Install portable softwares with ZipInstaller

Well, this being my first post in Tech I Share, I will start with a very basic application.

Often we encounter software that come only with a standalone executable or even contained in an archive with necessary files. These software are portable, means you can carry these in CD/DVD or in your thumb drive. Some software companies also provide portable versions of there software in addition to versions that can be installed. Peoples like me prefer portable applications because these don’t bloat computer’s registry with several entries and leave traces upon uninstallation. But at the same time it is useful to keep programs organized under start menu. ZipInstaller from NirSoft fulfills all my needs.

The only problem with ZipInstaller is that it supports only zip format and not popular formats like rar, 7zip etc. But by default in windows can open only zip and also most portable software come in zip format.

So, if you want to install a portable application, browse the zip folder from ZipInstaller. If the portable software comes as a standalone executable you can install it by first zipping it and then browsing for that zip file

For each executable in the Zip file, ZipInstaller inspects the version resource information (company name, product name) in order to use it during the installation process. After the analysis process is finished, the next dialog-box is appeared. The product information (company, product name, version) is displayed on the screen if it’s found inside the Zip file during the analysis process.

Before you starting installation, you can change the following installation options:

  • Destination Folder: ZipInstaller will copy all program files to this folder. You can select one of the default folders from the combo-box, or select any other folder by clicking the ‘Browse’ button.
  • Install for: This option is available only under Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. If you choose to install for the current logged on user (the default option), the shortcuts to the installed software will be added only to the desktop and the start menu of the current logged on user. If you choose to install for all users, the shortcuts will be added to the desktop and start menu of all users.
  • Add shortcuts to the programs folder: If this options is checked, a folders containing essential shortcuts will be added to the programs folder under the start menu. You can select one of the default folder names or type any other folder name you want.
    In this programs folder, ZipInstaller automatically adds shortcuts to the following files:

    • Executable files (*.exe)
    • Help file (*.chm, *.hlp)
    • readme file (readme.txt, readme.htm, readme.html or readme.doc)
    • manual file (manual.txt, manual.htm, manual.html or manual.doc)
    • Uninstall program (If the uninstall option is selected)
  • Add a shortcut to the program on the desktop: If this option is checked, a shortcut to the executable file of the installed software is added to the your desktop folder. If the Zip file contains more than one executable file, a shortcut to the program folders will be added to the desktop.
  • Add uninstall module: If this option is checked, the uninstall module will be added with the installed software, and you’ll be able to automatically uninstall it in the future.
  • Add uninstall shortcut under the programs folder: If this option is checked, a shortcut that runs the uninstall module will be added to the programs folder. Otherwise, the uninstall shortcut won’t be added.
  • Remember the above settings for future installations: If this option is checked, the current installation settings will be saved in the Registry, and they will be used as default settings in the next time that you use ZipInstaller.

After you click the “Install” button, ZipInstaller copies all files from the zip file into the destination folder, and creates shortcuts in the desktop and/or in the start menu according to your selection. You’ll see a new programs folder with shortcuts to the installed software.

If you’ve chosen to add the the uninstall module during installation, executable file of ZipInstaller (zipinst.exe) will be copied to your Windows directory and additionally a file named “uninst1~.nsu” will be created in the destination folder (under program files) containing essential information for removing the installed application in the future.

Whenever you want to remove the software you have installed with ZipInstaller, you can simply start the uninstall process by choosing the uninstall option from the shortcut created in programs folder or using the “Add/Remove programs” module in the Control Panel.

You can also integrate ZipInstaller to the context menu of Zip files.

If you are a power user you can configure ZipInstaller in different way. It has also command-line options. You can translate in your language too. All these information are documented in an organized manner in the product homepage.

Although ZipInstaller has been updated last in 20th July, 2004, it still runs in all windows version (32 and 64 bit) and is still supported.

You can download the standalone installer from here

or download it in a zip file containing help file

Nirsoft accepts feedback. So, if you like the product make sure to contact them nirsofer[at]

Note: Nirsoft utilities are often falsely categorized as malware. So, if your antimalware application is detecting it as malware you can safely whitelist it.

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