Whether coming from Linux background and you're forced to work with MS Windows or even if you're born as a Windows user and you hold a strong dislike for Windows File Explorer. You will certainly appreacite some Windows Explorer alternative like Total Commander.
1. Total Commander – Windows Advanced File Manager
Total Commander was widely spread and still is mostly used by advanced Windows users since the distant 1996 when it came to exist.
Total Commander is highly spread among programmers and computer professionals. It is well known in Russia and the ex-Soviet Union block countries Total Commander is strongly preferred over Windows Explorer by anyone who ever had to work in Old command line MS-DOS, Unix consoles / Midnight Commander etc. Total Commander has just one downside it is not free as in freedom but shareware, so you either have to find a crack for it or everytime you run it press a number before you can proceed with it, this however is not such a big issue as usually you work with computer whole day and even if you should press a number once to continue run as Shareware, you have to do it just once or twice a day.
So why use Total Commander or Free Commander preferred choice over Windows Explorer and why it is better for one to use it:
Big part of viruses have hidden attribute. Of course we can’t see it’s presence in Windows Explorer, this is so common with USB Drive Viruses. While MS Explorer has limited capability in showing system file, Total Commander is different, once it is specified to show hidden files, all kind of hidden files are to be shown.
2. Support for multiple upload protocols like FTP and SFTP
Through Total Commander plugins you can enjoy simplified way to do every operation from one interface. Once plugin for SFTP / Webdav … plugins you will not have to install separate clients like WinSCP / CarotWebDav etc.
3. Play multimedia mp3 / Zip / Unzip, watch pictures
You can play your mp3s with no need for WinAmp, Unzip or IrfanView. As this is done internally in Total Commander through plugins. So using Total Commander saves you from multiple applications also gives you unified interface something which saves time and annoyance of separate applications pop-up windows.
4. Better file copying internal program
Total Commander's copier is much better than Windows Explorer default one. Lets say you have a power outage during copying a large file. What Windows Explorer will offer is overwrite the file loosing you time, whether Total Commander will continue copying from file byte size it stopped due to outage. Another advantage is it will be able to copy damaged files much better than Windows default copier program. TT's internal copy is not so quick as TerraCopy but faster than Windows Explorer default one..
5. More powerful search than Explorer's
TT has capabilities to search inside archives, set search encoding type. Search only by directories or files, set a range of dates from which files has to be found, search only hidden directories, search by directory file attribute, file size, look for duplicate files etc. etc.
Here is a complete list of Basic features embedded in Total Commander latest version which of time of writting is 8.01;
- Two file windows side by side
- Multiple language and Unicode support
- Enhanced search function
- Compare files (now with editor) / synchronize directories
- Quick View panel with bitmap display
- ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB, ACE archive handling + plugins
- Built-in FTP client with FXP (server to server) and HTTP proxy support
- Parallel port link, multi-rename tool
- Tabbed interface, regular expressions, history+favorites buttons
- Thumbnails view, custom columns, enhanced search
- Compare editor, cursor in lister, separate trees, logging, enhanced overwrite dialog etc.
- Unicode names almost everywhere, long names (>259 characters), password manager for ftp and plugins, synchronize empty dirs, 64 bit context menu, quick file filter (Ctrl+S)
- USB port connection via special, many improvements to ftp, synchronizing and other functions
Total Commander has a portable version for those who travel a lot and like to use it on multiple computers from a USB Stick.
2. Free Commander – A Total Commander Free for personal use Alternative
Free Commander is not open source but it is free to use for non-commercial use and not Shareware, so it is perfect alternative for those who like Total Commander but dislike fact you have to press a number on each TT start up and you have to see in Total Commander Title (NOT REGISTERED)
List of basic supported functions by Free Commander are;
- Dual-panel technology – horizontal and vertical
- Tabbed interface
- Optional tree view for each panel
- Built in file viewer to view files in hex, binary, text or image format
- File viewer inside archives too
- Built in archive handling: ZIP (read, write), CAB (read, write), RAR (read)
- Nested archive handling
- Built in FTP client
- Easy access to system folders, control panel, desktop and start menu
- Copy, move, delete, rename files and folders
- Multi rename tool
- Wipe files
- Create and verify MD5 checksums
- File splitting
- File properties and context menu
- Calculation of folder size
- Folder comparison / synchronization
- Modification of file date and attributes
- Folder / program favorites
- File searching (inside archive too)
- File filters for display
- User defined columns for detailed view
- DOS command line
- Multiple language support
Just like Total Command, Free Commander has a portable version for those who want run it on Windows machines with no admin permissions to install.