Out With Windows Explorer, In With ExplorerXP


There are a whole lot of Windows users out there who favor Windows XP over Windows Vista. I use both operating systems, and a lot of the time I am using Windows XP. When I am, one of my favorite replacements for the built-in, clunky Windows Explorer file manager is ExplorerXP. ExplorerXP is a lightweight, freeware application that extends what Windows Explorer does in several ways.

One of the best things ExplorerXP adss to the mix is that it launches much faster than Windows Explorer. In fact, it launches instantly, even if you are connected to a lot of network drives. This is essential, because I primarily reach for this kind of application when I want to find something in a hurry.

ExplorerXP shows your files in a spreadsheet-like set of rows, and it has an interface like a Windows application unto itself, complete with stocked toolbars, and multiple panes you can view simultaneously. You can view multiple folders at once from a tabbed interface.

If you’re like me and load a lot of software applications, your Windows desktop may get cluttered with icons from time to time. ExplorerXP puts key components of Windows XP–the Recycle Bin, My Computer, My Documents, and more–atop the screen in a toolbar where you can instantly find them.

One other attraction to this Windows Explorer replacement is that it makes it very easy to do batch file renaming. If you take documents through versions before they become final, as writers often do, this makes it easy to store groups of versions in separate containers and keep them organized. At 410K, you can also carry this application on a USB thumb drive with ease.




Select Tools>Shell Extensions>Win-E hook. It replaces Explorer with ExplorerXP. It confused me, too.

I still don’t mind paying for PowerDesk Pro. It has a ton of tools and a logical interface.


I’m trying out ExplorerXP. I mostly like the tabs.

Does anyone know how I can start ExplorerXP with a Windows shortcut? For example, if you start up Explorer, you use Windows-key + E. Or can I change the Windows-key+E shortcut to run ExplorerXP instead of Explorer?


Ken, maybe you don’t know the difference between Windows Explorer and MS Internet Explorer. Try again.

Ken Kelly

This article is outdated before it was posted. IE8 has all this and more built in. This program also can cause files to be lost for ever.

Try again

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