Does anyone know a file explorer that supports easy switching in folder structures that are identical except for a base folder?

Let me give an example what I would like to do:

Let's say I am currently at C:\Base1\2015\Q1\February\sales\ and I'd like to switch to C:\Base5\2015\Q1\February\sales\.

With standard Windows Explorer I will have to "reenter" all nested folders after I switched to Base5. I would like to "just exchange" the base folder and preserve the subsequent nested path.

Is there any alternative that allows such kind of navigation?

  • What about one of the many multi-tree pane editors? One of them could provide what you want.
    – rrirower
    Nov 7, 2016 at 20:23
  • 2
    In your example, you could simply click into that location bar, and edit the path: Replace the "1" (in "Base1") with the "5", hit Enter – et voila :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 9, 2016 at 10:57
  • 1
    why don't just Alt+D or F4 and edit the address bar directly?
    – phuclv
    Aug 13, 2018 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


There are a couple of very nice "twin-commander" style file managers that will allow you to do just this -- and much more besides:

Double Commander

The main interface (pic from website) looks like this on Windows 7:

Double Commander main interface

You'll see each "pane" has the path at the top of the listing. If you right-click this, it makes the path editable:


You can simply replace the 1 in Base1 with 5 and hit Enter to change to the other branch.

A single-click on that line gives your recent "history". Note that the * (asterisk) in the string of symbols beside where the disk-free space is reported gives you a "favourites" listing, and you can save directories there. So that's three fast and simple ways to change directories.

See the website for other features. To sweeten the deal:

  • "gratis", open source released under LGPLv2;
  • cross-platform -- I have used this very happily under both OS X and Ubuntu; but the download figures on Sourceforge show that Windows is by far the most common platform on which it is used.


The same workflow is also possible with the Windows-only FreeCommander (my main file-manager during my Windows days; I now work mostly on Ubuntu and Mac OS X):

FreeCommander main interface

There are many other configurations possible (see the website for details). The situation is almost identical to Double Commander, described above; only this time use ALT+G to get the "editable" path:


And again, there are shortcuts for favourite folders (the "heart-folder" icon) plus directory-history for navigation as well.

(Note that while FreeCommander is "free", it is not released under an open source license.)

  • Total Commander will let you do the same, but slightly different: Press Ctrl-Shift-P to get the current folder in the command line box, edit the path as you like, edit CD (that's with trailing space) in front, hit Enter.
    – user416
    Nov 7, 2016 at 14:09
  • Thanks! It just appeared to me that the same thing (editing the location) would also works in standard windows explorer (at least with the Win7 one). Together with a two-panes solution this is then even more handy and will certainly improve my workflow!
    – AEF
    Nov 8, 2016 at 6:58

You can check out the tool Q-Dir. With this tool you can have views next to each other or above each other. There are also view modes which allows to see more than two locations at once.

Screenshot Q-Dir
Q-Dir Screenshot (source: SoftwareOK; click image for larger variant)

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