Nine absurdly useful file management utilities

Show your messy file system who’s boss with these high-quality tools

By Erez Zukerman, PC World |  Software, utilities

Back when Windows Vista was but a twinkle in Bill Gates's eye, Microsoft had some extremely ambitious plans to rid computer users of an outmoded concept called "files." But alas, WinFS (as the company's project was called) turned out to be too ambitious, and eventually it got canceled before it could overthrow the file-based order. Since that time, Vista has come and gone, Windows 7 has arrived and lingered for a while, and we're beginning to see demos of Windows 8. Through all of this operating-system evolution, files have remained with us; but as hard drives grow ever more capacious, you may sometimes feel as though you're drowning in them. Here are a few utilities that can ease the pain.

[Oracle offers file management package for cloud]

Total Commander

When I think of "file management," the first utility that comes to my mind is Total Commander ($46). This do-it-all wonder has been my constant companion since the days of Windows 2000. It lets me effortlessly select all .exe files in an entire folder tree (that is, a folder and all of the folders that it contains), rename multiple files according to complex schemes, and navigate in seconds to any destination in my extensive folder hierarchy. I can do all that, and much more, without ever reaching for the mouse. Some people might say that the dual-pane look is outmoded; but to me, its power is unparalleled (and besides, I like combining a faintly retro feel with my sleek all-glass Windows 7 desktop).

Directory Opus

If you're looking for a powerful all-around file manager but Total Commander just isn't your cup of tea, take a look at Directory Opus. Available in 32-bit and 64-bit incarnations, this celebrated file manager has a graphically richer interface than Total Commander's, but it is also much more expensive ($85 in Australian dollars, which converts to $92 U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

Q-Dir

If spending any money on a file manager is out of the question, but you're still intrigued by the idea of multiple file panes, freeware Q-Dir might serve as a gentle introduction to the concept (though the program is not without its flaws).

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Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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