One 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.
While 7files may look very similar to vanilla Windows Explorer, it behaves much faster and comes with more powerful search and filtering features.
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.
There is a bar across the top of the interface that shows all of your accessible drives.
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.
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.
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!