14 Alternative File Managers to Replace Windows 10 File Explorer

Although Windows Explorer is one of the core components of Windows, it hasn't received many new features as Windows has been updated over time.

As a Windows user since Windows 98, I have seen many changes to Windows. From the smooth running of Windows 7 to the controversy about the Windows 8 start menu and the current version of Windows 10 where you need to turn off features to get an optimized experience.

One component that hasn't been updated much, aside from some visual changes, is Windows Explorer. The current File Explorer is functionally similar to Windows 7 and has not been updated, although it lacks some of the most basic features.

Frankly, Windows Explorer does a pitiful job of actually managing files. I mean why do I have to click four times and press two keyboard shortcuts if I have to move multiple files individually between folders? And don't make me start batch renaming and editing files.

If you need to manage files and folders frequently in Windows 10, then the default File Explorer will be just a hindrance. You should get a third party file manager that offers the best features to get the job done quickly and possibly use fewer resources.

In this post, I am going to list some of the best file managers for Windows 10 that can replace or work alongside Windows Explorer to offer better functionality.


File Explorer++ offers a browser-like experience for your Windows files and folders. Similar to how a browser works, it opens folders in tabs that you can manage individually. You can even use browser shortcuts like Ctrl+W or Ctrl+T to close or open a tab.

You can easily move files and folders between tabs, as well as duplicate tabs or close them in bulk. The app also works seamlessly with other apps (including Windows Explorer) to move data using drag and drop.

In addition to tabbed browsing, it also has additional features such as the ability to split/combine files, create bookmarks for folders, advanced search, and a more functional preview panel. Best of all, it's a portable app so you can take it anywhere and use it without installation.

If you are interested in using Explorer++, I recommend that you read its documentation as it contains detailed information on how to use each of its features.

Total Commander

Advanced File Manager for Windows 10. Total Commander may not have the prettiest interface, but its advanced features and dual file windows make file management a breeze. The main interface consists of two windows where you can open two folders and share and manage files seamlessly.

You can change the look of each window and even add sidebars to each window to quickly navigate between directories. There is also an interesting feature to display all files within a directory in one window, which can be useful if you want to manage files of a certain type.

Its other features include a batch rename tool, advanced search, file comparison tool, archive tool, built-in FTP client, favorites, duplicate file finder, and more. You can test this file manager using its fully functional trial version for 1 month, after which you will have to upgrade to the paid version.

Directory Opus

If you want to completely replace Windows Explorer, Opus Directory is the perfect file manager. It integrates fully into Windows and whenever you open File Explorer or a folder, it opens Directory Opus instead. You can also open the program from the context menu.

This file manager also has a dual window interface where you can open two folders at the same time and easily move and manage data. Its interface is also much more intuitive, with a bunch of handy buttons that make it easy to operate. For example, you can hide/show files with a single click, search directly in the window, archive files even if they are in different folders, and gain admin rights with a single click.

You can use it for free with a 60-day full-featured trial period. After that, you will need to upgrade to the Light or Professional version.


TagsSpaces takes a slightly different approach to productivity, allowing you to add tags and colors to files and folders to easily manage them. It may not make it easier to move and edit files, but you can group similar files/folders using tags and colors.

For example, if you are working on multiple files, you can create "todo" and "done" tags to easily see which files are already done and which are still in the queue. Besides managing tags, it also has a built-in file viewer that opens most files in the sidebar as soon as you click.

The lite version is completely free and offers this tagging feature. You can get the Pro version with advanced features such as adding a description, tracking file changes, adding geotagging, advanced search, etc.


If you need both tabbed browsing and dual window browsing, then XYplorer has you covered. It lists folders in two vertical windows where you can open tabs to add more folders; just like a browser. There is also a directory bar on the right side for quick access to folders inside windows and tabs.

There are large buttons at the top to quickly perform basic functions, and the context menu also has many advanced options such as file comparison, path copying, and a powerful paste function. Like other tools, it also has a 30-day free trial after which you will need to upgrade to a paid version to continue using.


xplorer² is another great option, simple yet functional. It uses the same two-window interface but offers better customization than most and some cool extra features. A notable feature is the ability to open another panel right inside the window to navigate to subfolders without losing access to the main folder.

You can also easily resize the window and even change the position to horizontal if you like. I think you might prefer it over others because of the built-in macro feature that allows you to create your own macros to automate repetitive tasks. Just enable the macro and complete the task and the tool will automatically repeat it.

The app comes with a 21 day free trial and you can upgrade to the paid version for future use.


It's actually an extension for Windows File Explorer that adds more functionality, not a file manager with its own interface. Once you install Clover , it will enhance File Explorer with a tabbed browsing experience similar to a browser. You will be able to open File Explorer in multiple tabs and manage folders.

It's the perfect tool if you like Windows Explorer but want the tabbed browsing features usually found in third-party file managers. With it, you'll have the same File Explorer experience with the added functionality of tabs.

In addition to tabs, it makes it easy to create bookmarks for folders, and it also contains additional keyboard shortcuts to control tab-related features. The app is also completely free.


FileVoyager is another file manager that offers a dual window as well as tabs to make managing and moving data easier. However, unlike others on this list, it is actually completely free to use. In addition, its dual window function also has some additional features.

More prominent is the 3D bar at the top of the windows, which displays icons and folders with 3D effects. This might not be very useful, but it shows the content folders, making it easier to navigate. Right inside the window there is a preview tab allowing you to see a full preview of the files inside FileVoyager.

Tabs open at the bottom of windows and the new tab duplicates the last tab rather than opening a new This PC window.

While it has a diff tool and an archive maker, it lacks most of the other side tools found in other apps on this list. However, if dual window and tabs are the only features you want, then this is the perfect free app to get the job done.

Other file managers for Windows 10

I recommend the above file manager and it should handle all your file management needs. However, if you still haven't found a suitable file manager, you can check out a few more file managers that I list below. Most of the file managers listed below are similar to the above, but have a different interface or basic functionality.


It may not have many additional tools, but it offers 4 windows to open and manage folders. Q-Dir supports basic file moving commands, and it's also completely free. If you prefer quad-windows then it's worth checking out.

FreeCommander XE

It offers a dual window interface with a handy directory listing at the top of each window for quick access. FreeCommander XE also has dedicated buttons between the two windows to make it easier to manage files between the two windows. And, as the name suggests, this file manager is free to use.

Altap Salamandra

Altap Salamander is another two-window file manager. Its standout feature is its support for plugins to further expand functionality. You can get plugins to get features like archive creation, task automation, file comparison, FTP client and more.

Speed ​​Commander

SpeedCommander offers both dual window and tab functionality with the ability to change the theme and layout in multiple ways. Its more notable feature is the support for popular cloud storage services right in the interface. Although you should get its paid version after the 60 day trial period.

Unreal Commander

Another file manager that supports both tabs and dual-window mode. However, I noticed that it was quite difficult to use as it had different commands to manage files than usual. While Unreal Commander is free to play, the interface is highly customizable with attractive themes and icons.

the male

A very simple two-window file manager. The only extra feature I saw was the search bar at the top, which can be used to quickly access anything. However, it is also very small in size and requires few resources, so give it a try if you have a slow PC.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, XYplorer is the best all-in-one file manager that offers both tabbed and dual-window browsing, and has all the advanced features you need for day-to-day file management. Although, if you prefer a completely free file manager for Windows 10, then nothing beats FileVoyager.

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