[Windows] Multi Commander is feature-filled, multi-tabbed file manager — an alternative to Windows Explorer

Multi Commander is a file manager that is an alternative to the standard, default Windows Explorer. With this program users can potentially get work done faster by using advanced features compared to using Windows Explorer.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Windows Explorer is good; one cannot deny that fact. However, when it comes to doing things more effectively when exploring files on your computer, Multi Commander does the job a lot better.

Pros

  • Auto unpacking
  • Auto sorting
  • Browse inside archives
  • Workspace support
  • Multi-tabbed
  • …and a lot more

Cons

  • Dreadful user interface
  • Difficult learning curve
  • Help documentation is online, as opposed to coming with the program

Discussion

From the get go, the first thing that is notable about Multi Commander is that it is best used by those who are advanced computer users because the user interface is dreadful. As there are so many things going here, it would take users quite a lot of time to get their heads around everything before beginning to use the program effectively, and that could be a problem for some.

When the Multi Commander is launched for the first time, an option will present itself to choose a look and feel; this is called the “Quick Look n Feel Setup”. The setup consists of the “Commander Styled Look & Feel”, the “Windows Explorer Compatibility Look & Feel”, and the option to customize the whole user interface to your liking. Commander Styled Look & Feel is optimized for keyboard use. For example, F5 for copy,F2 for refresh, right mouse button for file selection, and double click right mouse button for context menu. Windows Explorer Compatibility Look & Feel is same shortcuts and mouse buttons as in Windows Explorer. For example, F2 for rename, F5 for refresh, right mouse button for context menu, and Windows Explorer styled selection.

We chose to go with the more familiar environment that is Windows Explorer Compatibility Look & Feel and found it to work out wonderfully.

Users will enjoy the vast number of formats supported by Multi Commander. Formats such as FTP, Registry, Zip, 7-Zip, Rar, Tar, GZ, Bz2, and Jar are among the few supported without the need for a third-party program. Having so many formats support means the user will feel compelled to stay within the Multi Commander environment because everything that is needed is right there.

Because Multi Commander support tabs, users can easily manage files across folders. This is a feature Windows users have been longing for but up to this day Microsoft has not taken heed to user demand. The only major operating system that has tab support built into the explorer menu is Ubuntu.

Finally, we would like to talk about extensions and plugins. There are not many plugins to enhance the program, and the ones that are there are not exactly useful. However, potential is there for success in this department if developers take it seriously.

Conclusion and download link

Multi Commander is a great alternative file manager; however, the dreadful user interface and difficult learning curve might throw off many users. For the power users who know what they are doing, Multi Commander is the perfect tool for managing many files at the same time.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.7.2

Supported OS: Windows XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008 (R2)/Windows 7/Windows 8/Server 2012

Download size: 4.9MB

Virustotal scan results: 0/43

Is it portable? Yes

Multi Commander homepage

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60 comments

  1. RobCr

    @Eric989:
    When you get old like me, you can remember things by making up little stories.
    Here is one to help you remember the Angle Brackets.
    In the old west, the brave frontiersmen were those that BOLDLY went out into the untamed areas (aka Native Americans still thought they owned the land).
    We (the less brave) could recognize the BOLD men, as they were the ones with arrows sticking out of them.
    Now if you think of the angle Brackets as Arrow Heads, and you think of the BOLD frontiersmen with arrows in them, you will never forget which brackets to use for BOLD TEXT

  2. Janet

    @Eric989:

    I tried posting directions earlier, but there was no way to do it without it showing bold INSTEAD of showing the symbols…:-)…

    Same for italic, but you put an i instead of a b in the pointed brackets. Usually you can underline by putting a u, but for some reason, this site does not recognize the underline.

  3. Eric989

    @RobCr: Thanks. Now if only I knew what an angle bracket was I would be set. I guess it is these {b}squiggly brackets{/b} that I never knew what to call.
    Remember that Ashraf has said that this can lead to moderation so I won’t try to use too much. Actually we should do this with moderation or we will end up in moderation.
    Ok apparently not. Maybe these
    Ok that worked so the less than greater than chevrons are the angle brackets then. Now I will just have to remember to write this down someplace where I will never think to look.

  4. RobCr

    Sorry to the others. Forgive me if I have one last HTML attempt to get tidy new lines
    Line 1
    Line 2
    Line 3
    Rob
    PS I placed all of the above in one continuous line of text and used angle brackets around br
    That did create the new lines that you see above. Unfortunately it also added empty blank lines.
    Anyone proficient in HTML got any suggestions as to how I could just type a long continuous line of text, and sprinkle angle bracket instructions (HTML) to force line breaks, without copping the empty blank lines as well ?
    I tried cr and lf and crlf within angle brackets. They get read and ignored, and do not appear.

  5. RobCr

    @Eric989:
    Just woke up.
    I wonder whether this will look BOLD
    If it does, It is because I placed angle brackets around b
    And at the end of the words I place angle brackets around /b
    Rob
    PS That appears to work. It is HTML code .
    My HTML is pretty rusty, and it never was very shiny.
    I had tried some HTML a couple of days ago, to see if I could use it to solve my empty blank line problem. Did not help, but that could have been the rust ?

  6. Eric989

    @Ashraf: Or the aliens invading people’s minds issue?
    Briefly, RobCr does not like it that there is no way to start a new line without a blank line appearing in between. For example, it looks somewhat awkward when making a list.
    Item 1
    item 2
    In a somewhat related issue, I am wondering how some people get bold text into their comments. I am not particularly interested in doing it, it just bothers me that I don’t know how. I am guessing that they are pasting in comments from a word processor or something.

  7. RobCr

    @Eric989:
    Did you try copying it from Notepad back into the DotTech page ? I think the empty inbetween lines return again. All of this was typed in Notepad, and had no blank lines between the three following lines –
    Line 1 (Should be no blank lines)
    Line 2 (Should be no blank lines)
    Line 3 (Should be no blank lines)

  8. Janet

    @Eric989:

    WIndows Explorer is my default file manager. (I only use XYplorer when I want dual panes.)

    Manual arrangement on XYplorer does seem to interfere with dragging to another program.

    The manual order was maintained if I opened a file in Irfanview and clicked the arrows in the tool bar to go through the folder. But it was not maintained if I opened Irfanview and navigated to the folder.

  9. Eric989

    @Janet: It’s still not working for me even with irfanview. Maybe you have XyPlorer set as your default file manager? Or maybe it is that I am using the portable version of both programs. The manual sort thing isn’t helpful because it isn’t persistent and it interferes with drag and drop into other programs.

  10. Janet

    @Eric989:
    ” I have yet to get the sort order passed on to another program. Both Xnview and Windows picture viewer ignore it and default to alphabetical for me.”

    For what it’s worth, sort order does get passed on to Irfanview, which is my default viewer (so that’s what I tested it on).

  11. RobCr

    @FredySmith:
    When I was Googling yesterday, I came across a couple of pages saying there was a command line switch that can be used when opening Windows Explorer. I assume that one could build it into the shortcut that you use to open Windows Explorer. I cannot readily find it now. When Googling for it be aware that the comments on those couple of pages were saying it is a little known command, and it hardly gets a mention in Google searches that they had done.

    Notice that I have resisted my ‘new line’ habits based on ERIC’s ADVICE.
    As Cher would say to me “Snap out of it”.
    Thanks Eric, I thought aliens were fooling with my mind.

  12. Eric989

    @Janet: Yes, I know it has panes. You are the third person to point that out. But you must admit that that option is hidden. It is not like it is front and center on the menu bar. Oh wait, it is! LOL
    I have tried the manual sort option in XyPlorer and just retried it. It lets me drag the files around but this is not persistent. When I reopen it, the files are moved back to their natural sort position and I have yet to get the sort order passed on to another program. Both Xnview and Windows picture viewer ignore it and default to alphabetical for me.
    As to your point to Vames about not featuring a tabbed only file manager unless there is something special about it. That is exactly how I feel about Cubic Explorer. It only has tabs for now and is not the most powerful with 5 million options but for me it is the most intuitive. Almost everything is where I want it and the things I use are easily accessible. It isn’t cluttered, either. It is not perfect for everyone but it just matches how I think.
    @RobCr: As far as I can tell nothing is wrong with your keyboard. There just isn’t a way to start a new line without the blank line appearing. For example, I will try to make a list below without blank lines and I will fail.
    List item 1
    List item 2
    List item 3
    See I failed miserably. You just have a different writing style than the rest of us and use very short paragraphs and list out each idea separately. It looks fine to me.
    @Everybody 44 comments. That’s the most I have seen on Dottech in a long time.

  13. FredySmith

    Just attempted to edit my last post but it timed out. Just wanted to add that the topic of ‘verification’, I read that DOS had a command to have Verify ON/OFF. I’m wondering why Windows XP or later does not have that option.

  14. FredySmith

    @RobCr: No, I quite like TeraCopy & have found it stable & never failed to perform its functions. That said, I just thought a File Manager that had the ability to automatically perform a verification of the copy & inform me that no errors occurred, as TeraCopy does, would perhaps be even better. I have ticked in the Shell Integration in TeraCopy preferences (found under the Menu tab) so that it is the default copy handler and did not realize I could use it as you have described with XYplorer. Thanks for that. One trap with the default setting of TeraCopy is that under “Always Ask” at top right 255 Character Limit is ticked. I have removed the tick so that any length file/folder name can be processed.

    @Eric989: Yes, I’ve used FastCopy. Once, I discovered it had copied all the folders and text files but not the exe or zip files. I must admit I was having a lot of problems with my PC at the time so maybe I’m wrong in blaming FastCopy for the failure. Luckily I had used RichCopy to do the same backup and that did work. I even did some speed tests comparing FastCopy & TeraCopy and FastCopy easily won. However as TeraCopy provides more information on-screen I prefer that.

    Thanks for all that input.

  15. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Eric989: What I mean is simply picking the most popular app in a category, e.g. reviewing VLC instead of another video player. It isn’t an exact science. It is more feeling than anything. I have no qualms with reviewing other file managers and we in fact will — the suggestions you and others have provided are great and I’ve added them to my list.

  16. Janet

    @Vames:

    “Bare in mind, not every one are using these superior apps you are so accustomed to.”

    Pretty much all the Windows-related apps, computer maintenance apps, and computer aids apps I use are ones that I got from dotTech reviews (and GAOTD). A LOT of us are using the same programs because we follow dotTech and GAOTD and study the reviews. I think that is why many people often ask how a new program offer compares to earlier-reviewed programs

    So for me (and a lot of dotTechers), a ‘popular’ program is what a lot of dotTech readers are using as a result of the reviews and comments.

    For example, if a file-manager earlier reviewed on dotTech has multi-panes AND multi-tabs, I would question the value of publishing a review of a file-manager which had ONLY multi-panes or ONLY multi-tabs OR NEITHER, unless it had some other redeeming factor which would make a dotTecher using the earlier program want to switch over.

    This has nothing to do with subjective needs: a program that has A and B and C is good for people who need A, AND for people who need B, AND for people who need C. A program that does not have all/any of these functions can reasonably be considered ‘less good’…:-)…

  17. RobCr

    @Eric989:
    After I installed TeraCopy, I went into XYPlorerFree.
    I selected some files, and then right clicked.
    There is an entry for TeraCopy, which I clicked.
    A small Dialog appears, with a browse button to allow me to point to the Target folder.
    It then does the copy, and the dialog disappears.
    I presume it verified ?
    I assume someone will knock on my door soon, and tell me how to do a Move (instead of a Copy)

    Rob
    PS I am typing this directly into this web page.
    I wonder whether my wireless keyboard doesn’t Send a normal Enter key instruction ?
    PPS It looks normal in the comment box when I am typing.
    And it looks normal, if I go to the Edit box (during the 9 minute count down).

  18. Eric989

    @FredySmith: Yeah you can either go with backup operations or custom copy operations. Unfortunately Bitsdujour just sold XyPlorer for half off or something so it will probably be a while for another deal like that to come along.
    Have you tried Fastcopy that I mentioned earlier? It might be easier than Teracopy. I never tried Teracopy but I have heard it is not the easiest to use or at least it is hard to learn.
    @RobCr: I am typing this comment into EditPad Lite to see if I can replicate your spacing problems, so we will see how it turns out.

  19. RobCr

    Had a browse in XYPlorerFree, and could not see any verify capability.
    .
    I just installed TeraCopy.
    Fredy, you mentioned that you have it.
    What is the problem with it ?
    Are you looking for similar, but integrated into a File Manager ?

    Rob
    PS I am still getting all those blank empty lines.
    Anyone got suggestions how I can avoid that ?

  20. FredySmith

    Just had a look at XYPlorer. It does have dual pane option and can verify file copy (it calls it “Backup Operation”. It appears a bit more complex than the average file manager, at least to me anyway. It has many customization features that will take a while to go through. I’m certainly considering purchasing it if there are no similar programs for free.

  21. Eric989

    @FredySmith: On second look the free version of XyPlorer does not seem to have the verification function that you wanted. It is set up much different than the current trial version so maybe I can’t find it. RobCr has provided a functioning link to the free version if it does work.
    http://www.portablefreeware.com/download.php?dd=579
    @RobCr: Do you know how to enable the file verification for copying in the free version of XYPlorer or is that functionality not present in that older version. All I know is that the configuration menu is set up completely different.

  22. RobCr

    If you look at post 15 on this page, you will find a description of, and a link to XYPlorerFree –
    http://dottech.org/29082/windows-software-of-the-day-march-24-2012/
    .
    I have been ‘pushing it’ on many DotTech pages.
    Here is a longer description on one of the other DotTech pages.
    (I won’t post a 2nd link, as we have not been told “how many links trigger a moderation delay”)
    .
    How would you like a program that is so good that you will never use Windows Explorer again ?
    And has a built in search capability, that searches the contents of files, AND DOES NOT BUILD AN INDEX

    There was an older version of XYPlorer which was free and was called XYPlorerFree
    IT DOES NOT REQUIRE INSTALLING, it just runs.
    It is free.
    You can change the font and size.
    You can change the colors (eg I have the whole selected line in a special color).
    It has Tabs.
    I have a Tab locked to a Folder called Downloads.
    All my downloads go into that folder.
    I have it(just that Tab) sorted by Date, so most recent are at the top.
    So say I was on a web page, describing a program.
    I can save the web page, and then click the download link.
    Later when I go to that Tab, the two files will be adjacent to each other, and I can move them to where I choose.
    And if you had the focus (in your normal tab), on the folder where you wish to move them, you can just drag them to the normal folder’s Tab.

    For searches –
    – IT DOES NOT BUILD A PRE-INDEX (I hate indexing).
    – It is very fast.
    When you wish to do a search, you press F12
    A panel appears at the bottom, defaulting to where you had the focus in the File Manger.
    You set the file names eg *.txt
    You set the contained words you are looking for, and start the search. It is a much simpler interface than the Windows one.
    You can filter on lots of other criteria.
    Press F12 to close the Search panel.

  23. Eric989

    @FredySmith: Xyplorer can do this but it is tabbed and not multipane as far as I can tell. Unfortunately it is not free. There was a free version but it has been discontinued and is hard to find online. I have a copy on my computer that I can upload if need be.
    In Xyplorer this option is under tools-file operatiions-custom copy operations. Be sure to check everything you need to because the default is to definitely not do this.
    Another option is to use fast copy. It is not a file manager but you can drag and drop stuff into it. You could also try FBackup but this is a pretty roundabout and tedious way of doing it.
    You could just simply use a checksum utility like nirsofts hashmyfiles. You would drag and drop your files into HMF and then drag and drop them out of HMF into the folder you wish. They will then be copied to that folder and still be highlighted. Then just drag and drop them from the new location back into HMF. Now make sure the identical column is showing and sort by that. If anything doesn’t have a number in this column then there are no duplicates and the file did not copy right. Identical files will have numbers and there should be 2 of each number. This is very easy to see and do. To speed it up make sure you only have the hash type you want selected like md5 as the default is to do several and slow things down.
    Besides this you can just go through help files of file managers and search for stuff like verify and verification. That is how I found that xyplorer did it.
    Hope this helps. Let me know if you need me to upload the free versio of xyplorer to a site like billionuploads or something.

  24. FredySmith

    @RobCr:

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I’m currently using XP. I think I’ve read somewhere about what you are saying. However, I’m guessing that it won’t display a message showing the CRC values of the source and target thus confirming they are the same. I want a Multi-pane file manager that will show that information, even if after the copy I have to click a tab that says “Verify” copy.

  25. RobCr

    @FredySmith:
    There is a feature in Windows (certainly in XP) called ‘Delayed write’
    As usual the MS setting for this is the opposite of what it should be.
    There is a property for each drive called –
    Enable write caching on this disk.
    It is difficult to get to, so let me know if you are using XP, and if you wish directions.
    It will be ticked, and should be unticked.

    I was a qualified Chartered Accountant and Auditor.
    Then I was in IT for 20 years as a Business / Systems Analyst.
    My first 4 years in IT was in a large Bank, in Quality Assurance.
    I was the main reviewer in that team, and no program or hardware changes were allowed without our approval.
    If Bill Gates had invented Windows and worked for our bank, there would be quite a few things he would have had to change before getting permission to release Windows.
    All the crap(complexity) that is built in to make things appear to be fast, etc, would have been rejected.
    One of those is ‘write caching’
    What that does is show the file moving dialog for a wee while, and then tell you it is finished, WHEN IT HAS NOT FINISHED.
    It is then quietly completing the move unseen by you.

    Untick that write caching checkbox to prevent that BS.

  26. FredySmith

    I’ve tested a lot of these alternatives to Windows Explorer. The main use I have for it is to copy files from one folder to another. However none of them seem to have a verification option so you can see that the copy was performed without error. I always seem to revert back to opening two Windows Explorer, one for the the source and one for the target folders and I’ve got Teracopy installed so that it performs the copy process and verifies that no errors have occurred.

    Does anyone know of one of these multi-pane alternatives to Windows Explorer that does what Teracopy does? I think I did come across one that claimed to verify the copy but it didn’t display anything on-sceen, so I felt uncomfortable trusting it.

  27. Eric989

    @Ashraf: I’m not exactly sure how you draw the line between a popular app and a relatively unknown app. An app could have been downloaded a million times and still be relatively unknown. For example a search for “video” on Softpedia reveals that SopCast has been downloaded 3.5 million times, yet I bet there are more than a few Dottechies that don’t know what it is. I would describe most of the software on my computer as either relatively unknown or obscure. I would define very few apps as poplular.
    I don’t think we should shy away from too many apps as at least 25% of us will not know about most any program that is reviewed. We may have heard of it but not know enough about it to try it out. That’s how I feel anyway.

  28. Eric989

    @Jim Carter: CubicExplorer does have a portable version. It is on the main download page.
    http://www.cubicreality.com/ce/download/
    The developer is working on dual panes as well but it is taking him longer than expected.
    @RobCr: Panes have their value as well. Whenever I am doing a lot of file moving there is no replacement for panes as tabs can be a bit fidgety as to how long you have to hover for the file to be moved. This is what I use Q-dir and its 4 panes for. It is just easier to aim at a pane than a tab. Also I can memorize which pane is which without looking, whereas I have to always look at the names of the tabs. I also use tabs within panes. For example, each tab is a subfolder of the pane.
    @Everybody
    There are a couple of things Windows Explorer can do that no other file manager can. First it can manually sort files by drag and drop and typically remember their position. I mean files can be sorted in any custom order you want, not just by date or size or name.
    Secondly it can pass this custom sort order on to other programs like image viewers. Open an image from within another file manager and going to the next image within the viewer will always default to alphabetical and will ignore that you have them sorted by date or whatever.
    Does anybody know of a file manager than can handle either of these two things?

  29. Janet

    @Ashraf:

    I never said it was not to my liking or not a good app!!! :-) I know nothing of it whatsoever other than what I learned from the article! The article convinced me that it had no advantages over already familiar similar apps…:-)….As I said, according to the article, it did not seem to have any special functions that other apps don’t have. If you add to this cons that our present apps do not have, it seems less useful than reviews of well-designed apps which offer new or improved features over what most of us have been using.

    I have installed and use MANY apps as a result of dotTech reviews. All I’m saying is: since most dottech-ers have SO many programs installed, they probably tend (like me) to try out only the ones that clearly offer new or improved features.

    I certainly did not mean to “complain”. I was simply making a suggestion about what I believe dottechers are looking for. I will refrain from making suggestions in the future.

    In any case, I enjoy reading ALL the reviews…:-)…

  30. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Vames: Exactly. What may be superior to you may not be superior for someone else. It is all about choice. It isn’t logical to expect that every single soft we review is useful for you.

    If you are using something better than what we are reviewing, please do share — we will surely look into it. You know, like what Eric does. Simply complaining does no one any good.

  31. Vames
    Author/

    @Janet: So you think we should only review apps that are superior compared to similar ones you and other are using? I do not agree with that sentiment at all. Bare in mind, not every one are using these superior apps you are so accustomed to.

  32. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Janet: Just because it isn’t to your liking does not mean Multi Commander is not a good app. The various functionality, as pointed out in the article, is what makes Multi Commander good — it just has a poor interface.

  33. Janet

    @Ashraf:

    I never ever suggested picking popular apps…:-)…! I think dottechers are looking for unknown GOOD apps (that’s why so many people love Giovonni). Particularly appreciated are articles which compare the new suggestions to the more popular apps (which we are probably using). If Multi Commander fits that category, it is by all means appropriate. According to the article, Multi Commander did not seem to have any functions I don’t already have (I use Windows Explorer and XPlorer), and the article clearly called attention to significant deficiencies. We’ve had a number of articles lately on apps that are presented as inferior to known apps, without redeeming features.

    My favorite articles were the ones where you used to rave about great apps in detail, pointing out how they were an improvement over the apps we were accustomed to using.

  34. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Janet: What Vames means is we can’t simply cherry pick the most popular apps and review them; that doesn’t help anyone. We try to find relatively unknown or unpopular apps so as to give users a choice. While you may be turned off by the bad UI of Multi Commander, other people may find the program useful.

  35. Frank D

    Thank you Ashraf. If I had not already been using (the free version of) xyPlorer, I might be tempted to try this one. However, going by the two illustrations shown, it appears that MultiCommander doesn’t show the size of folders, which I find very important, whereas xyPlorer does. Sorry, but I need to see folder sizes, something Windows 7 does not inherently do or allow (e.g., via add-ons). And as for tabs, I could not imagine trying to move or copy files from tab to tab, because you can see the contents of only one tab at a time. I need to see both the “from” and “to” panes at the same time to feel comfortable doing these operations.

  36. Paul D

    Here’s yet another one – xplorer². I’ve been using this since Windows 95 and wouldn’t ever consider changing. Dual Pane, multiple tabs, open as last closed (very useful when a reboot is required), multiple instances, folder comparisons and much, much more. (NB. Tabs AND Panes)

    @RobCr. I’m with Janet. If you can’t find uses for copy/move between panes you’re limited by your imagination, not by your software. I simply couldn’t get by without it. Some of the comments in your post are downright offensive.

    I use the paid version, but the Lite (free) version has all the basics.

    http://zabkat.com/

    @Ashraf. Windows Explorer is good. Seriously!

  37. Janet

    @RobCr:

    You acknowledged that “Panes…allowed users to view two folders at once, and readily move files between them.” I do this many times a day. Consequently would not be interested in moving to an explorer that could not do that…:-)…! Do you really want to commit to maintaining that moving files between two viewed folders is not a reasonable thing to do???

    Also good simply for comparing. Up till then, you had to open two Explorers.

  38. RobCr

    Panes were invented back in the dark ages (aka before Tabs).
    It allowed users to view two folders at once, and readily move files between them.
    I never had the need for that, but I will concede that SOME others have such a need.
    .
    Then the dark ages, were driven away by the invention of Tabs.
    Those that cling on to panes, refuse to change their habits, and use Tabs instead.
    In another thread, I mentioned that I will tell God to get rid of Rock, Rap, and Facebook lovers.
    If those diehards that keep using panes, don’t mend their ways, I will add them to the groups (for removal by God).

    Rob
    PS XYPlorer is the best Tabbed File Manager.
    I have raved about it many times (in DotTech), and also provided links to the earlier (but still great) free version (XYPlorerFree).

  39. Jim Carter

    @kelltic: CubicExplorer was a new one on me too. The interface looks very nice and it is actively developed, but I don’t like tabs. My experience with dual panes runs too deep to switch now. I wish Cubic had a portable version like Multi Commander.

  40. Jim Carter

    This program is definitely geared toward the power user. Over the years I’ve purchased a program called PowerDesk which gets a bit pricey for multiple PCs. Multi Commander is the best alternative I’ve found to PowerDesk–especially since I require a dual pane file explorer. I wouldn’t call the interface dreadful. However; I would say that it is complex–which is the price you pay for advanced functionality. Please note that you can customize Multi Commander to death. I’ve managed to tweak it until it looks almost exactly like PowerDesk! Given the fact I’ve had consistent crashes/odd behavior from PowerDesk over several versions, I’ll be using Multi Commander in the future. The developer is very active in correcting bugs and adding features which is always a plus!

  41. kelltic

    Nice review of what, for me, is a new file manager. I never heard of Multi Commander before today. Haha. Imagine that!! Never heard of the one Eric989 mentioned, Cubic Explorer, either.

    Some people never open Explorer. Yes. That’s true. Believe it or not. Otherwise you wouldn’t see all those questions that begin, “Where can I find . . .” If it isn’t on the desktop, they just don’t know what to do. And, did you ever notice that no one answers with, “Run a search.” No, they give the path where the file should be located.

    Some of us dig around in Explorer – or one of its replacement apps – all the time. This app doesn’t look that complicated to me, and I promise you, I am not a techie person – at all. The biggest turn-off is the online Help. I love a good help file and I hate that, more and more, the help documentation is only available online.

    I was disappointed with what was done to Explorer in Win7. (Libraries are, IMHO, a horror.) It made me appreciate earlier versions of Explorer. However, I do use two other (payfor) file managers, XYPlorer and Xplorer2 on both my systems.

  42. incenseman

    This is very similar to Total commander or windows commander. Yes for someone who is a beginner with windows it may seem like many features are things unfamiliar.

    Each new version of windows has less and less control of the system. This program allows one to take back many,many features that were built in older windows programs.

    This program will unpack files to any directory with ease, move files to any directory (folder) with ease, FTP with a drag and drop, internal picture viewer and thum nail viewer, MP3 tools, movie tools, opens API to create plugins, multi Rename for files (quickly rename all those number files that come from your camera), browse archives, delete files inside archives, and dozens more features that allow one to take back control of windows that has been programed out of newer releases.

    An excellent tool to learn how much REAL control one may have all in one program or a must have for any novice or advanced windows user. Also an invaluable tool if you mange your own web site…..

  43. Janet

    With SO many similar programs out there, it seems strange that dotTech would do a review of one that has a “dreadful user interface and difficult learning curve”…:-)….Seems better to put the effort into (highly) recommended programs, no…?

  44. Eric989

    My all time favorite file manager is Cubic Explorer. It may not be the most powerful but its user interface is by far the easiest to use at least for me. Everything is where I want it. Its bookmark management is very good and easily accessible. It can even save complete layouts as sessions. It has very easy to use file filtering to exclude or include only the types of files you want, and its most useful features are easily accessible and not hidden in a menu somewhere. Also, I like the way it handles file extensions in that you can easily choose to edit just the file name or also edit the extension. It is also portable.
    Some downsides to Cubic Explorer are that it has only one pane for browsing but it does have multiple tabs. It is not the quickest at browsing networked drives. It has a bug that keeps you from right clicking in the address bar unless you go to the far right. It is still being developed but this development is very slow.
    http://www.cubicreality.com/ce/
    Another option is Qdir which is very actively developed. It has up to four panes and these can be saved in sessions either within the program or as desktop items. It is also an extremely light weight application at only 450kb. It has a portable version available.
    http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=Freeware/Q-Dir