Wednesday, April 6, 2011

52 Free Alternatives to the Windows Explorer

A file manager is a computer program, supplying a user interface to the files related operations. The most common operations on files are create, open, edit, view, print, play, rename, move, copy, delete, attributes, properties, search/find, and permissions. Some file managers provide network connectivity. This is achieved either by allowing the user to browse for a server, connect to it and access the server's file system like a local file system, or by providing its own full client implementations for file server protocols.

From the very beginning, Windows had the build-in file manager. The first File Manager program bundled with releases of Microsoft Windows between 1990 and 1999. It was intended to be a single instance graphical interface, replacing the line commands of MS-DOS to manage the user's files at the time. File Manager was retired in favor of Windows Explorer with the release of Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0.

While other components of Windows have experienced multiple, mostly positive, changes, Windows Explorer functionality has left almost intact. It is so basic that the software market is full of competing freeware and shareware utilities, offering better performances and functionality to replace it. Some of the utilities are portable, and do not require installation on the Hard Drive, working successfully from USB thumb drive or slave drive.

I would lie to present a Rating List of the 52 Free File Managers that can successfully replace the lagging Windows Explorer. They all offer different sets of features and graphic user interface. Trying to find that one which better suits your needs, just make a mental inventory and list the features you would like to see in your “dream” file manager. Than review descriptions and pick one that fits your description the best. All utilities are provided with brief description, review, and downloading links.


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