A FREE and PORTABLE alternative to Microsoft Windows Explorer

Today I am going to show you an alternative application to using the Windows Explorer file manager, called FreeCommander, that lets you quickly and easily manage your files. Before I do that, I know that there are users out there that may not know what the Windows Explorer file manager is.

Windows Explorer is a file manager application that is included with releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 95 onwards. It provides a graphical user interface for accessing the file systems. It is also the component of the operating system that presents the user interface on the monitor and enables the user to control the computer. It is sometimes referred to as the Windows Shell, or simply “Explorer”.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

Windows Explorer is an OK file manager; however, anyone that has ever used a true file manager knows that Windows Explorer is lacking in many areas. The powerhouse file managers of the past, often called “Orthodox” file managers, featured 2 pane windows and a command-line that allowed the user to perform numerous file management tasks with ease.


FreeCommander, a modern version to the orthodox file manager type, is one of those powerhouse file managers that can be installed on your PC or run from your flash drive. I currently have FreeCommander installed on my flash drive and use it when I am working on other PC’s. It is one of those apps that once you start using it you can’t put it down.


There are too many features to mention in this article, but The main features to FreeCommander are:

Dual-panel technology - horizontal and vertical

Tabbed interface

Optional tree view for each panel

Built in file viewer to view files in hex, binary, text or image format

File viewer inside archives too

Built in archive handling: ZIP (read, write), CAB (read, write), RAR (read)

Nested archive handling

Built in FTP client

Easy access to system folders, control panel, desktop and start menu

Copy, move, delete, rename files and folders

Multi rename tool

Wipe files

Create and verify MD5 checksums

File splitting

File properties and context menu

Calculation of folder size

Folder comparison / synchronization

Modification of file date and attributes

Folder / program favorites

File searching (inside archive too)

File filters for display

User defined columns for detailed view

DOS command line

Multiple language support


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11 thoughts on “A FREE and PORTABLE alternative to Microsoft Windows Explorer

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  1. Was just poking this one today while cleaning up installs folder.

    Nice one, but like many modern dual-pane file managers it behaves bit too much like Explorer for my taste. There are options to mimic NC-style and such but they seem like afterthought.


  2. @Rick

    You mean other classic file managers? 🙂 I can name Volkov Commander and Dos Navigator (that one was less known but seriously powerful) right away. Can probably remember few more if I try.


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