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portable application(1) An application that can be converted from one computer environment to another. See software portability and port.
(2) An application that can be easily moved from one computer to another. With regards to Windows apps, such programs would not use the Registry. In a totally portable application, all related files would be stored in a single folder so it can be copied with one command or one drag and drop. The folder would likely have many subfolders, and they would all copy in the same transaction. See Registry and folder.
(3) An application stored on a USB flash drive that can run on a computer without leaving any trace of itself when the application is finished. It is designed to restore all changed settings when the program is closed. Non-U3 portable applications are typically dependent on a particular brand of USB drive. U3 applications require U3-enabled flash drives. See U3.