TR Dojo: Free alternatives to Windows Explorer
November 9, 2011, 11:47am PST | Length: 00:05:13
Bill Detwiler shows you five free file managers that could make you want to dump Windows Explorer. Once you’ve watched this TR Dojo video, you can find a link to the original TechRepublic article and print the tip from our TR Dojo Blog.
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Bill Detwiler: Just because you use Windows doesn't mean youmust manage your files with Windows Explorer..
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llshow you five free alternatives to Windows Explorer.
The average Windows user would probably never consider usinga file manager other than the one built into the operating system--WindowsExplorer. But then again, TR Dojo viewers aren't your average Windows user. Welike to optimize, customize, and just plain tinker with our computers,especially the operating system.
Well, TechRepublic blogger and IT pro Jack Wallen isn't abig fan of Windows Explore, and he put together a list of five, free filemanagers that you can use instead.
First on his list is a full-featured, yet lightweight filemanager called CubicExplorer. This tool has features such as tabbed exploring,bookmark files and folders, search filters, a built-in text editor, filepreview, transparency levels for different programs, themes, shortcut keysupport, breadcrumb navigation, session saving, and much more.
CubicExplorer is divided into three panels: the Mainnavigation window, the Navigation tree, and the Filter/Preview/Dropstack panel.Now, the first two panels should be familiar to most Windows users and work asyou'd expect them to. The Dropstack panel however, is unique. It lets you dragand drop files or folders into groups for temporary quick access.
Second on the list is Explorer++, which also offers a hostof features, including Tabbed browsing, Real-time file previews, Keyboardshortcuts, a customizable user interface, full drag-and-drop support, andadvanced file operations.
Best of all, this file manager is completely self contained.Put in on a flash drive, you'll have a Windows Explorer alternative for yourmachine or any machine you're working on.
The third app on Jack's list is Xplorer2, which comes inboth free and paid versions. The free (or Lite) version doesn’t have the fullversion's Advanced Search capabilities or come with Customer Support, but isstill a solid file manager. You can browse the entire shell namespace, previewdocuments, pictures, music files and videos, filter files and folders usingwildcards, and even synchronize folders.
According to Jack, NexusFile, the fourth app on his list,brings a bit of style to Windows. Not only is it skinnable, it also offersgreat built-in features, such as tabbed browsing, built-in FTP, built-inarchive, advanced rename, Split and Join File support, and more.
NexusFile might well be one of the most powerful Windowsfile managers out there, but its interface can take a while to get used to.
Last on Jack's list of free file managers, is Q-Dir, whichyou can install on your hard disk or use as a portable solution on a flashdrive.
It has features such as preview filters, drag and dropsupport, a screen magnifier, and it allows you to export files in XLS, CVS,TST, and HTML formats.
What makes Q-Dir really unique is the absolutely insaneamount of interface control it provides.
Well that does it for this edition of TR Dojo. Thanks toJack, for putting this list together, and to all the TechRepublic members whochimed in with their favorite Windows file managers.
And for information on even more helpful apps, check out ourFive Apps blog. I'll link to it in this episode's blog notes.
And as always, for more teachings on YOUR path to becomingan IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, sign-up for our newsletter, orfollow me on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.