Create a Portable Version of Any Application in Windows

There are a lot of portable applications available out there (for example, on websites such as http://portableapps.com/ and http://www.pendriveapps.com/) that you can install to a USB flash drive or external hard drive and run on any computer. However, you may have some favorite programs that you use in your daily work that do not come in a portable version.

Cameyo is a free portable application creator that makes a single .exe file from an entire Windows application. You can copy this .exe file to a USB flash drive or external hard drive and run it from there on any Windows without having to install the program.

Download Cameyo from

http://www.cameyo.com/downloads/

Cameyo does not require installation. To run Cameyo, simply double-click on the .exe file.

The Cameyo Application Virtualization window displays. The program you want to make portable should NOT be installed on your computer. When you tell Cameyo to capture an installation, it takes a snapshot of your system before you install the program and then again after the program is installed. The differences are then analyzed and a portable application is created.

To begin the process, click Capture installation.

A small dialog box displays in the lower, right corner of your screen telling you that an initial system snapshot is being taken.

Once the initial snapshot is taken, the following dialog box displays. If you want to cancel the operation, click Cancel. DO NOT click Install done yet. Install the software you want to convert to a portable program.

If the software you installed requires you to reboot the computer, do so once the installation is complete. Otherwise, click Install done on the Cameyo dialog box in the lower, right corner of your screen. A dialog box displays while Cameyo takes the post-installation snapshot.

12_taking_post_install_snapshot

When the portable software package (a .virtual.exe file) has been created, a dialog box displays telling you where the package was placed.

At this point, when you click OK, nothing else happens. If you go to the directory, you’ll see a single EXE file, which could be quite large, especially if the program is big.

You can now just copy that file to your USB drive and run it on another computer. However, if you want to modify some of the settings, run the cameyo.exe file again, but this time choose Edit a package. The Package Editor dialog box displays. Click File and then Open Virtual Package. Navigate to the EXE file and select it.

To change where the program’s data is stored, click the Change link to the right of the Data storage item in the Basics box.

On the General tab, click on Change next to Data storage and select where you want the program’s data to be stored. We chose to store the data in the directory in which we will store the portable executable file. Click OK.

To resave the portable executable, select Save as from the File menu. You may also need to change the isolation mode to Full access, if the program routinely writes to the registry. By default, it is set to Data mode, which only gives access to Documents, Desktop and network drives.

The Files and Registry tabs basically let you see what files and registry settings were saved into the package. Everything else you can leave to the default values or learn more from their website.

Copy the portable program package to a USB flash drive or external hard drive, from which you want to run the program. To run your portable program, double-click the .exe file created by Cameyo.

The program we chose to make portable contains two executables for the two parts of the program. In this case, Cameyo displays a dialog box asking which program you want to run. Select the program you want to run from the list. If you only want to use one of the programs Cameyo added to the package, select that program and select the Remember my choice check box to open that program by default. Click OK.

When you run the program, a folder with the same name as the EXE is created in the same directory as the EXE file. The data for the program is stored in this folder.

25_vos_directory_on_usb_key

Using Cameyo and the portable applications from PortableApps and PenDriveApps, you can set up a portable workstation on a USB flash drive allowing you to work using your own software on any computer.