How to Create Portable Version of “RocketDock” for USB Drives?

There are many docking utilities available for Windows like RocketDock, RK Launcher, ObjectDock, etc but personally I love RocketDock. You can take a look at all such docking utilities in our dock collection topic.

RocketDock is very light on system resources and highly customizable. At the same time it doesn't provide unnecessary shadow like features and advance customizable options to confuse you. It provides all basic and required features which you need in a perfect dock utility for Windows.

I'm using RocketDock since many years to organize my essential program shortcuts. I never put shortcuts on Desktop and use RocketDock for them because its quite easy and comfortable to launch the required programs via dock compared to Desktop. I don't need to minimize running programs to access Desktop to launch the shortcut. I just hover the mouse cursor at bottom-center of screen and RocketDock appears and then I can click on the desired shortcut to launch the program. Although you can use Quick Launch toolbar or pin items to Windows 7 Taskbar but it takes lots of space of Taskbar when you want to put lots of items, so dock is a better option for it.

Interesting thing is, I always use portable version of RocketDock which I created when I started using it but I never realized that I have not shared the method to make RocketDock portable here which is quite surprising for me.

So today in this tutorial, I'm going to tell you how to make RocketDock portable so that you don't need to install it. You can carry it on your USB drive or store it in any hard disk partition. Now whenever you install Windows, you can simply run RocketDock EXE file from the stored folder and it'll launch with all pre-defined settings and program shortcuts.

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. First of all if you have not downloaded RocketDock yet, download it using following topic:

Download RocketDock for Windows

2. After downloading the setup, install RocketDock in your system.

3. Once you install it, run RocketDock and customize it according to your requirements like changing its settings, adding/removing program shortcuts, etc.

4. Once you have finished customizing it, click on the Dock Settings icon present in RocketDock or right-click on empty area in RocketDock and select "Dock Settings" option.


5. It'll open RocketDock Settings window. In first tab, enable the option "Store Settings in a Portable INI (single-user)" as shown in following screenshot:


Click on OK button. This option will store all your customized settings and program shortcuts in a file "Settings.ini" present in RocketDock's application folder.

6. You have set RocketDock to save your settings in INI file instead of Windows Registry which has made it almost 90% portable.

Now you can copy its folder from "C:\Program Files\" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\" (for 64-bit Windows) to your desired location like any other drive or USB stick.


If you want, you can now uninstall RocketDock from your system as you have already copied it at another location.

7. That's it. Congratulations, you have successfully created portable version of RocketDock. Now you can open the copied folder and can delete following files if you want:


These files are unnecessary and can be deleted to save space. Although you can keep these files without any worries. It'll not hurt you.

8. Now you can run RocketDock.exe file from the folder and it'll launch RocketDock with all your saved settings and program shortcuts.

Its really very helpful, when you install new Windows in your system. If you have portable version of RocketDock, you don't need to install it again and again and don't need to apply all your desired settings each time. It'll remember all your settings and shortcuts as its storing them in INI file and not registry.

9. One thing to keep in mind! When you'll run RocketDock for the first time in a new system, you'll need to enable "Run at Startup" option present in first tab of RocketDock Settings window to make it start automatically with Windows. As this setting is stored in Windows registry, you can't set it in INI file. But you'll need to do this only one time.

So guys! That's the whole procedure to create portable version of one of the best Windows dock utility "RocketDock". If you have any doubt or suggestion in mind, please feel free to share it in your comment...

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  • I have a question, u know winrar unplugged? The themes doesn't go portable. Ho do u fix it.

  • Hi, I'm using Rocketdock with Opera Portable, but it won't let me go to any websites from the dock. Any ideas for a fix please? Other browsers are no problem, - just this one.

  • VG

    ^^ Try to delete Opera shortcut from RocketDock and then add a new shortcut again.

  • hi, i have a problem to my stack docklets,the problem is when i restarted my computer the warning was showed,!'rocketdock had trouble loading your default icons.last time it was run should rocketdock load the default icon?'please help me how to fix this.

  • VG

    ^^ I think you'll need to edit rocketdock's settings.ini file and make sure it doesnt contain references to file or folders which no longer exist.

  • Hey, VG. Nice tutorial. Just one question: if u install RK on a flash drive, could it run automatically after inserting the drive in the usb port? if it is, how could one do it? Thanks.

  • VG

    ^^ You can try following, not tested:

  • This software need a MAJOR update.
    It's obvious that the article is bias.
    It doesn't reflect the icons on the dock because the programmer as no idea how to create that effect.
    If he could, he would.

    Out of every dock I've tried, this one is the worst on memory use.
    Nexus use 123,344 K and Rocketdock use 278,888 K, MORE THEN DOUBLE!!!!
    Check it out in your task manager!

    You can NOT drag and drop anything in the dock, what a pain.

    The animated icons disappeared on reboot. The app designer's solution was to install the app differently.
    This prove to me that the creator doesn't know how to fix his own app.
    The large animated icons are animate so slowly, it's ridiculous.
    They work fine on others apps.

    To have some cool features you have to add some docket in a very complicated manners, NOT on Nexus.
    Most of the functions are already implemented in the app.

    Don't try to ask for help to the app designer, he is the rudest person I ever have the misfortune to asked for help.

  • VG

    ^^ Hi John

    Thanks for your feedback about Rocket Dock. Personally I love Rocket Dock and I'm using it since many years. Its very lightweight and fulfills my needs. I dont want an eye candy dock. Nexus dock is excellent and I have reviewed it too:

  • what if i accidentally remove all the icons in rocketdock even the setting, and nothing is coming out but its still running, i tried to uninstall and install it again, but still nothing is coming out, no icons nothing, can you help me with it?

  • VG

    ^^ You can drag-n-drop an icon to the exact place where it used to show. Its still running but you have removed all icons, thats why you can't see it. Or you can run RocketDock setup again and it'll restore default icons.

  • Can I make it automatically start when plugged by using an autorun.inf file?

  • Is it possible lots of RocketDock bars at the same time?

    I use and very pleased about RocketDock bar. But I need more than one RocketDok bars. One of is top another maybe left for ie shortcuts, the other one on the right for my desktop icons shortcuts,.....
    I hope for next versions.

    wish you success in your works.

  • VG

    ^^ You can use similar Dock software such as RKLauncher:

  • hi. i want to uninstall this program but i cant anywhere . please heelp me.

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

  • I am using windows 8 adk 32 bit and trying to intgerate rocketdock.Rocket Dock worked well until winpe3.1. However when I mount and add Rocket Dock folder to windows 8 adk the iso created boots and but keeps restarting.Is there anyway to debug this issue or any dependencies missing to be checked on windows 8?

  • hi i just want to ask if i can use multiple docklets in rocketdock? thank you

  • I installed RocketDock in my Windows 7 machine. When I customize the Dock, it does not save anything as it did on my old XP machine. I am a user and an Administrator.

  • In Win7, you can achieve a stable RocketDock, with Stacks, by installing to the C: (root) level. It circumvents some of the permissions requirements of the Programs (x86) folder. The reason Stacks Docklets fail in the Programs (x86) folder, is that they write state to the docklet folder, and that is not allowed in Win7. Do a standard install, and before modifying anything, quit RocketDock, move it's folder to C:, launch from there, set it up as you want, including docklets. All should be good...

  • m having trouble in rocket docments.. i want to install skins.. but there is no skins bar in dock setting? and i updated it too.. my win is 7 64bit.. please any one help :(

  • I just want to know how to change icon on the dock.
    Sorry, for leaving here but what can I do, there they say to create an email on this site.
    Please, get a answer and post on my mail.

  • VG

    ^^ You can right-click on any item in dock and then select Properties. There you can change the icon.

  • I accidentally drag all my icons from the dock bar, and I set my dock bar as transparent before I drag all the icons. The thing here is I can't find the transparent dock bar. I tried best but I can't really find it! Please help me!

  • VG

    ^^ The dock should present in the middle of the screen area where it was located before. Just drag and drop a shortcut in the exact middle position of that area and it should be added to the dock.

    Or you can right-click on the exact middle area and it should show Dock context menu.

  • Thanks for putting this information up.

    Although I found it after I had by trial and error done the same thing on my own, It is still a great reference if I ever want to install and use it on PC's where I don't normally use an Admin Account.

    I wish they would change the install process so you can install in normal user folders so Admin rights are not required.

  • When I use rocketdock, rocketdock toolbar overshadowed by my window. How to do this?

  • VG

    ^^ You can enable always on top option in RocketDock settings.

  • Hi,
    I send you a request for a new feature. Since RocketDock is available at any time through the dock , I would like to have Submenu feature. Having that I can build trees as I needed.
    That way I become very efficient. Already RocketDock speeds up my work so I can Group items in Submenus and , so doing, it will be super user friendly.

    Let me know ... I use Classic Shell and the SubMenu is super fast but you do stick to Explorer.
    With RocketDock can you be in any applications (Excel, TurboCad , Etc ) and gets it.
    Thanks Rejean Boyer 2014-0930 13h58

  • Greetings -
    Rocket Dock is very useful tool as an addition to the standard task bar. Is there a way to add a 2nd and 3rd rocket dock on more than one side of the screen? I loathe having to move windows around to find Icons or having to go into folders. Would rather move the cursor over a particular RocketDock to open a file or program.

    Thanx for the great tool.

  • VG

    ^^ No but you can use other dock software at other side of screen.

  • I inadvertently right clicked on "quit" and now i don't know how to reset it.
    I tried ctrl+ alt+r 2xs and no luck
    please let me know how to restore

  • VG

    ^^ If you closed the application, you can again launch it from its folder.

  • How I can eliminate icons from the rocket docker desktop bar, I notice that it is disable
    Please help

  • how do I make the bar show up on the bottom of windows Instead of being on top?

  • VG

    ^^ Check its Settings. There is an option to stay on top or behind the windows.

  • That's amazing!Now i can run RocketDock without installing anything!Awesome!!!!!

  • hi i would like to ask how to unhide ROCKETDOCK , i accidentally hide my rocketdock could you please help me ,

  • VG

    ^^ Move the cursor to the place where RocketDock was placed and it'll show up. Now you can right-click on the dock and uncheck Auto-hide option.

  • the portable method does not work in Windows 10 - the checkbox in settings fails to keep its setting!

  • VG

    ^^ I'm using RocketDock portable in Windows 10 without any problem. You can try to launch RocketDock as Administrator. May be it helps.

  • I use sTabLauncher after creating a portable version of it. Its a tabbed dock and accommodates 30-40 shortcuts without hogging space and resources. The configuration can be saved and exported as an xml file. I have used rocketdock and objectdock in the past but find this better. Do use and review it VG.

  • Bonjour, Voilà + de 15 jours que je suis sur RocketDock sans arriver à le faire fonctionner. J'ai remarqué qu'il faut obligatoirement les icones en raccourci si l'on veut aller sur le dossier ou fichier comme Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Video, Média Player etc...,. J'ai bien entré en copier-coller les icones dans le répertoire "program files x86, rocketdock, icones. Puis sur le quai proprièté + - ? les icones en image du dossier (x86) le choix OK et quand j'appuie sur l'icone désiré sur le quai pour ouvrir le dossier cela me renvoie sur les "Propriétés" pourquoi ?
    Merci de m'aider et de m'expliquer car j'ai 70 ans et le cerveau n'est plus aussi rapide alors si vous pouviez me répondre à l'adresse courriel vous seriez aimable

  • 'Ello all you wonderful peeps!
    I have an issue that I never noticed before, using RocketDock, in that after I've been using the PC for some time, the RocketDock animations and usability becomes incredibly 'jerky' and slow.
    Have tried exiting and restarting (both the app and Windows altogether) , but that doesn't do anything (after restarting Windows, RocketDock will run smoothly again, until it decides to start crawling once more).
    Also, tried using it as a portable version (as described above) and as a 'normal' installation, but that too doesn't make any difference. I admit to having LOTS of icons (many of which I've designed myself), but I've only recently had this error with the app becoming so slow, I end up closing it and using other shortcuts - which is a pain because I've become so accustomed to my own shortcuts and using RocketDock, that it's frustrating to have to go 'the long way' after having all my goodies at my fingertips. Any suggestions, advice, etc would be THOROUGHLY appreciated.
    Kindest regards and best wishes
    ps. I have also tried cleaning Windows temp file and emptying caches, but it's possible that either I'm not doing that correctly or not specifically enough (Any help as to how to clear memory cache in Windows would be wonderful, too) . Thanks again!
    PLEASE help me get m'bebe up and running like the wind - have checked for viruses and malware too, but I'm 'kinda' confident that this isn't the problem - being that I'm a pain in the knackers about keeping my PC 'safe'.

    "...A star ya'll are!"

  • VG

    ^^ Try to disable animations and other eye candy effects in Rocket Dock settings.

  • Hey,
    when i open my computer's icon it opens another window,
    How do i fix it??

  • RocketDock "Minimize windows to the Dock" Doesn't work
    I Have Win10 and i use RocketDock and start10 for task-bar transparency, but for some reason the "Minimize windows to the Dock" does not work at all for me ! .... will be amazing to have a proper fix ! thank in advance

  • want i want to know how to do,when i plug in the flash drive,and search for a file via rocketdock,it cant be found,because the drive letter if different to previous pc,how do i get around this? cheers

  • Tengo un problema, presioné la opción Monitor * y mi barra desapareció, tengo 3 monitores instalados, uso Win10. Ya he desinstalado y reinstalado varias veces el RocketDock, pero no aparece en ningún monitor, favor su ayuda.

  • Hellow. I have problems with the program. I accidentally deleted all the icons from the line and can no longer log in to the settings of the program. I even reinstalled the program and nothing has changed. Tell me what to do!

  • i accidentally delete all the icons on the duck
    and i made the dock transparent now i cannot uninstall the rocket dock

  • i deleted the setting option at the dock

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