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File Explorer Alternatives for Windows

There are many alternatives to File Explorer for Windows if you are looking for a replacement. The best Windows alternative is Double Commander, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to File Explorer and loads of them are available for Windows so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting Windows alternatives to File Explorer are Total Commander, Q-Dir, XnView MP and FreeCommander.

File Explorer alternatives are mainly File Managers but may also be FTP Clients or Image Viewers. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of File Explorer.
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  • FreeProprietary
  • Windows

File Explorer (Windows 10), previously known as Windows Explorer, is a file manager application that is included with...

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  1. Double Commander is a cross-platform open source file manager with two panels side by side. It is inspired by Total Commander and features some new ideas.

    ⚫︎ PortableDouble Commander can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    ⚫︎ Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsDouble Commander can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    ⚫︎ Dark ModeDouble Commander supports dark mode for comfortable usage in low light conditions.
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    Double Commander 0.7.0 running on Windows 10
    Double Commander vs File Explorer opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Double Commander is a great alternative to File Explorer.

    It tries too hard to be just a Total Commander replacement. Ultimately it feels like a console interface file manager rather than a GUI file manager with a lot of simple mechanisms in modern GUI-based file managers (not just Windows Explorer!) incredibly hard to replicate.

    Negative comment ago
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    not contain columns for video settings (video length)

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    -9
    RemovedUser

    Why 2 windows in one? I just want a directory tree with a pane showing the contents of that directory.

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    -79
  2. Total Commander is a Shareware file manager for Windows.

    ⚫︎ CustomizableTotal Commander is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ PortableTotal Commander can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    Screenshot
    Total Commander vs File Explorer opinions
    Most users think Total Commander is a great alternative to File Explorer.


  3. Q-Dir icon

    Q-Dir

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows
    • PortableApps.com

    Q-Dir makes your files and folder easy to manage. Fast and easy access, with an amazing Quadro-View (4 panes) technique. You dont have to renounce the usual, Drag and Drop, all Views, and other functions of your system. No!

    ⚫︎ CustomizableQ-Dir is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ PortableQ-Dir can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    Q-Dir default view on Windows 10
    Q-Dir vs File Explorer opinions
    Most users think Q-Dir is a great alternative to File Explorer.
    sharevari

    The only file manager I know that let you lay out or tile more than two columns side-by-side. Unfortunately it keeps getting caught as malware by Windows Defender.

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    1
    Drconfused

    Having up to 4 windows for file exploration and multitab instances in each is a huge benefit to productivity when dealing with many files over a system of folders.

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  4. XnViewMP is a free software to view, organise, convert graphics and photos files or to create slide show, contact sheet, HTML pages.

    ⚫︎ PortableXnView MP can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    XnView MP vs File Explorer opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments
    BCRTVKCS

    XnView MP is good for photos not a for files

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    Vintagehotdog

    It's for photos. It works well for photos.

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    1
  5. FreeCommander is an easy-to-use alternative to the standard windows file manager. The program helps you with daily work in Windows. Here you can find all the necessary functions to manage your data stock.

    ⚫︎ PortableFreeCommander can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    Screenshot
    FreeCommander vs File Explorer opinions
    Most users think FreeCommander is a great alternative to File Explorer.


  6. XYplorer is a file manager for Windows. It features tabbed browsing, a powerful file search, a versatile preview, a highly customizable interface, optional dual pane, scripting engine, and a large array of unique ways to efficiently automate frequently recurring tasks.

    ⚫︎ PortableXYplorer can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    ⚫︎ CustomizableXYplorer is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ Support for scriptingXYplorer supports scripts and macros to automate or customize tasks.
    ⚫︎ File TaggingXYplorer can organize and highlight your files with tags and labels.
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    Screenshot
    XYplorer vs File Explorer opinions
    Almost everyone thinks XYplorer is a great alternative to File Explorer.

    I've used only the free version, and its filled of a lot useful functions and tools.

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    3

    Color-coding is a can't-do-without feature once you see it in action.

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  7. QTTabBar icon

    QTTabBar

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows
    • Windows Explorer

    QTTabBar is an extension for Windows Explorer that brings tabbed browsing to Microsoft's file browser.

    ⚫︎ Windows Explorer ExtensionQTTabBar can extend Windows Explorer in various ways, for example add context menu options, etc..
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    Tabbed Explorer
    QTTabBar vs File Explorer opinions
    This alternative is disputed. QTTabBar is still a legitimate alternative to File Explorer, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
    Netverse

    Just like the description says, it is an extension, not a file manager.

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    3
    braydenprice30

    This is an extension, a great extension, but not an alternative.

    Negative comment ago
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    0
  8. Directory Opus provides a complete replacement for Explorer with far more power and functionality than any other file manager available today.

    Suggest and vote on features
    Dual display (vertical layout) without trees (this is the Commander style). Both file displays are in list mode, showing popup tooltip for an image file.
    Directory Opus vs File Explorer opinions
    Most users think Directory Opus is a great alternative to File Explorer.

    All the FE is and much, much more

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    It has all the features that File Explorer refuses to add.

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    0
  9. Explorer++ icon

    Explorer++

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • PortableApps.com

    Explorer++ is a free file manager for Windows. Available on Windows XP and above, it features the same familiar interface as Windows Explorer, while introducing several enhancements and improvements for a much richer file browsing experience.

    ⚫︎ PortableExplorer++ can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    details view
    Explorer++ vs File Explorer opinions
    Most users think Explorer++ is a great alternative to File Explorer.

    I enjoy this Explorer. I would say it's the best Explorer who exist.

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    0

    Explorer++ has better features than Windows built-in file manager. Xplorer2 and XYplorer are both better than Explorer++.

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    1
  10. Files icon

    Files

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows

    Files is a file manager which leverages the latest features of the Windows platform including Fluent Design, seamless updates, and APIs which enable the performance and lifecycle behavior that users expect.

    ⚫︎ Dark ModeFiles supports dark mode for comfortable usage in low light conditions.
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    Files vs File Explorer opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments
    BCRTVKCS

    Best file manager solution with best appearance, features and speed

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    Lighweight and simple file explorer + tabbed navigation.

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Showing 10 of 87 alternatives