Differences between the Installer and Portable Versions of Blender (Just a Hmmm? question)

I have been using Blender for quite a few years but I’ve either used the Portable (zip) versions downloaded from Blender.org (because I like the flexibility of putting it anywhere I like in folders on the computer or on a thumbdrive to swap between machines) or the versions available from Steam.

I know the difference between the Steam and Portable version (none when running the actual program and the other differences are all superficial (like installs to Steam folders, time tracking via the Steam Client, you can only have one version downloaded at a time, auto updating and if you launch from one computer then you can’t launch on another computer from the same Steam account without shutting down Steam on the other machine first, etc)

But out of curiosity sake, what are the differences of the Installer and Portable Versions from Blender.org?

One would be the program being installed to the Program files or Program Files (x86) folder and most likely Blend files would be defaulted to Blender so they open in Blender when double clicked. (The only 2 real differences I can think of.)

But I’ve always wondered what other differences there might be and are there any benefits in running the installed version over the portable version or vice-versa? Like, does the installed version do update checks?

What are your opinions over Installed vs Portable?

For me, I can’t work without the portable version at my job… since my computer is company-managed, I can’t install anything without having to open a support ticket. So any addons I want to install, I would have to open a ticket, then wait for IT to get around to it. With the portable version, I can put Blender in a folder that I have read/write access to, so I can add addons whenever I need them (assuming I virus-scan them first :slight_smile: ).
I don’t believe there are any differences between the two.

1 Like

Thanks Safetyman, much appreciated.

I usually install the official release of Blender and then have the alpha, experimental versions as folders.

There is one other major advantage to using the portable version… you can run multiple Blender versions on the same computer without conflicts. So for instance, if a new version comes out and breaks an addon that you use a lot… you can run the old version for that addon, and still have access to the newest Blender version.