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The Best Alternative File Managers for Windows, Mac, and Linux

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Get new features first. Was this information helpful? Yes No. Further archive formats such as RAR or 7z can be implemented via a plugin. The developer provides users with comprehensive documents.

How to Access Mac Files (OS X / HFS+) on a Windows Computer

You can also find help in user forums. The main advantage of Windows Explorer is its layout, which enables you to manage your file system in a four-window view. In each window of the file manager, you can create up to four tabs and work with up to 16 file folders at the same time. This means that Q-Dir is especially suitable for users who want to perform file operations across various hard disks or removable media.

As with Windows Explorer, it can be operated via the menu bar, the context menu, or conveniently by drag-and-drop.

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Key combinations and quicklinks are available for standard operations. Q-Dir offers additional functions such as image preview and the possibility of attaching folders that are used regularly as favorites. In addition, different file types can be color coded.

The shareware file manager SpeedCommander from SpeedProject offers a clear two-window view and enables you to manage folder windows as tags.


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In addition, users can choose between Windows Explorer-style and Norton Commander-style views. Norton Commander is a legendary DOS file manager from whose layout serves as a model for many file managers known as Norton Commander clones — including the shareware file managers SpeedCommander and Total Commander introduced here.

Like other Explorer alternatives, SpeedCommander wants to make workflows more efficient. Users benefit from a file repository for quick access to frequently used files, as well as folder and application favorites. The range of functions also includes an integrated preview mode for more than 80 file formats, functions for simultaneous renaming of multiple files, and a text editor with syntax highlighting.

If required, you can access an FTP server with SpeedCommander and manage your files remotely, just like on the local hard disk. FileSync is a synchronization program for folders and files. Routine tasks can be automated with macros. The tool also provides a macro editor. Users who require additional functions have the option of implementing self-written extensions as in-process COM servers via an integrated AddIn interface. In addition to the standard version, the file manager is also available with extended functionality in the form of SpeedCommander Pro , but this is fee-based.

SpeedCommander and SpeedCommander Pro are distributed as shareware.

Alternative file managers for Linux

Users can test both versions for free without obligation for 60 days, and are able to make use of the full range of functions. Like other alternatives, the tool distinguishes itself from Windows Explorer with its numerous additional functions.

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Total Commander also uses a multi-window view to display two file windows simultaneously. A menu bar, context menu, and drag-and-drop functions are available for file operations. No additional programs are required for file archiving and FTP ; the tool comes with corresponding functions. It also provides users with a quick view, an advanced search function, and functions for comparing and synchronizing directories. Favorites, history, and password protection for selected directories round off the range of functions. Like SpeedCommander, Total Commander is only available for free in the trial version.

After 30 days, an upgrade to the fee-based full version is required. Alternative file managers offer numerous additional functions and help speed up workflows when using Windows. We have compared the functional spectrum of tools presented in this article.

Make your choice! The default file managers available to Linux users depends on which distribution and which desktop environment is being used.

The following table shows the most popular environments for Linux systems and their default file managers. The programs listed can be installed on any distribution with a simple command line. In addition, the Linux universe offers numerous file managers, some of which offer a much wider range of functions. Nautilus is the standard file manager of the GNOME desktop environment and the user interface, Unity, which is used up to version From version 3. Many Linux users have decided to replace Nautilus with one of the following alternatives. Elements can be displayed as icons with file preview , in a tile grid or as a list of details.

User-defined extensions can be integrated via plugin via an integrated interface. Dolphin stands out from Nautilus with its breadcrumb-style navigation bar and display of available storage space. The window view can be split if required. There are also three view modes to choose from: icons, details, and columns. File operations that can be performed with Dolphin include moving, copying, renaming, deleting, managing properties and permissions, as well as selecting files.

In addition, the file manager offers functions for hidden files, shortcuts, and access to servers on the network e. Additional functions can be integrated via plugin if required. Thunar , the default file manager of the Linux desktop environment Xfce, is similar to Nautilus. A highlight of the software is the menu item 'custom actions', which makes it possible to extend Thunar according to individual ideas. Users simply add the functions they really need.

However, the file manager lacks a multi-window view. The slim program from the Taiwanese software developer, Hong Yen Jee, offers users an interface with up to two file windows, tabbed browsing that allows users to open different file folders in separate tabs, a preview function for images, and a directory view in a tree structure. Functions for packing and unpacking files are already integrated, as well as remote access to remote file systems.

PCManFM differs from other Linux file managers because of its user interface, which was developed according to accessibility criteria and therefore takes the needs of people with disabilities into account. Nemo , the default file manager of the desktop environment, Cinnamon, is a split from Nautilus 3. If required, a two-window view and tabs for managing separate directory views are available. Like Nautilus, Nemo can be extended with numerous plugins.

While SpaceFM has relied on a slim design since version 0. The program enables you to display up to four folders in parallel thanks to the multi-window view. You can view your iPhone's photos directly in Finder or Windows Explorer like you would from any other digital camera. You're also able to get file system access to data contained within the apps or other directories on your device. Want to back up or move your games' high scores from one device to another? We've crafted seven magnificent utilities into iExplorer that allow you to browse, preview, save, and export the most important information in the databases of your iPhone or iPad.

View your appointments, calendar events, and your call history. Listen to your iPhone's voicemail messages and export them to a folder on your computer. Everything is always just a couple of clicks away. Be in charge of your content. With iExplorer, you can access more files and folders without modifying jailbreaking your device than ever before. Need to access photos on your iPhone or iPod?