Pro Lifetime license available
XYplorer probably has the best "bang for the buck". It surely has its cons but considering what one gets for a "small" one-time investment, probably no other comparable feature rich product offers a better license.
The lifetime license ($63.95) includes all future updates for free, lets you install on any number of computers, and includes the portable version.
Uses a very flexible scripting language that you can do many things with it. After learning it, one can get many other tools replaced in favor of a single centralized, extremely customize-able command center, plus writing one own's personal routines to fully perform finely-tuned file management. However, doing basic things like stringing together common renaming and moving tasks takes very little knowledge. Scripting is easy for beginners, is supported by the developer and the community, yet can be incredibly deep and powerful.
Pro Easy to use
XYPlorer, in spite of its complexity and completeness, is very easy to use. Features are obvious. And where they're not obvious they can be discovered easily. An example is the ease of "Jump to Setting" which helps you effortlessly find which of many settings you're looking for.
Pro Thumbnail viewing for images is both fast and customizable
If you're a photographer, wannabe photographer, or you just take a lot of photos, XYplorer is a great file manager for working with images. Combined with the Mouse Down Blow Up (MDBU) feature, previewing photos is very easy.
Pro Customizable keyboard shortcuts
XYplorer is great for heavy keyboard users. Its many keyboard shortcuts are also fully configurable. Additionally, XYplorer offers multiple ways to navigate to file system using only a handful of keys. That said, one can do things with a mouse like press an icon in a custom column to run a script on the corresponding file or folder. Mousers are happy too.
Pro Easy to organize lots of files at once
Known as Branch View in XYPlorer. Select a folder or multiple folders and select Branch View to get a flat file view of the selected folder/s with files only, folders only or both. Alternatively, select Branch View to get a flat view of the current folder. Results can then be filtered, sorted, organised, moved, copied, renamed etc accordingly.
Extremely useful if you have a lot of files to organise.
Pro Custom file and folder icons
Add a custom icon to a set of files or folders based on file type, location, name (or part of name) for example: all files named XYplorer to have 'icon x' or all folders that contain the word XYplorer in the name to have 'icon y', size, date, name length, path etc.
You can customize an infinite number of icons for an infinite number of files and/folders or even just a single one based on what ever combination you want.
No extra files are created like with other programs that place an icon in each directory. The customized icons are stored within the "Icons" folder of the XYPlorer directory while the list of customized file/folder patterns as well as which particular icon to point to are stored within XYplorer
It's set and forget as all file/folder icon associations are applied globally. Meaning that all new files or folders that match your predefined pattern or instruction if you like will automatically be displayed with your chosen icon.
Customized icons are also very very flexible. It's so easy to add, remove, change and fine tune your settings to your liking. To turn the customized icons on or off is simply a matter of pressing the handy toggle button.
Further flexibility comes with the ability to turn on or off individual custom icons with a simple tick box.
It is a bit of a learning curve to get the pattern (instruction to select certain files/folders to be associated with a particular icon) just right. But as results are immediately visible, it makes it easy to adjust accordingly to exactly what you want. There are some examples of these patterns included within the "Customize File Icons" UI or settings box to get you started by selecting the "I" button. A more extensive list is available in the XYPlorer help file.
Once you get the hang of it though, the same patterns can be applied to other customizations in XYPlorer for example color filters or Ghost filters.
Pro Long path names supported brilliantly
Windows File Explorer, over time, will eventually allow you to create path lengths, usually accidentally, that are "very long" (ie too many characters based on Windows standards).
And then, out of nowhere, you no longer have full functionality available to the directories and files in that long path.
- eg: you won't be able to open a file, or rename it, or copy it, or delete it, etc.
In order to regain full functionality available to the files/ directories in that "long path", you have to go and manually shorten the "long path" length by deleting characters in filenames, directory names, etc,
In other words, Microsoft will "allow" you to break the rules (.. ie in most cases without warning ), but then won't support the broken rules.
This is where XYPlorer is super useful -- especially when you move big chunks of data from A to B -- you no longer have to care about long path name issues.
Pro Extremely versatile renaming.
Renaming can also be combined extremely easily in basic scripts for chaining and combining the strengths of the different types of renaming available. Can also rename based on metadata.You don't really need to "learn scripting" to chain a bunch of renaming commands. Multiscripts can even give you a menu of your chained renames - with nested menus if desired. It takes very little knowledge to be able to do this. One can even run such a script by drag and drop.
Pro Let's you select files by typing any word in the current directory
In windows file explorer when you want to select a file of the current directory, you have to type exactly the same name from the start of the file. In xyplorer you can type just part of it.
Ex: filename "resume_work"
With xyplorer you could just type work and it would show the file being marked (this is configurable).
Pro Has more features than any other file manager
None of the managers, including Opus, Speed commander, Total commander, F man, Xplorer2, Tabbles, etc., but none of them can compare with it in easy usage, features or customization. The author updates it very frequently and has added many users requests.
Pro Fast and powerful search
Searching is extremely fast and thorough - no matter if you're looking for items by name, attribute, content, or trying to find duplicates (either with a selected hash or byte-to-byte).
It allows you to search within your files, looking for specific terms, including wildcards and regular expressions.
It also supports regular expressions and filter/sort your search results by file size, file modification date, etc.
Can save complicated, often-used searches easily as "Search Templates" to reuse, tweak, or use in a script.
Can set to instantly narrow a list as you type, or highlight if you prefer, with multiple options such as "Prefer Beginning of Column" or use currently sorted column.
Supports Standard wildcards, Boolean, and Regex.
Con Cannot display files as grouped
Especially in thumbs view it would at times be nice to be able to group the files in the display. Sometimes it might also be nice in others views as well.
XY is only able to sort the files in the display but not able to group, though it does support arbitrary sort order and advanced link types.
Flagged Pros + Cons
Pro Excellent and complete tool
I started about one month ago to test file managers. After few days I was naturally using only this tool. It is the most complete for my use and I really loved its interface that I though more intuitive than the others. I considered the cost/benefice excellent so I bought the lifetime license.
Con No 64 bit version
Because it's written in VB6, there is no 64 bit version, which means many incompatibilities on modern versions of Windows.
Actually XYPlorer is compatable with both 32 and 64 bit versions of windows. It even has a separate 64 bit context menu.
XYPlorer supports Windows 10, 10 Server, 8.1, 8, Server 2012, 7, Server 2008, Vista, XP, Server 2003; 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Check the homepage https://www.xyplorer.com/