Android 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 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.
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, you can enable the Root Explorer feature to browse – and even modify – files everywhere on your device’s file system.
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.
- 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.
- Connect to a variety of cloud storage services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Ubuntu One, Amazon S3, Box, SugarSync, and Yandex.
- 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.
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 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.
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 and Holo-themed applications.
Do you use ES File Explorer, or do you prefer another Android file manager? Let us know!