4 Apps That Will Make You Break Up With Your Built-In File Explorer

Keeping your folders and files organized is important. Typically, Finder (macOS) and File Explorer (Windows) are responsible for helping with organizing and keeping the files in order. However, if there is something about these default, native tools that you don’t like, you can look for other options. There are many third-party file management tools that you can consider, which will make you ditch the in-built file explorer of your system. Take a look below.

macOS file manager alternatives for Finder

  • Path Finder

The most complex part of hard drives is browsing, and Path Finder simplifies this process. The tool uses incredible features like Drop Stack (which lets users collect documents temporarily before deciding what they want to do with them), a comparison tool for quickly detecting duplicates, and supporting hidden files.

While your iPhone is connected to your Mac system, the tool can browse through your phone.

Basic tasks like accessing recent folders and files or editing permissions are more intuitive than in Finder. Moreover, the program offers users the option of perusing their system in a dual-pane view, and there are myriad customizable options available if you want to change the layout.

If you seek a third-party file manager for your Mac system, you can download and use Path Finder. The app comes with a thirty-day trial period.

  • ForkLift

ForkLift is another amazing file management tool that meets the standard criteria for any file explorer application. The program features an intuitive interface, and it is sleek. Moreover, the dual-pane layout of the program makes it easier to get around your Mac. In addition, you can personalize each pane to display what you want to see.

Users can easily manipulate and preview files, and you can reach features like favoriting and tagging without any fuss.

ForkLift is connected to FTP servers, network drives, and local disks. Moreover, power users will appreciate tools like smart Dropbox integration, file comparison, etc. The program is fully customizable to suit your specific needs, and users can set up their custom toolbars. You can also create keyboard shortcuts to enhance your productivity.

Windows file manager alternatives to File Explorer

  • Total Commander

Formerly known as File Commander, Total Commander has been one of the widely used file management tools for more than 25 years. The program isn’t flashy, and it uses a classic design showcasing two vertical panels. With each update, modern additions are introduced, like native Windows 10 features and support for cloud storage services.

The program is an excellent choice when you need to transfer huge files. The background process manager of the app allows you to check the progress of your file transfer, and you can even set a speed limit to the transfer and pause or resume transfers.

The program’s interface isn’t cluttered, and that facilitates fast navigation. In addition, the app offers keyboard shortcuts that you can personalize. There’s also an in-built file archiving tool for extracting and creating archives in the most standard formats.

You can even expand Total Command through plugins. In addition, there are plenty of optional features included in the app, such as the ability to search for text strings within PDF documents, sort pictures by size, or edit music metadata without the need to open other applications.

The program is distributed as shareware, and Windows users can try it for free. However, you need to buy a license after thirty days if you wish to continue using it.

  • Xplorer²

Xplorer² is another incredibly useful file management tool, and it is available in two versions. There’s the general use Professional edition for regular users and the Ultimate edition for power users. You can try both versions free for twenty-one days.

The program is modern-looking, and users can pick from a traditional menu bar or ribbon-style interface. In addition, the app is packed with fantastic features that users didn’t even know they needed. For example, it includes the ability to select multiple files at once without any risk of de-selecting them accidentally by clicking elsewhere. The feature is called sticky selection. There’s also the option of color-coding files so you can instantly identify them at a glance. The app even allows quick identification of duplicate files.

The program’s default layout is a pair of horizontal panes that features a traditional Explorer-style tree. The layout can be customized, and there are multiple tabs to help keep things organized. However, vertical panels would seem more appropriate if you want to transfer files.

The Professional edition is perfect for home users, while the Ultimate edition is more business-oriented.


So, when you are on the lookout for third-party file management tools to use instead of the built-in file explorer of your Windows or Mac system, you can consider the programs mentioned above. These programs are used widely and quite popular among home and business users.