Explorer is a tool that gets used every day. Few people give a second thought to looking for an alternative – there is a reasonably capable utility built into Windows for managing files, so why bother? – but when you start to investigate just what else is available, you start to realize what is missing from Microsoft’s file manager. Better Explorer is just one of many Explorer replacement tools and there’s a lot to explore.
In many ways, each new version of Windows is a great leap forwards in terms of innovation, but at the same time there is always concern about how much change is a good thing. This has been the case with the release of every version of Windows, but never more so than with Windows 8.
One of the bones of contention for many users is that there have been such as change in appearance in some areas of the operating system while other areas remain virtually identical and this disparity can be confusing. Perhaps the greatest cause for concern for most people is the Start menu, or lack thereof, and this is something that can be addressed through the use of Classic Shell.
Explorer may not be the most advanced file management tool that’s available, but it does get the job done. If you’ve been a Windows user for any length of time, you’ve probably grown used to hitting the Windows key and E to fire up Explorer.
This is the reason that it can be difficult to move to an Explorer replacement – your memory muscle will almost invariably default to using the known shortcut and you may well find that you end up defaulting back to Explorer. Clover is an Explorer add-on that enables you to stick with Windows’ built in file browser while gaining some extra features.
For day to day tasks Windows Explorer gets the job done, but it is far from being the most versatile file manager that’s available. If you spend a good proportion of your time working with files – organizing them, backing them up, searching, etc – you’ll quickly find that Explorer leaves a lot to be desired.
There is a burgeoning market for Explorer replacement tools, and the use of the word ‘market’ should come as an indication that many of these tools come at a price. The same cannot be said of FileMind (for the time-being, at least) which is an astonishingly good file manger which I wanted to share with you.
Windows Explorer does a basic job for Windows pretty well. But when using it, you can’t feel but that it’s a bit under featured. In the common situation where I’m working with more than one folder at the same time, I have to manage a separate Explorer window for each folder. That was once the normal state for applications, but lately application designers have begun bundling similar tasks into a single window.
Multi-document interfaces date back to the early days of Windows, but became very popular when adopted by many popular web browsers several years ago. The native Windows Explorer application hasn’t followed this pattern so for actions such as dragging files from one folder to another you must keep separate windows open. Will TabExplorer improve your computing experience? Let’s find out!
Editor’s Note: Often, an app is interesting enough to warrant multiple, different perspectives on its functionality and usability. Last week, you read Mark’s take on TabExplorer. This week, we’re going to take another look at it!
The idea of tabbed program interfaces is far from new – it is something that has been present in web browsers and numerous other applications for many years now. It’s a great alternative to having to work with multiple window for the same program, and makes it easier to switch between documents and views than using menus.
But strangely, tabs are something that have not really made their way into Windows itself. While Internet Explorer is adorned with tabs, the same cannot be said of Windows Explorer. That is, until you install the free utility TabExplorer.
Whatever the size of your hard drive, it is amazing how quickly space can get used up. Between installing app and building up a digital music and photographic collection, the number of free gigabytes you have can quickly dwindle.
The problem of running out of hard drive space is nowhere near as prevalent as it used to be thanks to ever-increasing drive capacities, but it can still be useful to find out just how all of your storage is being used. Can Folder Size help you out? Let’s find out!