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Still on the lookout for a good file manager for your Android device? Maybe it’s time to test drive some of the lesser-known options.

Apps, files, and folders are at the root of your interaction with your mobile companion. The in-built app drawer is good enough to manage and access your applications. But, to keep all the files and folders organized and under control, you need a dedicated file explorer and a few tricks to manage files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files It's frustrating isn’t it when you can’t find that file? When you’ve searched every folder imaginable on your computer, and somehow it got lost….or worse, deleted. Now, there are excellent search tools for Windows that... Read More , no matter which device or OS you’re using.

While the well-known options like ES File Explorer (review here ES File Explorer: Is It the Best File Manager for Android? ES File Explorer: Is It the Best File Manager for Android? Is EF File Explorer the best option for viewing and managing the files on your Android device? Read More ) and ASTRO File Manager do their job exceedingly well, there are other relatively low-key apps that are also worth checking out. Here are three such options, one of which now happens to be my default file manager.

File Wrangler

File Wrangler is a free (and ad-free) file manager that’s a delight to use. Its beautiful dual-paned interface with drag-and-drop capabilities makes accessing and transferring files a breeze. The Quick Draw panel on the left contains shortcuts to your regular folders like Movies and Pictures. You can even bookmark any folder and make it easily available from this panel.

file-wrangler-screenshot

Selecting multiple files, uploading them to Dropbox, sharing them through email, transferring them via Bluetooth, etc. is quick and painless. The app also supports the creation and extraction of ZIP and TAR archives.

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File Manager

The bluntly named File Manager app has a sharp and visually clean interface that comes in light and dark-themed variants. The sort feature includes the usual name, type, size, last modified, ascending, and descending options.

file-manager

In the portrait mode, dragging the left edge of the screen to the right or tapping on the app icon at the top left reveals a pane with shortcuts to standard folders like and Apps, Camera, Downloads, Music, Movies, and Pictures. This quick-access panel is visible by default in the landscape mode. Use the Add to Bookmarks setting on any folder to add its shortcut to this panel. You can also add folder shortcuts to the home screen.

If you wish to customize file and folder behavior or modify interface settings, navigate to the Settings panel of the app. Switching between the light and dark themes, clearing search history, displaying hidden files and folders, reassigning the Home folder, and showing thumbnails are some of the tasks that you can take care of through this panel.

File Manager is supported by ads, which you can get rid of either by purchasing the premium version or by inviting at least ten of your friends to install the app.

buy-premium-version

Fylee

Fylee is another bare-bones app for managing files on your Android device. Its appearance blends in beautifully with the native Android interface. Renaming, copying, moving, deleting, and sharing your files and folders is simple as can be. You can choose to sort them by name, type, size, and date. The app is also capable of bookmark creation, thumbnail display for supported apps, and zip archive compression and extraction.

fylee-screenshot

Overall, if you’re looking for a minimal, ad-free, no-fuss file explorer, you’ll be happy with Fylee.

The Takeaway

As far as I can see, the only drawback these apps have is the lack of cloud support and root access. But that hasn’t stopped me from making File Wrangler my regular file manager. I access cloud files using the native Dropbox and Google Drive Android apps. To access the root folder, as a backup, I have a lightweight file manager with root access. This can work for you too, especially if you need access to the root folder infrequently.

Sometimes, even the most popular and much-talked-about apps can leave you unimpressed, because they’re just not what you’re looking for. You need a different kind of app that is more suited to your workflow, and an app like that may not always be available as a mainstream option.

In such cases, chances are that you’ll find a better solution among the apps that are overshadowed by their well-known counterparts. Even if it isn’t very fancy or feature rich, or a top-ten list contender, it could turn out to be perfect for you.

Is your default file manager among the lesser-known alternatives? Or do you use something else? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: The featured image is a derivative of pale blue ~ 8 mail organizer by meanderingwa (used under CC)

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  1. Dwight Clough
    May 9, 2017 at 3:39 am

    I tried File Wrangler. It worked fine. But then when I hooked up my Android to my Windows 10 laptop via USB connection, the files I moved where not visible in Windows 10. Other files I could not copy because I got an error message. I noticed my photo viewing app thought the photos were still there. For these reasons, I regret using the app--but I feel stuck with it because it's the only way now to access the files I moved.

  2. Tom Roache
    January 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Hopefully you can help. I'm a musician transitioning from paper sheetmusic to an android tablet. We have a library on google drive of approximately 100 pdf files (songs) and will be adding more songs in the future that I will keep on an external memory chip. ALSO I want to use a Bluetooth foot pedal pageturner and need the ability to easily create a weekly "set list" in the order they will be played. I am grateful for your time.

  3. Ashok K
    February 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Why we call these phones "Smart Phone" when they need something to do anything?

  4. Djordje D
    January 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    There is absolutely no match to the power of ES File Explorer.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.estrongs.android.pop
    It has everything you need. Nice interface so you don't get drowned and become unable to use the features, it has local network support, multiple cloud storage access and much more. Check it out, i can't live my mobile life and work without it.

  5. Najib Dajani
    January 31, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    ES File Explorer File Manager is a free, full-featured file manager for local files and network drives.

  6. likefunbutnot
    January 31, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Generally speaking, Android File Managers can't directly present "Cloud" storage in their UI because that content is not local to the device. However, Android inter-app communication is handled easily and consistently through the Share menu, so if you want to put data on a non-local source it's normally as easy as selecting the relevant files and tapping "Share to Drive/Dropbox/OwnCloud." Conversely, every Cloud storage app will have some kind of "Download to Device" or "Make Available Offline" option for local storage.

    I normally use AndroZIP as my local file manager, simply because I also use AndSMB for access to Windows file servers.