Creating Visual Studio Code Portable

Visual Studio Code is the King of editors, it’s true! Ask StackOverflow. It has taken over other popular editors like SublimeText, IntelliJ IDEA, and Visual Studio. And it has a portable mode.

After scaling to that height, you will always want this editor to be available in all flavors, available in major Operating Systems that is Windows, Ubuntu, and Mac. Don’t worry though, Microsoft got you covered.

Talk about flavors, I’m a developer and I always want the stuff that I’m working on always beside me. This is where Visual Studio Code Portable mode comes in handy.

With this, I can now have all my codes, settings, preferences, and extensions available on my thumb drive. No hustle. I can now code easily across my laptop, desktop, and at work machine without a problem

So in this post, I’m gonna show you which option of VScode to download, how to create portable mode, and how to update this magnificent software. All on Ubuntu and Windows.

Download Option

To download Visual Code Portable mode, go to the official website, download page. Here you will find options for your operating system. And another option for downloading, is installers for Windows, .deb for Ubuntu or the .zip and .tar.gz files for Windows and Ubuntu respectively.

So since we are in the VS Code portable mode, we are going to download the .zip archive file for the Windows side and the one that ends with .tar.gz for Ubuntu

After downloading this, now mount your USB drive or any other drive. Then you can now extract it into the desired folder in your drive or just any folder in your system.

Creating Visual Studio Code Portable Mode

Creating a Visual Code portable mode is simple. All you have to do is to get into the extracted folder and create another folder into it called data:

VSCode-win32-x64–1.37.1 — Windows

VSCode-linux-x64 — Ubuntu

This data the folder is the one that is going to hold all the data. That is the preferences, session states, codes, settings, extensions, and other things that you add into VS Code.

Running Visual Studio Code Portable Mode On Ubuntu

To run, open VSCode-linux-x64 folder in the terminal, by right-clicking on the folder and you will get the option to open it in the terminal.

Click the option open in the terminal.

After that is done now run the following in the terminal


Running VS Code Portable Mode On Windows

In order for us to run portable Visual Code on Windows open VSCode-win32-x64-1.37.1 which contains the Code.exe . If you do this double click and it’s enough to run it.

Updating Visual Studio Code Portable Mode

Both Windows and Ubuntu do not allow the auto-update for portable VS Code. But you can update to the latest version of Portable Visual Studio by:

Downloading the latest version of the editor as we discussed above then move the data folder from the older version to the new version you have downloaded

That’s it, as simple as such, now create your first hello world app today, and add your favorite extensions and plugins.


This article showed you how to create a portable mode for visual studio code. We learned which option to download which is .zip and .tar.gz . Then extracted these files, we finally then added the data folder which will contain all the data from the visual studio code.

We finally learned how to update the portable mode, which is just moving the data folder into the new version downloaded.

Thank you for coming around.

I love coding and writing
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