The relatively open nature of Android allows users to browse through their device’s file structure and perform file and folder operations without needing a computer. Thus, a file manager or file explorer, whatever you want to call it, is a very useful tool for anyone who uses an Android phone or tablet for productivity.
Most manufacturers ship their Android phones and tablets with a built-in file manager but often, it’s a simple and barebones application. Fortunately, the Google Play store is flooded with file managers, although not all of them are good. So we’ve selected some of the best file managers that are available for Android. But before we start, let’s first talk a little bit about file managers and what you can do with them exactly.
What is a File Manager?
File Manager is a program that allows you to manage files and folders on your device. File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer) on PC and Finder on Mac are two of the most notable file managers. With file managers, you can create, rename, copy, move, delete, and search for files and folders.
These applications also allow you to modify file attributes and properties. Modern file managers not only manage local files but can also be connected to cloud storage services. So you can manage files and folders on services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Some file managers can also connect to servers using protocols such as FTP, sFTP, WebDAV, and SMB. All in all, file managers can be very useful for you.
Best File Manager on Android
Files by Google
‘Files by Google’ has come a long way since its modest beginnings in 2017. It’s now a full-fledged file manager with some useful extras. You can manage files and folders, both by diving into the internal storage or by navigating through the content categories. The most used file management basics are present, but you won’t get things like the ability to compress files.
In terms of extras, the ‘Files by Google’ app includes a Safe Folder, where you can store your sensitive files, and it can be locked using a PIN or pattern. Additionally, the app helps you clean your phone’s contents by suggesting things to delete. This is one of the features present since day one of the app. It also allows file sharing without an internet connection to other Android and Chrome OS users in the vicinity who also have the Files app installed. Overall, it is one of the simplest and easy-to-use file managers around.
Cx File Explorer
Cx File Explorer is one of the highest-rated file managers in the Google Play store, and rightly so. It’s a decent file manager that has a clean UI. It not only allows you to manage local files but you can also manage files uploaded on cloud storage and NAS. All major file management tools are available, including the ability to compress files and calculate checksums. The Cx File Explorer can also manage your apps.
File Manager by InShot
File Manager by InShot is another good Android file explorer. It has a pretty clean UI and includes most major file management tools. Additionally, the app also includes a cleaner that can help you remove junk, duplicate files, and unnecessary files. InShot File Manager can connect with Google Drive as well but support for other cloud services is absent at the moment. The app can let you manage your phone files on your PC and app management is also included.
File Manager Plus
File Manager Plus is one of the most downloaded file explorers on Android. It has been downloaded over 50 million times and with great ratings. You can use it to manage your local as well as cloud and NAS-stored files. The app also provides all major file management options, and PC access is present as well. All in all, it’s a pretty straightforward app that carries a clean UI and offers pretty much everything you need from a file manager.
FE File Explorer Pro
FE File Explorer Pro is a powerful file manager app that lets you manage your phone’s local storage, files on your computer, NAS, and cloud storage. The support for managing computer files is something you don’t get on many apps. Moreover, the app allows you to edit files present on remote storage using another app and then saves the updated copy back to the remote storage.
The app can also stream music and videos from your remote storage. Typical file management options are available, and you can transfer files between Android and iOS using the app’s ‘Nearby File Transfer’ feature.
Created by XDA member and developer Hootan Parsa, MiXplorer Silver is another great file manager. It packs a lot of customization features, including the ability to tweak the theme. The app also lets you enable or disable menu options and action buttons. MiXplorer also supports tabbed browsing and dual panel in landscape mode.
You get all major file management options, support for 19 cloud storage services, compress tools, root access, file encryption support, and a lot more. It’s clearly one of the most feature-rich file managers you can download, and it recently completed 10 years existence.
Looking for an open-source and clean file manager? Material Files from Hai Zhang can help. It follows Material Design guidelines for its customizable interface, and it also supports night mode. You get all major file and folder management tools, including the ability to adjust permissions. Root access, SMB support, and archive support is present as well. You won’t however get access to cloud storage services.
Simple File Manager Pro
Simple File Manager Pro is another open-source file manager app, that offers the typical set of file and folder management tools. You also get the ability to lock files and folders using a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint. It allows accessing root files and comes with a built-in file editor. You can use Simple File Manager Pro to convert media files, and customize its theme and colors to your liking.
Total Commander is a powerful file explorer app that comes with a long list of features. Apart from the typical file and folder management options, the app includes a built-in text editor, support for plugins (FTP, LAN, and Drive), root access, dual-panel support, a media player with streaming support from LAN, WebDAV, a cloud plugin, and a lot of languages. Since the app uses its own design language, it looks slightly different from the other file managers.
X-plore File Manager
While Total Commander’s UI is slightly different from other file managers, X-plore File Manager looks completely different, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s also fairly powerful and includes lots of features such as root access, a disk map, cloud storage access, a PDF viewer, viewing APK files as ZIP, and configurable buttons and shortcuts.
There are also a few paid features that require a donation, such as an encrypted vault, video player, Wi-Fi file sharing, SSH file transfer, and the ability to access phone files via a web browser.
If you think we missed out on a great file manager, let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, if you are looking for more amazing Android apps, we’ve selected some of the overall best Android apps, best text messaging apps, and best wallpaper apps. You should check them out.