May 15, 2007

Alternative Explorers

For many Windows users out there, one of the things they hate about it is the built in file explorer that comes with it. It is too basic, and doesn't have too many features with it. For Linux users, you already know that there are a bunch to choose from. You have thunar, nautilus, konquerer among others. Windows users, don't have too many to choose from. It actually took me a few hours of Google searching, and checking out places like SourceForge, and Softpedia before I came up with three free alternatives to Microsoft Explorer.

The first one I found is ExplorerXP. It is a pretty versatile explorer program that offers tabbed file browsing, and also displays the total file size of each folder. It also features an easy to use toolbar for easy access to My Computer, My Documents, Recycle bin and desktop. Some other features include a multiple file rename tool, a file merge utility, a built in file cleaner (shredder) and configurable shortcuts.

Number two on my list (Don't worry, I only found three that I liked) is Windows Explorer 0.6.0. This program is fairly similar to ExplorerXP. It doesn't have tabbed browsing, but you can open multiple folders in separate panes. It offers full drag and drop support, and offers picture and text file preview.

The best one I tried though combines the best of both, and also adds preview support for not only pictures and text, but also Microsoft Office Documents. It has tabbed browsing, like ExplorerXP and full drag and drop support. It is called XYplorer. This is the one I highly recommend if you are looking for an alternative to explorer with the most versatility. The only drawback is that the latest version comes as shareware only, but don't worry. I have provided the last freeware version for you to download HERE!

The built in explorer is great for simple things such as opening and closing files, renaming etc, If you are a power user though, and are looking for something a little more robust, check out one of the explorers I mentioned above. Try them out and find out which one will suit your needs best. If you find any more, or have any to recommend to me, please leave me a comment.

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