Install your no-install apps with ZipInstaller

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ZipInstaller is a small program that can streamline no-install apps in zip files such that they are extracted in the right place, and provides these with shortcuts in the start menu and desktop, as well as an uninstall entry in Windows’ add/remove control panel.

There are so many reasons to like programs that don’t need to be installed; (a) they can be copied onto USB and portable drives and accessed on-the-go from any computer, (b) they can be placed anywhere on the hard drive that you wish, and (c) in most cases they do not write anything to the registry, and can simply be delete in lieu of a formal uninstall.

However, as the number of no-install programs I have downloaded have proliferated, I’ve noticed the following patterns: (a) programs unzipped and forgotten on the desktop, in my download directory, and other random places, (b) programs unzipped and completely forgotten, having no shortcut in the start menu to remind me of their existence, and (c) programs no longer needed but not removed, having no “uninstall” entry in Windows add/remove control panel to call attention to them when I am inclined to remove programs I no longer need.

Which is why I was excited to discover ZipInstaller. This is a very simple executable that can “install properly almost any software compressed in Zip files that doesn’t provide an install/uninstall module”. All you have to do is simply run and point to a zip archive and it will do the following:

  • Extract all files from the zip archive and into the destination directory you select.
  • Creates shortcuts to the program in the start menu and desktop, and adds an uninstall module within Windows add/remove.

You might think: “in this case, why would I want the no-install version of a program in the first place”. The answer is that you can still copy the no-install software to a portable drive, and these programs still does not write to the registry. ZipInstaller merely standardizes the process of managing your no-install software, and in fact (at least in my case) increases the likelihood of my using the program in question and removing it from my system if I do not need it.

The verdict: another freeware utility from Nirsoft that’s brilliantly simple yet very useful. Recommended.

[Thanks to reader CT for bringing this program to my attention in the comments section of a previous post].

Version Tested: 1.21

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the ZipInstaller page to download the latest version (approx 39K).