Free File Managers and Graphical Shells
File commanders, GUI shells, Windows Explorer replacements
Free File Managers and Graphical Shells
The free file managers listed on this page can be used instead of the default shell provided with your operating system: on Windows, you can use the free file managers here in place of Windows Explorer, on Linux it can be used in place of the default file browser, etc. The file managers, sometimes called file commanders, GUI shells or the like, usually provide more facility and convenience features than the default one on the system. They often integrate features that you normally can get only by using an external utility - for example, many of them have built-in file archiving tools, file comparison facilities, file/text searching capabilities, greater image file format support, dual panes, tabbed interfaces, keyboard shortcuts, file splitting and merging, and so forth. If you spend a lot of time working with your default file explorer, a third-party file manager can be a boon to your productivity.
Free File Management Utilities, Windows Explorer Replacements, Graphical Shells
- Multi Commander (Windows)
Multi Commander is a dual-panel Windows file manager that supports multiple tabs on each panel. Like the other Windows explorer replacements, this program includes a large number of built-in features, including support for viewing and extracting files from archives (ie, zip, 7-zip, rar, tar, gz, bz2, jar files) and even creating some types of archives (namely, zip, 7-zip, tar, gz, bz2, tar.gz and tar.bz2), the ability to browse inside registry files, the ability to view numerous types of image files (eg, gif, jpg, png, bmp, tiff, some RAW formats), support for converting pictures between formats, rotating them, viewing and removing EXIF tags, editing EXIF dates, viewing and editing MP3 tags, a built-in binary or hexadecimal viewer, renaming of multiple files and folders, a facility to compare files and folders, and lots more. You can either get the full installer version or the portable version (which you can place on a USB flash drive or other portable device).
- NexusFile File Manager (Windows)
NexusFile is a dual pane file manager for Windows. It has support for multiple tabs in that each pane can have its own set of tabs. It can also extract files from a variety of archive files, such as zip, rar, arj, ace, and alz, 7z, iso, cab, tar, bz2, and z, and compress files in the zip format. Other features include FTP support, customizable shortcut keys, advanced renaming facilities, file checksumming, etc. The software is portable in that it does not use any registry entries or install anything into the system folders, thus allowing it to be placed on a portable USB drive.
- Double Commander (Windows, Linux)
Double Commander provides a dual pane file manager with Unicode support, the ability to rename multiple files in one go, built-in syntax highlighting text editor, built-in support for handling archive files (eg, zip, tar.gz, rpm, cpio, deb, bz2, etc) as though they are subdirectories, the ability to search through multiple files, a tabbed interface, customizable columns, etc. At the time this entry was written, the program is still under development and testing, although a preliminary (ie, "beta") version is available for testing.
- muCommander - Cross platform File Manager (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, etc)
This file manager, muCommander, provides a "Norton Commander style interface" with support for local hard disks as well as accessing files over FTP, SFTP, SMB, NFS, HTTP and Bonjour. Besides the usual file-handling facilities like copying, deleting, renaming, creating directories, etc, it also has built-in archivers to browse or create zip, tar, gzip, bzip2, ISO/NRG, ar/deb and lst archives. The program is cross-platform and works on any operating system that has a Java runtime environment, including those listed above. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3.
- FreeCommander Freeware File Manager (Windows)
Free Commander features both dual-pane (horizontal and vertical) and tabs, with an optional tree view for each panel, a built-in file viewer to view hex / binary files, text files and images, built-in ZIP (read and write), CAB (read and write) and RAR (read) handling, nested archive support, the ability to wipe files, the facility to check and verify MD5 checksums, support for file splitting, file properties and context menu, file searching even inside archives, file filters, a built-in DOS command line, user-define columns for detailed view, etc.
- ExplorerXP Freeware File Manager (Windows)
ExplorerXP is a file manager that is free for non-commercial use. It features a tabbed interface, easy access to My Computer, Recycle Bin, My Documents and the Desktop, drag and drop support, multiple file rename utility, file splitting and merging tools, unicode support, the abiliity to recursively delete files based on a given list of extensions or wildcards, configurable keyboard shortcuts, etc.
- WazTree II (Windows)
WazTree II is a file manager that you can use instead of Windows explorer. It features a tab interface, drag and drop support, built-in zip, unzip, zip to self-extracting exe, repair zip as well as the ability to use an external zip/unzip program, built-in graphic files viewer with capture, crop and conversion facilities for BMP, ICO, GIF, WMF and EMF, built-in Internet browser, email support from within the file manager or editor, the ability to synchronise folders, access to DOS prompt, built-in CD and multimedia player, calendar, clock, etc.
- A43 File Management Utility (Windows)
A43 is a Windows 2000/XP file management utility that comes with a built-in text editor that can handle unlimited file sizes, integrated zip and unzip features, integrated file search to locate files, integrated quick launch area for quick access to frequently used programs, favourite buttons for frequently used folders, dual-panes, etc. It requires no installation and no data is written to the system registry, so it may be used from a USB pen drive.
- Krusader Twin Panel File Management (Linux)
Krusader is a file manager for KDE featuring archive handling, mounted filesystem support, FTP, search, internal viewer and editor, directory synchronisation, file content comparisons, batch renaming, etc. It is released under the GNU General Public License.
- FileAnt File Manager (Windows)
FileAnt is a Windows-based file manager with a built-in FTP client, support for tabs, ability to generate folder pie charts, modify file dates, synchronize (sync) folders, change file attributes en masse, thumbnails, configurable background and font colours, the ability to use the same settings as Windows Explorer such as to show file extensions, etc.
- Thunar (Linux)
Thunar is a file manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment. It is accessible using Assistive Technologies. Features include a bulk renamer, audio tags renamer, an extensions framework, etc.
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