I have MiKTeX Portable on my USB, and I've installed Texmaker on my machine with Windows XP.

I cannot find a way to configure Texmaker so that it compiles with MiKTeX portable. It just prompts me with the message "Could not start the command."

I guess that I should configure that in Option -> Configure Texmaker -> Quick Build. But I don't know what to do there.

I've done research and could not find solution. I find one workaround where they use Texmaker USB with MiKTeX Portable, but it's not I want (and it's quite complicated).

Any advice and help would be appreciated. Or if you know some other LaTeX editor that can be easily configured for MiKTeX Portable. The built in editor TeXworks works just fine, but I would love to have a more user friendly interface.


I use the following versions: Texmaker 4.1 and MiKTeX is 2.9.

  • Just to clarify: do you have MikTeX installed on your USB stick, but TeXmaker installed on your PC? Is MikTeX not installed on your PC?
    – jub0bs
    Nov 17, 2013 at 13:29
  • @Jubobs Yes, that is the case. And no, MikTex is not installed on my PC.
    – balboa
    Nov 17, 2013 at 13:43
  • Hence this other question: what's the point of having an IDE (TeXmaker in your case) installed on a machine without any TeX distribution? Wouldn't it be simpler to have both IDE and TeX distro on the USB stick (and/or on your machine)?
    – jub0bs
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:23
  • I cannot install MiKTeX on my machine, it prompts me with an error (unknown reasons). So I thought that this would be the simplest solution, but as I see that apparently it is not. So, what do you think, if I follow steps in tutorial that I gave link to in question, should that work? Or if you know simpler solution. Thank you for help.
    – balboa
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:33
  • 1
    Try to solve the real issue (if necessary, in an own question): What is the error message, when you want to install MiKTeX on your system? Don’t you perhaps have the user right for installation?
    – Speravir
    Nov 24, 2013 at 2:38

3 Answers 3


I've had the same problem. I've found two ways to make it work:

Solution 1. Add miktex portable to the environment variable PATH.

Even if you don't have administrative privileges on the machine, you can usually set the variable just for your account. I wouldn't use it while keeping miktex on a USB drive but if you copied it onto the disk it should be alright.

  1. Go the folder with miktex and find the subfolder miktex\bin. Copy its full path (C:\...\miktex\bin).
  2. Go to the Start menu, type variable, select Edit environment variables for your account.
  3. On the upper list find PATH and double-click it. Add a semicolon (;) at the end of the text in the box and after that paste the previously copied path. Close everything with OKs. If you relaunch TexMaker, it should work now. Sometimes you need to log out of your Windows account and log back in, or restart your computer, before it works.

Solution 2. Launch TexMaker from within Miktex.

This solution has the benefit of not changing anything in the computer settings but it's not permanent - you need to do this every time you start TexMaker.

  1. Launch Miktex portable - double click the miktex-portable file.
  2. An icon appered in the system tray, next to the clock. Right-click it and select Command Prompt.
  3. Navigate to the folder with TexMaker using cd command (e.g. by typing cd C:\...\texmakerwin32usb, wherever you put it). Launch TexMaker by typing texmaker. It should be able to compile tex files now.
  • 1
    To your solution 1: The OP has a real portable MiKTeX on USB drive, so this is not well applicable. Your solution 2 is what I wrote in my answer with a bit more explanation (but nethertheless in my opinion yours is better written).
    – Speravir
    Mar 27, 2014 at 3:20
  • I found Solution 2 here very helpful. Didn't occur to me to make use of the prompt.
    – twip
    Feb 17, 2015 at 7:02
  • Solution 1: 2. My upper list does not have PATH, it has TEMP and TMP only. What should I do to make my Texmaker understand to use Texlive to compile my tex file? Now my Texmaker is using Miktex.
    – NguyenDV
    May 26, 2016 at 8:35

I know it's a little bit late but I made a portable collection of a LaTeX environment for Windows systems. Now, I finally found the time to publish it. So hopefully TexPortable could help you. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.


In this configuration, as you have it now, there is no cure.

You cannot use the commands from inside of TeXmaker, you must work on command line, but only with the Command Prompt you get from the tray icon of MiKTeX portable! The reason is the system path:
Start a command prompt from your system (e.g. press Win + R and type cmd in the input line) and type echo %path%. Do the same again in the command prompt started from MiKTeX portable. Confer the first entry.

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