9 Best File Managers for Android

Last Updated: September 29, 2016

If you are using stock Android on a Nexus or Motorola smartphone, you would know that a File Manager app is missing from the OS. While most other Android skins & custom ROMs come with a file manager installed, Google’s Android build does not come with one. This results in problems when we need to share, move or delete specific file types such as songs, photos, videos, etc. Well, a file manager app is a necessity indeed and every Android user needs a decent file manager app.

Thankfully, Google Play Store features a number of great file manager apps but choosing one can be a little tricky. Like always, we tested all the File Manager apps and have found the best ones you can use.

Best File Managers for Android

1. File Manager HD

File Manager HD has been available for Android for quite some time now and some manufacturers even pre-install the app on their smartphones. The app categorizes your files based on various file types like images, audio, videos and documents and supports various cloud storage services. It also lets you easily switch between your local & cloud storage with ease. The file manager also supports various file sharing network protocols (FTP, WebDAV, LAN, SFTP & FTPS) along with additional features like widgets, APK file support, junk file cleaning, Root Explorer etc.

File Manager HD

Along with the features, the app has a very clean UI that aims at making things quicker. If you visit a file or folder often, you can put it as a widget on the homescreen. So, if you are looking for a file manager app that lets you manage your files quickly and efficiently, you should give File Manager HD a shot. The app is available in an ad-supported free version but if you hate ads, you can get the paid version as well.

Install: (Free, Paid version $3.22)

Compatibility: Varies with device.

2. File Expert

File Expert is another popular file manager offering which brings some unique features along with the usual ones. It auto categorizes files in specific folders and supports cloud storage sync through a plugin. There are some cool features like Recycle bin, Safebox (save private files), Super Downloader, Root Explorer and ability to favorite, tag & compress files (ZIP, 7Z and RAR). It supports various file transfer methods like Bluetooth, Samba Client, FTP, SFTP and FTPS servers.

File Expert

On the UI front, it features a clean interface and tabbed layout, which make sure locating your files is easy. The app should work fine for people who are looking for a file manager with privacy features like Safebox. The app is available in a Free version, which is ad-supported and there are three paid versions: Professional, Premium and Flagship. Professional version brings features like confidential files, file recovery, printer support and removes ads. Premium & Flagship include all of Professional features and add GCloud memory, Dropbox data sync and login support.

Install: (Free with in-app purchases starting at $2.99 for Paid versions) 

Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up.

3. Solid Explorer

Solid Explorer, as the name suggests, is quite a “solid” file manager offering. With the usual file management features, Solid Explorer also includes Cloud storage support and ability to hide files & folders. The app also brings ability to ZIP (ZIP, 7ZIP, RAR, TAR) & extract files along with support for various network file sharing protocols (FTP, SFTP, WebDav and SMB/CIFS). There are also paid plugins available for USB OTG (On-the-go) support, Cast and more.

Solid Explorer

The app’s interface is beautiful and functional too, with two panels/windows available through a swipe, so that you can easily drag & drop files between folders and multitask. Moreover, there’s also ability to customize the app’s interface with various options and icon packs. The app is fluid and we found no lags at all in our testing. Solid Explorer is a great choice if you are looking for a Material Design implemented File Manager with support for USB OTG and multitasking. It’s available for a 2-week free trial on the Play Store after which you will have to pay for the Premium version.

Install: (Free trial with in-app purchase of $0.45 for Premium version) 

Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up.

4. File Explorer

File Explorer, previously known as FX Explorer is a popular file manager app, which aims at bringing you a cohesive experience along with the features. The app brings some cool gestures, visual clipboard, file viewers, pinch to zoom support, themes, home page customization, usage view and more. File Explorer also supports add-ons or plugins and there are add-ons for cloud storage sync support (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and SugarSync), root, network file management (FTP, SFTP, SMB, WebDAV) etc.

FX File Explorer

There’s a split view feature as well, which as the name suggests lets you open two folders in a split view mode. Overall, we love the app due to its beautiful user interface and some unique features like gestures, visual clipboard and split view mode. Moreover, the app feels fluid at all times and we never felt any stutters in our testing. The app is available for a 7-day trial on the Play Store after which you will have to buy the Plus version through an in-app purchase.

Install: (Free trial with in-app purchase of $2.50 for Plus version) 

Compatibility: Android 2.1 and up.

5. Gira File Manager

Gira File Manager is a simple yet elegant file manager app that works as it’s supposed to. The app implements Material Design along with the action button to add a new folder. The app includes support for cloud storage services (Premium version only) and also lets you add any folder or file to the homescreen for quick access. There’s also support for app management, USB OTG drives, various file formats including GIF, file compression (Zip, RAR, Tar, Tar.gz, Tgz, Tar.bz2, and Tbz formats) and more.

Gira File Manager

While the app is available in a free version, it incorporates ads, so you can make in-app purchases to remove ads or buy the Premium version, which also lets you try upcoming features first. If you want a simple file manager app, which doesn’t confuse you with any complex features and keeps things clean and fast, you should definitely give Gira File Manager a try.

Install: (Free with in-app purchases) 

Compatibility: Varies with device.

6. File Commander

File Commander is a feature rich and advanced file manager for Android that features a clean interface amidst many features. The app categorizes your files and lets you add custom categories like Recent files on the home page. The app also supports cloud storage accounts and network file sharing protocols (WiFi Direct, FTP/FTPS server, Remote sharing and Bluetooth) as well. One cool feature that we really liked in our testing is the ability to continue longer copying or moving tasks from the background.

File Commander

File Commander is available in a free ad-supported version but it misses out on many cool features that the Premium version packs. The Premium version brings features such as Secure Mode (lets you hide or encrypt files & folders), Storage Analyzer, Recycle Bin (restore files with ease), hidden files access and also removes ads. The free version is good but the ads can be somewhat nagging here. The UI is clean & simple and its premium features certainly make sure it stands out in the crowd.

Install: (Free with in-app purchase of $3.99 for Premium version) 

Compatibility: Android 4.0 and up.

7. Cabinet BETA

Minimalist apps have their own charm and one such app is Cabinet. The sleek looking file manager app is in Beta but it’s already a highly rated app on the Play Store. The app looks beautiful and not very feature rich but it has got its basics right, with support for usual file manager features and compression support. It also lets you see a file’s or directory’s detailed properties and supports third party plugins & root access. The app also lets you customize the app’s primary & accent colors, thumbnail color and more.

Cabinet BETA

Cabinet is still in Beta, so we should see more features and plugins make their way to the app once the app is released as a stable version. While it lacks advanced features, the app should work for most users. If you don’t like tinkering with your apps much, Cabinet Beta should be a good choice. Thanks to the beautiful Material Design interface & fluid performance, Cabinet is indeed a great file manager app for people looking for something simple and easy to the eye.

Install: (Free with in-app purchases)

Compatibility: Android 4.0 and up.

8. Total Commander

Total Commander has been a popular file manager app since a long time and it still remains viable, thanks to its advanced features. It supports various file sharing protocols (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, LAN, OBEX) and cloud storage support through plugins. Other key features of the app includes media streaming player, directory history, ability to alter permissions of a file and more. If you have a rooted device, Total Commander supports it and lets you manage system directories.

Total Commander

We don’t like the complex and hideous user interface the app incorporates but its features do bring some value. Once you get used to the app, you will know that the app lets you manage your files quickly, thanks to custom shortcuts being located at the bottom toolbar. It also supports a two panel mode, which is available via a swipe, so you can easily drag and drop files. Total Commander is recommended, if you are looking for powerful features in an app that does not hog the resources. However, the app leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the interface. Total Commander is free, so you can check out and decide for yourself.

Install: (Free

Compatibility: Android 1.5 and up. 

9. ASTRO File Manager

ASTRO is a popular choice for many users and that’s because it brings the all familiar Windows explorer look. Along with usual file management, the app lets you compress files into ZIP format. It also supports popular cloud storage services (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Facebook) and lets you transfer files between them with ease. ASTRO brings various other features like Mcafee antivirus integration, ability to set default search locations, search index options and customization options. The app also brings some useful tools for Android such as App Manager, SD card usage tracker and a Task Killer.

ASTRO File Manager

If you are a Windows PC user, ASTRO File Manager’s interface should feel right at home for you. While the feature list is not as rich as other apps on the list, it is good enough and gets the work done. While the file manager app is available for free on the Play Store, you can get the Pro version, which removes ads.

Install: (Free, Pro $3.99)

Compatibility: Varies with device.

SEE ALSO: How To Recover Deleted Files on Android

Best File Managers for both casual and power users

According to us, these are the best file managers for Android and we are pretty sure one of these apps would certainly cater to your need. If you are a power user who wants all the advanced features, you should try the likes of File Manager HD, File Commander and Total Commander. Is multitasking & usability your priority? You can choose between ES File Explorer, Solid Explorer or File Explorer. Want a clean interface? File Expert, Gira File Manager or Cabinet beta should be good choices. So, try them out and let us know your favorite. Sound off in the comments section below.