How to create portable programs from applications installed in Windows

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Catherine Le Nevez

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Running this kind of process doesn't depend on only one way, there are various methods you can use so that the application you already installed can turn it into a portable program . It's true that there are very easy ways to do this, however, there are other methods that get a little more complicated.

How to create portable programs from applications installed in Windows

In this article, we'll show you a few ways to do that. But first we will explain to you what are the INI files as we will talk about it a little later.

      What are INI files?

      Whenever you install a program and use it on your computer, its settings are saved in two main ways. Firstly by storing it in Windows registry keys and secondly by using a text file in IN format I to write a configuration file.

      these INI file or Windows initialization file in short, they were used until new methods emerged with new operating systems. Now that you have this clearer idea, we will proceed to the steps to follow depending on the case of each file.

      Making an application that uses an INI file portable

      This is one of the simpler methods. The advantage of having a Windows application which has an INI format is that you can convert it into a portable program. This is also possible with XML format files used to store data.

      Using a file from a portable application

      As mentioned above, these steps can be performed whether the files you use are in INI format or are XML . With that in mind, let's move on to the steps you need to follow:

      • You must first locate the application files you want to convert to Program Files
      • If it is the case that the application was installed for a user, the files will be in that user's data folder.
      • Now you need to move the file to the application folder in Program Files.
      • You need to copy this folder and paste it on the removable device
      • Now you need to select the main program and create a link.

      Convert an application into a portable archive using WinRAR

      One way to accomplish this procedure is to extract the files found in the installer and create a SFX (self-extracting) archive, which can be obtained using the WinRAR or 7z program.

      WinRAR is a program that has gained popularity due to the fact that it is a fairly complete program for compressing and decompressing or opening . It is a software that you can download for free, but since it is a paid program, you will only be able to enjoy its demo version, although it is still quite functional.

      One of the great advantages of this program is that it supports all currently used compression formats. It's time to move on to the steps to follow for extract the program files you want to convert.

      You must only to extract application installation files. Doing so is very easy in some cases, since you just have to right-click and choose the Extract Here option, but it doesn't work in all cases.

      What are the steps to create the portable application?

      Having already extracted the file, you must locate the executable file, i.e. the one that runs or starts said program (you can find it in the folder that bears the name of the app)

      You have to open this directory and select all the files and then right click where a small menu will appear and choose the WinRAR option: "Add to archive..."

      In the box that will appear below, you must choose in the small box called Compression method: "The best" and in the options choose the second section called Create an SFX file.

      In the Advanced section, click SFX options and enter the name of the application's executable file in the Run box after extraction.

      Finally, you need to open the Mode tab and in temporary mode you must check the box "Unzip to a temporary folder". In silent mode you have to choose "Hide all" section and in Overwrite mode, choose "Overwrite all files".

      And that's all the procedure to follow, just press OK and WinRAR will proceed to create your portable archive.

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