PortableApps In Dropbox

by JL Beeken on 2-08-2010

PortableAppsYou can install PortableApps anywhere so why not direct into your Dropbox?

The last time I ran TuneUp Utilities it told me I had 179 programs installed on my computer and suggested that I uninstall a few of them because they’re bogging me down.

When I bought this computer three years ago, it was like a Ferrari compared to my laptop. But as the months went on it got slower and slower which I thought was due to my brain going faster and faster through practice. So I’m not sure too many programs are to blame and when I looked down the list there couldn’t have been more than five I thought I could live without.

PortableApps Menu

I’d had PortableApps installed on an external drive for a long time and I’d been running a few portable apps from my desktop. But, over time things fell into disarray. Not enough hours in the day.

So, I got to thinking and this is what I did. I installed PortableApps in my Dropbox. I then installed 35 portable apps to go with it.

Many of the same programs were already installed on my computer. There’s no point having them twice so I uninstalled most everything that could be portable instead. And shifted a few things around so I didn’t lose my databases. (Evernote 2 and KeePass, for instance.) That diminished my list of 179 down to 153.

I’ve kept Firefox not portable because it’s not quite the same and back up my Zotero library to Firefox on my laptop.

I also have Dropbox installed on my laptop, so that will sync automatically when I plug it in. Ta-da!

Another advantage of this is the next time I reinstall my operating system I have 26 less programs to install and 26 less programs to reset my settings for. Times 2 for 2 computers makes 52. Unfortunately, not every single application can be made portable but it’s a running start at lightening up.

If you’d like to try this, as usual, a few caveats. Don’t keep your KeePass Master Password in Ditto Portable in the same location(s) where you keep your KeePass Portable. Put one or the other in your PortableApps, but not both. Keep a backup of your PortableApps somewhere besides your Dropbox just in case, like your external-drive backups. If you install it in your Dropbox the file-paths might become too long so use something like PA instead of PortableApps for the folder name.

If you have an issue with this, (OpenOffice being the most likely culprit) installing directly on a flash-drive instead would obviously circumvent the problem, or just install OO on both computers into My Documents.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

123 7-24-2010 at 4:52 PM

a solution for error-incurring longnames/longpaths:
c:\p\port\{PortableAppFolder}
eg, C:\P\Port\Irfan

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