One of the most annoying aspects of Windows File Explorer is that you can’t have many directories open in different tabs at the same time.

It’s a fantastic all-around solution for saving time and decluttering your desktop, but Windows has been resistant to change in the past.

Microsoft included the “Sets” tab management tool in Windows 10 in 2019, however, it was quickly withdrawn. So, what options do you have?

This post will show you eight of the greatest Windows 10 file management applications that make File Explorer tabs available.

  1. XYplorer 

XYplorer has been around for over 20 years and is frequently considered as one of the greatest File Explorer alternatives.

One of the advantages of XYplorer is that it is a completely portable program that does not require installation. This means you may carry it around with you on a USB drive and access it from any computer.

XYplorer has various features, including an advanced search, a customized interface, dual pane display, and script support, in addition to a tabbed browser.

XYplorer also offers a very clean, modern user interface that is simple to navigate. Windows Server 2003 to Windows 11 are supported in the latest version (22.50.0100).

XYplorer comes with a 30-day free trial and a one-time charge of $39.95 for the complete version.

2. Total Commander 

Total Commander, the most well-known file manager for Windows, has been around for about the same amount of time as XYplorer. It’s even available on Android.

A dual-pane view, an expanded search function, a tabbed interface, and many tools for organizing and syncing directories are just a few of the features that customers find useful in Total Commander. The problem is that Total Commander has an outdated, crowded, and confusing user interface.

Total Commander version 10.00 is a 5MB executable file that works with all Windows versions up to Windows 11. (32-bit and 64-bit). Total Commander provides a 30-day functioning demo of the program, after which it must be registered. A lifetime registration will set you back around $42.00.

3. Opus Directory

Windows Server 2003 to Windows 11 are supported by Directory Opus. It has a dual-pane, tabbed interface, different customizations, powerful searching, support for various file types and archives, and a portable USB version, comparable to Total Commander and XYplorer.

There are two versions of Directory Opus: Directory Opus Light ($40.00) and Directory Opus Pro ($70.00).

The Light edition covers all of the capabilities that a typical home user requires, while the Pro edition adds highly adjustable and more advanced features.

Dual and five computer licenses are also available for the Pro version at an additional fee. A 60-day free trial is also available via Directory Opus.

4. QTTabBar 

While the first three apps on this list are standalone file managers, QTTabBar is a File Explorer extension. Plugins, scripting, and minor customizations are available in addition to the tabbed interface.

Download and install QTTabBar from their official download page to activate it. Then, in File Explorer, go to the View tab.

  • Then, under Options, pick QTTabBar.
  • Tabs are now available in the standard Windows File Explorer.
  • QTTabBar is a free donationware application that works with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11.

5. Salamander Altap

Another free two-panel file manager for Windows is Atlap Salamander. It has a similar appearance to Total Commander, but is considerably more current, and includes all of the capabilities that a light user would expect.

Atlap stands apart from the competition because of a number of networking features, including support for the FTP, FTPS, SCP, and SCFP protocols. It also has a password manager built-in and the ability to encrypt files.

Salamander Atlap is a freeware that works with Windows 10, 8.1, and 7. (32-bit and 64-bit).

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