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Installing PortableAppss without installation (W10)

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Last seen: 9 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2023-08-31 06:57
Installing PortableAppss without installation (W10)

In our company we have any installations blocked by different security agents. However, we can unzip things and run them. I want to use couple applications (e.g. Thunderbird) on the PC and was hoping that PortableApps would help. However, I realized that in order to even use the Portable Apps I first need to install it - which completely defeats the purpose of what I thought PortableApps is supposed to be. I tried to read through different documentations but everywhere I see that I first need to 'install it'. Unfortunately that is not allowed on our PCs and I get blocked while trying to do that.

I have one PC where I installed PortableApps in the past when it was still allowed and there I can use it but I can't do any updates - neither of the PortableApps platform nor Thunderbird - these again trigger the installation process that gets blocked.

So my question is - is there a way to use / update PortableApps without having to go through the installation process - i.e. something as simple as Download > Unzip > Run?

Note: I can't have it installed on USB stick as those are also not allowed.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 32 min ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Self Extractors

The PA.c Installer doesn't install things on the local PC. It's a self extractor with extra logic to handle updates and things. Stuff that simple ZIPs can't do and will often break. Some apps get corrupted if you unzip a new version over the old one, for instance. Others change how they handle user data and settings between versions and files and folders need to be moved around. We switched from ZIPs to the PA.c Installer over a decade ago due to user's apps getting broken and data getting lost. See the full set of details here:

That said, your employer is specifically blocking anything that could be interpreted as an installer. The PA.c Installers don't require admin rights and don't need to install to the local PC, but your employer is likely purposely blocking them. It is odd that it isn't blocking the individual app launchers (FirefoxPortable.exe and similar) as those are also written using the same NSIS installer scripting language that the PA.c Installers are. It is possible that renaming them from whatever.paf.exe to whatever.exe would allow them to be run. Note that we do not recommend this or support it as your employer can likely fire you for using software you are not supposed to be using.

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

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