How to convert normal programs to portable software

Any program that can be run from a standard .exe file without the need for installation can be run perfectly well from a USB stick. However, quite a lot of .exe files are actually installer files or special archives containing multiple files. Universal Extractor is a free utility designed to extract the individual files from many different kinds of archives including msi, .cab and a wide range of .exe installer packages. Once you have extracted the files, it may be possible to find a stand-alone executable for use on your USB stick, though it’s more likely that you will also need the supporting dlls. Be aware that many programs absolutely require installation and simply wont work as portable apps. It is surprising though, just how many you can get to work. Another trick worth trying is to install the application on your normal PC and then copy the whole installation directory to your USB drive. This often works fine though note that your newly created "portable app" may write to the registry of the host PC. Universal Extractor is a free, open source program. It works on all Windows versions and is a 4.59MB download.

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