From my own experience, I know that the best file managers really make it easier to work with files and folders. The features they offer are many more than what you get with Windows’ built-in File Explorer. Windows has recently gotten a lot of updates and improvements, but File Explorer (formerly known as Windows Explorer) seems to have stayed mostly the same, and to be honest, it could use a lot of work. It can be very time-consuming to move files and folders from one place to another. Usually, you have to open two separate Explorer windows and drag icons between them by hand.
Due to the relatively open nature of Android, users can browse the file structure of their devices and perform file and folder operations without the need for a computer. Thus, a file manager, file explorer, or whatever you want to call it, is a very useful tool for anyone using an Android phone or tablet for productivity. Most manufacturers have file managers built into their Android phones and tablets, but in many cases it is a simple, bare-bones application. Fortunately, the Google Play Store is teeming with file managers, though not all are excellent. Below we have mentioned some of the best File Managers.
Importance of Choosing the Right File Manager
Choosing the right file manager is important because it affects how well and quickly an organization works. Some key points are:
- Efficient Organization: A good file manager organizes files in a way that makes them easy to find and use.
- Saving time: A good file manager cuts down on the time it takes to look for files, making it easier to get things done.
- Interface That’s Easy to Use: The right choice has a simple interface that makes it easier for people to use.
- File Security: Using the right file management software protects sensitive information by making sure that data is secure.
- Compatibility: Being compatible with different devices and platforms makes it easier to be flexible and work together.
- Customization: Changing the file manager to fit a user’s needs makes them more productive and happy.
- Version Control: The ability to track and recover versions keeps data from being lost and helps people work together on projects.
- Integration: Workflow is improved when tools like cloud storage and productivity apps can be used together without any problems.
- Support and Updates: The software stays useful over time because it is updated regularly and has good customer service.
- Backups and Recovery: Automatic backups and recovery options keep you from losing data by accident.
Best File Managers Comparison Table
File managers are very important for keeping digital content organized and easy to find. We compare some of the best file managers in the table below. These software options have different levels of features, such as easy-to-use interfaces, advanced search tools, cloud integration, and support for multiple platforms. Whether you’re a professional or a casual user, these file managers meet different needs and make it easier to manage your files.
|File Manager||Platform||Price||Cloud Integration||Advanced Features||Official Links|
|Files by Google||Android||Free||Google Drive||Storage Analyzer||Download|
|Amaze File Manager||Android||Free||Google Drive||Root Explorer||Download|
|Solid Explorer||Android||Paid||Dropbox, Google Drive||Dual-Pane UI||Download|
|X-plore File Manager||Windows||Paid||Dropbox, OneDrive||Tabbed Browsing||Download|
|Total Commander||Windows||Paid||Dropbox, OneDrive||Dual-Pane UI||Download|
|Cx File Explorer||Android||Free||OneDrive, Google Drive||Network Storage||Download|
|Directory Opus||Windows||Paid||Various||Advanced Customization||Download|
Files by Google
- Clean and simple interface for file management.
- Smart recommendations for cleaning up storage space.
- Easy file sharing with nearby devices using Wi-Fi Direct.
- Built-in media player for quick playback of files.
- Secure file browsing with encryption options.
If you want the cleanest, no-nonsense, no-bloat file manager app on Android, look no farther than File by Google. As of 2022, most Androids with Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher devices are One of the most highly rated file manager apps, File by Google frees up space with cleaning recommendations, finds files quickly with search, shares files offline without using mobile data, and to the cloud to save storage space Send by backing up files. This app is not only free to use, it is also ad-free.
Files by Google has three tabs. Clean, Browse, and Share. The “Clean” tab shows you how much storage space is left on your Android device and how much space you are currently using. This is also where you will see suggestions for cleaning up your phone’s storage. Meanwhile, the “Browse” tab makes it easier to find files by splitting them into different categories, such as Downloads, Images, Videos, Audio, and Documents.
- User-friendly interface.
- Integrated storage management tools.
- Efficient file organization.
- Limited advanced features.
- Fewer customization options compared to some others.
Amaze File Manager
- Open-source file manager with a user-friendly interface.
- Supports multiple tabs for efficient multitasking.
- Provides various customization options for themes and icons.
- Built-in app manager for installing, uninstalling, and backing up apps.
- Root file management for advanced users.
Amaze File Manager is a relatively new app, but it is quite good. It is open source and focuses on a lightweight experience for those who need to do some light file browsing. Features include Material Design, SMB file sharing, a built-in app manager for uninstalling apps, and a root explorer. This manager ensures that the most important things are included without bloat. It is free to download and use, but optional in-app purchases are available if you want to help fund development.
- Open-source and ad-free.
- User-friendly interface.
- Supports root access for advanced users.
- Limited cloud storage integration.
- Some users might find the interface a bit basic.
- Dual-pane design for enhanced file organization and transfers.
- Rich cloud storage integration (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox).
- Seamless support for archived files (ZIP, RAR, TAR, etc.).
- Drag-and-drop support for easy file movement.
- Batch rename, metadata editing, and file sharing.
As the name suggests, this app has solid features to enhance file management Along with general features, the app supports popular cloud services such as Drive, MEGA, and Yandex. For a fee, however, Solid also offers paid plug-ins, such as USB support on the go. It can compress and decompress any ZIP file.
Solid’s greatest feature is its security. The best feature of Solid is its security: all files can be easily protected using fingerprinting passwords. The app has a variety of customization options and can surf system files on rooted devices.
- Sleek and modern design.
- Dual-pane interface for efficient file management.
- Cloud storage integration.
- Paid app with a trial period.
- Some users might find the advanced features overwhelming.
X-plore File Manager
- Split-view interface for effective file operations.
- Built-in hex viewer for inspecting file contents.
- Direct access to shared folders on Windows networks.
- Disk map visualization to analyze storage usage.
- Root and non-root access modes.
X-plore, another premium file manager, is available in two versions: a general Professional version and a more powerful Ultimate version, both options can be tried for free for 21 days. Of all the file managers we tested, Xplorer has the most modern look. You can choose between a ribbon-style interface or a more traditional menu bar.
It is packed with unusual features that you may not feel the need for, such as the ability to select multiple files at once without worrying about accidentally deselecting them by clicking elsewhere (sticky selection), options to quickly identify duplicate files, and color coding to identify files and directories at a glance Xplorer² is a very easy to use application.
X-plore’s default layout is a traditional Explorer-style tree with two horizontal panes and along the left side. This layout is customizable and offers tabs for organizing, but a vertical pane seems a more logical choice when transferring files.
- Dual-pane tree view for effective file manipulation.
- Root access for advanced users.
- Wide range of features.
- Interface might be less intuitive for newcomers.
- Some advanced features might require technical understanding.
- Classic two-panel interface for efficient file manipulation.
- Extensive keyboard shortcuts for power users.
- Customizable user interface with various themes.
- Built-in FTP client for remote file management.
- Plugins for expanded functionality.
Launched as Windows Commander on Windows 3.1 in 1993, Total Commander is widely recognised as one of the best file manager apps for Android. It allows you to explore files and folders on your device, as well as copy or move entire subfolders. The app supports drag-and-drop, renaming on the spot, creating directories, deleting files, archiving files and many other features. It also supports various file sharing protocols (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, LAN, OBEX) and cloud storage using plugins.
Other key features include a media player, directory history and the ability to change file permissions. One of the best features of the app is that it is virtually ad-free, with the exception of the “add plugin” prompt. This link takes you to the home page of plug-ins, including paid add-ons that greatly enhance the app’s functionality. Total Commander supports root functionality, allowing you to write to system folders such as /system and /data. If the system folder is write-protected, the app will warn you before writing to it.
- Classic dual-pane interface.
- Robust set of features.
- USB OTG support.
- Might feel overwhelming for casual users.
- Learning curve for some advanced functions.
Cx File Explorer
- Intuitive user interface with smooth navigation.
- Built-in storage analyzer to manage disk usage.
- Integrated note and text editor for quick edits.
- App manager for handling installed applications.
- Secure folder feature for protecting sensitive files.
“Cx File Explorer is an excellent basic file browser. It has a fairly modern user interface, all the basic features, and supports many cloud storage services and shared storage servers (FTP, SMB, etc.). We particularly like the dashboard section, where it is easy to find SD cards, main storage and download folders, as well as to navigate network drives. There is also an accompanying application manager which seems to work well. Although it’s not the most powerful on this list, it’s definitely one of the best free file browsers without in-app purchases and ads.
- Modern interface with a user-friendly design.
- Built-in network storage management.
- Root access for advanced users.
- Some advanced features might be less intuitive.
- Limited cloud storage integration compared to some others.
- Tabbed interface for managing multiple locations simultaneously.
- Wide range of supported file formats, including eBook and media formats.
- Root access and advanced file operations.
- Highly customizable with various themes and view modes.
- Encrypted file handling for enhanced security.
MiXplorer is a full-featured application with reliable functionality. It has standard file manager features such as copying, moving, and adding files. Another unique feature is the dual-plane UI in landscape mode. This is like working in two tabs at the same time! The manager supports all typical file systems such as NTFS, FAT32, and exFat. In addition, the app has an HTML viewer and supports various web page archive formats (MHT, CHM). It can also unzip ZIP files and provides a view mode for each individual file. The app also provides access to cloud spaces such as Dropbox, Mediafire, and 4Sync.
- Rich in features and customization options.
- Supports various archive formats.
- Root access and scripting support.
- Interface might be overwhelming for some users.
- Requires downloading from external sources due to Google Play restrictions.
- Advanced dual-pane interface with tabbed browsing.
- Comprehensive file synchronization and backup tools.
- Integrated image and document viewer.
- Customizable toolbar and keyboard shortcuts.
- Powerful search and filter capabilities.
Like Total Commander, Directory Opus is a premium file manager and finds itself a very close second on this list. It has a busier, more attractive icon-driven interface than Total Commander, but can be simplified with a variety of customization options. This is where Directory Opus really shines, as almost every aspect of its operation can be tweaked and tuned to suit your needs.
It is also extremely fast, with multi-threading for fast processing and queuing and management of operations. Various useful features like multi-pane open and tabbed browsing allow you to quickly filter and sort your files and folders. Directory Opus is available in two versions, Light and Pro. Both manage your files much more easily, but Pro is worth the extra expenditure, thanks to its ability to replace File Explorer – for everything, or just certain folders.
- Powerful and highly customizable.
- Efficient file operations.
- Dual-pane layout.
- Available for Windows only.
- Relatively higher price compared to other file managers.
User-Friendly vs Power User File Managers
When it comes to managing files on a computer, user-friendly and power user file managers meet different needs and skill levels. Here’s what I mean:
User-Friendly File Managers: These are made to be simple and easy to use, so they are good for people who don’t use computers very often. Some of the most important features are easy-to-use interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality, and simple file organization. They are great for simple tasks like copying, moving, and renaming files. Windows File Explorer and macOS Finder are two examples.
Power User File Managers: Designed for experienced users and professionals, power user file managers have advanced features and ways to customize them. They often have interfaces with two panes that make it easy to switch between tasks, strong search tools, integration with command-line tools, and support for different file types and protocols. These managers are good for complicated tasks like batch operations, scripting, and managing servers from afar. Total Commander, Directory Opus, and Midnight Commander are all good examples.
Tips and Tricks for Maximizing File Manager Efficiency
Here are five important tips and tricks for getting the most out of your file manager, with an emphasis on SEO:
Organize Files with Descriptive Naming: Use descriptive file names to organize your files. Use relevant keywords in file names to help search engines find them. This helps search engines understand what your files are about and where they fit in, which boosts your SEO rankings.
Use Folders and Subfolders: Sort files into folders and subfolders that make sense. This improves the user experience and makes it easier for search engines to find their way around your content, which is good for SEO.
Use Detailed Alt Text for Images: When you upload an image, give it detailed alt text that includes relevant keywords. This makes it easier for people with disabilities to use your site, and it also helps your image SEO by letting search engines understand what your images are about.
Don’t Put the Same Content in Different Folders: Don’t put the same files in different folders. Search engines can get confused by duplicate content, which can hurt SEO rankings. When you need to combine content, use canonical tags or redirects.
Optimize File Metadata: Pay attention to the title, description, and tags of a file, as well as its metadata. To optimize metadata for search engines, use target keywords in a natural way. This helps indexing work better and improves SEO visibility.
Cx File Explorer is a good choice if you want a file manager that doesn’t have ads and has a bright, easy-to-use interface. You can also manage files in the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box) and on your PC (LAN, SMB, FTP, SFTP, WebDAV).
One of the best file managers for Windows is Total Commander. It works like File Explorer and has basic features like copy, move, delete, etc., as well as more advanced features like FTP server access, pack and unpack files, compare files by content, etc.