I have a bunch of applications I carry around on a small flash drive, but I find it hard to keep everything up to date. I know about portableapps.com, but are there any other websites / repositories / resources on the subject? Ideally I'd like something that can manage both the 'installation' and updates for a range of tools.

7 Answers 7


UpdateNotifier is probably not a portable applications manager.

But, it helps track updates on your freeware.
It scans installed applications and checks for updates.
I like its small footprint, and fast interface.

The site also enumerates another popular applications list based on these stats.


LiberKey - Automatic online update of Portable Apps: the launcher programs scans update for ALL the installed apps. Furthermore, it will download AND install them automatically for you.



The actual question is about maintaining apps already gathered onto an external drive. This seems like an example of patch management. However, an approach (a bad one, in hindsight) is to rebundle the application, via an application virtulization tool.

Xenocode (licensed by Novell as Zenworks Application Virtualization) makes a product that lets you take a Windows application, and if possible, build a standalone monolithic EXE for it. Has a virtual file system and Registry inside their wrapper.

They have bundled IE6 so that it can run on Vista and other newer OS's. Pretty cool technology.

Thus if you cannot find a version someone else made, make your own, the world is your oyster!

  • 1
    Cool! I'm looking for something to manage apps already out there, though...to grab updates and the like. Jul 15, 2009 at 17:00
  • Ah, perhaps you mean Patch Management then instead of Application Management. Silly distinction, but of course important!
    – geoffc
    Jul 15, 2009 at 17:24
  • No wait, I see I totally misread your post. My bad. I see that I did not really answer your question with my answer. Hmm, how to edit it to make it a better answer...
    – geoffc
    Jul 15, 2009 at 17:25

have a look at CodySafe

IMO it is the best apps manager for removable drive. As about updates of applications - I think that it is part of particular application functionality (e.g. Windows does not check if your favorite game is up to date), but not the feature of applications manager.


U3 is my favorite.But it comes only with a compatible USB disk.


i have my entire PC "on a stick" ...

meet MojoPac, a standalone Windows installation that runs directly from a flash drive or iPod.


Few months late, but this Lifehacker post taught me everything I know on the subject.

  • what lifehacker post taught you what? i.e. link-only answers should not get a single up-vote IMHO.
    – flolilo
    Nov 22, 2017 at 14:37

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