Best Free File Manager


Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
Average: 4 (118 votes)


I used "Double Commander" for several years. I liked it because it is 2 pane but also has tabs. It has a simple file renamer that I used a lot. Unfortunately, it got to a point where it crashed fairly often and I started to be concerned about possible damage to my PC. ...So I started looking for a new file manager. Your Editor's Choice "Free Commander" is the one I selected. It has every feature that "Double Commander" has and then some. In fact, it is very similar in appearance. I have to customize every file manager extensively to get them to work the way I want. "Free Commander" is no exception. My only criticism is some of the customization options are not very intuitive. I figured out how to add my own icons on the toolbars but it wasn't straight forward; however, there is some pretty good online instructions that helped. I have been very satisfied so far and no crashes yet!


I am looking for a File Manager, that can create a database of my files on all my disks. I have presently 6 NAS-systems with a total of 50TB and probably close to a million files. Two main reasons for this: To make it possible to find duplicates, and to get the exacty address of the file, like: \\NAS-07\Movies\German\HD\ in seach of af af filename or part of it, and to make an easy update of the database to remove deleted items and add new ones.

I am looking for a program to help organize my folders. They are already organized, but there are thousands of VB6 folders.
I am 75 so my memory is crap.
I am looking for a Bookmark manager where I can have a tree on the left, which I break up into Categories, and sub categories.
If any of you have rolled your sleeves up, and fully utilized Firefox's web bookmarks(Favorites), you will find it is pretty close to perfect. (I was a senior analyst in IT for 20 years, and I could not come up with a better favorite manager if my life depended on it).
If I could find something similar to organize my (file manager) folder bookmarks, I would be a very happy (old) man.
I just tried Explorer++'s Bookmarks, but it is too restrictive (difficult to create sub folders, and to correct them).
If anyone knows of a file manager that has a decent bookmark manager built in, that would be ideal.
(I assume that any standalone Bookmark manager, would be opening up Windows Explorer, which shortens my life every time I use it).


FreeCommander can do this. Just click on the "heart" shaped folder icon to the top right of one of the dual panes, and then click on "Favorites tree"

You may also try Clover. I suggest using the stable English version (v3) at Softpedia. 

The beta version (v3.3x) has a Chinese language installer even though the program is in English. 

I very much like Q-Dir but when I downloaded the latest version from the website - - that your mention links to Q-Dir came with an unwanted payload, the trojan Clavior.C!cl. Perhaps not a safe site to link to...

No images are being displayed on this page..all are broken

Thanks Av_Crazy for highlighting the issue. The broken images have now been restored.

Note that the free edition of XYplorer has been discontinued as of 10-Jan-2017.

Softpedia still has the free version available.
Here are their links -

If any of you have not tried XYPlorerFree, do yourself a favor and download it whilst it is still available.
It is a gem

FreeCommander XE is currently at version 2016.715 (a new beta version has also been released).

EF Commander older FREE version is still available from Softpedia.
All of my previous frustrations with file sharing between win XP and more recent Win OS's, have been solved by that (zippy light reliable) program.
For those having problems with file sharing between Win OS's you may care to read my post here -

PS I have the latest version of your top rated program, and just tried it to do the same router thumb drive trick, and it stuttered, stalled, nearly froze my old XP Pro PC. (mind you that was on the router test, which practically all File Managers have failed to handle on my PC)

Master Commander seems it is no longer being developed. Links are all down. Version available from other reputable download sites that I could find is version 1.1. If anyone is interested in the latest Master Commander version 1.2.787.1 feel free to contact me I have clean copy.
Personal note, if you search the web for "Master Commander 1.2.787.1" you will get a hit to many sites but the procedure to get the file might be a bit questionable most are Russian. I recommend caution, so be careful.
Disclaimer- Not all Russian sites bad or questionable.

Thanks, I've replaced the link. 

I still use, and prefer, XYPlorerFree. It is portable (No Install required), so I have a few of them, for different categories (I never run two at the same time)
However when it comes to peeping across my network, or peeping into my USB thumb drive (inserted into my router), every program I try, coughs, stutters, and often fail to 'peep'
FreeCommander XE is miles better than all the rest (of those I use) for 'peeping'

It runs fine on W10

might want to update this so that people know FreeCommander XE is not compatible with Windows 10.
I could not get it to work.

FreeCommanderXE works fine on my Windows 10 since the start.

What is suggested for 64 bit systems? Since this (Free Commander) doesn't show 64 bit applications or even all of the control panel entries, by self admission.

Dragonfly Navigator - a simple and efficient two pane file manager with job queueing:

Q-Dir all the way for quick navigation. When I need to do some advanced things like searching and multi-renaming, then either of the TotalCommander clones (FreeCommander, MultiCommander, DoubleCommander, etc etc) do the job effectively. I really like Unreal Commander, but something this review didn't mention is that when using some tools like multi-rename it forces a nag screen for a few seconds, and requires the user to prompt out of it before showing the tool. Not a huge issue, but annoying when a large portion of the time spent using the program is for renaming file/folders.

How to show Tree view in Unreal Commander ?
I downloaded it, as someone here mentioned it is faster at viewing networked folders
By default it has two panes (which I detest)
I cannot find how to get it to view in the way God (Bill Gates) intended.
Windows Explorer is mostly a pain, but they got the view correct (single pane with Tree on the left)

crombie...what you might like is explorer plus plus (++) its very much like windows explorer but tabbed if needed and easily customizable. and also very familiar. and free. been using it for years with no problems.

Earlier I was using Power Desk file manager ( free version) and it was really good. Now I do not see free version of this utility ( from Avanquest).
I happen to try and immediately fell in love with the free version of XYplorer. Truly a fabulous product. Request a review of this gem of a software. I have no doubts whatsoever that XYplorer will find its deserved place in Gizmo's list of best free file manager.


PP Chaukimath

I find XYplorer to have to absolute worst search function of any product on earth. It is a most cumbersome and confusing mess. So when I use XYplorer, I have to run WinExplorer along with it when I need to do a search. WinExplorer search is its ONLY redeemable quality and runs circles around other file managers for speed and ease of use. That's why I continue my LONG search for a file manager that is actually usable all by itself.

F3 in XyPlorerFree works pretty fast.

Appreciate the feedback [if not your weird letter about russians] but XYPlorerFree is commercial software, a trial.

There is no need to fear Scot's bearing gifts.
Here is a wee (FREE) gift for you -


My Commander:

If you're just looking for a way around Windows Explorer's fixed black and white interface [glare, boredom], i have bad news for you. NONE of the apps on this page fix that.
Nexus comes nearest: with tweaking you can get any color combo you like. The catch? No desktop link that i could find, and its help [as usual!] is online only and NON-SEARCHABLE [doh!].
But that's trivial compared to all of their common omission: none of them even touch individual folder appearances. So while you can tweak Nexus to your taste, when you click on a folder from within it, you're back to black and white Microsh*t. Sigh.
CAN ANYBODY SHARE A WAY TO MODIFY THE COLORS OF INDIVIDUAL FOLDERS? [and please, don't tell me about Themes- few offer this particular feature, and those that do... well, i've never managed to get them to actually work... the whole approach is a real mess.]

August 2015 postscript: Found one. A43 probably won't please the Power Users as it looks simpler. And its top menu bar is fixed white. But its twin panes are easily color and font customizable. That sounds simple but it's a feature most coders can't be bothered to include. Anyway- if you get sore eyes easily, A43 is probably about as eye-friendly as it gets.
There is a major cavet, probably on all these file managers. If you start globally, say with A43 and drill down to an individual folder, it'll appear in A43 [colored how you like], but if you reach an individual folder through something like RocketDock, or Launchy, or Search, you'll get the old black and white Windows Explorer window, even if A43 [or?] is still running. Less than perfect but that's Windows.