16 free portable apps for college students they can take anywhere

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It’s time to go back to school, and, uh-oh; your school laptop does not allow you to install programs!

Whether you need your favorite writing program or rely on desktop management apps to stay productive, portable apps for Windows are some of the most useful. Here is a collection of portable apps that students can’t pass up.


Free portable apps for general tasks

Let’s start by taking a look at portable apps that will cover a range of general computing tasks relevant to any student.

1. Snipaste

The screenshot may be an underrated grind. If you’re someone who needs to take screenshots frequently, the built-in screenshot tools that Windows uses may not be enough. Snipaste is a lightweight yet powerful iteration of the screenshot tool.

If you don’t use Snipaste or a similar program, you should at least know how to best use Windows’ built-in screen capture tool.


To download: Snipaste

It won’t take long during the school year for your laptop or storage device to quickly become cluttered, inflating search results and slowing you down.

Everything uses a whole new method of searching and sorting, allowing you to get the files you need almost immediately. This is especially useful for courses that require you to upload multiple documents, sometimes with similar filenames.

To download: Search all mobile

3. STDU Viewer

The “Scientific and Technical Papers” viewer is a catch-all solution for opening a wide variety of formats in one portable package. STDU Viewer supports most formats used for technical or other documents, and allows searching, highlighting, etc.

To download: STDU Viewer

4. Jargon

Lingoes is your simple and intuitive solution to an instant dictionary.

Supporting over 80 languages ​​and offering online search, text translation and on-screen word capture, Lingoes will spell out any word for you hassle-free.

Of course, Lingoes also works great offline and can be crucial for a last-minute study session on the train home.

To download: jargon

5. Portable 7 slider

Fortunately, most modern Windows systems come with built-in solutions to handle the extraction of .zip files and other compressed archives.

However, you cannot be too sure. Portable 7-Zip is something you’ll be grateful to have when needed.

It’s better than having to rely on Google Drive to unzip the file to the cloud, which you can always do in a snap.

To download: 7-Slot Portable

Free portable apps for productivity

Organize your work and get things done with these apps.

6. Textify

Textify is hard to pass up. It’s a text input, essentially capable of turning any text it can read on screen into plain text, something you can copy and paste.

It can greatly increase your productivity when it comes to taking notes or getting brilliant information from a website. Even better, when you’re looking for video, a scanned document, or other non-standard forms of text.

To download: textify

7. Q-Jot

Q-Jot is your no-frills rich text editor. It can open and edit many types of Microsoft Word files, as well as HTML and even Unicode text.

It can also save in various universal .doc formats, which can make all the difference when it comes to group projects. When working in a group, you never know when someone might send an obscure file type, potentially from another free program or even another operating system.

To download: Q-Jot

8. Grilled

Gridy is fun. In an instant, it transforms your entire desktop space into an invisible grid. It allows the user to easily integrate Windows into neat and organized sections. The grid is also fully customizable.

This can be a game-changer during long note-taking sessions or extended work hours, where you need to keep your desk tidy and organized.

To download: Gate

9. On-screen ruler

Here’s an app you might not have realized you needed.

On-Screen Ruler is an extremely simple program. It displays a customizable ruler on the screen. Supporting units in centimeters, inches or pixels, the on-screen ruler is perfect for layout of GUI, web pages or general design documents.

To download: On-screen ruler

Free portable apps for creativity

For the more musical or general creative types, here are some apps that can help boost your creative productivity.

10. Photodemon

PhotoDemon is surprisingly feature-rich for a portable program. Fast and lightweight, PhotoDemon is a must-have photo editor for quickly editing images, adding text, viewing metadata, or even just taking a screenshot.

The application works with the most common graphics formats and even supports batch processing.

To download: PhotoDemon

11. Shotcut

We’ve written about Shotcut in the past, and it’s still a great program that stands up to even the best video editors.

Even better is the portable variant, which will allow you to quickly edit video files on the go, no installation required. Perfect for last minute adjustments to your multimedia project.

To download: shotcut

12. TAudioConverter

TAudioConverter will let you take a powerful audio converter tool with you wherever you go. The program can not only convert most general music files, but also add effects such as trimming, normalizing, clipping and channel changes.


You won’t want to miss this one when a last-minute file mismatch threatens your project.

To download: TAudioConverter

13. Portable blender

Yeah. You read correctly. All the power of Blender, as a portable executable.

Blender’s functionality goes far beyond what could be summed up in a small chunk of text. That’s why we’ve already written a beginner’s guide to Blender.

Still, if you want powerful 3D graphics software on your USB drive, consider Blender Portable.

To download: portable blender

Free miscellaneous portable apps

These next few apps might not fit into a neat category, but are all handy features that any student or IT worker on the go will appreciate.

These apps will help you further optimize the system you are working on.

14.HDDS scan

The usefulness of a robust disk diagnostic tool is often overlooked when building portable applications. The thing is, you’ll need to keep your drive healthy and clean, especially when working on long projects.

Disk failure is the last thing you want to happen, so stay in control with HDDScan.

To download: HDDScan

15. Don’t sleep

You might find your computer sleepy while you spend long hours chatting on Teams or working on a big project. If you’re using a school computer, you might even find that you have no control over the device’s sleep settings.

Don’t Sleep is a handy tool to take with you. Set it and forget it, and never lock your computer on you again.

To download: Do not sleep

16. Simple duplicate search

After a year of schoolwork, projects, or whatever else you do on your system, you’re sure to end up with a few different copies of the same file.

Simple Duplicate Finder is a must-have in any portable application toolkit. Using a percentage-based search system, Simple Duplicate Finder will help you organize duplicate documents and ensure you have access to the most recent one.

To download: Simple duplicate search

Some of the best apps are portable

When you’re on the go, using a work or school laptop, or just don’t feel like installing anything, portable apps can’t be beat. Having the right ones on hand can save you a pinch.

Before you start your course, make sure you have all the apps you’ll need.

A robust collection can help with productivity, and sometimes it can just be fun.

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