ES File Explorer is the most popular file explorer available on Google Play if you go by downloads, with over 1.7 million and counting. As a file explorer, it provides a user interface for managing files and folders. This includes operations, such as viewing, playing, and editing.
When you open ES File Explorer, it will display the homepage. This view provides access to documents and images, as you would expect. You can easily access internal and external storage if available. Interestingly, it has shortcuts for music and installed apps, as well.
The tools section includes tools for network file management, Remote Manager for PC access, and System Manager, a task manager.
The bookmarks section provides links to the documents folder, Google Images (through Images), Google News (through News), Google Play (through APP), and others.
In order to access the menu, either tap the menu button in the top left, or swipe from the left of the screen to display the menu options. The menu includes sections for Favorites, Local (as in, local storage), Library (images, music, movies, etc.), Network, and Tools.
You are able to exit the app, change the theme, and go to settings from the three, respective buttons at the bottom of this sidebar.
From settings, you can change ES File Explorer’s layout, its cache, its directories, the search engine, and more. Here, you also can set a password, backup your settings and apps, change settings for the download manager, and set default windows for startup.
Let’s go back to the homepage. You will see another button at the top right for extra options. From here, you can make a new file or link, refresh the page, add or close windows, and manipulate files and folders that have been copied to the clipboard. The Default button at the bottom of the Windows sidebar provides a shortcut for you to change the default windows for startup.
If you want to make a search, you can specify what ES File Explorer should search for by clicking the options button after you tap the search button. These options include web search, searching in documents, searching in video, and so on.
Now, let’s go back to the homepage one more time. In the first screenshot above, you should see a transparent circle overlapping the tools and bookmarks sections. This circle, which is available to you in all directories, helps you to perform swiping gestures for shortcuts. In order to make your own gestures, click “Gesture” from the menu sidebar.
What We Liked
- Many, specific settings
- Homepage provides options to many of the app’s functions and settings
- Gesture support
- Network file access and management
- Built-in video player
- Built-in music player
- Task Manager (requires installation)
- Customizable themes
What We Didn’t Like
- Music player can’t play all formats
- Barebones video player
- No options for subtitles, rewind, fast-forward, playback speed
- Unappealing UI that does not match the rest of the app
- Only 12 windows can be open at a time
Summary: 4.63 out of 5 stars
To conclude, ES File Explorer is a great file manager. Although it is packed with features (some of which some users may not use), no main functionality is lost. The app never slowed down or crashed during my moments using it.
Power users will be satisfied, I think, with these many features and settings. Those include an SD Card Analyst, FTP support, and the aforementioned System Manager and Remote Manager.
There were only three, minor issues I had with ES File Explorer. First, its music player can only play .mp4 files.
The video player is also barebones since it has no subtitle, rewind, fast-forward, or playback speed support. Also, its UI does not match the rest of the app and is rather unappealing with a design based on Android 2.x.
Lastly, only 12 windows can be open at a time within the app, which is rather easy to do if you’re exploring all the options in one session.
However, with that aside, I do not think these issues take away too much from ES File Explorer at all. A file manager at least needs to do the essentials of accessing and manipulating files and directories well, and it does that.
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