The default Windows file manager Windows Explorer has not really changed that much in all its years of existence. Microsoft made only marginally changes to the program and while it is sufficient for basic file related operations, it lacks several features that third party tools offer.
Just Manager has been around for a while even though it is still available in an alpha version. You should not take this as a bad sign though as it seems more stable than many programs that have been released as final versions.
The program is available as a portable version or installer for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. When you first start it up you may get the feeling that you have just loaded an ftp program, as it resembles those quite a bit in my opinion.
It uses a classic two pane layout that displays two local or remote folders next to each other. You can increase the number of panes easily in the program settings to a maximum of 16 that you can display next to each other or in rows beneath each other. 16 may seem like overkill but if you need to move lots of files between different folders, it may help you with that tremendously.
You can define individual view modes for each pane, for example a detailed file listing for the left pane, and a thumbnail view mode on the right.
That's the first but not the only advantage that it has over Windows Explorer as it makes file operations comfortable. Instead of having to open two Windows Explorer windows or using copy / paste operations, you simply drag and drop the files from one pane to the other.
You can switch folders and drives here easily, and get options to map network drives or connect to ftp servers from within the program window as well. The interface is clean and highly customizable. You can edit or remove any entry in the menubar for example or define colors and fonts for most elements in the program settings as well.
Just Manager supports a variety of features that make it quite useful. You can open different drives and folders in tabs in the interface. What's interesting here is that tabs are either displayed on the left or right pane. Tabs can be created with a click on Tabs > Add Tab or the shortcut Ctrl-T that you may know from your web browser of choice as well. You can rename any tab which can help you identify folders more easily, and lock tabs in place so that you can't accidentally navigate away from it.
The program remembers directories and tabs over sessions, so that you can continue a previous session once you start the program anew.
If you browse around you will notice that some files and folders are color coded automatically by the application. Executable files are displayed in green, compressed files in blue and hidden & system files in gray.
You can add your own color coding in the program settings. Want media files to be displayed in red, or encrypted files in dark blue? You can do all that and a lot more in the filter settings menu.
- Enter a name for the new filter first.
- You can pick matching attributes here as well as date parameters.
- File extensions can also be part of filters.
The bottom bar displays several popular hotkeys, like F5 for copying the selection or F7 to create a new directory. You find a list of all shortcuts of the program in the settings as well. Here you can also modify them all.
Just Manager Tips
Here is a selection of quick tips to make the most out of the file manager:
- You can configure file viewers and editors under Settings > View / Edit. Notepad is added by the program by default, but if you want to use a different program, Notepad++ for example, add it here to make it available.
- You can speed up file operations by enabling the parallel file operations feature in the settings under file operations.
- The program displays move, copy and delete confirmations which you can disable in the same settings window.
- Just Manager follows symbolic links by default. If you do not want that, disable the feature under settings > navigation.
- You can close tabs by double-clicking on them.
- The program does not hide hidden or system files by default. You can modify that under the display settings.
- You can open the multi-rename tool with Ctrl-M. Use it to run find and replace operations on select folders.
- Configurations and themes can be imported and exported. While there is no synchronization available, you can use it to use the same configuration on multiple devices.
- You can spawn a command prompt and all Control Panel applets directly from the program's interface.
Just Manager is a promising file manager for the Windows operating system. It could use a couple of extra features, like an option to take the place of Windows Explorer so that it is spawned instead of the default program. Other than that, it is already excellent in most aspects and there is little to criticize. Definitely a thumbs up from me.