The Classic File Manager has been re-released for Windows 11

by Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
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Don has been writing professionally for over 10 years now, but his passion for the written word started back in his elementary school days. His work has been... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • File Manager, a Microsoft product released in 1990 for the MS-DOS operating system, has been redeveloped by Microsoft developers for the Windows 11 OS.
  • Windows 11 includes a Start menu and Command Prompt, but certain features are located in a right-click menu or an Options menu at the top of the Explorer window.
  • The interface for this file manager is not visually appealing to users accustomed to more attractive programs, but it offers excellent functionality.
windows 11

A user-friendly file manager has been released for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users, providing you with an alternative to the standard Windows Explorer program.

The File Manager first appeared in 1990 in Windows 3.0, where it was the primary means of adding, deleting and managing files and folders.

However, following the introduction of the Windows graphical user interface and Windows Explorer with Windows 95, Microsoft retired the previous DOS-based operating system in 1999. 

But some users have spoken up in support of File Manager and its related tools, saying that it offers better control than what they have seen with Windows 11 and Explorer.

File Manager makes your computer’s files easily accessible. You can right-click a folder, or click an icon at the top of the window, to perform most tasks.

Windows 11 includes a Start menu and Command Prompt, but in the current version, some features such as ‘Copy’ are located in a right-click menu or an Options menu at the top of the Explorer window.

The source code for the app was released in 2018, and a Microsoft Azure Architect has taken it upon himself to lead an overhaul of the app. Now you can drag and drop files into the app, search through your files, and much more.

Microsoft has made the latest version of its PC file management software available to download from GitHub and the Microsoft Store.

Old features are back in play

File Manager was introduced with Windows 11 in 2022, but it will feel like a portal to a very different era of computing.

The interface for this file manager may appear intimidating to users who are accustomed to more visually appealing programs. However, it offers excellent functionality.

In prior versions of Windows Explorer, you had to go to the Taskbar or a different app to reach some features that exist in a right-click menu in File Manager. For example, you had to click an icon on the Taskbar to run an item, move items, or open a directory (folder).

The Files application has a tree structure for displaying your files and folders, which is an easy way to see where your files are, as well as how you can manage them across multiple disks.

The history of personal computing shows the progress made in just 30 years in the development of methods and interfaces.

Windows Explorer and File Manager

In the modern era, it would be difficult to imagine launching Microsoft Edge using a command-line prompt, or using floppy disks to play God of War in 8k resolution.

In Windows Explorer in Windows 11, it’s easy to see traces of File Manager that were carried over to the new version.

Windows Explorer should allow the display of folders to be manipulated in ways that are more useful. Rather than opening multiple windows, it would be better if we could see multiple views of any folder within a larger window. 

Although Windows 11 is the next major update to Microsoft’s OS, Sun Valley 2 is right around the corner. With this in mind, Microsoft may have an opportunity to reassess the user experience of Windows Explorer, and repackage the program for a 2022 audience.

Which feature speaks out to you the most in the new Windows 11 Explorer? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.