We have seen Microsoft make certain improvements in the Windows 8 version of Windows Explorer, now known as File Explorer. The options bar at the top has been replaced with a ribbon-based UI that groups similar options together under tabs. While the default Windows Explorer in Windows 7 provides you with seamless file browsing, navigation and search features, it lacks some advanced options, such as tabs, built-in multiple format archive management, folder/drive size charts, history view and advanced conditional selection, to name a few. Better Explorer is an application for Windows that gives you all the features of Windows 8 File Explorer in Windows 7, along with quite a few additional ones. Let’s take a look at the features in detail after the jump.
Other than the functionality provided by the ribbon UI in File Explorer, Better Explorer supports multiple tabs, has a built-in archive viewer, extractor and creator, lets you view the storage consumption of drives and folders in a colorful pie chart, offers advanced conditional selection of files and folders, and much more.
The main interface looks almost exactly like the Windows 8 File Explorer. The ribbon UI has tabs allowing you to access different options related to each selected component. In the lower-right corner, a slider allows you to easily increase or decrease the visual size of icons present in the selected folder or drive – something not available in Windows 8 File Explorer.
Conditional Select is a very useful option you can find under the Home tab. It allows you to select files based on specifying certain parameters including File name, File Size, Date Created, date Modified and Date Accessed.
The Quick Access Toolbar in the top-left corner allow you to use the usual Cut, Copy, Paste commands, along with some additional for tab and window management.
Under the Share tab, you will find options to share files and folders on the network, map network drives, and perform archive-related tasks. While archive handling has been improved in the File Explorer in Windows 8, it is still lacking compared to third-party application. Better Explorer allows you to create password-protected archives in 3 different formats: ZIP, 7Z and TAR. You can also view contents of archives, check their integrity and extract them.
The View tab offers the same options found under View tab in Windows 8 File Explorer, while the Manage tab that’s enabled after selecting a drive or folder allows you to change the icon of a folder, reset it back to normal, and view the folder size pie chart.
While the Manage tab lets you view a pie chart of the contents of a folder, the Drive tab allows you to view the Pie Chart of all the files available in a selected hard drive volume. Other than that, you can format the drive, perform cleanup and defragment it.
Better Explorer is still in beta stage and might prove to be a bit unstable at times. Otherwise, the application is a very useful addition to your Windows 7, as well as Windows 8. It works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8.
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