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Choosing a file manager for Android

Submitted on 12/22/2018

File manager is necessary in order to perform basic operations such as copying, moving and archiving files. Unfortunately, standard Explorer can't always cope with Android users' problems, so we suggest reading this review of alternative file managers. And they are the following:

  1. ES Explorer
  2. File Commander
  3. Total Commander
  4. Root Explorer
  5. Solid Explorer File Manager

(The list of apps is relevant for 2018-19).

ES Explorer is a file and network manager for Android

In addition to this, ES Explorer is also a local and network file manager. Which is suitable for managing almost all kinds of data: photos, videos, documents and apps.

Via ES Explorer you can:

  • install apps and archive/unpack files
  • search for files / folders on network or your phone
  • view the most popular data types via a built-in viewer
  • store files and sync them with such cloud services as Dropbox, Google Drive, Yandex.Disk and other.

The arrangement of this file manager doesn't differ from Windows Explorer. You can manage files via copying, cutting, moving, pasting and deleting them. Sharing function is always at your disposal so you can transfer data through the service or to other users. Bookmarks are used for quick access and you can add shortcuts onto the desktop of your Android.

A built-in ES Explorer archiver works with ZIP and RAR types. You can pack and unpack files by applying encryption via a 256 bit AES key.

ES Explorer allows you to work not only with your phone but also with your computer. There is a corresponding function for a remote control. Connection with a phone is established via WiFi or SMB-Protocol. Besides this file manager supports FTP and WebDAV protocols and you can use it as an ordinary ftp client by sending files to the server and downloading them from it.

ES Explorer also has a root manager and this module will be useful, if you need an access to the system directories, lack user privileges and etc. Via root explorer you can also change the rights of access (but use this feature carefully!)

If you work with photos, music and videos mostly, you will find useful the built-in file manager viewers of this program. For example, you can set thumbnail display for pictures on Android and play music and videos via a built-in ES Explorer mini-player.

Finally, we're going to list the system utilities which are available via the interface of ES Explorer:

  • apps management (task manager),
  • deletion of junk files from your Android devices (removal of cached data
  • and search for unnecessary files on your phone).

Download ES File Explorer for Android

File Commander is a free file manager and converter for Android

The main function of File Commander is to organize files on your phone. All data is divided into several types, sections are available on the file manager main screen. All standard file operations are supported: copying, archiving and moving data.

This program works with a lot of file protocols. Due to this, you can transfer files onto your computer and from it via Bluetooth; use network access via SMB; transfer files to server via FTP and synchronize data with Dropbox, Google, Amazon and other clouds.

Other File Commander features:

  • It's very convenient to work with images, video and audio files and built-in viewing tools are quite suitable for it.
  • You can create an account for working on several phones, moreover the app settings will always be synchronized.
  • There is a built-in encryption in the manager, so you can securely protect your data from unauthorized access if needed.
  • File Commander is as handy as Storage analyzer: if you're running out of space on your phone memory or sd card, you can open the statistics and analyse which files to delete in the first place.
  • Converter: via File Commander you can convert files from one file format into another. More than 1 thousand data formats are supported.

Download File Commander

Total Commander for Android is a classic two-panel file manager

There is no need in explaining what is Total Commander: this file manager has occupied its place in the world of desktop software a long time ago. Its mobile version is no worse as TotalCMD has all the basic functional capabilities.

The interface is two-panel so you can set the display of your phone content in two columns. Drag-n-drop is supported. Any item (file or folder) can be added to bookmarks for quick access.

Available file operations:

  • copying and transferring files and subdirectories;
  • group renaming and selection of a group of files by a template,
  • archiving and packing files in zip/rar;
  • changing file properties (attributes) ,
  • searching by text and files names.

Capabilities of viewing files:

  • A built-in text editor,
  • images thumbnails,
  • video and audio player (with streaming support),
  • manager and uninstaller of installed apps.

Support of network protocols:

  • ftp/WebDAV client,
  • network file access;
  • moving of files via WiFi direct and Bluetooth;
  • working with cloud storages like Dropbox, Google and others.

Download Total Commander for Android

Root Explorer gives access to your Android file system without any restrictions

If you need an advanced file manager with full access to Android OS, you should pay attention to Root Explorer. This app allows you to work with the system directories of your mobile device.

In addition to local file management Root Explorer also supports transferring files to Google Drive and Dropbox cloud and you can connect to network via SMB Protocol. Besides, you can send files to other devices via email, bluetooth and wifi.

Via Root Explorer you can view files in very handy ways: there is a text editor, preview by images thumbnails and viewer of SQL databases and apk-apps source code.

Another convenient aspect is a built-in archiver. Root Explorer packs/unpacks files in zip, rar and tar/gzip formats. You can open an archive and view its contents without unpacking it.

This file manager uses symbolic links, text search and file names for quick navigation. Similar to the mentioned above apps, bookmarks and tabs are also supported as they're convenient for fast switching between file operations.

Other capabilities of Root Explorer that advanced users might find interesting: managing owner or group access rights and permissions and executing scripts.

Download Root Explorer

Solid Explorer is a file manager which supports encryption and network protocols

We're going to highlight the most interesting capabilities of this file manager.

Password protection of any files and folders. Solid Explorer can encrypt data, for quick access to which you can use fingerprint sensor that many mobile gadgets have now.

This file browser interface is represented by two panels that can be easily customized: you can change colors, themes and icons.  Like in many other modern mobile apps the designers of Solid Explorer took into account the distinguishing features of material design. So this app navigation and menu can look very familiar to you and eye-pleasing.

File operations between panels (and inside each of them) are performed via Drag and Drop. A built-in zip, 7ZIP, RAR and TAR archiver is very convenient for compressing files.

Most users of Solid Explorer will find its multimedia capabilities very handy. An external viewer isn't required for viewing the majority of photo, video, and audio formats. Moreover, built-in SE tools allow you to work with contents from Dropbox and Google Drive in the same way as with built-in memory or a sd card.

Network capabilities include FTP, SFTP, WebDav and SMB/CIFS thus you can easily connect to network storage. This app also supports working with cloud storage, including Dropbox, Mediafire and etc.

Advanced users can work directly with their file systems via a root manager. However, it requires installation of root-rights (which can be gained via KingoRoot, FramaRoot and etc.).

The free version of Solid Explorer File works for 14 days and in order to continue working with this app you'll need Solid Explorer Unlocker which you can purchase via Google Play.

Download Solid Explorer

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