10+ best Windows 11 File Manager [Free & Paid]

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
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  • The File Explorer has seen some major improvements in the latest Windows 11 updates with speed and performance boosts added to it.
  • Yet, it still lacks advanced organizational and accessibility features.
  • These advanced features are the selling point of the best third-party party Windows 11 File Managers.
best-windpws-11-file-manager

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Windows 11 File Explorer is excellent for simple content organization. It also does some of the basics, like file searches pretty well.

When it comes to high-level organization and accessibility, the File Explorer has a very long way to go. It is also not totally free from bugs and crashes as some users still complain that Windows 11 File Explorer search is not working.

Thankfully, third-party File Managers have effectively picked up the slack, churning out exceptional products to meet users’ demand.

This guide contains a list of the 11 best Windows 11 File Managers that will equip you with the necessary features to organize and access your files.

Does installing third-party software affect my PC?

Third-party apps are generally safe, provided you get them from reliable sources.

One such source is the Microsoft Store which only houses verified apps. Also, you should only download apps directly from the official developer’s website.

Lastly, it is a good practice to install effective antivirus software on your PC to scan these apps for malware and bugs upon installation.

What are the best Windows 11 File Managers?

WinZip

winzip best windows 11 file manager

WinZip is a renowned Zip utility. It is not just your regular File Manager, as it incorporates astonishing features that put it in a league of its own.

It carries out all file management tasks with relative ease. Whether it is a file edit, search, transfer, or organization, it does it all with aplomb.

WinZip also offers a level of security that is not seen in other File Managers. You can easily encrypt your files as you Zip it to protect your data. It goes without saying that this app helps Unzip all major formats with just a click of the mouse.

As impressive WinZip is, it is constantly evolving with new features to better user experience. A recent upgrade saw the addition of a ribbon look-and-feel feature that adapts the software to whatever you are doing. It is indeed the complete package you can get.

Other features:

  • Can create Pdf with watermark.
  • Can share files anywhere, including email, cloud, social media.
  • Auto cleaning and management of computer.

Get WinZip

FreeCommander

freecommander-windows-11-file-manager

FreeCommander is a classy app that offers two customizable panes for easy access when working on multiple files. You can switch to single pane mode if you don’t need the dual pane.

It is a high-level manager that allows you to use tabs when you are working on multiple folders simultaneously. Also, it has a tree feature for effortless file organization.

FreeCommander is a freeware that boasts Windows integration and allows you to access the DOS command line, Start menu, control panel, and system folders.

Lastly, it has an intuitive and customizable interface that can be set to your taste.

Other features:

  • Supports drag and drop.
  • Supports linked browsing.
  • Zip archives support.

Get FreeCommander

One Commander

onecommander windows 11 file manager

One Commander is an excellent file manager with unmatched portability. Unlike most other file managers, you don’t necessarily have to install this software.

You can save it on an external drive instead and take your files wherever you go. This eliminates delays and gives the versatility of using it on multiple devices.

Furthermore, this app allows you to switch between two panes. This makes your work easier and increases productivity when working on more than one file.

This app is right up there in terms of organization. You can use its seven colors to tag your files and organize them into specific patterns. It is just a blend of style and effectiveness.

Other features:

  • File Automator for file conversion.
  • Customizable folders.
  • Offers light and dark themes.

Get One Commander

Total Commander

total commander best windows file manager

Total Commander is a household name in the third-party file manager industry. It is a paid app with a 30-day free trial to get a sneak peek into what you will be getting.

It packs in some excellent features and powerful utilities. One of its endearing features is the intuitive and customizable interface that is easy to use.

It has extensible plugins and addons for premium experience and customization. This makes it suitable for advanced file organization and file management.

What’s more, it is ideal for large file transfer as it can be used as it allows you to set file transfer speed limits. It is indeed one of the best Windows 11 file managers out there.

Other features:

  • Allows you to compare files.
  • Has portable versions.
  • Allows thumbnail and image previews.

Get Total Commander

Xplorer²

xplorer best windows 11 file manager

This is a premium paid file manager with extensive features. It has two versions – The professional edition and the Ultimate edition – both available on a 21-day free trial.

Xplorer² is a modern-looking file manager with two horizontal panes for multitasking. It features a tree along the left that can be customized for file organization and management and its tab feature.

Another nice feature is the stick selection. This feature makes sure the files you have selected will not be accidentally unselected when you click other parts of the screen.

Also, it allows you to use color code to organize your files. It is a fully packed app with style and substance.

Other features:

  • Can identify duplicate files.
  • Modern and neat interface.

Get Xplorer²

TagSpaces

tagspaces windows 11 file manager

This is an open-source app known for high-level organization and coordination. It is suitable for people that seldom use file managers but cherish neat and well-organized files.

TagSpaces allows you to add tags like photos and colors to files to organize them into groups and patterns.

Another impressive feature of this app is that it allows you to separate the files you have worked on from the others when using multiple files.

Finally, it gives you the option of adding file descriptions for easy identification and location of files.

Other features:

  • Allows you to monitor file changes.
  • Has geotags.
  • Has Chromecast support.

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Get TagSpaces

Altap Salamander

altap salamander best windows 11 file manager

Altap Salamander is a highly secure file manager. It has a built-in password manager that allows you to protect your sensitive files and folders.

Compared to Windows File Explorer, this app features an extensive list of networking tools for file transfer. It supports FTPS, FTP, SCP, and SFTP to make your online file transfer effortless.

Also, the built-in SFTP and FTP clients give you total control of your file history. Altap Salamander boasts a file comparator that makes it easy to compare two or more files you are working on.

Other features:

  • Has powerful renamer login.
  • Supports different archive file types.
  • It is free.

Get Altap Salamander

Explorer++

explorer++ best windows 11 file manager

If you are looking for a file manager that gives you peak Windows experience, Explorer++ is everything you want and more.

It is a free, open-source app packed with features that rival some of the best-paid file managers. It incorporates a fully customizable interface that can be tweaked to your taste.

Also, it is endowed with two panes for browsing. This makes it easy to sort and split your files as you wish. There is also the Onedrive integration that cannot be found in the Windows File Explorer.

With this, you can create a sync to save and manage your files on the cloud platform.

Other features:

  • Has a Bookmark function.
  • Can perform advanced searches.
  • Offers folder tabs.

Get Explorer++

Files

files windows 11 best file manager

This is another free, open-source file manager with impressive features that complements Windows 11 perfectly.

It has a neat user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. One of the features that quickly sets it apart from the Windows 11 File Explorer is the access to cloud storage such as Google Drive and OneDrive.

With this feature, you can easily access your files from these cloud storage without necessarily using a browser.

Files also give you access to the partitions on your PC. This software is just about everything you need in terms of file management and organization.

Other features:

  • Supports multi-tab.
  • Has themes addons.
  • Can play videos in its preview plane.

Get Files

Directory Opus 12

directory opus windows 11 file manager

Directory Opus is a paid app similar to Total Commander in design, albeit with a more modern feel about it. This excellent third-party app can completely replace the Windows 11 File Explorer.

It does everything Explorer does and more. Interestingly, it can also be launched with the Windows + E hotkeys used for File Explorer.

What’s more, Directory Opus features folder tabs that make it easy to keep multiple folders open at a time. Also, its search feature is as fast they come, carrying out deep searches in seconds.

Lastly, it has an easily configurable interface that allows you to tweak it to suit your preferences.

Other features:

  • Keyboard shortcuts can be customized.
  • FTP support.
  • High-resolution image preview.

Get Directory Opus 12

Q-dir

q-dir best windows 11 file explorer

Q-dir is a free file manager that is especially suitable for users that carry out file transfers frequently. It is unique in that it displays four panes for file management by default.

This app uses the native Windows 11 icons for Download, Desktop, Desktop directories to give users a more familiar feel.

It is lightweight and has an installable portable version. Q-dir file manager allows you to organize your files in a pattern of your choice.

Also, you can customize the folder tab to suit your multitasking needs. Lastly, it makes file transfer easy thanks to its Quad (Q in Q-dir) panes.

Other features:

  • Offers tabbed browsing.
  • Has a bookmark function.
  • Layouts can be saved.

Get Q-dir

RX Explorer

rx explorer windows 11 file manager

RX Explorer is more than just a file manager. It is a paid all-rounder app that packs in excellent features and capabilities.

RX Explorer allows you to create file tabs when working on multiple files for easy access. It also allows tabbed browsing for top-level file organization.

It has a fully customizable interface as you can switch the navigation menu to the left, customize fonts, colors, transitions, animations, and backgrounds, among others.

Lastly, it has powerful in-app tools like video and image editor and encryption features.

Other features:

  • Dual-pane.
  • Advanced search.
  • It can be stored on an external drive.

Get RX Explorer

Organizing contents and files look easy until you try your hand at it. With the advancement of technology, you should let the right tools do the job.

The right tools make file organization a breeze by offering advanced features for searching, sorting, accessing, and transferring files.

File Explorer ticks just a few of those boxes, making this list of the best Windows 11 File Managers all the more important.

This list is not arranged in any particular order. Let us know which of the apps you find particularly useful in the comments section and if there is any product you would like us to add.

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