Find the perfect file manager app for your Android

The advantage of Android is that it gives you access to the entire file system of the device without requiring you to “root” the phone (or tablet). Android, the Vanilla Edition, doesn’t include any file manager apps, but there are literally hundreds of apps in the Google Play Store that fill the void and let you easily manage the files and folders stored on your mobile device. .

The best file manager app for Android

An ideal file manager app should support basic file operations (copy / move / delete / rename), it should provide access to the phone’s internal storage memory and SD card, it should allow you to search and sort files, it must support thumbnails for file media, the app must look good on phones and tablets, and the developer must actively update the app.

I’ve tested over a dozen file manager apps for Android and some of them are almost as feature rich and powerful as Windows Explorer or the Finder app on your Mac.

1. Total commander – This is the most popular file manager app listed on the Google Play Store with an average rating of 4.9, although the interface is confusing and poorly designed. With Total Commander, you can compress and password protect files and folders with AES encryption.

2. Astro File Manager – Astro is a unified file manager for your local files and the cloud. It can connect to your Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and other cloud storage services, so you can easily access and manage all your files from one central app. ASTRO is ad-supported and at times their full screen interstitial ads appear intrusive.

3. ES File Explorer – This is again an extremely popular and feature-rich file manager app for Android that has a clean interface and does too many things. It can connect to various cloud services, you can also transfer files from FTP servers and shared folders on your home network and there is a disk scan app to help you find the bulky files.

4. File expert – An ad-supported file manager app with an easy-to-use user interface and the paid version offers unique features like File Shredder (to permanently delete files) and Safe Box (to hide files in a secret folder) . The application offers a tabbed interface, commonly used in browsers, which allows you to easily switch from one open folder to another.

5. Xplore File Manager – This is a very popular and feature packed app, but the layout of the app is so bad that you can easily skip this one.

6. Sliding explorer – It has a modern (flat) look and does not contain any additional or confusing features. You can add folders to your favorites list and quickly access them with a simple swipe left to right. You have a choice of light and dark themes, the app supports file previews, and you can compress multiple files into one zip. There is no search function however.

seven. File Wrangler – A basic file manager with a beautiful user interface and a dual pane interface allowing you to easily copy / move files from one folder to another. You can tap the Search icon to locate the files in the current folder. There is also Quick Draw to help you mark your most used folders and files for quick access.

8. Fylee – Another clean and simple file manager app for Android with only essential features and no ads. Like Sliding Explorer, Fylee also lacks a search feature.

9. Google Quick Office – Although QuickOffice is more of a Google Office productivity suite, the app also serves as a file manager. Tap on “Internal Storage” and you can browse the device’s file system, move or copy files between folders and there is a search function that simultaneously searches your phone and Google Drive. You can also compress files with QuickOffice.

ten. AirDroid – AirDroid includes a file manager which you can find under Tools -> Files. This is a basic file manager app, but the real magic happens when you connect your phone to your desktop over Wi-Fi through AirDroid. Once signed in, you can access and organize your Android files from the desktop in a Windows Explorer-style interface.

To conclude, if you already have QuickOffice or AirDroid on your Android phone, you don’t really need to install another file manager app. If not, you can use File Wrangler – the app has a nice and easy to use interface with no ads and supports a dual pane interface. If you want your file manager app to do more than just manage files, ES File Explorer is a good option.


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Donald E. Hollingsworth