Tag Archives: File Browsers

The Best File Management App for Android

The Best File Management App for Android

File managers may be a dime a dozen on Android, but Solid Explorer stands out from the pack. With advanced features for managing and browsing your files, both on your phone and remotely, it’s our new favorite file manager.

Update: Recently, our previous pick ES File Explorer has started adding some shady adware to its free version. The paid version ($2.99) is reportedly still safe, but we’ve decided to update our top pick to reflect this new development.

Solid Explorer

Platform: Android
Price: $1.99 after 14-day free trial
Download Page


  • Basic file management functions: copy, paste, cut, create, delete, rename, share and send files stored on your SD card or internal memory
  • Select multiple files at once
  • Browse Collections of photos, music, and videos in one place
  • Manage, install, and uninstall apps, plus explore file structure within apps
  • Open, read, extract, and decrypt ZIP, 7ZIP, RAR and TAR files
  • Manage cloud files on Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, Sugarsync, Copy, Mediafire, Owncloud, and Yandex
  • Add more storage options with plugins for Amazo, Mega, and more
  • Lock access to network locations with password
  • Use root access to perform root-only actions
  • Batch rename large groups of files at once with regular expressions or variables
  • Remotely access files with FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS clients
  • Bookmark folders for quick access later
  • View images and listen to audio with built-in media player
  • Cast media to your Chromecast
  • Customize primary and accent color scheme
  • Choose between light, dark, and black background themes
  • Material Design interface

Where It Excels

Solid Explorer covers almost all of the beats you’d expect from a file manager nearly flawlessly. Collections allow you to view all of your photos, music, and videos in one place. You can connect your cloud storage accounts like Dropbox to manage your files remotely. It also has support for remote access protocols like FTP and you can even use it as a root file manager. Even for advanced users, it packs a punch.

On top of all this, it’s also gorgeous. While most file managers have a design stuck somewhere between 2009 and the stone age, Solid Explorer makes it a priority to adhere to Google’s Material Design spec. You can also customize your themes and colors and even choose between light and dark themes, because there’s really no reason a file manager should blind you.

Where It Falls Short

While we prefer to choose a free app when we can, Solid Explorer doesn’t fall into that camp. You can try it for free for two weeks, but after that, you’ll have to shell out $2 to keep using it. On top of that, the company also charges for some plugins like Mega, and even offers additional icon packs for more money. This is annoying, but most of the add-ons are either free or optional. The upside is that you at least know where Solid Explorer is getting its money from. Since our last pick was pulled for adding sketchy adware, we’ll call this a mixed blessing, rather than an outright negative.

The Competition

The free version of ES File Explorer may have lost our recommendation, but if you don’t want to say goodbye, you should at least check out ES File Explorer Pro. For $2.99, all of the embedded app “suggestions” and junkware are removed, and there are no ads. It still has all the bells and whistles we used to like, including remote file access, ZIP support, and an app manager. Of course, most of those same features are in Solid Explorer for $1 less.

FX File Explorer is also a great option for users who like ES File Explorer’s design but don’t want the junk. The free version covers the basics of local file management, while you can pay $2.99 to unlock advanced features like cloud or networked storage and an app manager. For basic users, the free version gives an edge over Solid Explorer, but advanced users will end up paying slightly more for the big guns. Though, at the time of this writing, FX File Explorer is running a sale, bringing the price down to $1.99, specifically aiming to court users of ES File Explorer.

It’s also worth pointing out that if you don’t need much from your file manager, Android N will have you covered as well. Google has started building a basic file manager into the system itself. You can copy and move files, rename files and folders, and create new folders all within the system itself. It’s a far cry from the advanced features of other apps on this list, and Android N isn’t even released yet, but if you’re one of the few running the N Preview or are reading this in the future from an Android N device, you might not need a full file manager app.

XYplorer, the Fantastic Alternative File Browser, is Free Once Again

XYplorer, the Fantastic Alternative File Browser, is Free Once Again

Windows: XYplorer may not be our favorite alternative file browser on Windows, but it has plenty of fans. It will probably get a few more now that it’s free once again.

For a while, XYplorer cost $30 for the basic version, but recently the developer decided to begin offering the free version again. You can still get the pro version for $30 with limited updates or pay $80 for a lifetime of updates. The site is a little confusing as the Download link leads to the pro version by default, so we’ve put links to both versions below.

XYplorer Free

XYplorer Pro

Files Is An Incredibly Simple Yet Powerful File Manager for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

iOS: You’ll find a number of apps for managing your files on an iPhone or iPad, but most make it feel like a task or chore. A new app called Files makes the process so simple and elegant that you’ll actually enjoy using it.

Managing your files on iOS has never been particularly easy, but Files actually turns it into a fun process that’s easy to understand as it follows existing paradigms in the operating systems. You manage photos, videos, music, documents, and more just like you would apps on your home screen. Images and videos generate previews so you can now more about what you’re going to open. You can even create folders inside of folders. If you don’t like the iOS-style interface, you can swap it out for a more traditional list view.

Files allows you to transfer anything from your computer via a stellar web interface. You can also import from email, your photo library, several cloud services (Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive), and even download from any URL. The app can view many files within itself, including music and videos, but it’ll allow you to open any files in another app if it can’t handle the type on its own. While there are a number of features we’d like to see down the line (e.g. built-in MKV support, cloud folder sync), Files is already an amazing tool that’s well worth a download.

Files ($1) | iTunes App Store