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Since XP, and it seems that it’ll continue on through 8, one of my biggest gripes about the Windows OS is how inefficient and unstable Windows Explorer proves to be. The Windows Explorer process is probably the all-time leader in crashes on this platform. Nothing is more annoying than getting that alert window and seeing your taskbar and tray flicker as Explorer slowly restarts itself.

And so far, with what I’ve seen in Windows 8, the visual “enhancements” continue to get worse and worse. If you’re not a fan of Microsoft Office, don’t expect to be too thrilled with the appearance of the new Windows Explorer UI. It’s bulky and a little bit of an eyesore, in my opinion. Luckily, third parties step in where Microsoft seems to have failed every now and then.

Clover 2 is a relatively unheard of software in the US, and for pretty good reason. Today, I’d like to introduce you to this gem.

Click here to go to Clover 2’s official website!

The Clover 2 website is in Chinese. If you’re not using Google Chrome, which should automatically prompt you to translate the page, then click here to get an English version of the website.

Before installing Clover 2, you’re going to need to have Google Chrome installed. You don’t have to use it (although you probably should, since it’s arguably the best browser out), but it is listed as a prerequisite.

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If you’re using the translated version of the website, you’ll see the following when you attempt to download Clover 2:

Just copy and paste that raw URL into the address bar and the download should automatically start for you. Open the archive, run the setup, and install Clover 2.

Immediately after launching the application (which you can do from the really nice looking desktop icon), you’ll notice how extremely similar it is to Google Chrome. It’s what it is really: Google Chrome as Windows Explorer. It supports many of the features of Google Chrome as well, such as tabbing and the favorites bar.

Tabs should have been supported in versions of Windows Explorer long ago. The tabs in Clover 2 function exactly the same way as a Google Chrome tab. That means you can close them in groups, duplicate, and pin them. Right click on the tab to get a list of options.

As aforementioned, feel free to bookmark your frequently used tabs and add them to your bookmarks bar. Windows Explorer is one of the last remaining sources of taskbar clutter, and when you use Clover 2 to manage Explorer windows as tabs, this problem is given a quick solution.

Clover 2 updates come pretty regularly, and the design of the program itself is very smooth and professional. I really like the desktop and taskbar icons.

Clover 2 will automatically replace Windows Explorer, like many other Explorer alternatives do, so you won’t have to worry about accessing it from the Start Menu or desktop every time you want to navigate your files using the application.

Those of you who are comfortable with Google Chrome will find that Clover 2 gives your entire system a very familiar feel. What do you think about Clover 2? Is it better than some of the alternatives? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Luke
    August 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    does anyone know if I can set this as my default file browser, as in when Im saving images from the internet or saving files from other programmes and not just when Im browsing through clover to begin with?

  2. Ben
    January 31, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Is it possible to theme clover? Where will i find information on how to do it if possible?

  3. Jackson
    February 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Sorry Just realised reading your post is the above rant was written my for the tech amountst us.Oh ye have you it and getting mates to ask me to thel them with it. Everyone I know who gets it hates it.
    If you look back in history every second version of Windows is good 95 Good, 98 Suck 98 SE Good Malenium and 200 Suck XP Good Vista Suck 7 Good 8 Suck 9 cross your fingers or we will all be using mac's lol

  4. Jackson
    February 25, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I tested the application and it appears to write some information to the Hardware Hive in the Registry. Recommend not using as this key is reserved for hardward. Might also explain the schito mouse Jason had.
    Th above method is great once you have it up and run as any you can restore the backup and you have a new brand new just set up perfect computer.

  5. Jackson
    February 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Sorry to inform you. As I have been using Windows and providing windows swpport for some time and like to consider my self knowledgable .The problems you are experiencing with windows explorer are a result of several things.

    1 Hard Drives that are on the way out often case your computer or Windows to Lock Up or restart like you described. To check this get a hard drive surface scanning software. HD Check is free and very good.
    2 Drivers from some hardware manufactures.
    3 Some Applications or Applettes especialy those with built in drivers or written to run part or all in low level windows system layers set asside for drivers and windows system.
    4 Some times programs just don't like Windows Explorer and Periodically Kill or Crash Windows Explorer.
    The way to test the later 3 is to perform a clean install of windows config windows to your liking and backup. Install no drivers and software at this point. Use for a few days untill you are happy nothing Windows Explorer is not crashing.
    Restore the backup and install one driver or application and backup again. Use for a week or until you are sure there are not conflicts then repeat.
    If any of the applicaion including windows explorer start to crash of give problem it means that the applicaion or driver is badly written and you should not use it. You should at this point restore the backup from two previous backups before you install the offending application or driver. Try an alternative application or get a new version of the driver.
    This is a slow process and is best if you have two computers one to work on and one to run new application on.
    You should also run a memory scan MemTest86 as well free and bad member can cause strange problems.
    The reason now this is a slow process. But my friends who have the problems you talk about with Windows explorer all have 100 of small and obscure application written. When we resinstall Windows and Lock it down so they can not install junk apps the problems go away.

    Also I have found some times video cards memory starts to die and then case Windows to miss behave. The resason is shadows video memory. Shadow memory is not ment to effect modern 64bit computers, but bith have observed this problem. The solution is to replace the video card, swap with a spare or a mates. Video card and see if the problem follows the card.
    Ite reason for backing up and restoring stright after install the software or drivers is to keep the installation clean. The longer you use the computer the more change there is of registry corruptions and file system corruptions that could be lying in the system waiting to casue ussues much later.You only need to keep a backup of the first and most recient ones. Don't use restore point found it often does not work.
    Recommended backup tool is BART PE and SnapShot.
    This i have use for many years on all version of Windows.
    You should set up your computer with two partitions C: for installing windows on and D: for all data. You should point the My Fav's, My Doc, My Pic etc to a folder structure on D:
    This should allow you to just backup and restore C: with out having to worry about loosing any data.
    This is how you should setup and maintain a computer. If you like I can post a list of non conflicting applications. I have and extensive list. But I siuld let you know the more application you install the slower your computer will run becase the registery gets larger. Also many programs install servers and drivers that sit in the back ground make windows less responsive.

    I hope this is a help.

  6. Skot
    October 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I am quickly becoming a Clover fanboy, but today's update turned my address bar black o.O

    Win 7 HP x64

    • Adrian
      December 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      I have a problem with the menu buttons (cut, copy, paste, etc.) there are disable for Win 8

  7. Umair
    September 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Or u can simply use WINDOW TABS a great tool from tabbed explorer. There are two versions paid and free.

  8. Dwayne Nicholson
    September 13, 2012 at 4:47 am

    I tried Clover but it kept crashing on desktop at work (Windows XP) so I had to remove, maybe once it becomes more stable I'll try again, looks like it has some great features

  9. Curtis C.
    September 11, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Great way in fooling your friends that you are wanting to use IE but disguises it as "Chrome" to impress your friends.

  10. kstaxman
    September 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I too hate Windows Explorer and have tried several different replacements but none have been enough better to continue bothering with them just for the reasons listed here... conflicts. You just never know when a conflict will crop up or an update will break something. So I've found it not worth the trouble for all the problems it can cause to dump Windows Explorer.

    I use a third party desktop search utility (currently ramsack) to provide the file finding I need without mucking up things more than necessary.

    But my main reason for not considering Clover 2 is just common security issues. I don't ever download and install software that doesn't come from sources I don't know well. And when you tell me that the home page is only available in a foreign language that runs up red flags for me. Who know's what is contained in this program or what it's doing behind the scenes. There is just to much chance that it's some kind of spyware or worse. And even if it's not what customer support is available for a program that has it's home page in language other than English.

    So thanks for the suggestion and maybe soon Clover will be supported in English so that I'm more willing to check it out but for right now it's not for me.

  11. Mahesh Bansod
    September 9, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Its cool, and its same as google chrome

  12. Rich Mc.
    September 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I downloaded and I have windows 7 64bit and almost immediately got the problem with mouse, but like others have stated if I wanted to use chrome I would but thanks for the info..

  13. achermao
    September 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Hello everybody, I'm the developer of Clover. I created it in few months, so it still has bugs. But I'll continue to work on it, to get it better. Anyone who has suggestion please visit my website at:

    And @Craig Snyder? No Chrome need. Just install Clover, and it work well.

    • Craig Snyder
      September 15, 2012 at 4:29 am

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. I apologize about the mix-up on dependency, I had to rely on a few outside sources as Google Translate was unable to perfectly convert everything on your website. Thanks for the application.

  14. Usman Shaikh
    September 8, 2012 at 6:03 am

    i didnt have a good expirence with it....cubic explorer is the real alternative to windows explorer.

  15. Joel Alar
    September 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    nice utility!

  16. Jimmy Rogers
    September 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I didn't really like this product. The interface looked nice, but it also cripples the finally decent Start Menu. If old Start Menu bookmarks could launch Clover, that would be cool, but just disabling them didn't have much value for me.

  17. GrrGrrr
    September 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    this software is another attempt to force you to use google behind it?

  18. Reý Aetar
    September 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    good firefox works for me

  19. michel
    September 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I've been using windows for years and have never had a problem with explorer crashing, it's happened maybe twice.

    And I know you're geeks and all, and talking to other geeks, but I don't see how tabs are any better than opening another window. In fact, with Aero Snap, it's easy to position any windows for whatever operations you want. And the taskbar shows all open windows AS TABS, doesn't it? This is the same argument I hear from people who want tabs in Word. Use the taskbar, problem solved, no dubious amateur hacks installed.

    The relative obscurity of alternative to Explorer shows how little most people need them. Plus, they're usually butt ugly, while Explorer integrates into the OS theme.

  20. Kao Vang
    September 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Will try this at home later. Thanks!

  21. thuya8
    September 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I am using tab explorer.Which one is better?Please someone recommend.

  22. Gerhard Tinned
    September 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Oh no, not really .... Use a real replacement for the explorer. not such a half way thing.

    - TotalCommander ... Filemanager with tons of features and supports tabs since years.
    - FreeCommander ... Filemanager with tons of features, supports tabs since years and the best, ... Its for Free!

  23. Gerhard Tinned
    September 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Oh comon, ... take a real good app and replace the explorer!!!

    TotalCommander ... tons of features and supports tabs as well.
    FreeCommander ... tonns of features, supports tabs AND the best it is FREE!

  24. Krishnapriya
    September 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I have been using Clover 2 for a while now. I only installed it because of the tabs. It is great for the most part except that whenever I type a path into the address bar, it opens up your browser instead of the folder. This is super annoying

    • Pawan Kj
      September 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

      If the path given is in local machine it would not open up in browser. I tried this, only if the path is located in Internet it would open up in browser. This is how it is functioning for me.
      Ex: when entered -> - this opens in default browser set.
      when entered local machine path - c:\Program files - will open the Program files directory in same window. This is what is expected rite.
      Also found it has cool feature, when just type c:\P it shows all directory names starting with P in C:\

  25. Vincent
    September 7, 2012 at 6:05 am


  26. Pawan Kj
    September 7, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Awesome, it has books marking feature even. It also has option to provide a website URL and it would automatically open up in default web browser.

  27. Pawan Kj
    September 7, 2012 at 4:36 am

    This is cool :)

  28. Pawan Kj
    September 7, 2012 at 4:35 am

    This is a good feature, definitely makes multiple screens easier to handle and navigate. After installing I see a bar for bookmark, saying ' place your booksmarks here' which does not seem to function. Has anyone tried this please?
    Thank you.

  29. Sebastian Hadinata
    September 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Looks awesome. especially to have multiple explorer tabs instead of multiple windows. Makes your screen less cluttered. :D

  30. Chris
    September 7, 2012 at 2:30 am

    I suggest the author tries using Windows 8 before bashing it ignorantly. Windows Explorer is 95% the same as the prior version.

  31. George
    September 7, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Since this is from China, is it 100% safe to use? Not going to have my sensitive data shipped overseas am I? Not paranoid but, suspicious.

    • Craig Snyder
      September 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I felt the same way at first, but browsing the web for reviews across multiple sites, I've only seen it getting nods of approval. It's worked fine and I've had nothing eerie happen since installing. It'd be great if it was open source, of course.

  32. Yang Yang Li
    September 7, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Tabs in Windows Explorer!? Gasp*
    How can Windows be called Windows anymore if you only have one window open, the rest of them in tabs?
    Brand suicide is what it is. Reason Microsoft's Windows Explorer is still antiquedated.

  33. Jeff
    September 7, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Very nice. Me likey alot.

  34. Tim
    September 7, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Boy, is really pushing Chrome these days. There's at least one article a day about the wonders of Chrome. And now we can use it (sort of) as a Windows Explorer replacement! What's next, using Chrome to do the dishes? Yeesh!!

    • Craig Snyder
      September 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Hey, this is my first pro-Chrome article! I'm a Firefox guy, anyway. They could fix the memory leak sometime in the next century, but the add-ons keep me there.

      • Anonymous
        October 14, 2012 at 7:21 am

        I am a Firefox guy too:-)

  35. Q
    September 7, 2012 at 1:42 am

    that's funny because I used Windows XP, and 7 and Ive never had the experiences that you described with my taskbar disappearing. in addition, I'd like to add that Windows 8 is made for the tablet and people still use XP. People aren't going to migrate to Windows 8 when most are just getting 7. The only ones that will break their necks to get W8 and praise it like it's been done is the GEEK. The average user is not a geek and since the average user would be the one using it most than that's who the main focus should be on rather than forcing the user into some new complicated stuff. Linux Mint and Ubuntu is starting to look good day after day not to mention getting easier to use. Just saying

    • Stephen Booth
      September 7, 2012 at 5:57 am

      Q, very soon a lot of ordinary users will be faced with Windows 8. You have to remember that most users don't buy Windows and don't even realise that there's a cost for Windows. Most users buy a PC, which happens to have Windows on it, and in a few months if you by a new PC it's going to come with Windows 8.

  36. jan
    September 7, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I am trying it now and so far I like it!

  37. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I'll let originals be originals. If I shall try to make a IE a Chrome, isn't it logical that I'd rather untick IE through Windows feature list and install the original Chrome.

    • Gideon Pioneer
      September 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

      This is about turning WINDOWS Explorer into a Chrome-like thing, not INTERNET Explorer.

      Windows Explorer is the file manager of Windows.

      • Ahmed Khalil
        September 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

        Yes, is is completely different

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      September 7, 2012 at 3:41 am

      Haha Rajaa, you aren't the only one who thought that this would make my IE behave like a Chrome ;) I didn't realize until I ran Clover on my computer!

  38. Kyle MacDonald
    September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am

    This is such a cool concept but just like Jason I had some errors with my cursor.

  39. Jason
    September 7, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I tried this out and loved it for a few seconds, until my mouse started stuttering across the screen. I uninstalled it and the stuttering vanished. Not sure if there is something particular about my setup that caused this.

    • Craig Snyder
      September 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks for letting me know, Jason. Can you share what version of Windows you're running and possibly what video card?

      • Jason
        September 9, 2012 at 2:29 am

        Sure. I am using Windows 7 and a dual Radeon video card. Will look at the model when I get home. Even though I could not use it much it seemed functionally and aesthetically pleasing. I really like the bookmark feature and I like having a consistent design and control scheme across my main apps. Did not see a split screen/dual,panel option but that might be the only thing I would be wanting.

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