PowerDesk powers up with release 5

Loyal fans of PowerDesk have waited more than two years for an update, and Ontrack Data International is finally answering the call, releasing PowerDesk Pro 5 this week with improvements that continue to justify use of a third-party file manager.

PowerDesk Pro 5 is available now as a download for US$30. A free, feature-limited version is in development and should be available on the Ontrack site in about a month.

With the lag between updates, this once great file manager had fallen behind the times. Microsoft Corp. added .zip file support to Windows Explorer in the meantime, usurping an original PowerDesk feature. Explorer also supports thumbnail views, which was not a part of earlier versions of PowerDesk. But with the newly released PowerDesk Pro 5, this program enters the 21st century.

New views

PowerDesk has finally combined two of its most important--and once innovative--features: good file search capability and .zip file support. It didn't make sense that a program that could search for files by content and could also compress and decompress .zip files could not search the compressed files within the .zip files. When PowerDesk Pro 5 lists the files it has found, those within .zip files show up in blue.

Ontrack has improved searches in other ways. You now have the option to search by file type, with some file types offering their own unique search criteria. For instance, you can search .mp3 files by artist, title, or genre.

And once you find the MP3s you're looking for, you can program them. A separate application, Playlist Editor, lets you create and edit standard MP3 playlists, which can be played on most hardware and software MP3 players.

PowerDesk Pro 5 offers thumbnail viewing, showing you a small view of every picture file (other files appear as icons floating in white space). Thumbnails are an absolute must for organizing photos.

But what about organizing files that don't offer pictures or sound? PowerDesk Pro 5 provides such tools as well. Hover your mouse pointer over a file, and up pops such information as the file's size and various dates. It's like having the advantages of Explorer's Details view without the ugliness. The information includes PowerDesk's own Notes, which are editable descriptions you can add to files. You can even change a folder's icon color if that will help you keep organized.

Configuration options

Besides being available as a download, PowerDesk Pro 5 can be ordered for snail-mail delivery from Ontrack for the same $30 price, plus $3 for postage and handling.

Unfortunately, Ontrack's SystemSuite program, which comes bundled with PowerDesk Pro 4, will continue to come bundled with PowerDesk Pro 4. Ontrack does not plan to change that bundle. SystemSuite users, like everyone else who has bought PowerDesk Pro 4, can upgrade to version 5 for $20.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?