Best File Manager For Windows

April 23, 2023 - (Free)

With more sophisticated choices than the built-in Windows File Explorer, the top file managers make it simple and straightforward to handle files and folders.

File Explorer, originally known as Windows Explorer, has stayed virtually unaltered despite the fact that Windows has undergone significant change in recent years, and quite honestly, it could be improved.

A cumbersome activity that frequently entails opening two Explorer windows and dragging icons between them is moving files and folders between places. There is no way to pause and resume a large-scale file transfer once it has begun, and creating a new folder requires navigating through a menu. Forget about batch renaming; it won’t happen.

In the present era of document management(opens in new tab) and online storage(opens in new tab), where managing many files across multiple accounts must be much more simply and quickly maintained, this can be particularly challenging.

The top File Explorer substitutes have been compiled for quicker, simpler, and more user-friendly file management. The majority of these third-party file managers may be configured to take the place of Explorer as your default app, but we advise extensively evaluating them first.

The Windows file manager Windows File Explorer is not very good. The top Windows File Explorer substitutes are listed below.

Moving files around is not the best use of Windows File Explorer. There are other superior free file manager options available for Windows.

Maybe it’s time to stop using File Explorer and switch to a third-party replacement? You could be shocked if you’ve never looked at what’s offered. Here are the top alternatives to Windows File Explorer.

1. XYplorer


One of the top Windows Explorer substitutes is XYplorer. But why is it so excellent?

It is portable, to start. You may therefore stop worrying about it not being accessible on other computers you need to use during the day. Simply keep it downloaded along with all of your other important portable software on your USB Disk.

Second, it has a feature set that is amazing and will appeal to both casual users and die-hard geeks.

The explorer, for instance, supports tabbed browsing. The tabs work similarly to the tabs in a web browser; you can drag files between them, reorder them, and pre-configure them. Additionally, the program claims support for unique scripts, font and color customization, and secondary sorting.

There are free and premium versions of XYplorer. A lifetime license costs $39.95 on the paid side.

2. Directory Opus

Directory Opus

Instead of XYplorer, use Directory Opus if it doesn’t match your needs.

It might have a more difficult learning curve than XYplorer. While Directory Opus brings many of its own design choices, the prior software heavily borrowed from Windows File Explorer in terms of design.

You will be amply rewarded if you are willing to invest the effort in learning where to find everything. A customized status bar, scripting capabilities, file flagging and checking capabilities, and support for synchronizing files and identifying duplicates are among the features.

The price difference between the lite and full versions is roughly $40. There is a free trial period of 60 days.

3. Free Commander

Free Commander

The first app on this list that is completely free is Free Commander. This tool is probably for you if you’re not a power user and don’t want to pay for a Windows File Explorer substitute.

The software doesn’t aim to confuse users by including numerous features that the majority of users will probably never use. Instead, it seeks to provide a different option that addresses some of the obvious shortcomings in the native Windows program.

What can you anticipate as a new user then? Free Commander features a tabbed user interface, twin panels for simple drag-and-drop operations, integrated support for managing ZIP archives, folder synchronization, programmable shortcuts, and even a DOS command line.

4. Explorer++


Explorer++ is chosen since it is an open source project. There is no risk of being forced to use an unsupported program in the future because the community can continue working on it for as long as they like.

It’s interesting that it’s also one of the list’s simpler apps. The least improved, it most closely resembles Windows File Explorer in appearance.

Despite this, the improvements will increase productivity for the majority of users. You will like the option to divide and merge files, as well as the display window for file previews.

5. Total Commander

Total Commander

One of the most well-known Windows file managers is Total Commander (formerly File Commander). It has been in existence for almost 20 years.

You can simply compare files and sync directories using the split-pane approach it employs. Additionally, the software provides unique columns, better overwrite dialogs, independent trees, and logging.

ZIP, 7ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB, and ACE are among the file formats that are supported. There is also a built-in FTP client with FXP and support for Unicode.

Other features include support for parallel port links, a quick view panel with a bitmap display, and a tabbed user interface.

6. Double Commander

Double Commander

Double Commander is the suggestion we have for you. The app, which is based on Total Commander, is quite similar to its cousin but has one significant distinction—it is completely free and open-source.

It provides a built-in file viewer (that supports files in hex, binary, and text formats), an internal text editor with syntax highlighting, and archives that are treated like subdirectories. The archive file formats that are supported are ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2, XZ, LZMA, 7Z, RPM, CPIO, DEB, RAR, and ZIPX.

Anyone who conducts a lot of searching might choose Double Commander. Powerful search functionality will go through files and their contents to generate a list of results for you.

7. Altap Salamander

Altap Salamander

Most of the applications we have so far showed you are geared at a single computer. The first alternative to Windows File Explorer that makes a great effort to provide comprehensive networking tools is Altap Salamander.

All network protocols are supported, including SFTP, FTPS, SCP, and FTP. It is really simple to transmit files online thanks to this.

Additionally, the program supports more archive file types than its competitors. It supports UDF, ISO, ZIP, RAR, and 7-Zip image formats.

One more distinctive tool is provided by Altap Salamander: a built-in password manager. It implies that you can use secure encryption techniques to protect private or sensitive material, preventing their access by unauthorized parties.

8. fman


The least Windows-like software on the list thus far is fman. The product bills itself as “GoTo on steroids.”

The cross-platform compatibility of fman is possibly its best feature. Along with Windows, it also functions on Mac and Linux. The three operating systems will give your job a sense of continuity if you frequently switch between them.

But if you’re just starting off, this probably isn’t the app for you. fman primarily targets tech-savvy professionals like software developers.

It always shows the contents of two directories, which makes copying and moving files simple. It also has a long number of plugins for extra features, and it fully supports keyboard shortcuts.

The download and use of it are free, but a full license costs $49 instead.

9. Q-Dir


Another Windows File Explorer substitute to take into account is Q-Dir.

The four windows, each of which supports tabbed browsing, are the main feature of the software. Four panes may seem excessive for some users, but if you frequently work with numerous files and folders, it might really save you time.

Other capabilities include complete Unicode support, visible branch trees in directory folders, and color filters for files and folders.

Additionally, Q-Dir is incredibly light, consuming almost no system resources. It is a fantastic option if you have an older PC.

10. TagSpaces


An open-source file manager is TagSpaces. It appears to be aimed at casual users and those who want to maintain order on their computer without utilizing a feature-rich file manager.

All of your files are given user-defined tags to help it function. You could assign tags to items like “Photos,” “Recipes,” “College,” and so forth. Your tags can be color-coordinated, so you can group them according to themes for simple recall.

The best part is that it functions on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, so you can maintain focus no matter which platform you’re using. The software also touts support for Chromecast.


On a Windows PC, managing files requires a reliable file manager. Users may quickly organize and manage their digital files with the correct file manager, increasing their productivity and efficiency. The top file managers for Windows PCs offer a variety of helpful tools and features to help users manage their files successfully, ranging from fundamental capabilities like copying, moving, and renaming files to sophisticated features like file compression and batch processing. Whether you are a frequent user or a professional, selecting the best file manager can have a big impact on your daily productivity and efficiency.