MuseScore 3 is not available as a PortableApp on Windows

• Jan 11, 2019 - 13:51
Reported version
S3 - Major

The PortableApp format is open source (instruction here), so the portable build should be added to the AppVeyor scripts in the main repository to ensure it is always up to date.

PortableApps are self-extracting, so it could potentially offer a more convenient way to provide nightly builds than the 7zip archive currently used.

The PortableApp needs to be 32-bit. This:


  • Users on Windows 64-bit that do not have Administrator access can install MuseScore 3 using Scoop (via Scoop Extras). This uses the same 64-bit .msi install file that one would use to install MuseScore interactively. Administrator access is not required to install Scoop or MuseScore via Scoop. See MuseScore now available via Scoop on Windows for instructions.
  • The more adventurous Windows 64-bit users can try the development builds (a.k.a. nightlies) of MuseScore. This page contains full instructions to use the nightlies.
  • Users on Windows 32-bit: no workaround. (32-bit) MuseScore 2.3.2 PortableApp is currently the latest available MuseScore PortableApp.


Regression No Yes
Workaround No Yes

Well, both are in the sense that both don't need installation, but at least the development builds (AKA nightlies) are not in the sense that they do store settings on the machine rather than leaving no trace there and storing everything on the thumbdrive (or wherever the pottable app is 'installed') only.
This does make it a workaround, whether it is good enough is for the user to decide.
The regression is that for 2.x portable apps do exist

MuseScore 1.x and 2.x are available as a PortableApp, MuseScore 3 is not (yet), that is a Regression.

MuseScore 3 64bit is not possible as a PortableApp is by design, as far as I understood, but as soon as we have a 32bit MuseScore 3, a PortableApp is possible, isn't it?

In reply to by Bart.S

"Neither installing via Scoop nor the nightlies are portable."

However both fulfill the PortableApp usage case of the user not having administrator access to install the .msi version. I said as much in the initial post. That feature is what brought me to PortableApp to begin with, not the thumbdrive portability.

Unpacking an msi doesn't neccessarily make them run too.
If it does here, we have yet another workaround.

But yes, we still want a fully blown PortableApp! That's what this issue here is all about and why it isn't marked as fixed, by design, won't fix or closed

@Bart.S, not every installer can be unpacked that way: some (bad ones) are custom EXE files that you have no way of knowing what they will do without running it. Besides, scoop makes the process of extracting much easier even for the good installers.

@shoggle, you never know what an installer does without source code. Even the good ones can add, create, modify, delete move, download additional files (depending of your upgrade path). Extracting installers isn't recommended, they are installers for a good reason.

The point is that some can be extracted while others cannot, which is all that matters to people who need to run an app and do not have the necessary user account permissions to be able to run installers that modify the Windows Registry.

It has always been possible, even with a 64 bit executable. It is strongly recommended that portable apps are 32 bit, but it is not a strict requirement.

The real issues are:

  1. Adding the accompanying resources that go alongside the executable to make it portable.
    • Generic instructions are here.
  2. Creating scripts to do this automatically on AppVeyor.
    • Generic instructions are here.

The problem is nobody seems to have both of these skills already, or the time to learn them.

However, it doesn't necessarily have to be the same person that does both (1) and (2). If somebody is willing to do (1), and write step-by-step instructions for what they did specifically for MuseScore, then that would make it much easier for somebody else to do (2).

It's no good doing (1) without writing a guide, but the guide doesn't need to be overly detailed. as it can just link to relevant parts of the PortableApps guide. If there were any decisions that had to be made (e.g. why do something one way instead of another way) then the reasoning behind your decision should be explained in the guide.