File Explorer is the default tool for managing folders and files stored in your computers and other devices connected to your PC. It is used to access and manage folders/files and drives on your machine. Windows 11 comes with a simplifies interface for File Explorer and allows you to customize the appearance if required. However, it lacks some important features that could make it more efficient, faster and easier to use. Fortunately, Windows users can add more features to this utility to give it more functionality. In this post, we will explore some of the File Explorer add-ons that you can install to enhance your productivity.
File Explorer Add-ons
We will cover top 6 add-ons that you can use with Windows 11 File Explorer grouped under the following categories:
- Accessibility add-ons
- File transfer add-ons
- Context menu add-ons
In addition, we will also touch upon Microsoft PowerToys File Explorer add-ons for previewing files and icons
If you are handling large number of files and folders, it can be difficult to look for a particular item from the pool. The default File Explorer search can be too slow and you may have to open several folders before you get hold of what you need. The following two extensions can help you to enhance accessibility in File Explorer.
1. Groupy – Tabs for Windows
Groupy is a useful Windows utility program that enables users to keep the File Explorer organized. It allows you to drag and drop items together, grouping them into tabs, making it an important tool when working on multiple tasks at a go.
Groupy has the following key features:
- Grouping – Keep related tables together to enhance workflow.
- Organize – Arrange apps and files together for easy access.
- Browser-like Interface – to help you manage tabs quickly and easily.
- Mouse-Over – hover the mouse over the tabs to preview the content.
- Drag & Drop – To move files/ folders and applications, grouping them under a tabbed UI.
- Save – You can save grouped tabs for future use
2. Listary – File Search & App Launcher
This is another File Explorer extension to enhance your productivity by improving the search accessibility. When you have large number of file in your computer, searching with default File Explorer can be extremely slow and inefficient. Listary is a powerful search tool that allows you to browse through folders. The app is a smart search solution with several interesting features and capability. The “Quick search” feature helps you save time by search an entire disk drive with only a few keystrokes.
Besides, Listary allows you to copy/move any folder from the context menu, save files to your favorite list and access your recent folders.
File Transfer Add-ons for Windows File Explorer
Transferring files, whether from a folder to another in the same drive, between local drives or external drives, is a task that every Windows user is familiar with. However, transferring files in Windows can be a challenge, especial if you are trying to move files that are open in another program or with the same name. When Windows encounters an error while copying/moving a file, it can be hard to tell where to pick from, thus you may have to start the whole process afresh. You can overcome this headache with the following add-ons.
3. TeraCopy for Windows
TeraCopy is a third-party app for Windows that can be helpful for moving or copying large files. The app has an error recovery feature among many other functions and settings to make the file transfer process effective. In case of an error, the app only skips the affected file without having to cancel the entire process. Moreover, you can transfer and manage multiple copying processes in a queue from a single interface.
You can also extend the interface to view file details like status, source file path and size among others. The tool integrates with the File Explorer context menu and you can also drag and drop files on the interface to copy, making it readily available for use.
4. DropIt – Personal Assistant
DropIt is another exciting add-on for File Explorer that enhances transfer of files. You can move folders/files by simply dragging them on to the floating DropIt icon and the files will be moved to the desired destination.
The “Manage” option allows you to define pre-defined rules and associate the rules over 20 available actions. The app supports variety of actions including rename, upload, compress and encrypt among others. Though designed for moving folders and files, DropIt is also an ideal tool for monitoring folder changes at a given interval.
File Explorer Context Menu Extensions
The context menu or right-click menu enables users to execute various commands on a file/folder in the explorer. However, you may need to customize the menu by adding or removing some commands from the menu or to make a lengthy action more accessible. To do so, you may need these extensions.
5. FileMenu Tools
The FileMenu Tools is a File Explorer add-on that enables you to personalize the right-click menu. With this app, you can clear the clutter by removing unnecessary commands from the menu list. Moreover, the app has a host of other features that simplifies file management in Windows.
The FilerFrog add-on provides extra operations in the File Explorer context menu. With the app, you can right-click to extract to/from a folder, encrypt/decrypt, copy/move, split/join as well as deleting empty folder/file and many other file management options.
Note: Windows 11 by default shows smaller right-click context menu which you can expand by selecting “Show more options” menu. If you always want to open the full menu items, check our article on how to revert back Windows 10 right-click context menu in Windows 11.
Bonus Add-on – Microsoft PowerToys
Though all the above tools are good, they are from third-party developers. Manu Windows users hesitate to download and install apps from third-party websites due to security reasons. Microsoft PowerToys is an official productivity app from Microsoft which comes with more than 15 tools.
Moicrosoft PowerToys File Explorer Add-ons
PowerToys also contains File Explorer add-ons to enable previewing different types of files in File Explorer. You can install the app from Microsoft Store and go to “File Explorer add-ons” section.
You have the following add-ons and it is possible to enable or disable each add-on to preview the type of file you need.
- SVG preview (.svg)
- Markdown file preview (.md)
- Developer files preview (.cpp, .py, etc.)
- G-code preview (.gcode)
- SVG thumbnails
- PDF thumbnails
- G-code thumbnails
- STL thumbnails
Without Windows File Explorer, it is impossible to interact with a computer system. It is the default file management app in Windows for accessing and organizing files and folders. However, it has limited features and its capabilities could hinder your productivity. To overcome this you may need to install third-party apps to add more features to this utility. Above, we have listed some of File Explorer extensions that could help manage files easily and efficiently in Windows.