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Best file manager/explorer

  1. #1


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    Best file manager/explorer

    Looking for a file manager/explorer, something more versatile than the Windows explorer.

    Simple is better, my needs are just for cruising, viewing files/folders....

    Of course there are tons of them, many have more features and uses than I want.
    Looking for something stable, easy, straight forward.... Freeware.

    Any recommendations ?

    I'm running Vista if that matters.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Yard Dog's Avatar


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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    Hello, you may want to check out WinPatrol, neat free program , i love it . Check it out here : BillP Studios - WinPatrol

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  3. #3
    MilesAhead's Avatar


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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    A couple of free ones are FreeCommander and Q-Dir. Q-Dir has a native 64 bit version. The 64 bit FreeCommander is still a work in progress. Q-Dir by default shows 4 panes. FreeCommander has 2 panes with tabs.

    http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=faq-Q-DIR&faq=0

    http://www.freecommander.com/

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  4. #4
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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Yard Dog View Post
    Hello, you may want to check out WinPatrol, neat free program , i love it . Check it out here : BillP Studios - WinPatrol
    Are you sure WinPatrol is a file manager? I've used it, and in my experience it was a process monitor. Their site also says it's a process monitor, so that's probably not what he's looking for Unless you know something awesome about it that I don't.

    Personally, I don't use a replacement file manager. However, I do really enjoy QTTabBar . It's a free program that really enhances Explorer. It sets up with minimal configuration, but does have a lot of options you can tweak.

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  5. #5
    MilesAhead's Avatar


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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Slammer View Post
    Personally, I don't use a replacement file manager. However, I do really enjoy QTTabBar . It's a free program that really enhances Explorer. It sets up with minimal configuration, but does have a lot of options you can tweak.
    I don't either. I use FreeCommander for special purposes in addition to Explorer. I used QTTabBar for awhile myself. But I found I was mainly using it because I could put the other drives as tabs. It's annoying when dragging to another tab and the folder disappears inside a sub-folder. That drives me nuts. I have the drives on the side panel in Explorer anyway. Took off QTTabBar after I realized I could right click a drive and hit the 'e' key to open it in a new window. Kind of eliminated my reason to use QTTabBar. Although I agree it's a nice software. Most of those Explorer add-ons I tried caused Explorer to crash or act weird. QTTabBar was very stable on my machine.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    I love it mainly because I can keep multiple explorer locations open for different projects I'm working on, without actually having to sift through tons of different open windows. I've also gone through the settings and found several little things that help, like being able to instantly clone a tab by using a custom click on it. I also love that it will open the last set of windows I closed when I start it. I can see how you wouldn't want to use it if it was just keeping drives open, but I use it so much I start to feel really unproductive when I'm working on other computers without it And I agree that it is very stable. I don't think I've ever had a single problem with it.

    I think your issue with the folders going inside sub-folders is a problem the author is aware of and planning to fix. Then again, there hasn't been an update to it since like August of last year, so who knows when that'll be...

    7-zip also has a fairly nice "file manager" interface built in. I certainly wouldn't recommend it as replacement, but I've found it to be useful before, mainly for easily navigating through compressed files and folders alike, without having to pause to extract every compressed file you want to look into. probably not what you're looking for, but worth mentioning.

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  7. #7
    MilesAhead's Avatar


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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    I write a lot of little hotkey programs to do Explorer folders. I like FreeCommander because I can drag a folder onto the Tab Bar and click it, then do the same thing in the other pane. Once those two folders are opposite each other, I can hit the Sync button for recursive sync of the folders. Also I have a lot of apps in the toolbar that will work with the selected files. I don't like to open an app and just leave it open all day. So I use Explorer quite a bit since it has he advantage of already being in memory. But some things are just easier in FreeCommander, such as multiple file rename that's less complicated than Bulk Rename Utility but more sophisticated than Explorer. In those cases it's worth waiting for the app to load.

    There are other file managers, and now and then I try one like Q-Dir. But I've been using FreeCommander for so long I hate to be without it. Same with the above mentioned WinPatrol, but for different purposes.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    I have to say that I haven't hardly ever touched FreeCommander, but it seems to be the de facto standard of alternative managers, and I've heard a lot of good things about it. But since I don't have need for a replacement, I took a quick look at the huge number of toolbar buttons and decided it was too complicated Although I imagine that I'd probably get hooked on it if I had some free time to just thoroughly try it out.

    I actually had no idea it could be used to sync folders. I'll have to look at it the next time I need to synchronize folders, since it's usually a pain to do it manually for big ones with lots of subfolders.

    As for WinPatrol, I used to really like it to. Until it starting causing some annoying BSOD's for me. I haven't heard of that ever happening to anyone else, and I'm pretty sure it was a freak, localized issue, but I've never gone back to it since.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    Even though I've used FreeCommander for years I almost never use the "System Folders" drop down. Just too many to look through. But the main functions are straight forward. Also the rename is great.

    The sync is very cool because when you do the compare it pops up side by side lists telling you which file has a copy in each list and which way the copy would go if you sync. Then when you press the sync button there's a summary how many files would be copied in each direction. Eases the paranoia about copying over the wrong way. Very well done.

    I haven't tried the new beta because it doesn't have Rename implemented. Once it's released though I have to try out the 64 bit version.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Best file manager/explorer

    Are there advanced options for determining what needs to be updated in a sync? I remember using a program called Beyond Compare quite a while back, and it had some pretty neat ways of determining if some file in both places had been updated, such as by bigger size or date last modified. Does FreeCommander do stuff like that?

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