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file browser windowsOne of Windows’ long-time shortcomings is the performance of Windows Explorer. If you don’t know what Windows Explorer is, it is the face of Windows. It’s what wraps around this skeleton of code and allows us to see our desktop, browse our files, and more. It’s the visuals of Windows as you know it. Even on Windows 7, it has yet to be perfected.

With the release of Windows 8 coming up pretty soon, you can expect a lot of changes to Windows Explorer. Still, I’d advise you to be underwhelmed. There are a lot of third-party applications that substitute in place of Windows Explorer, and as long as they’re around then that’s much less of a reason to complain. Of those alternatives, 7files is one of the best for the purposes it serves to. In this post, we’ll look at what 7files can do for your Windows machine.

7files

While 7files may look very similar to vanilla Windows Explorer, it behaves much faster and comes with more powerful search and filtering features.

file browser windows

Upon launching the application for the first time after installation, you can see the first useful feature that 7files offers in allowing you to open the last folder you were browsing.

The application is really simple to use. If you’ve ever used a Windows search tool like Everything, you should quickly learn your way around the features.

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file browser

There is a bar across the top of the interface that shows all of your accessible drives.

file browser

Navigating through folders is just as easy and to the same effect as it is in Windows Explorer itself. In the above screenshot, I’m in my Documents folder. On the right-hand side, you’re able to see optional search filters. Under the Type header, you can see that I’ve filtered the folder to only display pictures. You can see that there are additional filters, ranging from other types like folders and music, and then dates and extensions.

file browser

Taking it a step further, you’ll notice the Filter field at the bottom of the above screenshot, where I can narrow searches down based on keywords in the file. You can even set this as a case sensitive search.

file browser windows

Here, you’ll see that I’ve pulled the Documents and Dropbox folders up into my Favorites bar for quick access. This is another great feature, as this allows you to painlessly access your most common files and folders. It’s as simple as clicking on the item and dragging it up into the bar.

Overall, 7files is a great way for searching through the Windows file system. It’s very fast compared to similar applications, and the filtering options are extensive and useful. I appreciate that you can apply multiple filters. Filtering is also recursive, which helps in doing the job of pinpointing specific files if you’re not 100% sure on where they’re hiding.

What do you think of 7files? Could this be a viable replacement to searching your file system through Windows Explorer? Let me know in the comments!

  1. DamianD
    March 14, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Somebody has information about a ranking of desktop search tools? with copernic, x1, everything and lookeen?

  2. LaFlamme
    October 22, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Does this really not have a thumbnail view for photos?

  3. Sam Kar
    October 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Not a good software. From below should I understand that it relies on Windows Search?

    How to install 7files on my Windows XP?

    Download and install .Net Framework 3.5 SP1
    Download and install Windows Search
    Download 7files and run the setup.

    • FileMind
      October 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Sam, Windows XP is no longer supported. XP was forcing us to make too many compromises, so we moved on and had to drop it.

  4. Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 at 8:33 am

    this might be not so familiar for me to use other type of program to open files .perhaps this might be great for windows files search.

  5. Travis Kelm
    October 13, 2012 at 6:04 am

    If you are looking to try out Explorer replacements, I strongly recommend you take a look at xplorer2.

  6. Jacob Mathew
    October 13, 2012 at 6:00 am

    I just hope this does not mess up my computer after some time.But anyway gonna try it.

    • FileMind
      October 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Jacob,

      The beta version of the now called FileMind (www.filemind.net) is very solid and should not cause any trouble. It also has an auto-updater that will make sure you used the newest release.

  7. Andy Veiga
    October 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Where should I start? It's an alpha. Really Craig, you kind of should've let us know about this.

    It is slow (on my PC at least) It has crappy pixelated fonts on the right sidebar. It is poorly integrated visually with Win 7. It requires UAC approval to even start. It has no portable version.

    It provides no support for a better mouse-only file transfer (like panes, tabs or eve a copy/paste area).

    In exchange it provides a bunch of filters that are more or less available in windows explorer if you dig hard enough. My guess is that WE has buried them because they never were really that popular.

    It is not clear from the write-up how this differentiates from the dozen of decent file browser of which FreeComander, Ultra Explorer and Clover stand out. Probably because it does not.

    As a side-note i see that people in comments are mildly excited to this software. This suggest that many have not seen too many file browsers or perhaps have not learned how to use best Windows explorer. But this puts an extra responsibility on you guys.

    • FileMind
      October 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Andy,

      7files is actually retired now, we moved from alpha to beta state. The product is now called FileMind (www.filemind.net) and is significantly improved. It no longer requires admin rights to run, either.

      • AriesWarlock
        November 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm

        Can FileMind read tags from image files?

  8. Raj Sarkar
    October 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Looks good. :D

  9. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Nice! Got so much content it is getting insane now. Will give this a go.

  10. Andre Hutson
    October 12, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I think I will give this a try. Previously I used Everything but after my hard drive got filled with files it always 'hung' when I tried to search for a file.

  11. Gerhard Tinned
    October 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I am not a big fan of the windows explorer layout at all. I prefer the "norton comander"-style as it is in "TotalCommander" or "FreeCommander" (freeware) much much more ...

    • Yvonne
      October 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Seconded!

  12. Pawan KJ
    October 12, 2012 at 5:18 am

    This tool is similart too "Clover" application - provides additional tab feature.
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/clover-2-turns-windows-explorer-google-chrome-windows/

    7files - no tabs, but provides additional searching / filter option.

    • Craig Snyder
      October 12, 2012 at 6:36 am

      Both are great tools, I keyed up the Clover article also. Good to have a little bit of variety and choice!

  13. la
    October 12, 2012 at 4:14 am

    i wonder how much memory used by this program. i hope every review for such software like this should include how much memory is using. i may have more memory available but i don't like windows replacement software that takes a lot of memory.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Seconded. I'm not going to replace Explorer with slower software. For now XYplorer does a pretty good job for me. Perhaps not the prettiest, but certainly useful.

  14. Myst Gunn
    October 12, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I use Everything for file searching in my pc.

    • Pawan KJ
      October 12, 2012 at 5:12 am

      Hi Myst,

      Thats correct 'Everything' tags the files with index and makes searching faster. But 7files helps us to manage windows explorer browsing better with providing additional feature like filtering / searching.

  15. Brian Mok
    October 12, 2012 at 1:22 am

    It looks pretty cool. I'll give it a try. :)

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