Here are 9 ways you can turn an ordinary USB drive into a portable PC you can take with you anytime and anywhere.
Turn Your USB into a Portable PC in 9 Different Ways
1. Use Portable App Suites
One of the easiest ways to turn your USB drive into a portable PC is to install apps directly into it. Software that you can use through a USB without needing to install it onto your computer is called a portable app.
Not all computer applications have a corresponding portable version. This is where a portable app suite comes in handy.
By installing a portable app suite right on your USB, you’ll have direct access to all the different apps. This means you’ll skip having to go through the Internet to find the portable versions of your favorite computer applications.
There are a lot of free portable app suites you can download online. Here are examples of some of the most popular ones:
Trivia: Portable apps are more applicable for people who use laptops or computers running on a Windows OS.
2. Install Your Favorite Web Browser
Once you’ve installed a portable app suite into your USB, you’re free to select any of the apps in its library. One of the apps we recommend you get is a portable web browser.
Having a portable version of your favorite web browser right on your flash drive means you can use it on any computer. You can even personalize the portable web browser so your bookmarks and settings stay intact.
Here are examples of portable web browsers you can download and run right from your USB:
- Google Chrome Portable
- Mozilla Fox Portable
- Opera Portable
- Lynx Portable
- Maxthon Portable
3. Save Your Preferred Messaging Apps
Everyone has a messaging app or two installed on their computer or laptop nowadays. So, a good way to make a portable PC out of your USB is by downloading messaging apps into it.
With a portable messaging app directly installed on your USB, you can use any computer or laptop to send a private message or e-mail. This way, your data, username, and password stay safe inside your USB.
You can save any of these portable messaging apps on your flash drive to make a portable PC out of it:
- Telegram Desktop Portable
- Skype Portable
- Pidgin Portable
Tip: Make sure to log out of your messaging account before unplugging your USB from the computer or laptop you’re using. This way, you don’t leave any of your private information on the device.
4. Download Image, Video, and Audio Editors
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You might want to consider saving a portable version of your favorite image, video, and audio editor on your USB if you frequently use these programs. Having a readily-executable GIMP, Audacity, or LMMS program on a flash drive allows you to make quick edits on any computer or device you have access to.
5. Install Multimedia Players
Another way to turn your USB drive into a portable PC is to download a multimedia player onto it. Having a portable multimedia player, like VLC, in your flash drive allows you to open a variety of video formats especially when the video you want to watch isn’t compatible with the software that’s pre-installed on the computer. And since the multimedia player is on your USB, you can customize its theme or skin to match your taste.
Aside from VLC, here’s a list of other portable multimedia players you can save on your USB that’ll turn your flash drive into a portable PC:
- AIMP Portable
- Media Player Classic Portable
- Songbird Portable
- XMPlay Portable
6. Upload an Alternative Office Suite
Installing a portable office suite into your USB is another way of turning your flash drive into a portable PC. While a portable version of the popular Microsoft Office doesn’t exist, there are other office suites out there you can try out and use as an alternative. Here are some examples:
What’s good about LibreOffice, Scribus, and AbiWord is they’re all freeware, meaning you can download and use them free of charge. The files made out of these free office software are also completely compatible with any Microsoft Office application. Plus, portable office suites tend to occupy less storage space compared to their regular counterparts.
7. Install Some Games
All PCs have pre-installed games in them. These games come in handy for when you need a break from typing all day or when you want to pass some time. With that said, why not have a computer game or two downloaded onto your USB drive? Also, having these games on your USB will make your flash drive look more like a real portable PC.
Here are a few portable computer games you can load onto your USB right now:
- 3D Pinball Space Cadet
- Ice Breaker
- Kobo Deluxe
- T^3 (Tetris)
8. Use Security Apps
Another way to turn your USB drive into a portable USB is by installing security apps onto it. For example, you can save your desktop and laptop passwords into KeePass Portable. By doing this, you’ll be able to log in and access your accounts on any computer. You also don’t have to worry about losing your USB because the KeePass Portable app needs a master password for it to be used.
Tip: Make sure your master password is a strong one. Don’t make a password out of common information such as your birthday, address, or pet’s name. Most of all, don’t share your master password with anyone!
9. Don’t Forget the Antivirus and Malware Apps
Since you’re turning your USB Drive into a portable PC, it’ll be a good idea to install an antivirus to keep your flash drive safe and secure. Your portable PC won’t be any good if the USB breaks down because of a virus attack. Here’s a list of the most popular antivirus and malware software you can put on a flash drive:
- ClamWin Portable
- Spybot Search and Destroy Portable
- Kaspersky TDSSKiller
- Panda Cloud Cleaner Portable
Choosing the right portable applications can help turn an ordinary USB drive into a portable PC. Other than letting you switch between computers, a USB turned into a portable PC clears your main device of unwanted clutter. If you haven’t already started turning your USB into a portable computer, consider using any or all of these 9 ways to get started!
Do you have any more questions about how you can turn a USB drive into a portable PC? Ask them in the comments section below!