As a Windows user since Windows 98 days, I have seen many changes to Windows. From the smooth Windows 7 experience to the controversial Start Menu of Windows 8 and Windows 10 now, where you have to turn off quite a few features to get the ultimate experience.
But one component that hasn’t been updated much beyond some visual modifications is Windows File Explorer. The current File Explorer has the same functionality as Windows 7, it has not been updated despite the lack of some of the most basic features.
Honestly, Windows Explorer is really just a file and folder management software. Because it is too cumbersome and difficult to use.
If you need to manage files and folders in Windows 10 often, the default File Explorer will only be a hindrance. It is recommended to use third-party File managers, which provide better features to get things done quickly and can use less resources.
So, in this article, I will list some of the best File managers for Windows 10 that can replace or work together with Windows File Explorer to provide better features.
14 best File Management software to replace File Explorer
Explorer++ provides a browser-like experience for Windows files and folders. Similar to how the browser works, this software opens folders in tabs that you can manage individually. You can even use browser shortcuts like Ctrl + W or Ctrl + T to close or open tabs.
You can also easily move files and folders between tabs and duplicate tabs or close them in bulk. This application also works seamlessly with other applications (including Windows File Explorer) to move data using drag and drop functionality.
In addition to the tab feature, it also has extra features such as the ability to split/merge files, bookmark folders, advanced search and file preview. Best of all, this is a portable application so you can take it anywhere you like and use it without having to install it.
If you are interested in using Explorer++, then I recommend reading its documentation as it contains detailed information on how to use each feature of the software.
2. Total Commander
Advanced File Manager for Windows 10. Total Commander It may not have the most beautiful interface, but its advanced features and dual windows make managing your files even faster. The main interface consists of two windows where you can quickly open two folders and manage files between them.
You can change the view of each window and even add side panels to each window to quickly navigate between folders. There is also another cool feature that lists all the files inside a folder in a single window, which is handy when you want to manage a specific type of file.
Other features of the software include batch renaming tool, advanced search, file comparison tool, archiving tool, built-in FTP client, favorites, duplicate file finder and more. much more. You can use this File manager with its fully functional 1-month trial version.
3. Directory Opus
If you want to completely replace Windows File Explorer, then Directory Opus is the perfect File manager. It’s fully integrated into Windows, and whenever you open File Explorer or a folder, it opens Directory Opus instead. You can also open the program from the context menu (right-click menu).
This File Manager also has a dual window interface where you can open two folders at the same time and easily move and manage data. Its interface is also much more intuitive with a bunch of handy buttons to make things easier. For example, you can hide/show files with one click, search right inside the window, archive files even if they are in different folders, and get admin rights with just one click.
You can use the software for free during a fully functional 60-day trial. You will then have to upgrade to the Light or Pro version.
TagSpaces takes a slightly different approach that allows you to add tags and colors to Files and folders to manage them easily. It may not make it easier to move and edit files, but you can group similar files/folders using tags and colors.
For example, if you’re working on multiple files, you can create “to-do” and “done” tags to make it easier to see which files have been completed and which files still need to be worked on. In addition to tag management, it also has a built-in previewer to open most files in the side panel as soon as you click.
The lite version is completely free and provides this tagging functionality. You can download the Pro version with advanced features like adding description, tracking File changes and advanced search, etc.
If you want both tabbed browsing and dual window view, then XYplorer will help you. It lists folders in two vertical windows, you can open more tabs to see more folders; like a browser. There is also a folders panel on the left side for quick access to folders inside windows and tabs.
The software also has large buttons at the top to perform basic functions quickly and the context menu also has a bunch of additional options such as file comparison, copy path. Like the other tools, it also has a 30-day free trial, after which you will have to upgrade to the paid version to continue using it.
xplorer² is another great option, simple yet functional. It has a dual window interface, offers better customization and some cool features. One notable feature is the ability to open another panel right inside the window to move to subfolders without losing access to the main folder.
You can also easily resize the window and even reposition the sub-window to landscape if you want. I think you might like it more than others because its built-in macro function allows you to create custom macros to automate repetitive tasks. Just turn on the macro and complete an action, and the tool will automatically repeat the process.
The app comes with a 21-day free trial and you can upgrade to the paid version for extra usage.
This is really an extension for Windows File Explorer to add more functionality than a File manager with its own interface. After you install Clover, it will add File Explorer to add tab features similar to the browser. You will be able to open File Explorer in multiple tabs and manage folders.
This is the perfect tool if you like Windows File Explorer but need the tab functionality usually available in third-party File managers.
In addition to tab management, it also makes bookmarking folders easier and also comes with additional keyboard shortcuts for managing tab-related functions. The app is also completely free to use.
WARNING: CLOVER APP IS CONNECTED TO MANY SENDINGS OF USER INFORMATION ABOUT CHINA’S SERVERS SHOULD THINK BEFORE USE.
FileVoyager is another File manager that offers dual window functionality along with tabs to help you manage and move data more easily. However, unlike the other software on this list, it is completely free. Moreover, its dual window feature also comes with some extra functions.
Most prominent is the 3D panel at the top of the window that displays icons and folders with 3D effects. It may not be very useful, but it shows folders that share the same content for easier navigation. There is a preview tab right inside the window to preview files inside FileVoyager.
While FileVoyager has a comparison tool and archive builder, it lacks most of the other extra tools found in the apps on this list. However, if dual windows and tabs are the only features you are looking for, then this will be the perfect free app for you.
Other File Managers for Windows 10
I recommend using the File managers mentioned above as they will be able to handle all your File management needs. However, if you still haven’t found the right File manager, you can check out some of the other File managers I listed below. Most of the File managers mentioned below are similar to the File managers above but with different interface or basic features.
Q-Dir may not have many additional tools, but it provides 4 windows to open folders and manage them. Q-Dir supports basic File movement commands and it’s also completely free. If you like four windows, then you should check it out.
10. FreeCommander VEHICLE
FreeCommander VEHICLE provides a dual window interface with a handy folder list at the top of each window for quick access. FreeCommander XE also has dedicated buttons between the two windows to make it easier to manage files between the two windows. And as the name suggests, this File manager is free to use.
11. Altap Salamander
Altap Salamander is another two window File manager. Its standout feature is support for plugins to enhance functionality. You can download plugins to get features like repository builder, task automation, File comparison, FTP client, etc.
SpeedCommander provides both window and tab functionality with the ability to change the theme and layout in various ways. Its highlight is support for popular cloud storage services right inside the interface. Although you have to download the paid version after the 60 day trial period.
13. Unreal Commander
Another File manager that supports both tabs and dual-pane views. However, I found it quite difficult to use because there are different commands than usual to manage File. In spite of Unreal Commander It’s free and the interface is highly customized with attractive themes and icons.
A very simple two-pane view File manager. The only extra feature I see is the search bar at the top, which you can use to quickly access everything. It is also very small in size and low in resources, so give it a try fman if you have a weak PC.
In my opinion, XYplorer is the best all-round File manager that offers both tabbed browsing and dual window views and comes with all the advanced features needed for everyday File management. If you like a completely free File manager for Windows 10, then FileVoyager is unmatched.
In addition, you can see 6 more ways to bookmark folders on Windows 10 here.