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alternatives for windows explorerWindows Explorer – now known as File Explorer in Windows 8 – is a mainstay of the Windows desktop. No matter how many alternative programs Windows tweakers Tweak Windows 7 And Learn More About Your Computer With EnhanceMySe7en Tweak Windows 7 And Learn More About Your Computer With EnhanceMySe7en I’m one of those people who like to have their computers “just so”. Before Windows 7 came along, I was an avid Litestep user for years. Windows 7 offers a beautiful interface that is actually... Read More use, most people seem to stick with the familiar Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer is a solid application, no doubt – but what if you want a dual-pane interface, tabs, or any number of other features Windows Explorer doesn’t include? We’ll take a look at some of the best alternatives to Windows Explorer you might want to try out.

Most of these alternatives have the ability to replace Windows Explorer as your default file manager, so you’ll see them when you open a folder from anywhere.

Explorer++ – Easy  Tabbed File Management

Explorer++ is a lightweight and free file manager for Windows. While it’s simple, it has one big advantage over Windows Explorer: tabs. Explorer++ even remembers the tabs you have open, so you can open it and immediately have your most-used folders available to you.

Even better, Explorer++ is a portable application, so you can take it with you on a USB stick 5 Uses for a USB Stick You Didn't Know About 5 Uses for a USB Stick You Didn't Know About We’ve all used USB sticks to transport files between computers and back up our files, but there are other cool things you can do with a USB stick. Read More or sync it to all your PCs via Dropbox Top 10 Uses For Dropbox You May Not Have Thought Of Top 10 Uses For Dropbox You May Not Have Thought Of For many advanced computer users, Dropbox is the premiere cloud-based storage and sharing document service. It has replaced the Documents folder on my Mac, and is the primary way I sync files between my devices.... Read More .

If you just wish Windows Explorer had tabs, this is the application to use. We’ve covered Explorer++ in more detail Forget Windows Explorer, Explorer++ Is The Perfect, Powerful Alternative Forget Windows Explorer, Explorer++ Is The Perfect, Powerful Alternative Read More in the past.

alternatives for windows explorer

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Saladin –  Dual-Pane File Management

Saladin is a free and open-source dual-pane file manager for Windows. Its interface is fairly simple, with a ribbon-style toolbar and a cut-down feature set. It has an integrated file viewer, support for ZIP files, and basic FTP support.

Dual-pane file managers make it easier to move files between multiple locations – you can have multiple folders open in a single window without opening multiple Windows Explorer windows and arranging them next to each other on your screen.

If all you’re looking for is a basic dual-pane file manager, Saladin is a great option.

windows explorer alternative

Multi Commander – Powerful Dual-Pane File Management

Multi Commander is a more powerful, full-featured dual-pane file manager. It’s packed with features not found in Saladin, including support for additional types of archives, tabs for each pane, the ability to access the Windows registry Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Advertisements for registry cleaners are all over the Web. There’s an entire industry out there bent on convincing inexperienced computer users that their registry needs fixing, and that, for ten easy payments of $29.95, their... Read More , and a batch rename tool The Top 3 Apps to Batch Rename, Convert & Resize Photos (Windows only) The Top 3 Apps to Batch Rename, Convert & Resize Photos (Windows only) Read More .

If you’re looking for a more powerful dual-pane file manager packed with features, Multi Commander is right up your alley. Its interface is a bit more busy than Saladin’s, however. We’ve covered Multi Commander in more detail Try Multi Commander As An Advanced File Explorer Alternative Try Multi Commander As An Advanced File Explorer Alternative In all honesty, Windows 7 came with a pretty decent file explorer. You've got an easy navigation pane on the left, with file and folder listings in the center, and a useful preview pane on... Read More in the past.

windows explorer alternative

Xplorer² – A Powerful, Tweakable Interface

Xplorer² is the most full-featured option here. Whether you want tabs, a dual-pane view, or even a three-pane view, Xplorer² has you covered. You can tweak its interface to your heart’s content. It’s also got an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts that will help you perform your file management tasks even faster.

Xplorer² pushes its paid versions, but also offers a free lite version. The “lite” version doesn’t have advanced search features and includes a browser toolbar that you’ll have to uncheck during installation, but it’s otherwise a solid piece of software that you can use for non-profit purposes.

This is the ideal solution for tweakers that want the most configurable interface. We’ve previously looked at Xplorer² in more detail Replace Windows Explorer With A More Powerful Alternative Replace Windows Explorer With A More Powerful Alternative Read More .

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More Options

We’ve previously covered quite a few other Windows Explorer replacements The 5 Good Free Windows File Managers The 5 Good Free Windows File Managers Read More , including SE-Explorer SE-Explorer: A Portable Full-Featured Windows Explorer Alternative SE-Explorer: A Portable Full-Featured Windows Explorer Alternative Read More . You can even use 7-Zip as a file manager or try Nemo Documents 2 Alternative File Managers You Should Really Check Out 2 Alternative File Managers You Should Really Check Out Read More , a file manager that displays your file system in a calendar view that shows when you used each file.

If all you really want is tabs, try skipping the Windows Explorer alternatives and use a tool that adds tabs to Windows Explorer 3 Tools to Add Tabbed Browsing to Windows Explorer 3 Tools to Add Tabbed Browsing to Windows Explorer Tabbed browsing is a feature that I first encountered 10 years ago in Firefox’s previous incarnation, Firebird. Since then, tabs have popped up in almost every realm related to user interfaces. They make it easy... Read More . You can also add more features to Windows Explorer’s context menu with FilerFrog How To Improve Windows Explorer With Additional Features Using FilerFrog How To Improve Windows Explorer With Additional Features Using FilerFrog For most people, ditching an application that they have grown so used to as Windows Explorer, is a tough step. But why switch to a completely new tool if the familiar one can simply be... Read More or use TeraCopy to speed up file transfers Move or Copy PC Files Lightning-Fast with TeraCopy Move or Copy PC Files Lightning-Fast with TeraCopy Read More .

alternatives for windows explorer

Which One Should You Choose?

The selection of Windows Explorer alternatives is overwhelming. In addition to free tools, there are a multitude of paid applications. Ultimiately, which one you choose comes down to the specific features you want – often tabs or dual-pane file management to make working with multiple folders easier.

Tweakers may want the ultimate in customizable interfaces, while developers may want features like integrated support for remote servers, file comparison tools, and folder syncing. Determine which features are important to you and you’ll be able to choose the ideal Windows Explorer replacement.

If you’re happy with Windows Explorer, that’s fine, too. Windows Explorer is a solid application and it’s even better on Windows 8 DOWNLOAD Getting Started: Your Guide To Windows 8 DOWNLOAD Getting Started: Your Guide To Windows 8 Windows 8 is coming! Be prepared - download our guide to Microsoft's newest operating system today. Become familiar with Windows 8. Whether you've pre-ordered a Windows 8 device or are just wondering what's new, we've... Read More , where it includes new file-copy dialogs that can intelligently handle errors.

Do you use an alternative file manager? Let us know which is your favorite and why you prefer it in the comments!

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