I don’t think I would ever review a non-free software, but I could attribute this review to me being on the right time and the right place.
There’s a site called Give Away of the Day which, as it name suggested, gives away a paid software for free for three platforms: Windows, iOS, and Android, as some sort of promotion for the company/developer (I suppose). The software could only be downloaded and installed in 24 hour, or it’s lost forever.
I don’t frequently visit the site, since the softwares that were offered on the site didn’t interest me (like a $30 audio.video converter; I know I could get a software with the same set of features for free, legally).
But I visit the site on the afternoon of September 9, 2014, and I found out that the give away of the day was a XYplorer, file manager and alternative to Windows Explorer.
I hate Windows Explorer, and I’ve found love in Q-Dir, but I SHOULD try this software.
(Note: This software has loads of features, so I’m going to cover only the toolbar functions, context menu items, and info panel)
Just like most Windows Explorer alternatives, XYplorer has an address bar, a thin toolbar, and a tree pane on the right side.
You must’ve been familiar with the back, forward and up buttons on the left side of the toolbar. Beside them, there are buttons to access your recent folders and to quickly access locations on your computer.
You can undo or redo the changes you’ve made to your directory (deleting, renaming, copying, etc):
See that green line along the left side of the folder tree? It’s called tree path tracing, which makes it easier to, well, trace a folder’s parent directory. You can turn them off if you don’t like them.
You can select multiple items with the checkbox selection feature:
You still need to hold down Shift/Ctrl on your keyboard, though.
If you have a folder full of files with various types (like your Downloads folder), you can filter the with the Type Stats and Filter option:
I know that you can do that on Windows Explorer, but it won’t give you the item count of the files, right?
The Visual Filter is similar to Type Stats and Filter, but it filters categories of files instead of the filetypes, and you could also filter files by their modified time and size:
The Branch view enables you to show the the list of files and folders inside a folder without opening them, which I guess could be useful if you have a folder with many-levelled subfolder with a small amount of files.
You can switch between views using the Views button:
XYplorer has an option for the folder tree: Mini Tree, which according to the help file would ‘displays [sic] only the paths you have actually used’. This feature confuses me at first; it was enabled by default, and if I close XYplorer and open it, it would show me the folders and subfolders I’ve used on my last session, and nothing else. I don’t like it.
When navigating multiple folders, you can view them in two panes, both horizontally and vertically:
There’s a good (and fast) Quick Search feature, when you only want to search files by their names or types.
If you right-click on a folder/file, you can find a long list of what you can copy from the file/folder to the clipboard:
You can also rename files according to a criteria (I guess I should retire my batch renaming utility from now):
The info panel doesn’t only show you the properties of a file and preview it. It also could show you the ‘raw view’ of the file, lets you add tags, and hosts XYplorer’s main search tool.
It’s just as fast as the quick search tool.
XYplorer is an amazing file manager. It manages to be simple to use while having many useful features.
Throughout my testing, XYplorer is fast, responsive (although not as responsive as Q-Dir, my default file manager), and has low memory footprint. There are times when it wouldn’t respond,especially in the first start after logging in, but I found out that thumbnail creations in XYplorer could cause performance problems and I fixed it by unchecking the ‘Create all thumbnails at once’ option on the settings menu.
I feel bad for saying this, but I should say goodbye to Q-Dir.
- Many configuration settings
- Has tabs and dual panes
- Really fast search, sorting, and filtering
- Small installation size
- Low memory usage
- Too many configuration settings might be confusing
- Creating thumbnails can make XYplorer unresponsive
Developer: Donald Lessau
License: Fixed License Pro (which means that I could use this software forever, but I won’t get any updates for free)
Size: 3.2 MB (installer), 7.52 MB (installed)
Portable Version: Yes (here)