Always your favorite software in your pocket with LiberKey

Are you often on the road and would you like to have access to all your favorite applications and tools? Then LiberKey is exactly what you're looking for: free software that lets you choose from dozens of free programs and that conveniently places all that software on a portable medium such as a USB stick.

Tip 01: Install

You can find LiberKey at At the time of writing, that is version 5.8. Run the downloaded exe file with a double click. It's not even a real installation: the software is only extracted into a separate folder. By default this is the folder C:\LiberKey, but you can change the destination location. Optionally, you can immediately extract the installation file to a USB stick, but you can also copy the contents of the folder to your USB stick afterwards.

Finish the 'installation' with Complete and start LiberKey. By the way, you can always do that from the Windows program menu or you can start the tool by double clicking LiberKey.exe in the installation folder. You should now see two windows: a (still empty) start menu and a window from which you can install an entire application suite at once. That sounds tempting, so click Download the list of available suites. A window appears with two panes: the available suites at the top and the alphabetically sorted contents of the selected suite at the bottom.

Tip 02: Selection of applications

You can choose from three suites: the Basic suite contains 14 applications, the Standard and Ultimate suite 85 and 153 respectively. has. That turns out not to be too bad: the most extensive suite takes up about 1.3 GB of disk space, so we see little reason not to go for the total package right away.

If there are applications that really don't help you, you can already remove check marks next to certain items after selecting the suite. It is also possible to remove all check marks first (click on the key icon, at the bottom left and choose Deselect all), after which you place the necessary checkboxes yourself. The actual unpacking and installation work can be followed via a small pop-up window. You will also notice that the LiberKey menu is systematically completed as more applications are added.

Choose from three suites with numerous pre-selected applications

Tip 03: Exploring the start menu

In the unlikely event that there are applications that do not want to be installed just like that, it normally works if you click in the pop-up window on Install this application on my LiberKey clicks. Once everything is installed, you can get started right away.

Let's focus directly on the LiberKey menu: here you will find all installed applications, divided into all kinds of sections (such as View, Office and Security), with additional subsections.

You start a program with a double click. If you click on a program only once, a window with additional information will appear. This window also gives you the opportunity to adjust some properties of the applications. click on Characteristics and pass on the tab Shortcut the name, icon and description. The tab is also interesting Advanced: here you specify any parameters for the program, and whether you want it to run as administrator by default and/or it should start automatically along with the LiberKey menu. In this case, you choose Autorun the option On startup (if not already running). You can also enter a hotkey combination here, which will launch the application.

Tip 04: Extras

The LiberKey menu contains a few more buttons that you can certainly use. One of them is My Documents. This will open the subfolder MyDocuments from the LiberKey installation folder on your portable media. Documents that you keep here are therefore only a mouse click away on the road.

Also the tabs Most commonly used and Recent are quite useful: here you will find the applications that you have started most and most recently. At the bottom right you will find three more buttons: one with which you check the disk usage (of your USB stick), one to move the menu to the system tray and one to close the menu.

All portable applications end up in a clear start menu

Tip 05: Configuration

Most options can be found under the button LiberKey Tools and especially at LiberKey Configuration, which is divided into fourteen subsections. Here we go through the main options. This is how you will find in the subsection LiberKey Tools including the option Associate LiberKey with all files back. When you activate it, the context menu of Windows Explorer will have the option Open with Liberkey Bee. Conveniently, it opens file types with a suitable portable application. It is best to leave the check mark at Disable the existing association when the menu closes, so this option is no longer available when LiberKey is closed. You will also be given the opportunity to automatically close portable applications along with closing the menu and possibly also safely remove the removable device.

Also the section Application refresh is interesting: select the option here Downloadandinstall these updates automatically, priority updates will be installed without your intervention. These are mainly programs that are most frequently updated for the sake of the stability or security of your system. You can read more about the LiberKey update process in the next tip.

Furthermore, if you want LiberKey to start with Windows, open the section Advanced options and put a check next to Launch LiberKey when Windows starts. Don't forget to press the button every time Apply to actually make the configuration changes.

Tip 06: Updates

Like all other applications, both LiberKey and the portable programs you have placed on the stick are subject to updates. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of effort figuring out which applications need an update.

Open the configuration menu, choose LiberKey Tools and click Check for updates. A window with three options will appear. With the button Update my LiberKey now you update the LiberKey application itself. The center button (Update my portable applications) lists all available updates for your programs; hold the mouse pointer over such an update to get more information. The fastest is of course if you select all updates here, the option Install applications without intervention (automatic mode) activates and on Install selected applications clicks. For the third button, read on.

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