Best File Managers for Android

best file managers

by Alex Gustman

Updated: August 27, 2021

File Manager (FM) is an indispensable tool for searching, organizing and other operations with files on internal and external storage. To help you choose the best file manager for Android, let’s look at the most popular and functional apps.

Solid Explorer

It is a Classic version modification in the Material Design style, with similar functionality, but simplified navigation and control. New users are offered a 14-day trial period, after which they need to buy a key. It is worth noting the versatility of the key that unlocks both Solid Explorer versions. The file manager runs on Android version 4.1 or higher.

The Material Design version also uses two independent tabs, while there are some differences in working with files and navigation. At the very top, there is a button to open an additional window, where you can go to memory sections, bookmarks, settings, etc. Also, at the top, there is a drop-down list with sorting and search, which is replaced by the cut or copy buttons when selecting a file/folder.

The navigation bar and the workspace have undergone minimal changes. The toolbar new version includes the button Create only compared to the previous one: a file folder or a connection to the cloud. The possibilities of working with archives, office and media files are similar.

The total number of settings, relative to the Classic version, has decreased. There are several options left for changing the file list, security, and display. But the possibilities of changing the graphical interface have expanded. In the topics section, 3 more items appeared. Also added the choice of the main color of the interface and the selection, which are limited to 20 palettes. In addition, there is a choice of the type of icons, as well as ready-made color schemes, where part is available only after a paid unlock.

Solid Explorer app


The Solid Explorer file manager is interesting due to two independent panels, which simplifies working with files. Also, the application does not contain anything superfluous and is quite functional, which eliminates the need to install archivers, cryptographers, cloud storage clients, etc.

Download Solid Explorer from Google Play

Total Commander

The file manager is downloaded for free. The minimum installation requirements are Android 1.5 and higher. It does not contain in-app purchases, but it does not include intrusive advertising.

The initial window displays information about internal and external memory, connected disks, directories with photos and downloads. There is a transition to the root of the file system, provided that you have superuser rights, bookmarks and applications, as well as a transition for downloading plugins. At the top of the screen there is a history and bookmarks available in any part of the application. In the drop-down list there is a search, creating a new folder, settings help for working with the file manager. At the bottom there are buttons for selecting, copying/moving, archiving, deleting, 4 types of sorting, adding/changing buttons.

The Total Commander file manager allows you to perform all the basic operations on files, as well as pack/unpack zip and rar archives, bind files for opening by specific applications. You can also edit text and play some media formats, locally and from the network. The connection to FTP or WebDAV is provided due to plugins.

From the settings, the user can change fonts, activate the display of hidden files, install the player and internal associations, as well as the display parameters of the second panel.

Total Commander app


The Total Commander file manager for Android is not overloaded and supports the necessary functions. At the same time, standard control methods are not suitable, which complicates operation. So you will have to spend some time mastering the management.

Download Total Commander from Google Play

2X-plore File Manager

The file manager is downloaded for free, does not contain ads and hidden purchases. The designer symbolically added an item with a donation for the development of the project. The minimum installation requirement is Android 4.1 or higher.

The home screen consists of two independent panels, switching is performed by a left/right gesture or by clicking on the button in the drop-down list at the top. The workspace contains the attached disks, cloud storage, and partitions selected from the settings. There is also a toolbar: go back one level, memory analyzer, copy, create an archive or folder, etc. There are 29 customizable buttons in total.

The file manager allows you to perform all the necessary actions on files. Open photos and drawings, view and edit text documents, play music or videos, and without using third-party programs. You can also read data from cloud and external storage devices.

The settings contain display and sorting parameters, activating the trash, switching to a dark theme, and several other non-essential settings.

2X-plore File Manager app


X-plore File Manager is a leader in functionality and capabilities. It contains two panels, and files and folders are displayed as a tree. At first there is confusion, but it is easier to master the program than Total Commander.

Download 2X-plore File Manager from Google Play


Astro File Manager for organizing files on an internal, external or cloud disk. The utility is downloaded for free, but it does not include intrusive advertising. Available for download for devices running Android 4.1 and higher. The average RAM consumption is 58 MB.

The initial window of the ASTRO FM contains a search, a filter, as well as a navigation bar. Files and folders are displayed as tiles, and the display type changes in the settings. To create a folder, add a bookmark or change some settings, you need to click on the button with a drop-down list of actions.

The hidden window on the left contains 6 items, including settings, which simplifies navigation in the application:

  • Locations allows you to go to local or cloud storage.
  • Search criteria allow you to find a specific file type.
  • Bookmarks are quick transition to the desired folder.
  • Tools include Application Manager, Memory Analyzer, and Task Manager.

When working with files, only basic operations are available. The creation of zip archives is supported, without specifying compression and other parameters. Media files are played only using third-party applications. There is a built-in text editor that hangs tightly when opening large files.

In the settings, you can change the hidden panel items, the appearance and the preferred folder at the time of downloading the application, as well  as clearing the cache and deleting some data. Changing the graphic design is not provided.

astro app


There is also no fee for downloading FM ASTRO, and there is no advertising. There is no trash in the application, but it also supports quick access to some important files and the creation of cloud storage. It is not difficult to get used to it, but you will have to spend some time mastering the utility.

Download ASTRO from Google Play


We’ve described the 4 best file managers for Android. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. All of them are available for free download from Google Play. You can try any of them.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman

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