The Windows Explorer, which is already integrated in the operating system, makes it easier to work with files and folders under Windows. Alternatively, there are other file managers available for download that perform special tasks better or are more convenient to use. These alternative file managers include the Total Commander by Ghisler Software from Switzerland, which is not only available for the Windows PC, but also for mobile devices.
A file manager with two working windows
Total Commander reminds of Norton Commander, which can be opened under DOS in the command prompt, by the layout of its graphical user interface. Both have two windows that can display different folders with the files they contain. The files can be edited or moved from one window to another.
If you miss the directory tree, you can add it via the icon “Switch through separate tree views”. There are different ways to view files and folders, such as Detail View and Thumbnail View, and you can preview them using Quick View. Total Commander also supports various languages such as English, German and Russian.
Search and compare files
The Total Commander offers a search function that considers date, attributes and file sizes. The file manager supports regular expressions, which can be used to formulate complex search queries. You can also use the software to synchronize directories and compare files with each other.
Working with ZIP archives and FTP client
The handling of archives is a big plus and saves the installation of a separate archive management software to unpack archive files. The Total Commander supports ZIP, 7ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB and ACE archive formats.
The same is true for FTP support. Since the file manager has an integrated FTP client, no additional software is required to upload files to or download files from remote FTP servers. But FTP is insecure because it does not provide encryption. Better is SFTP, which encrypts the data when copying from the computer to the server and in the opposite direction with SSL/TLS. This can be activated via a checkbox when establishing a connection and thus protects the transferred files from being read or falsified by third parties.
Total Commander for mobile devices
Total Commander is not only available for desktop computers, but also for mobile devices. The smartphone and tablet apps don’t quite have the same features as the desktop version, but they’re upgradeable. This is done via plug-in apps that support FTP, SFTP, SMB and WebDAV and the coupling of two devices via LAN or WLAN.
System requirements and license
Total Commander is available in a 32-bit version that can be installed under Windows 95 to Windows 10. The 64-bit version can only be used on the 64-bit systems of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Alternatively, you can download the combined 32- and 64-bit version, whereby not only the 32-bit version is installed on the computer, but also the 64-bit version, if the computer and the installed Microsoft Windows are 64-bit capable.
Total Commander is not available free of charge for the Windows desktop and can be tested as shareware or demo version 30 days free of charge before you have to buy the software. Students receive a reduced price if, for example, they can prove their status with a scanned certificate. Under Android and Windows Mobile the Total Commander is available for free as freeware in the respective App Stores. Users of a Pocket PC can use the Total Commander Pocket.