PortableApps.com - Your Digital Life, Anywhere

Custom code

The PortableApps.com Launcher is a very powerful launcher and is able to make almost any software portable. But sometimes, there’s something more needed which just isn’t supported by it. In such situations, the PortableApps.com Launcher still has you covered: you don’t need to write an entire custom launcher in NSIS (or another language) just because of that. You can still use the power of the PortableApps.com Launcher for almost all the launcher, and just write a small bit of custom code to do the last things which it can’t do itself.

If your problem is that you need to disable a segment, because it’s doing something which makes your job impossible, first of all please try to find a better way as you’re probably not doing it how you should. If that fails, you can disable hooks and segments.


All modifications to the PortableApps.com Launcher which do not involve debugging go in a file Custom.nsh in the Other\Source directory of a package.

Changed in version 2.1: previously this file was Other\Source\PortableApps.comLauncherCustom.nsh. The Generator will move this file to the new location if it exists.

Writing a custom segment

If there is something which you need to do in a launcher which is not possible in the PortableApps.com Launcher, you can write NSIS code for it yourself but still use the general framework and power of the PortableApps.com Launcher by writing a custom segment.

To write a custom segment for your application, use the Custom.nsh file mentioned above. You can look at other segments for guidance on how to write a segment. This is the general structure for a segment:


Var [variables]



  1. The first line of the file is ${SegmentFile}.
  2. Next comes any variables which may be required. Normally no variables will be required but some segments need variables.
  1. After this comes the hooks. Each hook is implemented like this:

        [segment contents]

    A list of available hooks is available here.

  2. A segment can use custom macros and Functions if it is desired, but they should be clearly identified as part of the segment. The general convention is to prefix a segment-specific macro or function with _segment name_ so that the macro “Start” in the segment FilesMove became _FilesMove_Start. Such macros and functions as these should come above the variable definitions, immediately after the ${SegmentFile} line.

Disabling hooks and segments

If you ever need to disable a segment or hook, you can do so. In general though if you can possibly avoid doing it you should; you can very easily break the PortableApps.com Launcher by disabling certain things. In general I would recommend that you ask before doing it to see if there is a better way.

All of these changes apply to Custom.nsh.

To disable an inbuilt hook in a segment:

${DisableHook} Segment Hook

To disable all hooks in an inbuilt segment (in short, to disable the segment):

${DisableSegment} Segment

Overriding the execution step

If you need to replace the execution step for an app, you can do so. Avoid doing it if you can as it will make the app not behave like most apps. Try asking for help before you do it, as there may be a better way.

To override the Execute function completely, put into Custom.nsh code like this:


You would be well advised to take a look at the Execute function in the PortableApps.com Launcher before doing this, Other\Source\PortableApps.comLauncher.nsi.

Additional features

In addition to all standard NSIS features, there are a few extra macros available in the PortableApps.com Launcher which custom code can use.

LogicLib is used extensively in the PortableApps.com Launcher, so LogicLib.nsh is already included. You can use LogicLib code structures without any extra code.

Reading values from launcher.ini

Instead of using ReadINIStr for reading from the launcher.ini file, you can use ${ReadLauncherConfig} or ${ReadLauncherConfigWithDefault}.

${ReadLauncherConfig} is for reading a value from the launcher.ini file; it uses ReadINIStr internally, so the same rules apply; to check if a value did not exist, and is not merely empty, you can use ${If} ${Errors} etc. Remember to ClearErrors before depending on the error flag. Here is the syntax for ReadLauncherConfig:

${ReadLauncherConfig} $0 Section Key

${ReadLauncherConfigWithDefault} is as above, but if a value does not exist, a default value is put in:

${ReadLauncherConfigWithDefault} $0 Section Key Default

Allowing extra user configuration

${ReadUserConfig} is used to get user configuration from the AppNamePortable.ini file in the root of the package (next to AppNamePortable.exe) which contains values like DisableSplashScreen and AdditionalParameters. Additional values for user configuration can be introduced with this:

${ReadUserConfig} $0 KeyName

Then the user will be able to have a line in that file like this:


For boolean values (true or false, yes or no), the convention is to make the allowed values “true” or “false”.

Additions like this should be documented in help.html.

Changed in version 2.1: ${ReadUserOverrideConfig} became ${ReadUserConfig}