10 best Android file explorer apps, file browser apps, and file manager apps

by: Joe HindyMarch 3, 2016
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best file manager apps for android
File manager apps are among the most important apps on your device. With them, you can browse your files, find your downloads, manage your storage space, move things around, and a lot more. Not everyone is too keen on file organization because it can be pretty boring, but everyone still needs a file browser. Here are the best file explorer apps, file browser apps, and file manager apps for Android.


amaze best file manager apps for androidAmaze File Manager

[Price: Free]
Amaze File Manager is a newer app comparatively speaking and it’s a pretty good. It’s open source and focuses on as lighter experience for those who just need to do some light file browsing. It features Material Design, SMB file sharing, a built-in app manager to uninstall apps, root explorer, and more. It managers to include the most important stuff without feeling bloated and it’s entirely free to use with no in-app purchases or advertisements.

Get it now on Google Play!


cabinet best file manager apps for androidCabinet Beta

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Cabinet Beta made a name for itself by being one of the first apps to have Material Design. It has since improved in both stability and performance to become one of the better file explorers out there. It features a clean, minimal experience with support for root users as well as quick access to various folders using the slide out menu. Much like Amaze, this one is also open source which is always good.

Get it now on Google Play!

cabinet best file manager apps for android


ES file Explorer Pro best android file manager appsES File Explorer Pro

[Price: $2.99]
ES File Explorer has been around as long as most Android nerds can remember and comes with pretty much every feature you can ask for in a file browser. A while back, the app was acquired by another company and since then, things haven’t gone so well. The free version of the app, while very capable, now has a ton of added bloatware that not only doesn’t add to the experience, but actively subtracts from it. Thankfully, the pro version of the app doesn’t have these features (or has them hidden away and turned off by default). If you’re gonna go with ES, get the pro version. Otherwise, try something different.

Get it now on Google Play!


ASUS best file manager apps for androidFile Manager by ASUS

[Price: Free]
It’s not every day we see an OEM app make an app list, but File Manager by ASUS is actually really good. It’s compatible with most devices, even non-ASUS ones and features a clean, simple interface with LAN and SMB support, cloud storage support, support for various types of files, archiving support, and more. It’s entirely free with no in-app purchases and provides a great experience for a simple file browser. About the only negative part is the lack of root access.

Get it now on Google Play!

ASUS best file manager apps for android


Root Explorer best file manager apps for androidRoot Explorer

[Price: $3.99]
Root Explorer is a file explorer that is designed specifically for root users. It omits many of the traditional file manager features in exchange for a root-friendly, lightweight experience. It also comes with some root-specific features such as an SQLite database viewer, text editor (for build.prop files), tar support, permission changing, APK binary XML viewer, and more. It’s also frequently updated and comes with cloud storage support as well as SMB support.

Get it now on Google Play!


best free android apps mobile gamingSee also: The best Android apps, ever!102

sliding explorer best file manager apps for androidSliding Explorer

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Sliding Explorer originally made its name with its unique sliding UI that has since been updated to even better looking Material Design. It features the most basic features along with support for root access, file sharing, compression support, document printing (apparently, that’s a Kit Kat only feature), and more. It’s a good looking file browser that is both easy to use and powerful enough for every day use, even if it is missing some of the features of more fully featured apps. Still, it’s free to use and is worth a shot.

Get it now on Google Play!

sliding explorer best file manager apps for android


solid explorer best file manager apps for androidSolid Explorer

[Price: Free / $1.99]
Solid Explorer has been growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. It features Material Design, cloud support, root access, FTP, SFTP, WebDav, SMB, and CIFS support, archive and compression support, Chromecast support, and there are even theming options available. You also have the option of using the classic Solid Explorer which is still better than most other file browsers. It’s about as full featured as you can get without being bloated and it’s a good overall experience.

Get it now on Google Play!


tetra filer best file manager apps for androidTetra Filer

[Price: Free / $0.99]
Tetra Filer is an up and coming file manager that focuses on a quick and lightweight experience. It doesn’t have a lot of features, but does support the basics such as compression, file management, and more. You can bookmark parts of your SD card for quicker access (example: your downloads folder) and select from a couple of different view options. The paid version also has theming, the ability to show hidden files, and remove the limitation on bookmarks.

Get it now on Google Play!

tetra filer best file manager apps for android


total commander best file manager apps for androidTotal Commander

[Price: Free]
Total Commander is one of the more powerful and highly rated file managers out there. It has pretty much any feature you could ask for, including network storage support, cloud storage support, plugin support, bookmarks, and other tools such as an included text editor. This one is quickly becoming a favorite of many, even if the design isn’t as current as some would like. Nevertheless, it is entirely free with no in-app purchases and no advertising.

Get it now on Google Play!

total commander best file manager apps for android


X-Plore best file manager apps for androidX-plore File Manager

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
X-Plore File Manager is one of the more unique options on the list. It’s a forced dual-pane app which means you’ll be managing two windows at once pretty much all the time. This is kind of cool if you’re copy/pasting between folders or need to move files quickly. It also comes with support for various types of files, cloud storage, network storage (FTP, SMB, DLNA/UPnP), a built-in hex editor, root support, and plenty of other features. You can even view APK files as zips if you’re into that kind of thing.

Get it now on Google Play!

X-Plore best file manager apps for android


Related best app lists:

If we missed any of the best file manager apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

  • Junaid Ansari

    I think you guys should re-think the title to ROOT apps. Not everyone has root. Aside from that, I personally like Astro File manager. It does get updates frequently which can get annoying at time but its simple and easy to use. I have been using it since the good old 2.3 Gingerbread days.

    • D’Ander McSullivan

      Well, that they require root doesn’t means they’re not the best out of them. Other think would be “best non-root file manager and explorer apps” or “best root file manager and explorer apps”. “best file manager and explorer apps” implies them all IMO.

  • H5ire

    Root Explore + ES File Explorer : Best Fileup manager..!! ;)

  • Personally.. I prefer using “inKa File Manager” in most cases… It deserves to be on the list, it’s probably the smoothest file manager app I’ve come across to date!
    When need arise, I use Root Explorer for “Root related actions..”

  • [email protected]

    X-plore pretty much blows all of these out of the water.

    • HD

      true that.

    • Sebastián Andil

      Not that true!
      I’ve been a long-time loyal user of it, but since I discovered Solid explorer today, I’m blown away!
      Well X-Plore has some great (really) features, but lacks a lot of them too…
      For example: Sorting files/folders sucks most of the time. Bookmarks are extremely helpful at the first look too, memory management in Solid exp. also adds on the value, as well as drag&drop feature which saves quite a few taps as well. Unarchiving and Archiving also quite sucks in X-plore…
      And beautiful UI compared to X-plore…
      And Solid Explorer is now for 0,5€ (up to 1$) on Google play…

      • Sunny

        Solid Explorer is free in Play Store.

        • Abd

          Not free. Its a 14 day Trial only

        • Elllena Beca

          AirMore is another good app for Android file management:

      • I do agree with u..
        with all that features Solid explorer have and the clean modern black theme..
        been use it for 3 years now..

      • purple

        I found this thread while looking for an alternative to Solid Explorer. I also considered it the best but currently (v1.7.0) it has bugs that I cannot live with. It cannot detect USB OTG currently and it fails to zip or open archived files sometimes. Which explorer are you using now?

      • Paweł Gładysz

        Agree.
        I’ve been testing multiple file explorer apps recently and to my mind, Solid Explorer “kicks ass” and what is more – looks great as well so we may say that it _kicks ass in a gentle way_

    • Tomislav Nagode

      Agree with you, Xplore is since the Nokia days :)

  • Murat Kaya

    Es File Explorer is by far the best one in this list. It has root explore option in its settings if you are rooted and already does everything that root explorer does and it is free. It also supports all android versions from the beginning which means good application support from the developer.

  • File Explorer FX already own it! others just become useless..

  • Ray

    No mention of FX File Explorer? Are you guys serious?

    What a hopeless, unresearched article.

  • Penio Dachev

    Total Commander rullz ’em all

    • Joe Camel

      It is true :)

      • RK

        +1

  • manjunath

    Solid explorer is way ahead of others because of its split window feature.

    • nztdm

      You should try X-plore

  • ray01000101010101

    Astro File Manager

    • Zack

      But not in list :/

      • white pigeon

        not in your list, maybe ;)

  • Marcel Hoffs

    Definitly my own app. inKa File Manager ;)
    Fully holo and tablet layout.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mhoffs.filemanager

  • MasterMuffin

    MI FILE EXPLORER beats hands down all. This list is really solid though

  • horatzica

    Total Commander FTW!

  • rgsoo1

    FX file manager.

  • Prefer FX-File-Explorer.

  • Boris Shobat

    X-Plore the best full Root access, double tree view, HEX editor, LAN, Web, Free!

  • Astro File Manager

  • Guido Hulscher
  • Ali Dèdè Sankanu

    ES File Explorer tops the lot.

  • ph10m

    ES has even more features than root explorer, so I don’t know why the latter is listed as more of a power-pack for root users. ES allows for full root control, LAN servers (shortcuts to say, the movies and tv shows folder on your pc), cloud storage browser and integrated FTP.

    • Avamander

      ES also features some shady stuff

  • Zack

    I love Tablet explorer https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=joansoft.tabexplorer and their phone version – Android Explorer – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=joansoft.androidexplorer It gives a nice mac style explorer which is very easy to use

  • Zack Stewart

    I like ES but HOW DID XPLORE NOT MAKE THIS LIST?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • jangaleon

    i downloaded root broswer because i actually like the icon. after that it became my permanent explorer. it’s light, easy to use. even the free version is great.

  • lenseffect

    I prefer File Commander, it is very light and silently powerful :)

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Astro doesn’t make the list? Root files, with tens of thousands of downloads, versus main stream with tens of millions of downloads, and don’t require potentially breaking your device to use. I think a rooted and stock list might have been appropriate. But, that’s just my .02

  • gtdtm

    x-plore, by far better than many of these.

  • Chuck

    Try Drag and Drop on AntTek Explorer EX. Its dual screen and easy cloud and SMB features make it a mainstay in my collection. Drag and Drop takes some getting used to but is cool as heck…

  • Leonardo Rojas

    ES File Explorer n.n
    I wrote to them some time ago to ask “Why a superb file explorer as this one is for free? Are there obscure interests involved in this app?”
    Here’s their reply:

    On Jun 2, 2013 10:27 PM, “坤文” wrote:

    Thank you for asking As we don’t worry about money and are concentrate on user experience we don’t charge it. Thank you for your encouragement and don’t worry we don’t have any obscure business and will never hurt our users.
    Best Regards, ES Supporting Team

    Sweet, isn’t it?

    • Avamander

      Shady…

    • socialdiscard

      Chinese spyware?

  • Fx

    Total commander definitely

  • chas floren

    A big ditto to all the shout-outs for ES Explorer – although I confess that I did actually give my vote to “Other” for File Commander, which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit for a while now. So far, FC is proving to be a sleek, speedy & reliable workhorse for my Motorola Atrix HD.

  • John Smith

    ASTRO!

  • Richard Borkovec

    Personally I use File Wrangler on my tablet and phone. Dual pane, drag-n-drop, quick draw sidebar, share menu, and not sure if it’s officially Holo interface or not but it’s damn good looking:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amon.filewrangler

    Sure it doesn’t have Root, FTP, LAN, or cloud access, but as a strict phone file manager it’s great.

  • Mike

    I like ASTRO the most.

  • The new AnTek Explorer is best.

  • Joe Eatter

    I use AntTek Explorer, pretty nice explorer. However it doesn’t do as many things as ES File Explorer.

  • rickepatel

    Hey,

    I’d like to chime in with Solid Explorer. I’ve been using it since beta and am finding it way more intuitive than ES File Explorer and with nearly as many functions. Cheers and thanks for some awesome insight :) http://resultsway.com/

  • Pjayk

    File Manager HD
    and
    X-plore beat all that… dont understand that ranking

  • Shiwakant Bharti

    Astro File Manager for cool UI and support and Androzip for extracting from zip/rar and Total Commander for dual panel copy move.

    • nztdm

      astro will extract zip/rar though. X-Plore does all this.

  • truth

    astro file manager is best

  • i

    Astro FTW

  • Sagnik

    What about anttek

  • Chris
  • As most file explorers share the same set of features, I tend to rate them on their looks and ability to make the simplest of operations like bookmarks and selecting/copying files the easiest.

    My favorites are tetra File Explorer, inKa File Manager and File Commander (this one is free). They have great UIs, specially the first two.

    On the list you guys posted, I would choose File Manager by Gira.me the best.

  • mortemonline

    I tried a large number of file managers on android 2 and 4
    ES and Astro are well but they are full of bullshit
    x-plore has a very good preference and look
    the best in your list is Solid i think

    But FX beats them all in or out of the list

  • yorgaraz

    ES file explorer is by far the most advanced explorer of all. Especially when you start browsing your pc folders from there through networking

  • FooBar

    Where is the good ol’ TC ?

  • Doward

    Astroexplorer or something.. I like it. Similar to

    File Manager by Rhythm Software

  • I have used AntTek Explorer for a long time, and I really like it. Nice interface and useful features. Lots of explorers lacks a nice visual appearance, but have nice features. And others lacks features, but have a nice visual appearance. In my opinion, AntTek Explorer have both. The only thing that’s a bit odd, is that on some of my devices the copy/paste won’t work at all.

  • EYE

    X-plore

  • pratik

    es is best

  • Влатко Стојанов

    X-plore File Manager. Period.

  • I Love ES File Explorer. Free with lots powerful features. Love it..
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    Brilliant article .. best hand picked applications really liked you’re work.. even I tried my hands on this but at least you can check this out Best Android Games Hacks,Cheats,Mod apks and Glitches For Free Download

  • InfinituX

    Cabinet beta is a great material-style file explorer that gets the day-to day tasks done, and although it does not yet possess the full funcionality of say, ES or Astro file explorer, it is labeled as heavy in dev.

  • Android Developer

    I still use Total-Commander, but it does need an update.

  • AndroidBrian

    I use solid explorer. Its the best looking file manager IMO. Very easy to move files to different folders. Also there’s a chromecast plugin.

  • You should have included Tomi File Manager as well. It’s visually appealing, well organized and gets the job done. Play Store link –> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tomitools.filemanager With that said, Solid Explorer is my favourite file manager. I hope it gets a Material Design update sometime.

  • Marco Anzalone

    Actually using Amaze. And it’s really good. Material Design and works very smooth.

  • Usuf Ahmed

    ES is best.

  • BiBiBomBiBi

    Used to be a fan of ES Explorer. However, due to Android restrictions on SD Card currently, I can only use My File on my Note 4. Hope to get Lollipop soon. This is really frustrating..

  • Guest

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  • msal

    ES for me!

    Why didn’t sliding explorer make the list?

  • Am quite surprised the newcomer ‘Cabinet Beta” didn’t get a mention !

  • Brenden Keene

    Why no File Commander? It’s better looking than most and pretty functional with good cloud support.

  • Galaxy366

    Why do all these File Managers look so ugly. Keep it simple like the Cyanogenmod File Explorer, or the one from the Galaxy phones.

  • Haik

    I really don’t understand the purpose of those paid File managers, when there is the “ES File Explorer” for free, I mean even if it was a paid app,, I would consider it over any of this above mentioned apps.

  • David

    ES File Explorer for me all the way, it is the only one I’ve found that supports shortcuts for easy access to folders such as downloads, Cloud storage to easily manage OneDrive, DropBox etc. and USB OTG which is amazing for devices without removable storage.

  • Albin

    I’m also using ES, with its plug-in for task management that can replace other utilities. I’d be interested to try a dual pane file manager, which I like having on PCs.

  • JeremieCote

    Sliding Explorer is great simple clean with material design.

    • David

      looks nice, but very basic

  • Jasmeet Singh

    Es file explorer is the best of all.Best interface.All updates and support at a time.Nothing can beat it.I bet on it.

  • razvan

    Sliding Explorer is a Material Design nice file manager.

  • Gowri Sankar

    You Forgot Cask File Manager, The Best, Simple, Initiative Manager.

  • roverw

    You missed several good ones, File Commander is one that comes to my mind…

  • Igor Verbickij

    tried all of them, but “tomi file manager” is the best

    • David

      really like Tomi, but switched to ES for OneDrive and USB OTG

  • VasileR

    What about Cabinet Beta? It’s a nice Material Design file explorer.

  • guitar_shredda*

    File Commander!!

  • Krzysiek

    I’d recommend my own file manager – XFile. It’s not popular (yet? :D ), but it offers really good file browsing experience on tablets and has quite neat interface.

  • Netwern

    Joe you may need to update the File Manager by Rhythm Software it’s no longer by Rhythm Software, it’s by Cheetah Mobile. It’s still running based on old API and it’s laggy like shit. The jerkiness is evident when you’re scrolling up and down.

  • Eda

    Hallo, it is interesting.This is very simple solution:

    https://youtu.be/08HJKECVY-Y

    :-)

  • oyoapps

    I use another app called OYO file manager, which is better than all others listed above.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatbig.filemanager

  • madhu

    OYO File Manger-Wifi Explorer is the best file manager app among all others.
    we can transfer files between PC and mobile over WiFi without USB cable.
    very nice feature.
    everyone download this app and make use of it.

  • Hamza Bachar

    also there is file Manager PRO (Free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Bachar.GestionnaireDeFichiersPro
    – no ads
    – More than 40 language
    – Quick access to your folders by using gestures.
    – allows you to browse your Root Memory.
    – Task killer.
    – Boost your phone.
    – and more ….

    video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp6jLKcDet0

    in my mind File manager PRO is the best.

  • Daniel Rene

    Thank you for all the information and help
    Rene
    Ontario, Canada

  • Hacker Veer

    I use ES File Explorer. I use guestures sometimes. For example swiping the letter ‘M’ from the middle bubble will take me to my external SD card directory. Swiping ‘X’ will close the explorerTop Best 5 Root File Managers, Explorer 2016

  • PromethianKnight

    X-plore is immortal!!!!
    Been using it ever since the Symbian^3 days….. good times…. :’)

    • JosephHindy

      The interface is ugly as all hell but I’ve been maintaining this list for 3 years now and I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

      • PromethianKnight

        haha me too xD
        But hey, function > form. I love the fact that it still maintained everything good about it (minus the design) throughout the years. No extra unneccessary features added with every update that make the app bloated and defeat its function as a light and small yet powerful file managemtent tool..
        *cough* Astro/ES File Explorer *cough*

  • Markoff

    somehow you forgot to mention ES was sold to Chinese malware company (opera met same destiny) which is now using to promote its malware

    • JosephHindy

      Malware isn’t allowed in the Play Store so if it were actually malware, the app wouldn’t be there anymore. The word you’re looking for is “bloatware”. If you’re going to trash perfectly good applications, at least use the correct words :)

  • KeyserSoze

    It’s easy to install .apk files using ES, just navigate to the file and tap on it. You can also setup your phone as an FTP server using ES, I use it as such every now and then at work.

  • Muruga Rajen

    What about Mixplorer app?

    • JosephHindy

      I’ll look into it, thanks!

  • sholling

    I used to use ES File Explorer, right up until the story got around that it might be dropping Baidu on phones. As soon as I found Baidu on my phone I replaced ES File Explorer with FX File Explorer.

  • Well, I think you missed it. You missed AnExplorer (pro). It’s really nice, materialised and light weight file explorer which have bunch of features.

  • Vinicius Lima Silva

    I use Root Browser and within its simplicity, it is for me, one of the bests out there. It is really powerful and although the last update was a long time ago, I doesn’t feel that I want to switch apps. All of its functions works, so, yeah, I won’t pick any other.

  • You missed FX file manager — it is attractive and feature full

  • Alex

    What about FBBlack – it is small fast and do not have stupid bars on the screen?

  • Jonny

    Bullshitt Sony. They are using premium file explorer is File Commander. They are also selling many premium themes. OMG. I cannot imagine this before buying phone from this brand. I have never seen any brands like that. They cannot create explore app and they even sell everything. OMF.

  • HMS10

    X-Plore made me remember my Nokia phones :'(

  • Ciaran De Mancilla

    File Expert I found is pretty good. Just download and try a few days. Seems like a nice APP.

  • sam

    I using x-plore since my first Android phone about 4 years ago, I like this app, work very well. Now i looking for file Explorer app which have a same features with x-plore but nicer interface. I like the disk map from x-plore and i looking for this feature

  • Juan Carlos Alpizar Chinchilla

    Why is cabinet not available in my country? :( if I install via apk mirror will I get updates via play store?