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  1. #1
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    Need Replacement for Win Explorer

    Having bounced between XP and Win 7 a lot the last few weeks, I'm reminded just how badly Win Explorer has been busted in Win 7.

    So I need a replacement, and there's no better place to get a recommendation than here, I hope. There are a bunch of file managers with tons of features, but I could live with the simple XP Win Explorer in Win 7.

    What's a good, solid, and simple replacement?

  2. #2
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    Oh crap, I put this in the wrong place. So sorry!

    Edit...for a moment I saw this in the XP forum. Weird. Now I can't delete this post. Weirder. lol
    Last edited by John-O; 2011-05-18 at 10:15.

  3. #3
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    You can't replace the Explorer in Windows, it's deeply embedded within the OS (open task manger and kill explorer.exe and you will see what I mean - no wait a minute that's a bad piece of advice to follow, but I guess it makes the point!).

    There may be add on applications that do what you want, but I don't know what it is you that want from a file manager that isn't already included or configurable in Win7. So please describe what you are trying to achieve and someone may be able to point you to a solution.

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    Here's a review of 15 paid & free replacements, but it's from 2006-7:
    http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/10/11...-and-reviewed/

    Zig

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Google is our friend. A simple search shows several possibilities, several of which have been mentioned previously in these forums
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinto Tech View Post
    There may be add on applications that do what you want, but I don't know what it is you that want from a file manager that isn't already included or configurable in Win7. So please describe what you are trying to achieve and someone may be able to point you to a solution.
    I want one that works as well visually, and functionally, as XP. In Win 7 I can't tell by looking in the left pane which folder is open. There's no visual clue that I can see, where in XP it was obviously obvious. By clicking folders, I can completely lose the relationship between the right and left panes. Find it hard to believe that this bug survives.

    Second, double-click a folder in the left pane and it shoots to the bottom. WTH?

    Third, I prefer to see the path in the title bar, not that chain of virtual names. I have to click to see the path, and that loses selections. Plus, it doubles the frustration of not knowing where I'm at due to the lack of visual clues.

    In short, I can't fathom how anybody manages a folder structure with this tool.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Google is our friend. A simple search shows several possibilities, several of which have been mentioned previously in these forums
    A search of these forums proved fruitless. Google is useless unless I can conjure the difference between spam and real utilities. Thus, I'm asking for recommendations.

  8. #8
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    I want one that works as well visually, and functionally, as XP. In Win 7 I can't tell by looking in the left pane which folder is open. There's no visual clue that I can see, where in XP it was obviously obvious. By clicking folders, I can completely lose the relationship between the right and left panes. Find it hard to believe that this bug survives.

    Second, double-click a folder in the left pane and it shoots to the bottom. WTH?

    Third, I prefer to see the path in the title bar, not that chain of virtual names. I have to click to see the path, and that loses selections. Plus, it doubles the frustration of not knowing where I'm at due to the lack of visual clues.
    I'm not going to try to convince you to stick with something that you have decided against - that would be pointless.

    However, it is worth noting all the issues you mention are either intentional or configurable in Windows 7.

    Each to their own however, so if you need to switch, Zig has given a good source for review.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinto Tech View Post
    However, it is worth noting all the issues you mention are either intentional or configurable in Windows 7.
    Seriously? The folder shooting to the bottom is a feature? Or can I turn it off?

    And how do I know what folder I'm in? There's no clue, unlike the open folder icon and highlighted name in XP...if there's a configuration for that, let me know. If it's a feature, why???? ....ok, there seems to be the hint of a bigger shadow on the open folder, but wow, it's faint.

    Here's the deal...I've been managing a large folder structure for 20 years, largely with a good tool. I need a good tool for Win 7, and Microsoft's "new way we want you to work" is a major step backwards for managing folders and files. Maybe it's great for their objects and virtual stuff, but my organization's files and folder actually exist.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi John-O,

    Check out this How To Geek for a review and instructions on how to use the 'Classic Shell' for Windows 7. You can modify both the Start Menu and Windows Explorer to be more like 'XP'. The program allows you to change both or just one of the two. I tried it myself a couple of months ago on a Win7 32 bit install, and it was smooth as silk, taking very little in the way of system resources. And best of all, there have been no negative issues associated with it.

    Here is another link for more info on Classic Shell.

    It may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it should be worth a look.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-05-18 at 14:40. Reason: add another link

  11. #11
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    Change to Classic Theme. Should do most of what you need out of the box (though it looks rather clunky).

    Control Panel> Appearance and Personalistion> Classic Theme (near the bottom).

    However, you also should supplement classic theme by adjusting the folders view and menus:

    Select Organise from within Explorer, then Folder and Search Options and the View tab. Then tick Display full path in Title Bar. At which point you have the full path in the title bar at the very top of the window.

    Think that covers it.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I have not used an explorer shell replacement for Windows 7, so I can't actually advise on a particular app, but I can empathize with at least the "The folder shooting to the bottom" anoyance you describe. I've just learned to live with it since I can do pretty much everything I've done previously.

    Until you get someone who has first hand experience of a realy decent explorer shell replacement to recommend to you...
    dumping libraries is the next best thing; How to Enable or Disable the Libraries Feature in Windows 7
    I believe that Microsoft's attempt at libraries is a way to help organize the chronically disorganized amongst us, although many might actually find it a usefull feature, organized or otherwise, I do not. (with regards to file system organization)

  13. #13
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Since no-one seems to want to recommend anything, I will throw caution to the wind and say that I use (the paid version of) xplorer2. A so-called Lite version is also available.

    PS I agree with the OP that the standard Windows 7 Explorer contains enhanced awfulness...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  14. #14
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    Classic theme...geez I wish that was the XP theme and not 2k, or that I could use it only for WinExp. Losing the entire Win 7 UI is too much though. It does, however, provide a highlight of the open folder, which is a major Win 7 omission...look away to another screen and come back, not remembering where I was and not having a way to know w/o clicking the address bar, and losing my selection.

    Display full path doesn't work, it's always been selected on all my installations since it existed, along with unhiding extensions, etc.

    Thanks Deadeye, I'll have a look at that asap.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    Windows 7 Explorer contains enhanced awfulness...
    LOL, I love that. It's the one reason I haven't moved my main machine (this one) to Win 7. FWIW I have read a couple Win 7 books, written a few tutorials, and just can't grasp any whiff of productivity improvement from the new Start menu, Win Explorer, or Libraries. Thanks Clint for that link, too. And thanks Batcher for the recommendation.

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