to help you create formulas.
    • Base - Database - Access replacement
  • Scribus - Desktop Publishing (flyers, brochures, etc)



Website Development / Web Tools

Online Versions of some of the above

Office Suite

Organizational Tools








Thanks to Katie Christo for her work on gathering these awesome resources!!!

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