Wondering Why Windows 8 Doesn’t Have A Modern Explorer App? Try These

Chris Hoffman 12-04-2013

explorer for windows 8Windows 8 The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More doesn’t come with a Modern file explorer app, forcing tablet users Microsoft Surface Tablet Review and Giveaway Read More to peck at the small targets in the File Explorer window on the desktop. But this is Windows 8, not Windows XP Tablet PC Edition – you can install a Modern file explorer app and have a much better touch experience.


All Modern File Explorer apps have the same limitations other Modern apps do. For example, they can’t modify system files like the ones in your Program Files folder or launch .exe files. This helps prevent the Modern app from doing anything bad to your system, but it also means that it can never be as powerful as the real File Explorer application on your desktop.

SkyDrive – Included

It’s actually pretty clear why Windows 8 doesn’t come with a Modern File Explorer app. Apple’s iOS doesn’t have a user-visible file system at all, while Android does have a file system but doesn’t come with a file manager ES File Explorer: Is It the Best File Manager for Android? Is EF File Explorer the best option for viewing and managing the files on your Android device? Read More . Microsoft wants you to use SkyDrive as your file explorer app Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview One of the key aspects in which Windows 8 differs from previous releases is its provision of access to cloud storage, particularly SkyDrive. While earlier versions of Windows require you to access SkyDrive via your... Read More , so your files will be stored in the cloud with your Microsoft account Microsoft Is NOT Ready To Support Windows 8: A Case In Point Windows 8 is upon us! Excited, I've installed the shiny new OS and tried to install my first app from the new Store, only to be notified that my "purchase couldn't be completed" (it was... Read More and synced across all your devices. That’s why there’s a Modern SkyDrive app included with Windows 8, but no Modern File Explorer.

Still, file managers aren’t dead yet – that’s why even Windows RT Windows RT - What You Can & Can't Do Windows RT edition was discreetly launched about a month and a half ago with the flagship Microsoft Surface RT tablet device. Though visually indistinguishable from Windows 8, there are some key differences as to what... Read More ships with a File Explorer desktop app. You don’t necessarily want every file on your computer to be synced with the cloud.

explorer for windows 8

EaseUS FileManager – Free

EaseUS FileManager isn’t packed with options and features, but it does offer a slick, minimal interface for browsing your files. It feels very at home on Windows 8 – more at home than some of the other Windows 8 apps What Are The Best Apps To Get Started With Windows 8? Read More here – and offers large touch targets for easily browsing your files on a touch screen. If you just want to view the contents of a few folders, this may be the ideal app for you. This is one of the few file management apps that’s free and doesn’t contain any advertising.


Apps like this one demonstrate why a Modern File Explorer could be useful. For example, you could view your Downloads folder and launch or delete files in it. Files will be opened in their default application – whether it’s a modern app or a desktop app. Its interface allows you to manage files with touch much more conveniently than if you were pecking at the small targets in the File Explorer app on the desktop.

Take a look at our EaseUS FileManager directory review for more details about this app.

windows explorer for windows 8

My Explorer – Free

My Explorer is also free, without any ads. It may not be the prettiest application, but it has a solid interface that allows you to save folders as favorites so you can quickly access them and browse your entire file system.


EaseUS and My Explorer differ primarily in the style of their interfaces. Choose the app that looks best to you.

windows explorer for windows 8

Modern File Explorer – $1.99

Modern File Explorer has a nicely designed interface with a traditional File Explorer-style navigational sidebar, a directory hierarchy near the top of the screen  that allows you to easily go up a folder, and a variety of settings.

This app offers a variety of themes and backgrounds – just like the Start screen Make Windows 8 Sexier With These Background & Theme Tweaks Does your Windows 8 system look too bland with the default settings? You can customize it in a variety of ways, changing a variety of backgrounds and colors -- whether on the Start screen, lock... Read More does – so it can be customized to fit in with the rest of the Modern experience.


Windows 8 allows you to try paid apps before you buy them, so you can play with this app – and others – before you decide whether you want to buy it.

windows explorer for windows 8

Metro Commander – Free, $3.99 to Remove Ads

Metro Commander is a “Commander”-style file manager 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 like the classic Norton Commander. It offers a dual-pane interface so you can view two different directories at once and easily move files between them. Some people swear by Commander-style interfaces for more powerful and streamlined file management tasks. If you’re one of them, Metro Commander is the Modern file management app for you.

windows explorer 8


File Brick – Free, $2.49 to Remove Ads

File Brick has a fairly nice interface, aside from an obnoxiously large advertisement banner on its main screen, that looks at home on Windows 8. Its standout feature is its support for other types of cloud storage accounts Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You? Have you changed the way you think about cloud storage? The popular options of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive have been joined by others. We help you answer which cloud storage service should you use. Read More , including Google Drive, Box, Picasa, Facebook, and Flickr. Google Drive A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service After more than 6 years of rumors and a long-ago cancellation because "files are so 1990", Google Drive is finally here. Coming with 5 GB of free storage space, a Dropbox-like desktop sync client, and... Read More in particular is one service you won’t see with a Modern app of its own any time soon.

explorer for windows 8

Microsoft may eventually create a Modern file explorer app, but don’t count on it – like other companies, they want to get rid of the file system for average users and move everyone to cloud storage Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview One of the key aspects in which Windows 8 differs from previous releases is its provision of access to cloud storage, particularly SkyDrive. While earlier versions of Windows require you to access SkyDrive via your... Read More .

Have you tried any of the apps here? Which Modern file explorer app is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!

Related topics: File Management, Windows 8, Windows Explorer.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I have tried to force myself onto metro commander but constantly straying back to windows explorer on a tiny 10" screen. I used a file explorer hd in Android and it is just fantastic in comparison. Unfortunately MS want to sell tablets but not support them. iOS and android get free tablet friendly MS office apps we struggle with the desktop version on a tiny screen. What is going on. Still considering returning to android tablet.

  2. Nevzat A
    April 22, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I think a file manager is more functional at Desktop mode. I'm more concerned about the lack of native Youtube and Chrome apps and also lack of Flash support on Metro (Modern) mode.

  3. Gagandeep Singh
    April 20, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Thnx for Info!

  4. Hire .Net Developer India
    April 19, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Thank you very much for sharing this informative blog. I like windows 8 because in windows8 there is Better multi-monitor support, audio support and memory management is much better in Win8

  5. Aleks
    April 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

    EaseUS FileManager doesn't seem to be available in the Windows Store anymore.

  6. peter_lydon
    April 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    It really seems like all the big players want to drag users kicking and screaming in the cloud. It will all end in tears! Nothing beats local storage for security and access.

    • null
      April 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      Once again, if you don't have Internet access, Win8 proves that you are S.O.L! Living in Central Florida (lightning alley) means daily thunderstorms, and daily outages.

      • peter_lydon
        April 15, 2013 at 11:42 pm

        What's S.O.L?