Creating Your Own Portable App for Your USB Pen Drive
I’ve always wondered when at work or outside or while using computers other than mine and have always missed my own sets of basic applications such as my IM messengers, my browsers (other than IE), my other AIO (all-in-one) chat clients, my email clients etc. I always tell the person whose computer am using to put those applications as they are useful and come in handy.
Well, not all are like me. Most of the people don’t use their computers the way I use. Yea, my way of using is a bit different, I’ve dozens of applications running in background on my computer & Laptop which includes all of the apps I mentioned above.
Also when it comes to your work place ie. Your Office computers, your personal work computer given to you in your cubical, etc.. You can’t really ask the IT Department there to install your favorite applications or your favorite chat client or your browser or so. If you do that, you’ll probably violate the IT rule in that company or maybe you’ll highlight yourself.
This is the time when the portable apps came in handy. Well there are millions of websites which allows you to download Portable apps so that you can carry around in your pen drive and you can use them when you are not using your computers but you still need those applications that you’ve loaded on your home computers or laptops.
You can easily find readymade portable applications online, but I prefer to make my own so that in that way I can have a latest version of the application instead of some old one. Specially for applications like Firefox and such, they keep on releasing new updated version very often.. and mainly when I make my own portable app, I can be sure that its safely made by me and hence doesn’t have any hidden Trojan or viruses! You don’t wana use a crappy portable infected with virus on your friend’s computer or at your work computer after all.. do you? Also, you can find 100s of tutorials and guides online which will teach you to how to make your own favorite application a portable one. Many are too complicated and some need some 3rd party software to do that. Well I’m presenting a much simpler version and a shorter version which is in simple language and screenshots that you can just look and read and follow.
Okay now, enough of the words, let’s get to the steps and method. For this today am using Firefox 3.6 (latest version of Firefox).
To make it very simple, I’ve used less of the words and more of the screenshots which you can just look and follow.
1st of all, you need to download the setup file of Firefox 3.6 which you can download off its site.
Once that is done, you need to have 2 main applications to make it portable. One you need is Universal Extractor a free-ware and other you need is a basic WinRAR application which is there in almost all systems today.
Okay, after you have finished downloading UniExtractor, just install and while you follow the installation wizard, please leave the settings as it shows, DO NOT change anything or any files extensions.
As you can see in the above image, all you have to do is Right Click on the downloaded Setup file of Firefox and then go for the option UniExtract Here or UniExtract to Subdir.
Once you do UniExtract, you should see a folder by the name of the setup file in the same folder where you had your setup file. In my case its on the Desktop.
In this case of Firefox, when you UniExtract the setup file and go into the folder created after extracting the file, you’ll a couple of folders and a setup.exe file in that folder. Kindly ignore all of that and just Double-Click on the folder “nonlocalized”. In that folder you should find Firefox.exe (which is the actual exe of the file which will execute Firefox browser). Once you find that exe file, just check by executing the exe file to verify if the browser opens properly here. Double click on that exe and it should open Firefox browser window. In case of other applications, you may not find so many folders as you did in Firefox, perhaps all you need to do is look out for the correct .exe file which executes the program. Anyway, getting back to our Firefox here, once you’ve double checked and verified that the browser is opening by double-clicking the firefox.exe file, the next thing you have to do is Select all the files in that folder and then click on “Add to Archive”. This is where the role of WinRAR comes in.
When you click on “Add to Archive”, a new small WinRAR window will come up on the screen and in this window you need to follow the exact settings that i’ve done here, ie. Give the name of the file that you are creating, in my case I’ve given Firefox 3.6_portable.exe. Keep the compression method to “Best”. Don’t forget to click on Create SFX archive.
Don’t click OK yet, you are not yet done with the settings. Once you are done with the settings on this page, you need to click on “Advanced” tab in the same window and and then click on “SFX Options” and follow the step show below.
In SFX Options, by default you’ll be under General Tab and there you need to follow the exact step that I’ve show in the picture above. You should put the exact name of the exe file which executes the program (in this case its firefox.exe, which we had tested a couple of steps above).
Now click on “Modes” Tab and select the options “Unpack to temporary folder” and Silent mode to “Hide All”
Now, you can Click “OK” and you are good to go! Sit back and let WinRAR do its work. Once its done, it’ll create an exe file in the same folder by the name that you gave while creating its portable in WinRAR in the step one. Just Double-Click on it and check if its opening your Firefox browser nice and smooth
That’s it folks, Congratulations, you’ve created yourself your own Portable Firefox file. All you have to do now is put that exe file into your USB drive and carry around with you. You can follow the same steps to make your own portable Pidgin, Trillian, Alcohol 50%, etc. etc. Try it out and let me know how it works for you!!
to download the portable version of Firefox 3.6 that I created while composing this Tutorial/Guide.