Do you need a Windows 7 Explorer replacement? Many people refuse to use the built-in explorer because it doesn’t provide the necessary features advanced users need.

Windows 7 Explorer Replacement

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Microsoft knows that many people keep looking for an explorer replacement, that might be a reason why will probably see a completely new way to browse, copy and modify files on our system in Windows 8. Microsoft plans to come up with something new!

Anyway, there are are some great freeware and shareware solutions for Windows 7 that can replace the explorer. Some of them can even fully replace the explorer. Three of the solutions below are shareware solutions, Ultra Explorer is the freeware solution and probably one of the best explorer replacements for Windows 7.

Explorer Replacement 1: Speed Commander (Shareware)

SpeedCommander is a shareware solution that you might want to try.
Explorer Replacement: Speed Commander

Supported Operating Systems
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows Server 2003/2003 R2
Windows Server 2008/2008 R2

The Two Window Technology of the Speed Commander is working very well. What I missed shortly after launching Speed Commander was the tree view of the real explorer. Basically, a collapsible list of all drives. But of course that feature is just not activated by default, you can enable it via CTRL +B:

View – Folder Windows – Tree View (CTRL + B)

A great advantage of the Speed Commander are detailed file size Information for each folder directly after the name.

  • Download Speed Commander
  • Explorer Replacement 2: Directory Opus (Shareware)

    Another shareware solution is Directory Opus. For many, it’s the ultimate replacement for the Windows Explorer. Directory Opus is the most professional file browser. During the installation you can even FULLY replace the Windows Explorer and make Directory Opus your default application for opening files and folders.

    Explorer Replacement Directory Opus

    Directory Opus comes with many “preview” modes: Dual Horizontal, Dual Vertical, Explorer, Filmstrip, Images, Single and Commander.
    The different preview modes give you full flexibility to compare folders and get the job done.
    On top of all that, it comes with a ZIP-Manager, a FTP-Manager and many other features. The layout of Directory Opus just feels so
    much better than that of SpeedCommander and is much more intuitive.

    Download Directory Opus

    Explorer Replacement 3: Ultra Explorer (Freeware)

    Explorer Replacement: Ultra Explorer

    For a freeware solution, I did not expect too much. Ultra Explorer really surprised me, because it really worked well for me.
    Similar to Opus Directory it allows you to map a directory drive, but some of the best features is a “History” of recently visited folders and a built-in Command Prompt.

    Overall, Ultra Explorer is a pretty awesome solution, because it feels so organized with all those windows that help you to organize your PC.

    • Drop Stack Windows (Basically your clipboard)
    • History (list of last visited folders)
    • Favorites (similar to the Explorer Favorites)
    • Filters (allows you to filter for files, folder, etc.)

    Download Ultra Explorer

    Explorer Replacement 4: Total Commander (Shareware)

    One tool that I always use to search text within files (e.g. if you’re a programmer and you need to find a certain line of code) is Total Commander. Total Commander is probably the most popular solution amongst programmers, but as a Windows 7 Explorer Replacement, I would clearly prefer Directory Opus or Ultra Explorer.

    Total Commander Find Text Within Files

    For finding text within files or comparing files, Total Commander is a great solution.

    Download Total Commander