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Hey all, We all know that Windows is not really functional as it's supposed to be and from time to time one will experience unnecessary freezing and hitching. When this happens to me it seems that 'Explorer.exe' is the problem.

Is there an alternative way to browse your PC (not using Command Prompt - CMD)?

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Do you want to replace the explorer.exe as in "file browser", or as in "shell"? – Bobby Aug 2 '10 at 15:17
As far as file browsers go, I have heard great things about Directory Opus - it's been around for years, Shareware. – w3dk Aug 2 '10 at 20:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are lots of software alternatives to Explorer, such as

Here's a shakedown of some other options.

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+1 for the other options. – Umber Ferrule Aug 2 '10 at 22:52 crashed within mins for me. – Kells Aug 3 '10 at 17:03

What you are looking for is an alternative shell.

Here is a list from wikipedia.

Bear in mind this will involve some registry edits and such and can also cause other issues with program compatibility.

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I use FAR Manager, which is free and open source. It's a native 32-bit/64-bit text-mode (no graphics, just text) file manager that is based on Norton Commander for DOS.

  FAR Manager

enter image description here

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Looks very much like Total Commmander which I have been using ever since Norton was no longer practical. 32- and 64-bit versions at Tons of features like directory/file compare, FTP etc. Lifetime registration or nag screen on startup. – Jan Doggen May 29 '13 at 14:15

Have you attempted to check your explorer.exe version/size vs a working version of explorer.exe.

My SP3 explorer.exe Version: 6.0.2900.5512 Size: 0.98 MB (1,033,728 bytes)

Checked yours see if it matches.

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Is the Windows 7 explorer the same size? – Dwayne Samuels Aug 2 '10 at 15:10
The Win7 explorer is 2.801 mb – Dwayne Samuels Aug 2 '10 at 15:12
different size assumed xp, but I would check that against another windows install. Keep in mind that other programs will cause explorer to crash along with bad disks also. – jer.salamon Aug 2 '10 at 15:23

You CANNOT supplant the real MS Explorer.exe. It must ALWAYS be present on your PC. You can, however, use an alternative File Manager for search/copy/move/delete files and folders.

The real MS Explorer.exe was created with an inextricably woven-in connection with too many things vital to your operating system. Without the real Explorer.exe, your computer simply will not boot up .. period.

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It will probably boot up fine, but user login will fail because explorer.exe also takes care of showing the taskbar and desktop. – Henno Vermeulen Sep 17 '15 at 9:11

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