45 Free Useful Thumb Drive Applications

Thumb drives were once used to store files and make data portable, but due to the rapid increase in storage capacity over the pass few years these gadgets now have a bigger role. Some even run the entire operating system on a thumb drive.

The more we rely on thumb drives, the more demands we have in terms of tools and applications to facilitate the transfer and security of files. If your thumb drive plays an important role in your daily job, here are some you might be interested.

Synchronization And Backup

Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager – Backup and Restore USB Thumb Drive Data

Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager allows you to backup and restore presentation, pictures, songs and applications from and to USB Flash Drive devices and take them with you. Use USB Flash Drives to store personal data, to keep your network configuration and to share information with your friends. Microsoft USB Flash Drive .


xPortClone – Backup Removable Devices

xPortClone is a simple but effective tool that allows you to backup files from a removable device to your hard drive. It can be used with iPods, USB drives or even CDs or DVDs.


Toucan – Sync, Backup & Secure

Toucan is a small utility allowing you to synchronize, backup and secure your data with more options than the built in suite utilities. It is split up into 7 tabs, allowing you to easily find the function that you want.


SyncToy – Synchronizing Files and Folders

SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity.


Recovery Tools

Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier – Recovers Files from Disks

Unstoppable Copier is useful to copy files from any damaged media sources, like portable thumb drive as it recovers files from disks with physical damage. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together.


Undelete Plus – Data Recovery

Undelete Plus is a quick and effective way to restore accidentally deleted files. It can also recover files that have been emptied from the Recycle Bin, permanently deleted files within Windows using the Shift + Delete, and files that have been deleted from within a Command Prompt.


Recuva – File Recovery

Recuva is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or thumb drive. It will even bring back files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses!


SoftPerfect File Recovery – Recover Accidentally Deleted Files

SoftPerfect File Recovery is a tool to recover accidentally deleted files from hard disks, USB flash drives, CF and SD cards and other storage media.


Portable Platforms

PortableApps.com Suite and Platform

The PortableApps.com Suite and Platform lets you carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind. As soon as you connect your thumb drive into a computer, Portable Apps will open up automatically.


U3 Smart Drive – Store Data & Carry Software Applications

U3 smart drive allows you to carry your software on the same flash drive that carries your files. You can plug it into any PC and work, play a game, message friends, send email, edit photos and more. When you unplug it, it leaves no personal data behind.



PStart is a simple tray tool to start user defined applications. Designed to run portable applications (like portable Firefox & Thunderbird), you can start anything runnable from USB key devices or removable disks.


CodySafe – A Simple Data Carrier

CodySafe is a software tool that turns any portable drive from a simple data carrier to a computer-on-stick. Carry your computer programs with you, manage them, launch them on any PC, and leave no footprint behind. The management of your portable documents, multimedia files and pictures has never being that easy.


Mojopac – Turn USB Thumb Drive into A Portable Computing Environment

MojoPac, a friendly technology that allows you to take you entire PC on any storage device. MojoPac turns any USB 2.0 storage device, such as iPods, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, USB-enabled cell phones, and USB-enabled digital cameras, into a portable computing environment.


XAMPP – Portable Web Server

XAMPP is a Web Server package that contains Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP enables it’s user to host a Website, Blog, CMS or try out PHP code and test MySQL database structures all from a testing or production environment.


Security Tools

Dr.Web CureIt

Dr.Web CureIt is a standalone anti-virus and anti-spyware scanner that scans your PC for viruses, trojans, adware, spyware, hack tools, rootkits, and other malware. The program does not require an installation and can be run from a USB drive.


Portable Antivirus

Portable Antivirus is a FREE portable antivirus application that is capable to remove certain variants of virus, Trojans, ad-ware and spy ware from your computer.


ClamWin Portable – Antivirus

ClamWin Portable is the popular ClamWin antivirus packaged as a portable app, so you can take your antivirus with you to scan files on the go.


PC Repair System – Assemble a PC repair kit

PC Repair System provides a variety of free and/or open-source tools for file recovery, anti-virus, anti-spyware, system info and system maint. There are 37 applications in total.


Eraser Portable – Scurely Erase Data

Eraser Portable is a secure data removal tool that runs directly from your iPod, USB thumbdrive, portable hard drive or any other portable media.

TrueCrypt – USB Encrytion Tool

TrueCrypt encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.


FreeOTFE – USB Thumb Drive Encryption Tool

FreeOTFE is a free, open source, “on-the-fly” transparent disk encryption program for USB thumb drive and PC. These disks operate exactly like a normal disk, with the exception that anything written to one of them is transparently, and securely, encrypted.


KeePass – Secure USB Thumb Drive Data

KeePass Portable is the popular KeePass Password Safe packaged as a portable app, so you can securely carry your email, internet and other passwords with you. You can place it on your USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive or a CD and use it on any computer, without leaving any personal information behind.


Crypto Anywhere – Encryptor

Crypto Anywhere is small enough to fit on a single floppy or USB key chain drive and is very easy to use. If you run Crypto Anywhere from a floppy disk or USB drive, you can encrypt your email without even installing software on your workstation.


File & Folder Unlocker – Lock Your Thumbdrive

File & Folder Unlocker is a powerful yet easy-to-use system utility that gives you complete control over the locked files and folders on your computer.


Blue Micro USB Flash Drive – PC Logon Admin

Blue Micro USB Flash Drive turns your existing pendrive or flash drive into a key to logon to your pc. This makes it easier for users to manage their computer account passwords. This software creates a encrypted code on your pendrive, only understood by this software. This software can be installed on windows xp or 2000 only.


Operating Systems

Damn Small Linux

DSL was originally developed as an experiment to see how many usable desktop applications can fit inside an USB thumb drive. DSL has a nearly complete desktop, and a tiny core of command line tools. All applications are chosen with the best balance of functionality, size and speed.


Puppy Linux

With Puupy Linux you’re able to install and run the OS off of a USB flash drive. Applications such as SeaMonkey, AbiWord, Gnumeric, and Gxine/xine are included.


Slax – Your Pocket Operating System

Slax is a modern, portable, small and fast Linux operating system with a modular approach and outstanding design. Slax provides a wide collection of pre-installed software for daily use, including a well organized graphical user interface and useful recovery tools for system administrators.


Crunchbang Linux

CrunchBang Linux is an Ubuntu based distribution featuring the lightweight Openbox window manager and GTK+ applications. The distribution has been built and customised from a minimal Ubuntu install.



Mac-on-Stick is a project that explains how to load Mac OS Classic 7.0.1 onto a portable device using the minivmac emulator. It takes a few steps and is more appropriate for the technically-minded, but is quite an interesting experiment.


Office Tools


OpenOffice.org Portable is a complete office suite — including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing package and database.


Tiny USB Office

Tiny USB Office lets you to create rich-text word processing documents, share files across multiple computers, transfer files, create MS Excel compatible spreadsheets, comma-delimited database files, email your contacts, talk to your friends or co-workers on MSN, create pdf files, or securely encrypt or delete files.


Darik’s Boot And Nuke

Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.


Mazzick – Mouse Gestures on Your Thumb Drive

Mazzick is a simple mouse gesture utility that you can carry on your USB thumb drive. Using Mazzick is simple: just invoke it using one of the default shortcuts (like holding Shift, for example), then draw the gesture you want.

VLC Media Player Portable

VLC Media Player Portable is the popular VLC media player packaged as a portable app, so you can take your audio and video files along with everything you need to play them on the go.


TiddlyWiki – Non-linear Personal Web Notebook

TiddlyWiki is a single html file which has all the characteristics of a wiki – including all of the content, the functionality (including editing, saving, tagging and searching) and the style sheet. Because it’s a single file, it’s very portable – you can email it, put it on a web server or share it via a USB stick.


More Tools

USB AutoRunner

With USB AutoRunner you can have applications or documents autorun when you insert your USB device. When you insert your USB device into a computer, your chosen application or file will automatically open.


DCoT Menu System – Create USB Shortcuts Folder

A system to create a shortcuts folder at the root of my USB drive.


Flash Drive Reminder – Never Forget Your Thumb Drive

Flash Drive Reminder is an utility that pops up a reminder if you try and log off Windows without removing your flash drive. This program adds an entry to the AutoPlay dialog that pops up when you insert a flash drive into a computer.


USBDeview – Lists All USB Devices

USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that are currently connected to your PC or have been connected to it in the past. Along with the device name and description, it displays the the serial number (if available), date the device was added and last connected, VendorID and other information.


Help! I’m Lost! Autorun Script

A program called “Help! I’m Lost!” on the drive, that a finder just can’t get around opening. The program opens a message box with your personal “I’m lost” message.

Help! I'm Lost!


EjectUSB is designed to be a simple utility to close all programs running from a specified drive or folder and then attempt ejection if a drive was specified.


USB Disk Ejector

USB Disk Ejector allows you to quickly remove USB devices in Windows. It was originally designed to remove only USB pen drives but will now eject any USB device. It can be run as a non-visual command line program or a normal gui program.


Disable USB Drive

Disable USB Drive keeps people from walking up to a PC and copying data off with a USB key, but allows you to keep your scanner, keyboard, and mouse working.


BootIt – Flip Removable Bit

BootIt flip the flashdrive removable media bit so flashdrive can be detected by Windows as a fixed disk.