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Windows Explorer does do its job, but there is a lot left to be desired. Xplorer2 Lite gives you a more powerful alternative that makes browsing those folders quick and easy. Xplorer2 Lite is the free version of Xplorer2, but don’t let that worry you. The free version has a good feature set that still makes it a great option as your alternative to Windows Explorer.
Xplorer2 Lite isn’t a full replacement for Windows Explorer. What I mean by this is that if you click on a folder after Xplorer2 Lite is installed, it will still open with Windows Explorer. However, right clicking on a folder now gives you the option to open the folder in Xplorer2 Lite. This is a minor inconvenience, but it’s worth it. You’ll see.
Upon opening Xplorer2 Lite, you will immediately see the difference and the uses you can get out of it. There are two window panes that allow you to easily drag and drop files from location to location. I love this feature when moving music from my laptop to my networked drive. I no longer have to have two windows open or copy and paste. I can do it easily within one window.
Bookmarks and FTP Client
If you use a folder consistently that is buried somewhere on your C drive, you can easily bookmark it, so it will come up with one click instead of going through the entire file tree. You can also bookmark your FTP server in order to easily drag and drop files from your computer to the server. This makes all of those tedious file transfers seem easily done because you can do them all in this one program.
If two window panes just aren’t enough, Xplorer2 Lite acts just like your favorite web browser by letting you open tabs in each window. This makes it extremely easy to manage lots of transfers at the one time.
Xplorer2 Lite also allows you to do some basic file manipulations. Of course, you can create and delete files just like normal, but you can also merge, split and shred files within the program.
Keeping with the trend of not having to open other software to do basic tasks is the Preview Window. This window gives you a preview of the file you click on. This can be pictures, videos or audio. It is nice not to have to double click and get another program loaded to find whether that is the right picture or not.
Xplorer2 Lite was made for power users as well. Almost every feature that I’ve covered and the ones that I didn’t cover have shortcuts. Becoming a shortcut master of this program could greatly increase your file management productivity.
Xplorer2 Lite is a great overall program, but it is the free version of a paid software. Lots of times free versions are independent of their paid big brother, but Xplorer2 Lite seems to be Xplorer2 with several options turned off. This can be frustrating, because some of the options that are unavailable are not clearly labeled. Also, you must use Windows Explorer Search to search for any files. Even with these complaints, I have found Xplorer2 Lite to be extremely useful and I will definitely use it more than Windows Explorer.
You might also want to check out Shankar’s 7 Windows Explorer Addons for Power Users. I discovered a couple of really good tools there.
I know there are a few other alternatives out there, and I am definitely interested in what everyone else uses, so let me know!