[Windows] XYplorer is a fast, portable, and tabbed file manager

XYPlorerIf you are like me, you love the idea of having a tabbed file manager for your Windows OS. This makes searching, moving, copying and doing work in general on any Windows platform easier. However, finding a great tabbed file manager for Windows is not easy. That is where XYplorer comes in. Now the question is, is it worth the money?


Main Functionality

XYplorer is a portable tabbed file manager for Windows. The program is not free, but a lot of this has to do with all of the features the program comes with. Not only is the interface very customizable, but it also gives you an optional dual pane to view. You can even set up the program to automate recurring tasks to save you time.


  • Completely portable
  • Offers tabbed browsing for easy file management
  • Program comes complete with an optional “Dual Pane” mode
  • Tons of search options allow you to search your computer quickly
  • Comes with a duplicate file finder
  • Offers batch renaming
  • Customize your files by colors, which makes it easier to spot the files you are looking for
  • Clicking on an image, video, web or audio file will bring up a preview of said file. The preview viewer is in a floating window that can be sized and moved
  • Setup automation for frequent tasks
  • Allows you to wipe out files beyond ever being recovered
  • …And more


  • Price is kind of high for a file manager


XYPlorer ScreenshotXYplorer is a great program, and it is the kind of file management system I have been looking for. It comes with more features than you can shake a stick at, and it is fairly intuitive to use. That being said, is it worth the price tag? Let’s find out.

There is not much that XYplorer does not do. This is a great tabbed file manager for Windows. Not only does it offer multiple tabbed browsing, but it also offers dual pane viewing. This really makes working with files on your computer as easy as possible.

Another thing that I like about the program is how customizable it is. For example, you can change the color of certain files or file types. This makes it easier to spot certain files in long lists or keep certain types of folders easily identifiable.

The preview window is also another cool feature. When you’re working with files on your computer, if you come across an image, video, web or audio file, you can simply click on it to bring up a preview. This is helpful in a number of ways. First, you don’t have to load a second program just to see what that file is (which in turn saves system resources). Secondly, the preview pops up in a second window. This means that it can be adjusted and moved to where you need it.

There are tons of great features, but there is one thing holding this program back, and that is the price. I feel like it is a great program, but I am not sure if I can justify paying close to $60 for it. Not when there are other tabbed file manager programs out there you can use for free. Granted, none of the ones I have used were as nice as this one, but they also didn’t cost me $60.


In short, the program is outstanding and extremely easy to use. If the program was roughly $20, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat. However, a $60 price tag… for a file manager? That is a hard ask. The good news is that they do allow you to try the program out for a few days before buying. This way you can tell if the program is perfect for you or not before dropping $60. For me, however, I just don’t feel it is worth the money. The high price is a shame, because I love the program.

Anyone looking for a freeware file manager can check out the likes of File Mind, CubicExplorer, Multi Commander, Q-Dir (4 pane file manager), and many more — there are tons of free file managers out there.

Price: $59.95

Update: It appears that $59.95 is for a license that provides free lifetime updates. For $29.95, which is a much more fair price than $59.95, you can grab XYplorer but you will not get lifetime updates for free.

Version reviewed: 11.9

Supported OS: Windows 98 / Me / NT / 2000 / 2003 / XP / Vista / 2008 / 7 / 8

Download size: 2.9MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? Yes

XYplorer homepage

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  • robcr

    XYPlorer Pro 15-9 is free for the next 90 minutes –

    PS I wish I had posted how I turned off Column auto-sizing in my post below
    As the new version is doing it, and it is driving me insane.
    I will keep searching, but if anyone knows how to turn that infuriating feature OFF, please let me know.

  • RobCr

    It is OK, I found the setting.
    So –
    “Tell all your family and friends, to get this program, as it is the best free gift they will ever get.”

    PS I am a VB6 programmer.
    This program is written in VB6
    he has made it portable. (Impressive)

  • RobCr

    I have ‘Installed’ it (so to speak)
    Something in the feature comparison list made me think that the Free version was not portable’ish
    However it is, so it is now in my main PC.
    I like to size the columns (within a Tab), and then apply that to all folders.
    I have not been able to do that YET, so it appears to auto size the column widths (possibly based on length of File Names ?)
    Could some kind sole will check it out, and let me know how to size the columns, and from then on every tab will match those set column widths.
    If someone lets me know how to do that, I will then make the following recommendation –
    “Tell all your family and friends, to get this program, as it is the best free gift they will ever get.”

  • RobCr

    Thanks for that, and ‘hats off to you’ for picking that up, and also sharing with us.
    I won’t risk it in my main PC, in case there are clashes with my other version.
    But will try it in one of my other PCs.
    If any one is interested, I will report back on it.
    The main program is the best File Manager on the planet.
    MS Analysts (if they still use them ?) should sit down and use that program, and then hang their heads in shame with what they have foisted on to us.


  • nthn
  • RobCr

    Do you have a link to the free version ?

  • nthn

    Recently, XYplorer developer has pushed out an update to XYplorer free which as it stands is still a very good file manager for windows. Some features are disable of course to distinguish from the paid version.

  • Don

    For around 13 years. Why?

  • michael clyde

    how long has xyplorer had an audio/video player ¿

  • Rob (Down Under)

    Regarding your desire for having a way to follow things up, I am going to do something similar with the portable’ised version of XYplorer.
    I am going to have a few separate copies, and one or more of those will just be for things to ‘follow up’

  • Rob (Down Under)

    Anyone need assistance in making your program portable ?
    I imaged the drive in a spare PC. Then I installed the program. and then I copied the folder to a USB drive. Then I Restored the earlier image, which has never seen XYplorer. I copied the folder from the USB drive into the C drive. It now runs perfectly, proving it is indeed portable.
    The above describes part of what you have to do. The part that you may need assistance on, is how do you find the sub folder called ‘Data’ which has to be copied into the same folder as the EXE.
    Yell out if anyone needs help.

  • @Rob (Down Under): Many dual panes file manager has tab. Press Tab to move between panels and Ctrl+Tab to move between tabs. Dual panel file manager mostly use by “keyboard ninja”.

  • Matthew

    I remember XYplorer from the early days, when it was freeware.

    Grabbed the freebie, but just can’t seem to get into it, maybe it would tweak to the way I’d like things placed.

    Of the alternatives, I’d say Cubic “looks right”

  • I have bought Directory Opus and have been a long time user since my Amiga days. That said I always love getting the free versions of XYPlorer when it is given out as it is a great explorer tool that I use from time time time when I am in a hurry. Plus I can copy it’s folder to my thumb drive/external hard drive and take it with me. I can do the same with Directory Opus but then I had to pay extra for that function. As always I love getting any tools like this for free and I tell everyone I can think of about these offers. Thanks Don for answering questions and the excellent giveaway.

  • Don

    Tip: Right-click the Dual Pane toolbar button to get options for vertical/horizontal. Almost all toolbar buttons in XY have a right-click menu.

  • jayesstee

    @Rob (Down Under):
    I have version 10.80.0200 (previous GOTDO) and ‘dual pane’ is toggled ‘on’ or ‘off’ from the toolbar!

    I have ‘My Commander’, ‘Free Commander’, ‘XYplorer’ and ‘Xfile’ (for nostalgic reasons – I go back as far as ‘Xtree’). I almost always only use ‘Free Commander’, it does all I need.

  • JC

    The endless license is indeed a bit of a stretch for something like this program. But to sing its praises, it is probably the most capable program of its type available anywhere. Even the long-term heavily-developed professional packages don’t equal XYplorer. Its capabilities are amazing, and it seems to be very stable, unlike some of those.

    Knowing it isn’t planned to exist for long, I still wish they’d bring the permanent license down a bit. It really shouldn’t be twice as much as the one that expires, IMHO. But that said, I still think its a superb product.


  • Matt

    @AFPhys: If you loved Norton Commander, there is a file manager out there that is for you. It is Total Commander. I have been using it for many years now and it is, in my opinion, the best!
    It is a dual pane manager – but it also has Tabs! Plus lots more. Try it : http://www.ghisler.com

  • AFPhys

    I loved Norton Commander. I used it for many years, copying it from puter-to-puter even if I wasn’t using the rest of the Norton toolbox. It was one of the best ever, and a memory of the “Glory Days” of Norton… a time that, unfortunately, Symantec has since tarnished due to their unabashedly becoming bloatware/ chokeware.

  • AFPhys

    Some time ago, I had an explorer-type program with a feature they called “shopping cart” which was essentially a “to-do list” in a separate pane/tab. I placed files from a folder in the cart as I looked through the directory and that let me flag them to do something with groups of them: move, edit, modify/delete, etc. It is a very convenient feature to have available at times.

    Somewhere along the line, I lost track of that program. For all I know, I may have it on this computer but forgot the name.

    If someone here knows of a file manager with that feature, please flag me.

    @Don: – you might consider adding it.

    @Rob (Down Under):
    I used XYplorer for a while, but somehow it got corrupted, and I started getting an error every time it would be called. That was EXTREMELY inconvenient since I had set it up as my default directory-opening program in lieu of explorer, and my license was no longer valid. After a long period of putting up with right-clicking every time and having a different program opening the directory, and having no luck repairing XYplorer, I finally uninstalled the program. Somehow that corrupted the registry and made the default action for a double click on a directory the MS “search”/find function. Sheesh. I finally now have that straightened out.

    This type of situation makes me very leery about using any program for an essential function like “explorer”, and why I strongly favor a freeware program (Qdir, MultiCommander, etc.) for this type of function. I can simply uninstall, then unzip and reinstall the version of the program I initially obtained without worrying about license expiration.

    It also makes high prices for such essential programs even more of a barrier.

  • kelltic

    A while back I was able to buy XYPlorer at a discount. I’d wanted it for years, but didn’t want to shell out the $ when I already had a license for the also excellent Xplorer2.

    I really love this file manager. It does a load of things I haven’t even experimented with yet. 10 stars for XYPlorer.

    P.S. I’m sure the developer would sell more licenses if the price was lower.

  • Jeanjean

    @ Don
    Yes and it’s unfortunate that they give the version 11.90 (only in english) on GAOTD !

  • Rob (Down Under)

    If GOTD is giving this away free, then grab it, AND CONTACT ALL YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATES (for their home use) AND TELL THEM TO GRAB IT.
    It is the best File manager on the planet.

    PS The only people that would disagree with this, are those that like dual panes.
    Dual pane lovers can be separated into two categories –
    – Those that have a special need to compare folders side by side, etc.
    – Those that fell in love with dual panes, before God bequeathed us with ‘Tabs’.
    The latter group should be locked in a room, learning how to use Tabs.
    (Possible XYPlorer has dual pane ability ?, but it is a nasty habit that should be gotten rid of)
    PPS Ashraf mentions this, but it should be shouted from the rooftops – IT IS PORTABLE
    PPPS It’s Search dialog is brilliant, and it does not pre index. Press F12 to show and to hide the dialog.
    PPPPs I have been singing it’s praises at DotTech for years.

  • corno

    The last time I used this kind of software it was Norton Commander on WINDOWS 3.1, but to judge from Ashraf’s description this program is a must-have. Thanks, Donald, I will give this a shot.

  • Don

    BTW, the next version (12.00) will support languages other than English. Currently translations for French, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese are available. More will come. Hopefully even German (my own language)… :)

  • I can’t rate this program highly enough. It’s absolutely brilliant. I originally got it as a GOTD freebie but very quickly shelled out for a paid version, when I realised how often they added new features – and that they were features that were useful and made things easier for me.

    A feature I use a lot is the “copy here with …”. To use you right click and drag the file and you get presented with a menu of various copy and move options. e.g. Copy here with increment, copy here with todays date, copy here with modified date. Choosing one of those will copy the file and append the chosen date or number.

    I’d suggest trying it and getting the lifetime licence while it is still available.

    Quote from the developer’s website:

    ” the Lifetime License was simply too good for its price, and the price was too high for those who didn’t understand how good it was. ”

    I agree completely!

  • Jeanjean

    It’s the Giveaway of the day of… today!

  • Ashraf

    @Don: Thanks — updated.

  • Don

    Hi Justin,

    Note: $59.95 is for the *Lifetime License* (which very soon will not be offered anymore). The normal license is $29.95.

    Thanks for the review!