Free File Manager

The Windows Explorer is old and crusty. Yuck! I'm starting to use ExplorerPlus as a file manager, myself… but one of our readers (James G.) suggested this one a few minutes ago:

I'm surprised that in your January 2005 roundup of file managers, you missed this one: FileAnt. I downloaded this file explorer replacement and have decided that it is now my default WinXP file manager! I checked out some of your recommendations and I like Commander and ExplorerXP, but in truth, I like FileAnt better. This program is fully-functional, and although the developer has not formally released this as freeware, it's pretty much “donationware”, so in essence, it's free! Check it out and I think you'll like what you see with this file manager. Dual-pane display, can view files in-line, can open an FTP session in-line, etc. – too much for me to say… and by the way, I have no connection to the file manager's developer in any way!

If you don't have a different-than-default file manager, you're missing out. And for those who remember the PowerDesk file manager… it's still alive. Kinda. I just got an email from Becky Vrzal, Product Manager for Novatix Corporation:

It's a bit of a confusing situation, so here's a bit more background for you. The original PowerDesk file manager program was written in 1995 by Mike Kronenberg back when he owned Mijenix Corporation. Mijenix and its line of utility products were eventually sold off and are now in the hands of V Communications and Allume Systems (formerly Aladdin Systems). Mike eventually started a new company–Novatix Corporation. Over the years Mike received many requests to take back the file manager product and continue development on it. What Novatix was able to do was license the PowerDesk file manager source code back from V Com in order to create our own new, competing file manager program. This is how ExplorerPlus came about. This was a one-time licensing deal and we now own the rights to any future products going forward. Not only is the original programmer Mike still involved in the product, but other original Mijenix developers are now working on it here at Novatix as well. So PowerDesk and ExplorerPlus are two, separate, independent file manager programs.

Dude, I always wondered about that. File managers come and go, but the need is here to stay.

  • Find files over multiples drives.
  • Find files even if they are compressed in ZIP files.
  • Refine the search results to find exactly what you need.
  • Print the list of files found.
  • Display search results showing keywords in context.
  • Copy, move, rename, delete, zip, or open any file you find.
  • Locate files based on almost any search criteria: keyword, file type, size, date, path, attributes, contents, file info, notes, etc.
  • Find MP3 files based on artist name, title, etc.
  • Synchronize any two folders or subfolders on your system. Also synchronize files on your laptop and desktop to keep your folders and files in tune and up-to-date.
  • Preview any file before synchronizing.
  • Synchronize easily: select two folders, compare their contents, and quickly synchronize them.

Or, ya know… just go back to using your plain ol' file mangler.

3 thoughts on “Free File Manager”

  1. It's funny this topic should come up. I've been looking for a file manager that allows you to add flickr/gmail/del.icio.us style tags to your files, so you can browse by tag rather than folders. anyone know of one?

  2. I used to be a die-hard Powerdesk fan but the version 5 upgrade put me off for life – it added nothing of value whatsoever. I've tried ExplorerPlus but it seems really just like Powerdesk with a few minor changes.
    I'm currently using Directory Opus – http://www.gpsoft.com.au – it's a totally different “take” on file managers. They have a long free trial period so I would say it's definitely worth giving this one a go.

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