The digital evolution brought forth by Microsoft over the past six years, from the advent of Windows 10 to the recent unveiling of Windows 11, is nothing short of commendable. As part of its commitment to deliver a seamless user experience, Microsoft introduced a myriad of new features in these operating systems while phasing out some of the older ones. A significant expectation was the tab functionality in Windows 10, which, unfortunately, hasn’t materialized to date.
The built-in file manager in both Windows 10 and 11 is known as File Explorer. Crafted to simplify file management tasks on Windows, it provides users with a convenient platform to perform basic tasks like editing file attributes. However, the modern user often seeks more advanced functionalities like tabbed browsing, a dual-pane interface, and batch file renaming capabilities. Basic functionalities like cut, copy, paste, move, and rename, although essential, often fall short of catering to the multifaceted requirements of today’s user. This palpable gap in File Explorer’s capabilities has led many to explore third-party tools that offer a richer feature set.
For those dissatisfied with the default offerings of File Explorer and craving more advanced functionalities, there’s good news. This risewindows article is tailored for you. Dive in to discover the top 8 free File Explorer alternatives, designed to enhance file and folder management on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. Each recommendation promises not just to match, but to surpass the capabilities of the default File Explorer, ensuring a smoother, more efficient file management experience.
Free File Managers for Windows 10/11
- Tablacus Explorer
- One Commander.
- Unreal Commander
Files is a state-of-the-art UWP application that offers Windows 10/11 PCs an elegant tabbed UI (User Interface). This allows users to access different directories and hard drives within distinct tabs in a single window, streamlining file and folder navigation. The application enhances file and directory organization, and users can set multiple layout modes for their files and folders.
With the Files app, users can open several file explorer windows simultaneously, facilitating access to multiple items at once. To open a new tab with the same UI, simply click the “+” symbol on the toolbar.
You can download Files from Microsoft Store.
FileVoyager is a free, dual-panel file manager designed for Windows computers, facilitating structured file organization. Upon its initial launch, the application’s left panel displays comprehensive system information, while the right panel provides details about each connected drive.
What sets this program apart is its support for a vast array of extensions, simplifying the browsing and organization of diverse file types. Featuring a GUI tool reminiscent of a ribbon interface, toggling between files becomes a breeze. This tool enables users to simultaneously access two or more files with ease.
FileVoyager’s Multi Tab extension offers a unique advantage: users can lock specific tabs to prevent accidental closure. It also allows users to define their preferred folder locations, saving specific files and folders accordingly.
One of the standout features of this app is its robust security. Users can shield any folder from prying eyes by utilizing its password protection capability. This feature uses AES-256 encryption for enhanced security. Despite being password-protected, these folders remain effortlessly searchable. To cater to diverse multimedia needs, FileVoyager seamlessly incorporates audio and video codecs from both Windows Media Player and VLC, enabling users to effortlessly stream various media file formats.
This intuitive application grants direct access to system utility tools and the Command Prompt, in addition to the aforementioned features. The “Edit” function allows users to open files in the default format of a text editor.
You can download FileVoyager’s portable or installer versions from the program’s official website if you want to use it. Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista are all compatible.
Konvertor stands out as another free, multi-tabbed, dual-pane File Manager. Renowned as a media file manager and viewer, Konvertor boasts the remarkable capability to convert more than 3400 distinct file formats. Beyond the typical JPGs, PNGs, and GIFs, it can handle an extensive range of 2,034 image file types, 795 audio and video formats, 230 video file types, 102 3D files, Office documents, and several other prevalent file forms.
The GUI of this tool mirrors the familiar layout of Windows Explorer, offering swift access to files and folders stored on your device. The intuitive design ensures that users can seamlessly select the desired functions for processing within the application.
The conversion process is streamlined and user-friendly. Simply select the item intended for conversion and hit the Convert button on the toolbar. This prompts you to choose the desired output format. Once selected, hitting the Convert button again initiates the conversion process.
This software stands out not just as a file manager but also as a comprehensive image editing tool. With over 40 built-in filters, ranging from scaling and blurring to noise and charcoal effects, users have ample options to refine and enhance their photos. Beyond these filters, users can delve deeper into image optimization, leveraging functionalities like cropping, rotation, and red-eye removal. For those seeking finer control, the software facilitates granular image adjustments, allowing tweaks in brightness, contrast, and color to achieve the perfect visual output. However, amidst its plethora of features, the standout capability remains its multi-tab functionality, empowering users to manage and access multiple files and directories simultaneously with ease.
An all-in-one media player and file manager for Windows computers is Konvertor. It works just fine with Windows 11, 8, 7, and 10. This free utility software can be downloaded from here.
FreeCommander is a freeware program designed to streamline and enhance your file management experience. Packed with a myriad of features, it offers users an optimal balance of functionality and simplicity. The application’s intuitive interface ensures that users, regardless of their technical proficiency, can navigate and utilize its tools with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned tech expert or just getting acquainted with file management software, FreeCommander provides an accessible platform to manage your data efficiently and effectively.
In addition to the tabbed interface, it offers the following:-
- Folder size calculation.
- Dual panel technology, horizontal and vertical.
- Splitting of files.
- File filters for display.
- File Compression.
- Built-in file viewer to view files in hex, binary, text, or image format.
- Nested archive styling.
- Copy, rename, delete, and move files and folders.
- Built-in FTP client.
- View the File inside the archives.
FreeCommander boasts a unique dual-panel design: one panel aligns horizontally while the other situates vertically, providing users with a versatile space to maneuver through their files. At the top of the window, six tabs are readily available, each designed to facilitate a specific operation. This comprehensive tool allows users to perform a range of tasks. Whether it’s unpacking archived files, segregating files and folders for better organization, or compressing data for more compact storage, FreeCommander has got you covered. Its layout and functionality are tailored to offer an efficient and user-friendly experience, making file management a breeze.
Click here to download FreeCommander for your computer. It works with Windows 11, 8, 7, and 10.
Tablacus Explorer is a versatile and portable file manager that brings the convenience of tabbed browsing straight to your file management experience. Without the need for installation, this lightweight program can be run directly from a USB drive or any directory, making it a perfect choice for on-the-go tasks. While its default layout is designed for efficiency, Tablacus Explorer understands that users have varied preferences. Hence, it offers up to 10 alternative layouts, accessible through the software’s ‘Tools’ menu by selecting ‘Load Layout.’ You can easily pick a layout that aligns with your workflow or visual appeal.
Beyond the convenience of tabbed windows, Tablacus Explorer is further enhanced by its support for add-ons. These extensions empower the software with extended functionalities, tailoring the file manager to meet specific user needs. To integrate these add-ons, users need to download their desired extensions from the official Tablacus website. Post downloading, the add-ons can be extracted to the ‘Addons’ directory and subsequently activated through the software’s UI. By navigating to the options menu and selecting the ‘Find the Add-ons’ button, users can seamlessly incorporate new features and capabilities into Tablacus Explorer, ensuring a comprehensive file management experience.
Download Tablacus Explorer
Tablacus Explorer can be downloaded from this page. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows from XP through 10 and 11 are compatible with it.
One Commander stands out as a unique file manager tailored for Windows 10 users. While many file managers adopt a standard dual-window approach, One Commander breaks the mold by offering both a multi-column view and a dual window view, allowing users greater flexibility in organizing and accessing their files. Upon the initial launch, the application provides users with the liberty to choose their preferred display mode, ensuring an immediate tailored experience. Catering to varied aesthetic preferences, One Commander also presents theme options, ranging from crisp whites to subtle darks and light themes, ensuring the interface resonates with the user’s visual inclination.
Although at first glance, the application might seem intricate in its operation, this perceived complexity is merely a testament to its multifaceted functionalities. As users invest a little time, typically ranging from five to ten minutes, they swiftly acclimate to the software’s nuances. The initial learning curve quickly transforms into an intuitive experience, making One Commander an indispensable tool for many, as they realize the efficiency and convenience it brings to their file management tasks.
The following are the features that the software has:-
- File Age/Relative File Dates (hours/days from modification time).
- File Preview.
- Tabbed Viewing.
- Helps to organize Favorites into project groups.
- Quick Filtering of Current Folder.
- ToDo Tasks and Notes in Any Folder.
- Unpacks the archive files, including AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, UEFI, VDI, VHD, VMDK, WIM, XAR, and Z.
- Picture Preview with Metadata and GPS photo location.
- Monitoring folders for changes.
- Add an image folder.jpg or cover.jpg to make a folder background image.
- Drop List/Smarter Clipboard.
- Easy sorting to multiple destinations.
- Image/Audio/Video/Document metadata.
Download One Commander
This is the link that you can visit to download One Commander for your computer. Additionally, Microsoft Store also has it available. Lastly, it works with Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Multi-Commander emerges as a holistic solution for users seeking a robust file manager. This free, multi-tabbed tool, featuring a dual-panel interface, is meticulously crafted to facilitate both rudimentary and intricate file operations. Beyond just the fundamental tasks such as copy, paste, rename, and delete, Multi-Commander stands out by offering advanced features. With capabilities like auto-sorting, auto-unpacking, and efficient file searching, the software proves itself as more than just a conventional file manager; it acts as a comprehensive solution to meet the diverse needs of today’s tech-savvy users.
Adding to its appeal is its versatility in design aesthetics. Users are presented with two distinct interface styles: the familiar ‘Windows Explorer Compatibility Look n Feel’ for those who prefer a seamless transition from the traditional Windows environment, and the ‘Commander Styled Look n Feel’ for users seeking a fresh perspective. This choice, provided during the installation process, ensures that every user can tailor the software to align with their visual preference, further enhancing their file management experience.
Multi-Commander comes with the following features:-
- Multi-language support.
- Tabbed User Interface.
- Dual panel layout.
- Can view files and folders in detailed, list, or thumbnail mode.
- Convert or rotate pictures, view, and remove EXIF tags.
- Supports ZIP, 7-ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZ, Bz2, JAR, etc., file formats.
- Support two layouts: Commander-styled and File Explorer-styled.
- Allows customizing keyboard, mouse, and colors as per your need.
- Support JPG, PNG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and many other RAW formats.
- Audio tools like View and Edit MP3 tags
- Allows creating extensions and plug-ins as its open API for developers.
- Portable means no need to install.
- Supports both 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions of Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.
- Compare folders, put filters, write scripts to automate the tasks, etc.
Click here to download the Multi-Commander software to your computer.
Unreal Commander emerges as a breath of fresh air for those seeking an efficient way to organize their system contents. As an alternative to the traditional File Explorer, this free file manager for Windows offers a refreshing twist. Its intuitive user interface not only makes navigation a breeze but also enhances the overall user experience. Designed for both novices and seasoned users alike, Unreal Commander prioritizes simplicity without compromising on functionality. For those who find themselves yearning for a change from the classic File Explorer, this tool proves to be a reliable and user-friendly choice.
Unreal Commander offers you the following features:-
- Support all basic file manager functions such as Copy, Move, Delete, Rename, etc.
- Background picture support.
- Visual styles support
- Drag and drop function.
- Built-in FTP client.
- Plugins support
- Archives support like ZIP, RAR, ACE, CAB, JAR, etc.
- Two-panel interface.
- Bulk rename tool.
Download Unreal Commander
You can click here to get the application downloaded to your computer.
Navigating the digital tapestry crafted by Microsoft, from Windows 10 to the newly minted Windows 11, is a journey reflecting technological evolution and user-centric design. While the built-in File Explorer does offer a fundamental file management platform, it’s evident that today’s users often yearn for more comprehensive features. This risewindows compilation of top-notch File Explorer alternatives offers a myriad of enhanced functionalities tailored for modern-day tasks. From seamless file conversions to sophisticated file organization, these alternatives ensure an optimized file management experience for Windows users. Dive in and find the perfect fit for your Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7, and elevate your file management game.