25 productive tools that fit in a thumb drive

Your personal computer is no doubt the most productive machine for you, but due to portability reasons it’s not possible to carry your system everywhere, especially when you are travelling. At times when you have to work on an unknown machine, your thumb drive and set of tools that you use would help you make the environment friendlier, and hence increase your efficiency. Here is a list of tools you can carry around in a thumb drive!


Starting with the most useful one, PuTTY is an SSH client and a terminal emulator. Widely used, it’s a small file, which enables you to login into remote servers very easily and efficiently.


Moving on, PortableApps is a series of packaged portable software that can be installed on a thumb drive and used on any computer. It includes portable versions of a variety of popular apps like Chrome, Skype and TeamViewer.

FTP Wanderer

FTP Wanderer is an FTP Client with the look and feel of the Windows Explorer. It also has a lot of features, including drag and drop from the Windows Explorer.

FTP Server Lite

The Quick ‘n’ Easy FTP Server Lite is an application which creates an FTP server on your computer. It also has a wizard for beginners.

Recuva (Portable)

Recuva is one of the most popular file recovery software for any device running Windows. However, for times when it’s not possible to install a separate version on a computer, you can use the standalone portable version of the application to recover files with the same functionality!

XAMPP (Portable)

XAMPP is a web server package which comes with Apache, MySQL and PHP. Although it’s a downloadable part of the PortableApps package, it is mentioned as a separate entity because of its usability and availability outside of PortableApps.

Puppy Linux

In addition to applications, how about carrying a whole operating system in a USB drive? Puppy Linux is a lite version of Linux which enables you to do so, helping you boot up a whole system with the help of just the flash drive carrying it!

Tiny USB Office

Just when you were wondering to get your hands on an office suite with portability, Tiny USB Office comes to your rescue. Not only does it contain standard office applications, it also provides other services like database creation and data encryption!

Help I’m Lost

If you are those people who still create IfFoundPleaseReturnTo.txt files in your thumb drives, it’s time to take a leap.This application creates a custom AutoPlay message for your thumb drive!


Just in case, you got stuck transferring files, don’t worry. This application tries to stop any process that is using the USB drive and then removes the drive safely so that your data is not damaged.

Follow Me IP

This application helps track dynamic IP addresses from a remote domain. You can not only find information about your IP but lookup other IP addresses too.


This is one handy tool when you have too many drives on a computer. Drive Manager not only helps you manage drives, but also brings a lot of related functionality like hiding drive letters under the same roof.

Qm The Quick Mailer

If you want to send an email without any headaches, this is the tool you should use. A small, fast and efficient program to send out emails, it saves a lot of your time!


If you are concerned about people snooping your activity, you should use TOR (The Onion Router). Re-routing your requests through multiple layers of proxy servers, TOR goes a long way from saving you from a number of methods of network surveillance.


This is a simple, yet powerful tool that lists programs that load during startup of your machine. It also provides the functionality of removing unwanted programs from the list!


Notepad++ is a text editor, which as the name suggests, is an improvement over the native text editor in Windows- Notepad. It has support for a high number of programming languages, with services like syntax highlighting. To add to its functionality, you can install plugins.


AutoHotkey helps you to automate monotonous tasks on Windows by modifying the user interface like for instance, overriding default key bindings.


TrueCrypt is an open source disk encryption software for Windows, Mac or Linux. It can help you in encrypting a virtual disk, a partition or a whole volume like a USB drive.


Treepad is a useful organiser, information manager and a word processor. It helps in storing all your information- like your notes and documents- in the same place, accessible with just a few clicks.

FileZilla Server

FileZilla server creates an FTP server on your computer. It is a free and open source solution to your FTP problems.

FileZilla Client

Just like the FileZilla server, the client software helps you in connecting to a FTP client and sync files. The server need not be created through FileZilla Server.


Tonido is a private file sharing solution for home and business. You can sync your files across devices, including your mobiles and tablets. In addition to that, you can access your files through the browser too.


CCleaner is a popular tool for optimizing the performance of your computer by cleaning up junk files on Windows- including temp files of the browsers and even the registry.


Calibre is an eBook management software which also serves as a library for your eBooks. Calibre gives you the option to convert between many popular eBook formats like PDF, EPUB and MOBI.


SnapTimer is a simple, light-weight easy to use countdown timer for Windows with some useful features which helps in increasing your productivity.

With this, we come to the end of list of useful applications for your thumb drive. Noted that there are a lot of other tools that we might have missed, feel free to share your favourites!