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android file explorerAndroid doesn’t come with a file manager. Google thinks file managers are part of the past – a complicated tool that we shouldn’t need when our data is stored in the cloud Which Is The Mobile Cloud Option For You? iCloud vs. SkyDrive vs. Google Drive Which Is The Mobile Cloud Option For You? iCloud vs. SkyDrive vs. Google Drive It seems the cloud is hard to escape these days - both in your daily tech life, and on websites such as ours. Only last week I wrote an article about cloud-based PowerPoint alternatives, the... Read More and retrieved on-demand by the apps we use. However, we don’t all live in that world yet. For those of us who need a file manager on Android, ES File Explorer is the best, most powerful option. Even better, it’s completely free.

ES File Explorer is packed with features. Far from being a lightweight mobile app, it’s more powerful than a desktop file management application like Windows Explorer 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer Windows Explorer is the default Windows file manager. Last week I introduced you to 3 easy ways to improve Windows 7 Explorer by tweaking features and using it to its full potential. In this article,... Read More .

Basic File Management

ES File Explorer includes all the basic file management functions you’d expect from a file manager. It’s like having a desktop file manager on your smartphone or tablet. As well as the ability to view and manage the contents of your SD card or internal storage, ES File Explorer allows you to:

  • Select multiple files or folders by tapping the Select button on the toolbar and tapping each file or folder. You can also Select All in the current view.
  • Perform operations on a single file or folder by long-pressing it. You can use Cut, Copy, Pste, Delete, Rename, Move, Properties, and more.
  • Use Android-specific functions, like Sharing a file or folder (which opens the Share menu), opening a file in any installed app that supports it, or creating a shortcut to a file or folder on your home screen.
  • Search for files by name, path, category, size, and date. You don’t have to hunt down a file by looking in every folder.

If your Android device is rooted How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More , you can enable the Root Explorer feature to browse – and even modify – files everywhere on your device’s file system.

android file explorer

Remote File Management

What really sets ES File Explorer apart is its long list of features. It can do almost anything you’d want. Not only is it a file manager for your local file system, it also integrates with a variety of remote file services to manage files on other nearby devices and in cloud storage accounts.

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  • Access files on local computers using the SMB protocol used for Windows file sharing. Open the LAN section, tap New, and tap Scan to scan for computers sharing files on the local network. You can use this feature to copy files from your computer to your Android or even stream videos from your computer over the network.

es file explorer

es file explorer

  • Download and upload files via FTP using the integrated FTP client.
  • Manage files via Bluetooth. You can copy and paste files directly between Bluetooth devices.

Other Features

ES File Explorer includes a long list of other features.

  • Application Management: ES File Explorer can manage the applications stored on your device. In addition to uninstalling and categorizing apps, you can create backup copies of their .apk files How To Manually Install ("Side Load") Apps On Your Android Device How To Manually Install ("Side Load") Apps On Your Android Device Ignoring any "app count" wars between the iOS and Android worlds, one thing is for sure -- there are a ton of apps available to install on Android, no matter how you look at it.... Read More  and install backed up .apk files.
  • File Compression Support: The app allows you to compress and decompress ZIP and RAR files. You can also create password-protected (encrypted) ZIP files.
  • Built-In File Viewers: This app includes built-in viewers for viewing images files, music, documents, and other types of files. You shouldn’t have to install another app to view a variety of files. When you open a file, you’ll have the option to use the internal viewer or an external application.
  • Text File Editor: ES File Explorer includes a built-in text editor. ES File Explorer is so powerful that, if you enable writing to the root file system (be careful if you do this – you could damage your operating system), you could use ES File Explorer’s built-in text editor to directly modify operating system configuration files.

ES File Explorer also includes a task killer, but we don’t recommend using it. It will not make Android faster How To Make Android Faster: What Works, And What Doesn't How To Make Android Faster: What Works, And What Doesn't Everyone wants their devices to run faster and scammers prey on that. Recently, a scam app named Android Defrag Pro popped up on Google Play. Android doesn't need defragmentation, but many users installed it anyway... Read More .

android file explorer

If there’s one problem with ES File Explorer, it’s that its interface feels a bit dated in the world of Android Jelly Bean Top 12 Jelly Bean Tips For A New Google Tablet Experience Top 12 Jelly Bean Tips For A New Google Tablet Experience Android Jelly Bean 4.2, initially shipped on the Nexus 7, provides a great new tablet experience that outshines previous versions of Android. It even impressed our resident Apple fan. If you have a Nexus 7,... Read More and Holo-themed applications.

ES File Explorer is on our list of the best Android apps. To find more great apps, check out our lists of the best software for every platform.

Do you use ES File Explorer, or do you prefer another Android file manager? Let us know!

  1. Tim Camp
    September 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    hi.. i installed ES FILE EXPORER from the play store to my android tv box unfortunately due to being technically challenged i cannot find where it went

  2. saurav.115094
    October 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Hi, i use ES file explorer an encrypted files on my SD card but i forgot the password for decryption.
    Please help me.

  3. ure.mal
    July 26, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Useless. I was exploring the various settings, trying to find a way of making files appear in Windows' File Explorer - which this stupid phone does not do by default, duh1, and reached a point where there was no back button, leaving me stuck on that page, duh2. Removed it. Anyone know of a file explorer that's been written properly? One that will let me view fire files on my Windows PC.

    • fireboy
      January 18, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Oh that's easy! Switch to Kubuntu and you'll never look back at the junk in the Blue Screen of Death!

  4. sree
    May 21, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I forgot the password for encrypted file. How to recover. Please help me

    • saurav.115094
      October 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Did you got any solution.

  5. sukhbir
    May 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I have lose my password and blocked my videos and image.plz help me how to recover my data.

  6. vineet
    April 19, 2015 at 7:20 am

    how to forget password for decrypt file

  7. Gerhard
    April 17, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Hi, I use the ES file explorer on my Android tablet (Asus memo pad) and think it works great. After I have encrypted a file for safety reasons it becomes an *.eslock file. Can I decrypt this type of file on my Windows desktop PC, and if so, which software is needed to do this?

  8. Akhilesh yadav
    April 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    how to forgot the decrypt password

  9. sahu
    March 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    encrypted videos. . .not opening(its saying incorrect password) or I forgot. . .how to restore it??

  10. sahu
    March 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    encrypted videos. . .not opening(its saying incorrect password) or I forgot. . .how to restore it??

  11. Saad
    February 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hye. I m using es file Explorer. When I opened the viber folder in es, nd the sub folder User pics. It shows so many pics. I mean no one send me any pics of him nd es shows it. It shows hidden pictures also. It is showing some unknown people also. How can I found that whose pictures are those. Plz answer my question

  12. Peter
    February 14, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Don't enable password protect to use es file explorer or network drive. I enabled both thinking it'd ask me for a new password to enter to gain access for first time, but it only asked me to enter password when I closed the app and tried to get back in, I never had the option of setting a password and was locked out. Now I have to uninstall the app and reinstall it.

  13. Bobby Starbust
    January 2, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I have made a backup of my external SDcard and some of the folders are encrypted with ES File Explorer on my phone. Is there a way to decrypt the files on my mac or do I have to decrypt them on my phone and then transfer the files to my mac again?

  14. Abhiwed
    December 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Great app in fact
    But do not use for encrypting files because,it doesn't have any servers and does not store the password information
    So,if you forgot the password,END game you lost the data forever
    but if anybody know a hack for this,please do tell me
    I am locked out from using very important files i encrypted

  15. jj martin
    December 24, 2014 at 7:18 am

    When I play music in es explorer from music that I down loaded from for example google play, does this consume data also?? ThNks

  16. Sean Seebran
    January 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    This truly is a great App, I use this very often without any issues.

  17. JP
    January 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Solid Explorer is better!

  18. Ole Funch
    January 11, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I have used ES File Explorer for a couple of years now, and I would'nt be without it, the best Explorer if I may say so.

  19. Jim Carter
    January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Tried them all--including this one and uninstalled all with the exception of X-plore File Manager from Lonely Cat Games. I was accustomed to dual pane file managers in Windows and this app gets me the closest to that experience. Plus; the app is rock solid under Froyo--which is THE WORST Android version.

  20. Larry
    January 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Ok...I've been using Astro...but you just made a believer out of me...Thanks for keeping an eye on the good stuff!

  21. Lindsay
    January 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I will keep ESFE on my tablet for its capacity to create a desktop icon to individual files. Great for direct access to manuals, book-of-the-moment, spreadsheet, etc

  22. Henk van Setten
    January 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I tried this for a while and really liked it. It's OK. Still for my phone (5.5" screen) I prefer Solid Explorer, especially because that one offers a dual-pane setup that makes file management much easier.

  23. Marek
    January 10, 2013 at 9:33 am

    ES File Explorer is my second favourite however for me Solid Explorer is a bit better. Both of them look really good, both of them have almost the same options but there is one useful feature of Solid Explorer that makes it better - a devided screen in the horizontal view. Simply when you turn your device your screen split is split into two windows - separate for two different folders. It is really really useful when you work on two folders, for example when you move something from one to another. So for me Solid is the best one. It doesn't change the fact, though, that ES File Explorer is also great :)

  24. Harshit Jain
    January 10, 2013 at 9:05 am

    File expert has almost all the features and much better interface.

    • Hari
      January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      I used both and payed for File Expert since it had better interface and seemed like better supported. In the past year or so, I have seen it improve tremendously in both features and interface. It makes use of the tablet space and has some good features like setting up ad-hoc file server.

    • Alex
      January 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      I must say thank you :)

      We will continue to try our best to let File Expert to become the best file mgr on Android

  25. Benny Teo
    January 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Any article thats shows a table of comparisons of these different file managers? That would be useful.

    • Connect-website Zainal-base
      January 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      you try send my phone

  26. Benny Teo
    January 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Did Google really think that a file manager is a thing of the past???
    I'll probably have a bursting phone memory with all those remant uninstalled files in my system that I disk-usage paired with Solid explorer to clear off.

    Add CM10's file manager to the list of file managers as well.

  27. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I'm a file manager applications addict :) I'm using and loving these apps right now :
    - File Expert
    - AntTek Explorer
    - Solid Explorer
    (try them if you never did)
    they certainly deserve a couple of bucks for support.

    • Andy Liu
      January 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I love file expert with it's tab like feel, as well as its media shortcuts. Personally, I think it's better than ES's offering.

    • Alex
      January 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      The idea of using tab makes File Expert totally different with others, thank you for choosing FE!

  28. Alexander
    January 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I have been using Androzip but i am getting tired of it, so im going to check ES FE

  29. Richard Borkovec
    January 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

    ES is better than any other file manager I've used. It's dead easy to use, and makes handling files a breeze. I tried Astro, but it can't even compare to this for more advanced uses. I definitely agree though that it does feel a bit dated. A nice Holo style update would be welcome, as long as they don't take away any functionality.

  30. Junil Maharjan
    January 10, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I've been using ES File Explorer for most of my Android years and I can say it is the best file explorer. I've tried some other file explorers but none has come close to provide the ease and satisfaction of ES File Explorer.

  31. g....
    January 10, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I've been using ES for about a year on my Galaxy Nexus. Works great.

  32. Kelly Walsh
    January 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    I also endorse this choice, been using it since I had my og droid back in 2008

  33. bcz
    January 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I think it is lacking in that it does not include an ftp (sftp) or DLNA server. It also desperately needs a UI upgrade. I use it in conjunction with File Expert to get the combination of functions I need.

    • Alex
      January 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Hi, thanks for choosing File Expert, let us know if you have any problems. For technical support please drop us an email support@xageek.com

    • Lucky
      March 1, 2015 at 1:28 am

      I have forgotten the password of encryption lock....how to recover ....please help..

  34. Reuben DeVries
    January 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I really like ES but I was forced to move to root explorer before ES allowed root users, now I just use root explorer because it is basically while it doesn't look as nice, I did pay like 4 bucks for it a few years ago. I feel like I may as well get my money worth.

  35. TorchingIgloosdotcom
    January 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I LOVE ES file Explorer! Glad somebody else is giving it the credit it deserves. Between it, Samba file share, and wireless adb... it's a very rare instance that I have to hook my phone up to my computer anymore.

  36. The Boojum
    January 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Fully endorse this. I used to be a 'default' user of Astro, which I used for the basic stuff. Once my requirements evolved to include much more web-type access I looked around to see what was out there (Astro included). There seemed to be a number of concerns expressed with Astro so I decided to give ES a go. It it truly brilliant. It is pretty intuitive, has a well thought out and feature-rich user interface, and allows me to easily access content stored locally, on my LAN, in the Cloud and via FTP.

    Dated user interface? Not aligned with Jelly Bean standards? Don't give a damn, my dear. It just works!

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