How to Install Software on a USB Flash Drive

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How to Install Software on a USB Flash Drive. USB flash drives are portable computer memory sticks that are useful with nearly any computer. Portable applications can make USB flash drives even handier by allowing you to install and transport computer programs from your flash drive.


Step 1

Find a portable application that you wish to install. Your USB flash drive may already contain an application such as a portal or browser that can take you directly to a list of portable applications provided by the flash drive's manufacturer.

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Step 2

Browse software-oriented websites offer free portable applications, or trial versions of portable applications that you can buy. Get a version specifically designed for installation on a USB drive whenever possible. Other applications may not run even if properly installed (see Resources below).


Step 3

Download the application to your USB flash drive. Locate the installer file on your drive, and double-click to run the installer.

Step 4

Complete installation. Software provided by your USB flash drive's manufacturer tends to run automatically or in a portal program pre-installed on your flash drive. If it doesn't, locate the executable file on your USB flash drive by browsing all files on the flash drive. Double-click the executable file to run the program.


Although your USB flash drive can be used on either a PC or Mac computer, software applications are specific to one platform or another. If you download a PC-based portable application, it won't run properly when your USB flash drive is inserted into a Mac or vice versa.