What are the good alternatives to the default File Explorer that Windows provides?
The default File Explorer lacks many good features like
- Tabbed browsing
- Searching of files is horrible
- Any extra general purpose utilities
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If you are looking for a good-looking application (All * Commander tools keep an old fashioned look and feel), then you should try Files, from https://files-community.github.io/. It's still in development but I have discovered it recently and it does simple thing beautiful.
The best solution for me is Explorer++
- Portable - Tabbed browsing - Previews of files as they are selected - Advanced rename - keyboard shortcuts - Customizable user interface - Drag-and-drop support with other applications, including Windows Explorer - Advanced file operations such as merging and splitting supported - Change file dates and attributes - Save a directory listing - Bookmark tabs - Search for files using their name and attributes - Switch between icon, list, detail, thumbnail and tile view with hotkeys - Filter files
Here you can download it.
The last release is: 220.127.116.116 dev
UPDATE: After losing important data due to FreeCommander bugs, I can no longer recommend this application. The developer simply does not perform adequate testing before releases, and does not have any dedicated QA testers. This application has great potential, but overall the project needs a much higher level of QC to recommend it universally.
I can recommend FreeCommander XE.
FreeCommander features tabbed browsing. You can display 1 or 2 panes, each with its own tabs that you can define. The panes can be arranged horizontally or vertically, as you see fit.
FreeCommander has an incredibly powerful search tool integrated into it. You can search by static strings, wildcards, and regex. You can filter by location, timestamp, file attributes, size, and more. You can even search for duplicate files. All this functionality is integrated into the product.
"Extra General Purpose Utilities"
FreeCommander features a hash/checksum generator and validator. It also has a very extensive multi-file renaming tool that is better than many of the single-purpose professional tools on the market. FreeCommander also features a "Quick Starter" GUI that allows you to quickly launch pre-defined applications or open any folder defined in lists you create. Futhermore, it has an integrated file viewer that can view many types of files, including images of various formats.
I find that FreeCommander is a bit of a "hidden gem" in the world of Windows software. Although it has a substantial user-base, I don't think it's as large as I would expect for such a powerful tool.
It is available as a portable application or with a setup tool, whichever you prefer.
Does it have any downsides? Yes:
Overall, I think FreeCommander suits your requirement wonderfully. It meets your 3 requirements, and provides an excellent array of powerful functionality.
The 32-bit portable and installer releases of FreeCommander are available without charge from: https://freecommander.com/en/downloads-portable/
The free version gets updated about once per year, which in my opinion, really is not frequent enough if you use it regularly.
If you make a donation, you will have access to more frequent releases as well as the 64-bit version. The requested donations range from €5 for a 1-time download to €32 for lifetime downloads. The option of €11 for 1 year of downloads is also available.
Overall, I give FreeCommander XE a solid 4 lizards out of 5.
I personally use QTTabBar for a lot of years at work. It's not a new explorer, but an extension for the existing windows explorer (so you don't lose anything).
It's core features are:
I found this program to be really easy to use, never found a bug in years, it got a great visual representation, things are easy to find and obvious to use, nearly no additional explanation needed.
I really would recommend this to everyone for just how amazing and totally free it is! And it still gets updates ;-)