Android delivers the best customization options that include the choice to manipulate files at your will. Android OS deals with a lot of files that might not make much sense to the users. Similarly, users also have to deal with files that are not limited to just music, video, and APK files. A file manager lets you access all these scattered files under one space and categorizes them for better access and understanding.
Play Store offers you, numerous file managers, both free and paid that can help your group, store, search, archive, and delete files with simple touch controls. The only problem is the selection of a good file manager from the overwhelming options on the Play Store. We have tried and tested 8 file managers that live up to their name and come with a few quirks that make them an effective file manager for Android. Here are a few good file managers available for Android:
- Mi File Manager
- Astro File Manager
- Cx File Explorer
- MiXplorer Silver
- Root Explorer
- Solid Explorer
- Files By Google
- ES File Explorer
Mi File Manager
Xiaomi might be notorious for its excessive advertising but its file manager does manage to stand out from the crowd. It is one of the best Android file managers that you can get for free and it boasts a 4.6-star rating on the Play Store with 500 million-plus downloads so far. It is popular, no doubt about that but is fairly easy to use too. Mi File Manager has a recent section that displays files according to their date of storage. It is very handy for finding a file from recent downloads.
Other special quirks include a simplified view of the different storage media on your smartphone that includes internal and external storage. The file manager groups the files in a few predetermined categories that narrow down the search even better. It also has the support to open file archives and can read a variety of file extensions with ease. Mi File Manager can be a little difficult as it bloats the file manager application with a sharing app and a cleaner inbuilt. Both of these are practically useless and bundling them with an otherwise clean and effective file manager makes little sense. Still, the Mi File Manager is a great option for one of the best yet free file managers for Android that has a lot of ads.
- Minimalistic design
- Storage analyzer
Astro File Manager
Astro File Manager is one of the oldest file managers to survive the test of time. Initially, it started out pretty basic but now packs elaborate features that must be present in a modern file manager. Astro File Manager is rated a wholesome 4.6 stars on Google Play Store with over 50 million-plus downloads so far.
The file manager adopts a similar white background to the Mi File Manager with a few differences here and there. It is intended for users that like a clutterless file manager application. One noticeable difference is that it doesn’t push any advertisement to the users. It is free, no hidden charges, and an option to support the Devs if you like it. Astro File Manager comes with a file explorer, file manager, and a storage cleaner module, each of which works fine. It lets you do the usual copy, paste, search, delete and move files. Users can also extract and archive files as per their preferences. There is also a feature to sync your cloud storage from prominent options with the promise of adding less popular ones pretty soon.
Astro File Manager also has an inbuilt cleaner that makes suggestions for large file sizes, allows you to delete multiple files and identify storage space hoggers at once. Overall, a no-ads and clean file manager application for Android.
- Sync Cloud Storage
- No ads
Cx File Explorer
Cx File Explorer is another entirely free file manager application for Android users that doesn’t integrate advertisements like Mi File Manager. It is fairly lightweight and is very small and non-resource intensive in design. The application is snappy but the icons remind us of Android system icons from a decade back, which needs to be upgraded. Cx File Explorer has a cult following on Google Play Store with 4.8 stars and over 10 million downloads.
Cx File Explorer does serve the basic features like browse, move, copy, compress, rename, extract, delete, create and share files (folders) on both internal and external storage of your mobile device. A few commendable features include the ability to access files from your cloud storage accounts and the ability to share files over FTP. It is not fast enough but comes in handy if you don’t have anything else to use.
There is a storage analysis feature that helps you to understand the file types taking up most space with the ability to delete temporarily or permanently. Temporarily deleted files are stored in recycle bin that comes in handy if you accidentally delete something you shouldn’t have. To sum it up, a simple, sober file manager application that needs an overhaul in the UI design.
- Less resource intensive
- File sharing over FTp
MiXplorer Silver is another compelling option for file managers that is brimming with features. For its features, the MiXplorer Silver is offering a free trial before you finally make a purchase. There isn’t a separate free tier and just a trial so plan your refunds right. The application has the basics of a file manager with extensive customization options like themes and add-ons that may be unique for your use case scenario.
For starters, MiXplorer Silver allows you to do tabbed browsing of files instead of the one single browse ability. It can enable or disable the buttons and features to make the settings pane a lot clearer. Even the archives file types list is much longer than any other file manager application mentioned in this list. It supports 19 different cloud storage providers so users can easily sync their favorite ones. It is definitely not for the basic users that do not fiddle with file managers and the asking price for a lifetime purchase is not that high. A recommended application for Android enthusiasts.
- Wide cloud storage providers support
- Themes and add-ons
Root Explorer is not like the simple file manager as it offers root access for Android smartphones. Any enthusiast that plays with custom ROMs needs a file manager application dedicated to the craft and it is exactly what they need. Root explorer comes at a price and it is not free to try for more than 24 hours like it used to be a while back.
Root Explorer facilitates network sharing, cloud storage access, file archiving, and access to all Android files along with the traditional file manager features. The UI isn’t very appealing but gets the job done. Being a paid application, it receives frequent updates and the reviews are mostly positive. In a nutshell, a file manager application for Android enthusiasts rather than conventional users.
- Access root files
- Network access
Solid Explorer is a privacy-focused file manager that provides multiple methods to access, protect and organize encrypted files. Solid Explorer has a materialistic design that is not bland or overpowering like many file manager menus. Its side menu has a detailed view of the size occupied and free in each type of storage, namely internal, external, and cloud. Detailed file and folder information is available with the graphical and textual representation of the same. Even the copying file status has its separate pane that displays the copying speed, location, type, size along with a graph.
Solid Explorer also allows you to encrypt files in a separate folder that can be unlocked via a password or fingerprint authentication. In-app file viewer, video playback, image viewer, and text editor are available. Though features are exciting, all of these are not available in the free tier which is a major drawback. But if your heart is set on this one, the file manager application for Android certainly doesn’t demand a lot.
- Best overall experience
- Graphical Interface
Files By Google
Files By Google made a lot of stir with its initial launch. It isn’t like most applications that offer file management but is a blend of sharing, backup, and file management. Files By Google underwent a lot of changes that allow the user to do the traditional file manager stuff apart from sharing files.
Files by Google neatly organizes and groups files by their extensions. It also offers to check existing duplicate files and to remove them to free up space. There is an inbuilt storage analyzer that can be used to clean the old and redundant files creeping up your precious storage space. Files By Google is available free of cost and though not widely used, is a simple file manager. And No ads!
- No ads
- Duplicate files analyzer
ES File Explorer
ES File Explorer holds a special mention because of its multifaceted features compressed within one app. Their efficacy, however, is a different question but as a file manager, it works great. The application is bloated with features and customization options along with advertisements that can put off users that are in for a clean file manager.
Its rating has surely dwindled with time but the fresh UI has a good vibe to it. Copying, moving, and deleting functions work without posing any trouble and the file sharing, and archiving tools are fine. The only problem is the advertisements that can be reduced to regain the popularity it once had among android users.
- Themes and customization
- Small size
Solid Explorer and the Mi File Manager are our best picks for the best file manager application that you can use on Android. For enthusiasts that like to play with Android system files, Root Explorer is a viable option with a clutterless UI. Astro File Manager and files By Google are equally good but the latter one is absolutely free to use.