Windows Explorer explained: Choosing a replacement

Not happy with what Microsoft's file manager is bringing to the table? Here are some vastly superior alternatives.

For the past week-plus I've taught you a few basic things about Windows Explorer. It's a pretty important tool, and I hope you've found the lessons helpful.

That said, let's conclude by giving Explorer the heave-ho. Because, quite frankly, there are better file managers out there.

If you've got money to burn, look no further than Directory Opus (available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions). As PC World's Ian Harac wrote just a few months ago, it's the "Swiss army chainsaw of Windows Explorer replacements." It's also $83, which is more than I'd ever spend on a file manager (unless it came with, say, Jessica Alba).

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there's Windows Double Explorer. As its name suggests, Double Explorer employs a dual-pane interface, which you can view stacked or side by side. Within each pane you can create multiple tabs representing different folders on your hard drive. And you can drag any folders to the Favorites toolbar for fast, easy access to them in the future.

The learning curve's a bit steep, however (as it is with many file managers). If you want to check out some other freebies, I recommend MakeUseOf's 5 Good Free Windows File Managers.

If you've already tried some Windows Explorer replacements, let me know which one(s) you like best!

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags operating systemssoftwareWindows

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

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?