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How to enable multiple users to run the same app simultaneously?

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jul17pri
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How to enable multiple users to run the same app simultaneously?

Several users share a Windows 10 PC.
None of us have the Administrator password.
Each user installs PortableApps, allowing them to install whatever apps they want.
Perfect solution! Except when...
User A runs an app then locks the PC or switches user and walks away.
User B attempts to run the same app
User B gets the error message:
"Another instance of (app) is already running. Please close other instances of (app) before launching (app) Portable."

How do we enable multiple users to run the same app simultaneously?

Does each user have to remember to log out every time they use the PC? Why?

When installing standard (not PortableApps) releases of Firefox and other well written applications, we can cancel the UAC dialog and it installs locally, but most just fail. PortableApps looked like the solution, except there's this error if multiple users to run the same app simultaneously. Is there a workaround?

Thanks!

John T. Haller
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Apps Themselves

Many apps will all write to a shared location within the ProgramData folder or HKLM or default user registry keys. As such, multiple users will step on each other and the launch (FirefoxPortable.exe) wouldn't know how to remove the data correctly when you exit... something all portable apps are required to do. If you don't care about this, you can set some apps like Firefox Portable to allow multiple instances. You do this by copying the FirefoxPortable.ini file from FirefoxPortable\Other\Source to FirefoxPortable and then setting AllowMultipleInstances=true inside it. This will cause it to ignored shared folders and data which will leave things behind but allow multiple users to run it.

If you want, you can also run the apps directly, which will run them in local mode (FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\firefox.exe for example) and bypass all portablization. We don't support this, of course, as it bypasses all of our stuff and would just be the app itself running how it wants.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

jul17pri
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Thanks for those suggestions.

> Many apps will all write to a shared location within the ProgramData folder
Surely if there is no UAC during install then the app can't touch ProgramData, Program Files, or any other system-wide resources unless explicitly shared, which is why it is normally installed under %USERPROFILE%\AppData. So I don't understand how apps installed by different users could step on each other, even if they wanted to.

Configuring FirefoxPortable.ini worked for FirefoxPortable, but not for the other apps I tested such as 7-zip or KeePassPro. In both the later cases, the file was named Other\Source\AppNamePortable.ini. Neither copying it with that name nor renaming it to 7-zipPortable.ini or KeePassProPortable.ini (i.e. same name as the exe) worked. It would be great if there was a installation-wide override.

I've tried running the apps directly, but that causes even more problems, e.g. pinning to taskbar.

John T. Haller
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Not Designed For

Unfortunately, our apps are not designed for your use case. I neither built them for this nor have ever tested for it. You can run the apps directly (7-ZipPortable\App\7-Zip64\7zFM.exe and similar) and pin them directly and they'll run in local mode for each user, which should be about the functionality you're looking for. This won't be supported by us, of course.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

dwaynek
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no longer works

i have multiple folders and this used to work perfectly but has recently stopped working. what changed?

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