Many Windows users stay with the standard applications included in the operating system for their most common tasks, like managing files with the integrated File Explorer. However, there are alternative file managers that can also help you to do the job – and sometimes even better than Windows Explorer! Total Commander is one of them.
First of all, be warned that Total Commander is intended for medium to advanced users, and especially for those who like working mainly via keyboard shortcuts. It's not that Total Commander can't be used with your mouse; it's just that it's optimized to be keyboard-controlled.
Total Commander doesn't have what we could describe as an eye-catching design. In fact, it looks pretty dull. It does, however, support three possible views (Full, Brief and Tree) and also uses a double-pane interface, which seem to be quite a common characteristic among other alternative file managers.
The double pane in Total Commander allows you to perform file management tasks like moving and copying in a much more comfortable way. But Total Commander has other aces up its sleeve. It includes extra integrated applications like an FTP client, a ZIP viewer, a renaming tool, a disk space analyzer and a file synchronizer. Another great tool I found to be especially interesting is one that allows you to control, manage and edit file associations so they're not suddenly messed up by a program that you just installed.
Like we said before, Total Commander is intended to be used mainly with your keyboard. This is why it offers handy shortcuts for common tasks like viewing, editing, copying, moving or deleting files. But if you find it hard to abandon your mouse, don't worry: you can use the icons on Total Commander's toolbar as shortcuts for Notepad, Wordpad and the Control Panel, and also add your own shortcuts to your favorite applications via the Configuration > Button bar menu. In fact, Total Commander has such an exhaustive configuration menu that you'll be able to tweak every single detail of the program.
In all, Total Commander is an excellent application that could almost be described as a professional file manager for the advanced user. If you prefer more simple apps then you’d better stick to Windows Explorer.
- This version mainly corrects some errors which were found after the release of Total Commander 7.56. For example, sending files as attachements via context menu (Send to) no longer worked with Outlook 2003.