The Best File Manager apps for Android: Files by Google, FX Explorer, Solid Explorer, and more!
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.
Below have rounded up the best file manager apps for Android.
Files by Google
What we like about Files by Google:
- Clean and simple UI
- Weighs less than 1MB
- Built-in file sharing
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. Compared to other file managers, Files by Google has a very simple and intuitive UI, making it a great choice for non-tech-savvy users. And if your phone has a very limited storage space, you’ll be glad to know that the app takes up less than 1MB of space.
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, which 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. One of our favorite features is the built-in file sharing, which lets you share files with other Files by Google users over Wi-Fi. Your mobile data or internet is not used as files are exchanged locally. Overall, it is one of the simplest and easy-to-use file managers around.
Amaze File Manager
What we like about Amaze File Manager:
- Free and open source
- Material Design
- No ads
The Amaze File Manager is an open-source file manager that is based on the Material Design guidelines. It looks clean and packs all the file management tools you need. The app is also free of ads, and you get all the features without any Pro version. You can, however, donate to the developers if you love their work.
In terms of the features, you get tabbed browsing which lets you work on multiple tabs at the same time.
Standard features include a built-in app manager, root access, support for file encryption, and support for cloud storage services. The Amaze File Manager also offers an APK reader, a database reader, and a text viewer.
More functionalities can be unlocked using the Amaze Utilities plug-in, which lets you identify junk files for easy clean-up. Not only that, but you can also group images by memes, group photos, selfies, and low-light; group screenshots, voice recordings, and old downloads; play music and video files using the built-in media player; and share files offline to other devices over Wi-Fi Direct. But unlike the Amaze File Manager app, the plug-in isn’t completely free. It has a 15-day free trial followed by an in-app purchase.
FX File Explorer
What we like about FX File Explorer:
- Privacy-focused, no ads, no analytics
- Material Design UI
- Multi-window support with dual-view mode
FX File Explorer has been around since the old days of Android and is one of the most feature-packed file explorers on the Play Store. The main pitch of the app is that it’s a privacy-oriented file manager that claims to include no ads, no analytics, and no trackers. It also follows the Material Design guidelines. There are a ton of features in the app, including all major file management tools and support for dual-pane view. Moreover, it packs a text editor, shell script executor, and encryption support.
One of the most interesting features is Web Access which lets you transfer files between your phone and PC from a web browser. You can drag and drop entire folders from your PC to your phone and even stream your music playlist to your computer.
You can get access to more features, including support for major cloud storage services and network access with support for FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and SMB, by purchasing the FX+ add-on module. It will also bring FX Connect to transfer files between devices using Wi-Fi Direct and web access.
The FX File Explorer is free to download and use, but as mentioned, you’ll need the paid FX+ module for some features.
What we like about Solid Explorer:
- Beautiful design
- Secure folder with strong AES encryption
- Trash bin
The Solid Explorer app apparently has a large vocal fan following that touts it as a ‘solid’ option for a file manager. It has a beautiful Material design that we really like, and there are tons of customization and theming options to personalize the interface to your liking.
Solid Explorer has everything you might ever need from a file manager. The dual-pane layout makes it easier to organize and access files. The file manager can also protect your sensitive files and folders with strong AES encryption and store them in a secure folder. There’s also a dedicated storage analyzer that lets you quickly identify files and folders that take up most of your storage space. All standard features, such as copy and paste, cut, batch rename, compress/decompress, extract, etc., are supported. Meanwhile, the built-in trash bin makes it easier to recover accidentally deleted files.
Additionally, the app supports major cloud storage services and protocols such as FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and SMB and lets you stream media to Cast-enabled devices. Moreover, the app can turn your phone into an FTP server so that you can access the files on your PC.
Solid Explorer is free to download and use with ads; however, you can use in-app purchases to remove ads.
What we like about MixPlorer Silver:
- Highly customizable with lots of theme options
- Powerful search function
- Supports 19 cloud storage providers
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.
A powerful search function in the app makes it easier to locate files quickly and reliably. The app also has a custom USB OTG driver and can read any external drive with FAT32, exFat, and NTFS format. You also get support for 19 cloud storage providers, including Google Drive, Mega, Dropbox, Box, Yandex, Mediafire, 4Sync, OneDrive, 4Shared, Baidu, and more.
Other highlights include support for all major file management options, compress tools, root access, file encryption support, and much more. It’s clearly one of the most feature-rich file managers you can download, and it recently completed 10 years of existence.
Although the Play Store version is paid, the app is available for download for free from XDA forums.
File Manager by InShot
What we like about File Manager by InShot:
- Built-in junk cleaner
- Recycle bin
- Private folder
File Manager by InShot is another good Android file explorer with desktop-grade features. It has a pretty clean UI and includes most major file management tools.
You can browse and manage all files on your internal storage, microSD card, and USB OTG. Standard file operations such as rename, copy and paste, compress/decompress, and multi-select are supported. The app also offers a private folder where you can securely store sensitive files.
In case you accidentally delete a file or video, don’t worry. The app comes with a recycle bin that lets you easily restore deleted stuff in a single click.
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 using FTP, and app management is also included. The File Manager by InShot regularly receives updates, and the developer says they plan to add several new features to the app, including support for remote file sharing with SMB and NAS and offline file sharing. If you want to give it a try, hit the link below.
What we like about Material Files:
- Material You design
- NAS support
- Clean and minimal UI
Looking for an open-source and clean file manager? Material Files from Hai Zhang can help. The app has a minimal design and follows Material You design guidelines. That means it can automatically theme its interface based on your current wallpaper. However, this feature is only available on devices running Android 12 and above. There is also a night mode that can be activated depending on the time, battery saver, or default system preference.
If your phone is rooted, you can also access files and folders with root access and do things like edit build. prop. Material Files is also Linux aware and knows symbolic links, file permissions, and SELinux context.
You get all major file and folder management tools, including the ability to adjust permissions. Root access, SMB support, and archive support are present as well. You won’t, however, get access to cloud storage services. Another great feature is NAS support. This lets you remotely view and access files on FTP, SFTP, and SMB servers.
All in all, Material Files is a powerful file manager with a clean design and tons of features. The app supports all devices running Android 5.0 and up and is available to download free without any in-app purchases. Why not give it a shot by hitting the link below?
Simple File Manager Pro
What we like about Simple File Manager Pro:
- Easy to use
- Ability to lock files and folders
- No ads
Simple File Manager Pro is another great open-source file manager app that offers the typical set of file and folder management tools, including search, navigation, copy and paste, rename, compress/decompress, and more. It has everything you need to keep your files and folders organized. You can sort files and folders using various metrics such as size, date, last modified, and so on.
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.
The Simple Manager Pro can read files from internal storage, root directory, SD cards, and USB devices. It also recognizes multiple file formats and has a built-in video player, audio player, and document viewer.
Simple File Manager Pro is a paid app. We would have liked it if there was a trial period so potential users could try it out before paying the full price. That said, we think the app is reasonably priced for what it has to offer.
What we like about Total Commander:
- Has everything you need and more
- Two-panel mode
- LAN, WebDAV, and FTP support
Long-time Android users would probably be familiar with Total Commander. It’s a powerful file explorer app with a long list of features. Its UI isn’t as simple and clean as other file managers, but once you get used to it, you’ll appreciate how diverse and capable it is. If you’re having trouble opening a certain file type, there’s a good chance Total Commander will handle it just fine.
Apart from the typical file and folder management options, the app includes a built-in text editor, 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.
The app also supports LAC access, WebDAV, FTP, and SFTP, and cloud services such as Google Drive, Microsoft Live, and Dropbox. However, these features aren’t available out of the box and require downloading plugins.
The Total Commander is still in active development and regularly sees feature updates. The dev recently rolled out a new update which added support for RAW images and a quick search in the media player. Give it a try by hitting the Play Store link below.
X-plore File Manager
What we like about X-Plore File Manager:
- Interesting dual-pane tree UI
- Encrypted vault
- Disk map
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 a fairly powerful file manager and includes lots of features.
The app has an interesting dual-pane tree UI that makes it easier to jump between folders and files. When you click on a folder, it collapses to reveal the files inside; the whole file directory remains visible in the view, so always know where you are. As we mentioned earlier, the UI can look a bit daunting compared to other file managers, but it’s very intuitive once you get the hang of it.
Other notable highlights of the X-Plore File Manager app include 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’re tired of traditional file managers and want to try out something new, you can download X-Plore File Manager from the link below.
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.