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Ever get tired of all those windows open on your desktop? Want an easier alternative way to browse and quickly access your folders? Have a look at Hawkscope.

A 2 MB download, Hawkscope requires JRE (Java Runtime Environment) to be installed on your computer. If you don’t have it installed, it will take you to the download page.

With the downloads out of the way its time to check Hawkscope out! Fire it up and you will see a Hawk (icon) in your system tray, clicking on which gives you access to all your files and folders. The default configuration shows your home folder, all the partitions and few more options for settings and for exiting the application.

Hover over any of the entries and you see next the contents of the folder, hover over any subfolder and you will see the contents of the subfolder and this can go on and on till you reach the required file.

If you are an adept user you might be thinking all this can be achieved by adding “My Computer” as a toolbar. Yes it can be done but the real power of Hawkscope lies in its customization and plugins.


Click ‘settings’ and you can configure Hawkscope according to your liking. You can choose the icon theme, a reload delay value, show/hide common extensions and others.

My favorite feature is however the Quick Access list. You can add the folders you access frequently to this list and they will show up next to your home folder.

There is also a blacklist functionality that allows you to add locations that will not show up in the menu while you are browsing from folder to folder.

The Hawkscope plugin page lists a few plugins that you can use to enhance Hawkscope’s functionality. There is a plugin for Gmail, Google Search, Twitter and to execute commands from the comfort of your Hawkscope menu.

Once you download the plugins you need to place the jar file within the “.hawkscope-plugins” folder under your home directory.

While the plugin list is not overwhelming by any means, it surely lists some good plugins and one can expect the plugins to increase over time as Hawkscope gets popular.

Hawkscope is good and you will enjoy it, especially if you take some time to configure your “Quick Access” locations wisely.  A hotkey to summon Hawkscope would be at the top of my wishlist for the application. This single feature alone would make it even more useful as one could then browse folders quickly with the keyboard itself using hotkeys. It is still a work in progress though and let’s hope we see hotkey support in the future.

Hawkscope is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Do you use any other software for similar purposes? Tell us in the comments!

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