Files App 3.1 Released : Improved drag-and-drop, smart archives, a system tray icon, and other features

In 2023, Microsoft enhanced File Explorer, especially in Windows 11. Yet, open-source alternatives such as the Files app provide a sleeker and more user-friendly experience.

What is a Files App?

The Files app is an open-source file manager designed for a modern and user-friendly experience compared to the default Windows 11 file manager. With its sleek design, intuitive interface, and powerful features, it’s an excellent choice for effective file and folder management.

Files App UI

Key Features:

  • Sleek design and intuitive interface: Files have a sleek design that’s easy to navigate. It’s user-friendly with handy features like tabs, dual pane support, and file tagging, making it more intuitive than File Explorer.
  • Powerful features: Files include many of the same features as File Explorer, plus several powerful features that make it easier to browse and manage your files and folders. These features include:
    • Cloud file integration: Files integrate with many cloud storage services, such as OneDrive, Apple’s iCloud, and Google Drive.
    • Preview pane: Files has a preview pane that allows you to preview files without opening them. This is especially useful for previewing images, videos, and documents.
    • Command Palette: The Command Palette is a feature that lets you perform quick actions in files. This is a great way to save time and effort.
    • Background running: we can set files to run in the background, so you don’t need to launch it each time you want to browse your files. This is a great convenience feature.
  • Free and open-source: Files is a free and open-source project. This means that it is constantly being updated and improved by a community of developers.
  • Personalize Look: The app provides a modern settings interface, allowing you to customize almost every aspect of your experience. You can change appearance, customize folder views, backup and restore settings, and more.

Files App Customization
How to Set Files App as the Default File Manager

To make the Files app the default file manager on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Files.
  2. Click the Settings (gear) button in the top-right corner.
  3. Click on Advanced.
  4. Under the “Experimental features flags,” section, turn on the “Set files as the default file manager,” toggle switch.
Files App as default File Manager

How to Get Files App?

To get the free version of Files rather than the paid-for Microsoft Store app, visit this link.

Click the tiny ‘classic installer’ link on the Download page.

The EXE file may ask if you want to install 7z Setup SFX, but this is just the name of the File self-extracting archive – so don’t worry, you haven’t downloaded the wrong program.


Files app is a brilliant choice if you want a modern, powerful, and user-friendly file manager. It’s free, open-source, regularly updated, and an excellent alternative to File Explorer. If you’re seeking a better way to handle your files and folders on Windows 11, try it.

Files App features Screen Shots
Additional Tips

  • You can pin the Files app to the taskbar for quick access.
  • You can customize the appearance of the app to match your preferences.
  • You can learn more about the app by visiting the official website.