How to Autorun Portable Apps Off of a CD





Introduction: How to Autorun Portable Apps Off of a CD

Here, you can learn how to put free apps on CD. You can run an application without creating any files on the computer, so you can pop it in and out of PCs without causing any disruption. It's also great if the computer you want to work on has restrictions on it. My school doesn't block Autorun files that lead to EXEs, but does block opening a flash drive in Windows Explorer, so this is my solution.

This includes basic coding (don't worry, it's all copy and paste). If you just want to learn how to make simple autorun files, just go straight to step 3.
Inspired by this instructable by marijnboz

You will Need:
-CD burner
-CD-R or CD-RW

Step 1: Get the App

Go to and click on Applications. Choose your app, download the setup file, and run the setup file. You can even use the Portable Apps Suite and get all the apps on one CD; it is under the 700MB file-size of a standard CD. I am using GIMP for simplicity.

Step 2: Extract the App

Install the app to a new folder on your PC. Open the folder up, and check for the name of the main Executable file.

Step 3: Create the AutoRun File

Now open up Notepad. Type the following into it:

[autorun]open= FILENAMEHERE.exe

...and of course replace the FILENAMEHERE.exe with the filename of the main executable.

Save the file as autorun.inf inside of the new folder you created.

Step 4: Run It Once

This step will quicken the future startup process, and eliminate some potential errors. Open up the app and run it once. Change the settings to your liking. These settings will be UNCHANGABLE (if you are using a CD-R or DVD-R) once you burn it.

Step 5: Prepare to Burn

Insert the blank CD, and open up MY COMPUTER, and double click on your CD burner drive.

Step 6: Start Burning!

copy and paste the contents of your work folder into the CD drive. This should initiate the burning process.

Step 7: You're Done!

Once the CD is burnt and finished, label it with a sharpie and store it away. Now, just pop it into any CD drive anywhere and it should autorun the application.



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    i have a question on your .INF tid you think i could replace the program with a part of my 'ible as the shutdown shortcut? so that it would automatically shut down the comp when its plugged in?!?!?!?!

    agree with m-arijns. If you use the portable apps menu or pstart this instructable could be more useful. create a folder like in the tutorial, place all of your portable apps in there (700mb worth! woot!), configure them, install the menu to the same folder, add the shortcuts to the apps into the menu. Write the autorun to open the menu that you chose to use and then burn it. This way the cd will open your menu stuffed with links to all of your goodies instead of just one of your goodies.

    Is there a way to use this same technique to autorun something on a floppy? I tried the .inf on it but it doesn't seem to be the same.

    1 reply

    Okay, sorta seems to be the same as the flash drive one.

    1 reply

    The first two steps are the same, but after that my instructable goes off in a different direction.

    Yes, my flash drive is a U3 "smart drive". It can do pretty much the same thing as this, but the PCs at my school stop me from running them. This could work great! I can't fit programs on my flash drive, I use it for too much stuff, and I filled it mostly up. This is a useful instructable, at least for me.

    1 reply

    i have the same drive :P

    Here is the theme "Noire" in windowblinds.... TGT


    Windowblinds sucks! It isn't free and it sucks up all of your system resources! bootskin is alright but windowblinds SUCKS

    thx man! i just got the zune one that is just like it but instead of green it's orange!!!

    err i mean instead of the start button being black it's orange! see for yourself!


    oh and what theme for firefox? it looks sooo badass when they're together

    It's called MidnightFox.

    use a CD-RW next trime, Add/remove easy

    didnt work on my flash drive but it did on disks :) thanks