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I have been raised on Norton Commander so I could never really get too comfortable with the plain Explorer.

What is your favourite explorer tool and did you completely replace Windows Explorer with it?

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closed as not constructive by Mokubai, Renan, Joe Taylor, 8088, Diogo Aug 7 '12 at 1:24

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In my opinion, Windows Explorer gets worse with every Windows version. I just can't do without a replacement anymore. –  Dimitri C. Aug 28 '09 at 9:30
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Blech! Why does everyone keep all of their folders in thumbnail-mode? Am I the only that uses detail-mode almost exclusively? –  Synetech Mar 3 '12 at 7:30
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23 Answers

You must love Total Commander.

It has similar key mappings with Norton Commander, a lot of useful features, it's fast, and has plenty of addons.

It looks a lot like Norton Commander and allows in-place file opening.

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There must be an abundance of free alternatives that compare to Total Commander. Free Commander, as suggested in a different answer, would get my preference. –  Paul Lammertsma Nov 6 '09 at 14:58
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When I used to use Windows I was quite a fan of xplorer2.

Xplorer2

There is a lite version that's free for non-commercial use, and the pro version adds powerful search feature (Omni-Finder)

Omni-Finder

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If you liked Norton Commander, you should have a look at Far Manager, from the creators of WinRAR. It's free, open source, and it has x86 and x64 versions.

Looks just like Norton!

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You're absolutely right. Didn't know it was open source now. Well that makes it even better, doesn't it? –  Leonardo Jul 16 '09 at 7:48
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DirectoryOpus is a great (if a little pricey) choice.

Ehtyar.

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I just use Windows Explorer. I see no reason to replace it on Vista and 7. It would be like switching from /bin/bash to /bin/zsh on Linux/Unix. Sure, something else may be better, but its available everywhere, and I don't see any reason to devote cycles to learning subtle nuances of something new that only may increase my productivity.

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I wish I could upvote this a million times. Explorer is sufficient, why take the time to get/install/learn something else? –  Sasha Chedygov Aug 4 '09 at 5:34
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Win7 explorer+search is awesome. –  chakrit Aug 20 '09 at 21:44
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-1 This answer and the first comment are laughable! Using this reasoning, there's no reason to ever use anything other then the commend prompt in Windows. If you don't understand why it's useful to "devote cycles" to learning new things you really haven't got a clue. –  Ash Aug 30 '09 at 13:55
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@ashh I have plenty of other things to learn in my usage of computers, how I interact with them on a daily basis is very low on the priority list. And I do use the command prompt on Windows, quite a bit :). –  jtimberman Aug 31 '09 at 1:27
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@sheepsim, @jtimberman, all lovely points, but it doesn't change the fact that "Replacement for Windows Explorer?" was answered with "Windows Explorer". –  Ash Sep 13 '09 at 7:05
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I quite like xyplorer.

alt text

Pros:

  • Very fast, extensive and user friendly search functionality
  • Very good "favorite directories" features
  • Remembers a lot of "recentlty used" things. For example, for every directory it keeps track of your last selection. I learned this is very handy.
  • Very customizeable
  • Has multi tabs
  • Very fast folder size calculation
  • Timestamps can be expressed as age (for example "3 days old" ). This is much more useful than something like "11/09/2009 12:23".

Cons:

  • Not free
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This one is very poorly known but for me it's the best: Altap Salamander

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heheh I use the command line. It's pretty good.

cd C:\someplace; 
copy file target
erase file
rename filename

In UNIX/Linux gets even better :)

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It's good to see there are still masochist around ;-) –  funbi_grace Feb 28 '10 at 10:53
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6 letters for a command when you can use 2 - masochist –  Martin Beckett Jul 20 '10 at 22:50
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QTTabBar - an addon for Windows Explorer which enables tabs and a lot of other useful options.

enter image description here

I don't like using anything but Windows Explorer, because when I use another machine, it is all different. It's better to customize a little - less of a shock that way.

For my own machine, this works beautifully and speeds up things a lot.

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If only this worked for Windows 7 –  Umber Ferrule Oct 28 '09 at 16:08
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The project's been revived and working nearly perfectly on windows 7, could the OP edit the post to reflect that? sourceforge.net/projects/qttabbar –  Raveren Dec 17 '10 at 12:27
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Teracopy is a great filecopy utility that integrates with windows explorer and supports pausing / continue functionality. When making multiple copy sessions to the same destination, it queues up instead of starting multiple copies, thus maintaining the speed. Integrates seamlessly into Windows Explorer-shell. It's also fast.

Also supports integration with Total Commander and Directory Opus

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I've just started using Q-Dir. Very flexible layout and quick to load too. Don't be put off by the web site (which looks a bit crazy!).

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Mucommander

screenshot should be here

muCommander is a lightweight, cross-platform file manager featuring a Norton Commander style interface and running on any operating system with Java support (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, *BSD, Solaris...).

I'm not huge into the Nortan Commander paradigm, but this program is useful enough that I keep it my machines for file transfers, viewing hidden files that I don't want to show in explorer/finder. Did I mention you can use it on Windows and Mac?

It is also open source (GPL).

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Total Commander all the way. I've been using this software since the good old days of Windows 3.x (it was known as Windows Commander back then).

If you're looking for a conventional Explorer replacement, then I recommend UltraExplorer.

alt text

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Directory Opus

A great file manager made to replace Windows Explorer. The reason why I like it so much is that:

  • Built-In Preview Pane (Windows Vista+ has that)
  • Dual-Pane View
  • Highly Customizable
  • Favorites
  • FTP/SFTP/FTP-SSH support
  • Text Thumbnails
  • Custom Key Shortcuts
  • Extensive use of keyboard shortcuts
  • and much more...

enter image description here

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Window's command line, with Cygwin's \bin in my PATH, and a few batch files and c++ programs is my preferred method. I'll never be slower than clicking if I know my filesystem, and 90% of the time, I know what I'm going to find.

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I've used CubicExplorer quite often. It's free, tabbed, and very customizable.

CubicExplorer Screenshot

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Without a doubt it is Xplorer2.

Xplorer² allows you to browse more than one folder at a time, using tabs and dual panes. Sorting out and copying files becomes a breeze. You can navigate your shell namespace quickly using favorites, clickable paths (breadcrumbs), easy access to root folders, a tree and a bookmark pane (drop box) etc. You can even save and restore folder groups whenever your workflow deems necessary.

Xplorer2

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Explorer++ is a free multi-tab file manager.

screenshot

Features:

  • With the option to save to the registry or a configuration file, Explorer++ is portable.
  • Tabbed browsing for easy management of multiple folders.
  • Display window shows previews of files as they are selected.
  • Easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts for quick navigation.
  • Customizable user interface.
  • Full drag-and-drop support with other applications, including Windows Explorer.
  • Advanced file operations such as merging and splitting supported.
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The old Windows file manager ported to 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 for old schoolers that refuse to give it up.

http://www.mdgx.com/bin.htm#FM

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Dired is a "directory editor" that comes with GNU Emacs which is available for Windows.

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