How to create portable programs in Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
5 minute read

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Portable programs are very useful, and still quite popular. What people like most about this type of programs is its simplicity, and the very idea of using apps instantly, without having to install them. Also, if you have multiple computers, and you need to transfer programs and data between them, portable programs make the process easier.

Unfortunately, the majority of programs and apps you’re using every day come as executable, therefore they require installing. So if you want to transfer any of these programs to another computer, you’ll have to install them once again.

If you don’t want to install your apps on other computers over and over again, the best solution is to actually convert them to portable apps. Unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t have its own feature for converting ‘regular’ programs to portable ones, so we can’t look for a built-in solution.

However, there are a lot of third-party applications that allow us to do just that. In this article, we’re going to explore one of these programs, that we think is the best for this job. This program can convert basically any application, so whatever you need to transfer, you can do it with this tool.

Create portable versions of Windows 10 apps and programs

Perhaps the most popular tool for creating portable apps in Windows 10 is a free program called Cameyo. With Cameyo, you can make a portable version of basically any app or program in Windows 10. The program could look a bit confusing to new users, but once you get around, you won’t have any problems creating your portable apps.

Using Cameyo is a bit specific, because it must be performed on a virtual machine. The reason for this is because of the way this tool works. Cameyo takes a snapshot of your system before the program you want to create a portable version of is installed, and then creates another snapshot, after that program is installed. So, if you want to convert a program with Cameyo, it mustn’t be installed when you initiate the process.

As the program takes two snapshots of the system, any interruptions from other apps or processes are forbidden, as they might damage your portable program. Because of that, developer of Cameyo advises users to use this tool on a virtual machine, with no necessary programs running. Here’s what they say exactly:

“Prepare a clean, basic virtual machine. Make sure no unnecessary programs run on it. Turn off all possible updates, including Windows Updates or anti-virus updates. Avoid using other programs on your machine. In general, anything that can modify files or registry keys, will interfere with the packaging process. We recommend using XP SP3 32-bit, unless your software requires some higher systems to install & function.”

So, just create a new virtual machine, install Cameyo on it, and you’re ready to create some portable programs.

When everything is set. Download and run Cameyo on your computer. This program is, of course, portable itself, so you don’t have to install it.

  1. When you open Cameyo, a window will appear asking you which program you want to open. For now, choose Capture an installation and click OK. Other options are ‘Cameyo’, and ‘Edit package’.cameyo windows 10 1
  2.  The program will not take an initial snapshot of your system, before you start installing the program you want to convert to the portable version. While this process lasts, Cameyo displays a dialog box in the lower-right part of your screen.cameyo windows 10 2
  3. When taking a snapshot is finished, Cameyo will ask you to finally install the program you want to convert. So, just head over to the program’s installation file, and install it.
  4. When the program is installed, return to Cameyo’s dialog box, and click on Installation done in the lower-right part of the screen. Keep in mind that Cameyo is going to capture the exact current state of the program you want to convert. So, if you want to make some additional changes or adjustments, open the program, do what you want, and then click Installation done. That way, Cameyo will capture the program adjusted by your needs.cameyo windows 10 3
  5. Cameyo will not take a post-installation snapshot, so wait a few moments.
  6. Once the package was successfully created, a dialog box will pop up, to confirm everything went right. Just click OK to close the dialog box.
  7. Your portable program is now saved in C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Cameyo. But our work is not done yet, as it will have the “.cameyo.exe” extension at the end.
  8. Now, head back to the main Cameyo program. Choose Camey from the list of available options.
  9. If this is a first time you’re using Cameyo, it will ask you to register. Most users probably won’t be thrilled by this detail, but registration is free, so it shouldn’t be a big problem.cameyo windows 10 4
  10. Once you’ve registered, click the Computer icon at the bottom of the window. All applications you’ve created with Cameyo will be listed there.cameyo windows 10 5
  11. When you open the application, you can normally use it.

That’s about it for our guide through Cameyo. This program surely has its downsides. For example, you need to run portable apps through Cameyo, as the program doesn’t save them as other file types, like .RAR for example. Additionally, the free version of the software has some limitations, so if you’re serious about converting your programs with Cameyo, you’ll probably want to buy the pro version.

Besides the fact that this tool is not perfect, it is arguably the best solution for creating the portable apps in Windows. There are some other apps for creating portable programs, but they all work on the same principle as Cameyo, So, if you didn’t like Cameyo, you probably won’t like these programs either.

What do you think about Cameyo? What app or program will you convert first? Tell us in the comments.


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