Tired of all those programs which install lots of additional stuff I have been using more and more so called “Portable Apps”. “Portable” in this context means: You can put them anywhere, even on a portable storage device and start them from there. These Programs are still Windows only. And of course nobody prevents you from putting them in a folder on the system harddisk, usually c:\PortableApps. All files these programs need are inside this one folder, so in order to move or copy them, you simply move/copy that folder.
There is a dedicated launcher and updater for these types of programs at portableapps.com, which is written in Delphi btw. and the source code is available.
One thing that has irked me all the time is that these programs don’t show up in the Windows start menu, unless I add them manually, which I usually don’t. Today I had enough and wrote PortableAppsToStartMenu, a tool which given a PortableApps directory collects all the executables stored there and creates shortcuts in the Windows Start Menu for them. They will be visible in the PortableApps folder there. Apparently there was no such tool so far.
This is what the program looks like:
Some feature highlights:
- You can drag the PortableApps directory on the entry field to set it.
- The entry field has autocompletion for directories.
- There are options to
- Hide the Portable Apps Platform tools
- Hide apps hidden in the launcher
- Hide the “Portable” part of the executable name
- It’s also possible to select the apps manually, but that’s rather cumbersome.
And these are the entries it has added to my start menu:
The entries are also available through the Start Menu’s usual search/filter functionality:
The program itself is of course a portable app, but not available from portableapps.com but only from OSDN. The program is written in in Delphi 10.2 and the source code is also available there.