[Windows] Manage your files with CubicExplorer, another Windows Explorer replacement file manager

With higher capacity hard disk drives becoming a norm, the increasing number of files on a system is slowly making Windows Explorer annoying to use due to only basic functionality. Thankfully, there are a number of file managers available that are far better than Windows Explorer. CubicExplorer is one of them.


Main Functionality

CubicExplorer is a free and portable file manager and browser which can easily replace Windows Explorer as a preferred file browser and comes with a number of good features including the ability for tabbed browsing.


  • Performs a fairly fast and accurate file search
  • Tabbed browser
  • Portable
  • Built-in text editor compatible with Notepad
  • Quickview feature allows instant preview of both images and text documents needing to open the file
  • …and more


  • No help file to speak of
  • Does not render video files
  • Text editor not compatible with MS Word
  • Only has one pane, as opposed to the multiple panes provided by other file managers


CubicExplorer is a useful program that improves on Windows Explorer and is portable, allowing you to use it wherever you go. The program comes with a number of useful features including tabbed browsing, which allows users to jump from one location to another instead of repeating their process or pressing back and forward buttons. Bread Navigation is another way one can keep track of their steps, especially when searching for folders within folder.

Another useful feature is the Quickview section that allows you to preview images or audio files without the need to open them. Quickview also makes use of the in-built text editor to display and edit the contents of a Notepad file.

While the text editor is compatible with Notepad, one would have liked it to also provide a preview of Word documents. You can open file locations that you visit regularly by using the Bookmarks dropdown menu, a feature that is similar to restoring previous sessions in internet browsers.

Conclusion and Download Link

CubicExplorer is a fairly useful program to have for those who often have to rely on Windows Explorer. However the lack of any help file explaining various features means that first time users will have to tinker around to get to know the program.

Price: Free

Version Reviewed: v0.95.1

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7

Download Size: 3.4MB (Portable)

VirusTotal Malware Scan Results: 0/43

Portability: Portable

CubicExplorer download page

[Thanks Eric989!]

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  • cpusrvc

    @SilenceIsGolden: If you spend a lot of time in your file manager, I consider the best program to be XYplorer which has been around for years. Although I almost NEVER pay for a program, I wanted to pay for it because it is incredible (lifetime license). CubicExplorer is very good and quite similar (appears to have copied the interface), but XYplorer is like CE on steroids. It has custom scripting to do repetitive functions, an active user community where you can download a lot of useful scripts, a responsive author who is constantly upgrading the program, the interface is stable (CE’s panels are unstable & hard to configure, and the author says so in his forums), has a logical configuration system, can integrate a high-speed file copy program, dual pane with tabs in each (great for copying from one folder to another), batch rename with multiple filtering methods, can preview almost any file type, and more. For those who have a need for the best, http://xyplorer.com (I am not affiliated with the company, just a fan)

  • Eric989

    @SilenceIsGolden: You can probably find something better than FreeCommander. I keep a text file on my computer with extremely short reviews of software I have tried so I can remember to not redownload it and try again. I try to keep a tiny bit of detail about the positives and negatives of the program. I looked up Freecommander in this text file and all it said was “don’t like” which makes it one of my lowest scoring ones if I did not bother to write any more than that about it.

  • Ashraf
  • SilenceIsGolden

    Sorry, but my mind was stuck on this and suddenly popped out the appropriate word: “insufficient.” I believe that would’ve been a good word to replace “obsolete.” (I just thought I share it in case there are other word obsessed people around…)

  • SilenceIsGolden

    I see. Hm. “Annoyed” is not nearly as special as “obsolete.” Hoped I could expand my vocabulary.

    What do you think about replacing reviews for single software with comparison reviews? Once I read the cons for this one, I didn’t even bother reading the rest but am left wondering now if I’m missing out on some other Explorer replacement or if I should stick with FreeCommander.

  • Ashraf

    @Eric989: Thank you for suggesting it.
    @SilenceIsGolden: I believe Vinay was not knocking the ability to look and find those files but rather how Windows Explorer is limited in functionality when compared to third-party file managers.

  • SilenceIsGolden

    “With higher capacity hard disk drives becoming a norm, the increasing number of files on a system is slowly making the Windows Explorer obsolete.”

    Vinay, I believe you wanted to pick a different word than “obsolete” (but which one?) — it doesn’t make sense. You point out the increase in files based on the increase in HD size, yet you say that a way to look and find those files is no longer needed (= obsolete)? I’m curious what word you really meant to use here. (That’s serious, not sarcasm.)

  • Eric989

    To me this is the easiest file manager to use. Its user interface is very clean and not cluttered. Bookmarks to favorite folders are easily visible in the side panel. Very quick and easy to filter files by extension. It can also save sessions of your favorite configurations of tabs. Most of your most commonly used functions are easily visible and not hidden in a submenu.
    Thanks Vinay for featuring this program.