Navigating files and folders in Windows has – it’s true – become easier with each successive release, but there’s still one major problem that’s never been addressed by Microsoft: the single folder view. Despite the existence of the Favorites Bar, copying or moving files from one folder to another usually involves opening two separate folder windows.

You then manually have to manually browse to the source and destination folder before you can drag files between them.
File explorer tools are ten-a-penny, with the most notable improvement being that you can view two or even four folders at once in single window, making copying and navigating a quick and easy affair. Multi Commander only offers a choice of single or dual panes for viewing folders, but you can open multiple tabs in each window, allowing you to create shortcuts to favourite folders that you can easily switch between for file management purposes.

A large number of buttons – all customisable - sit underneath the two panes giving you access to shortcuts, selection tools (such as images or MP3 files), system tools and various folder-based tweaks, like being able to hide DLLs from view. It also comes with built-in capabilities for accessing the Registry, viewing remote folders via FTP and opening a range of compressed archives, including 7zip, RAR and TAR in addition to Zip.

There are some useful tools thrown in for good measure: manage file and folder permissions, forcibly end stubborn processes, pack and unpack archives and create symbolic links and junctions in addition to regular shortcuts. There are also basic media management tools and a built-in file viewer for peeking at the code behind a file, all adding up to a tool that is well on its way to becoming your one-stop shop for all matters file-related.

The program interface is fully customisable, but a little drab and overwhelming for our liking in its default state – however, there’s little doubting its raw power and potential, and the fact it’s now free makes it a tool well worth checking out, although the author has warned it may revert to a paid-for license in the future.

Version 7.7.0 changes (Changelog):

ADDED - New AlreadyExistsDialog that shows thumbnails are more options and new layout
ADDED - New overwrite option "Overwrite if size differs", "Overwrite if larger", "Overwrite if smaller"
ADDED - Added so copy path to clipboard can convert mounted path UNC path
ADDED - Rename Dialog for Replace text in name, will now remember last 20 used texts
ADDED - Create link dialog will now remember last used option
ADDED - Improved logging in some places
ADDED - API to Add/Remove column to current view
ADDED - Added workaround for issue that if network mounted device got unmounted and remounted it got the same name since Windows Cached it.
ADDED - Settings if FocusItem should be saved on exit or not
ADDED - MultiDataFileViewer got more default setups (thanks to pncdaspropagandas )
        CHANGE- Lots of internal changes and code cleanup
FIXED - Fixed issue in FTP and 7Zip that made Keep DateTime not work in some situations
FIXED - Fixed crash issue with range selection
FIXED - Issue with range selection in WinExplorer setup
FIXED - Issue with tab stealing focus when MultiRename window closes
FIXED - 7 Stability issue reported by crash report system

FIXED - Tweaked column autosizing when new tab is show the first time.
FIXED - MultiDataViewer will now format hyper links with https: as clickable links
FIXED - FSFTP caused a crash if the server return incorrect information from a PASV/PORT call
FIXED - Settings might be saved if external program closes MultiCommander while being minimized to tray
FIXED - Fixed rare crash issue with MultiRename
FIXED - Sometimes when clicking on a item in Multi Commander window when focus was another app and filesystem slow, the wrong item was set as focus
FIXED - Some OneDrive sync ondemand issues. (Only on Windows Insider edition) (Some still left)
FIXED - Fixed issues when Windows returned an invalid icon overlay ( Insider Preview Windows 10 (Fall Creator Update) )
FIXED - Overwrite all issue when unpacking 7zip archives
CHANGE- Major internal change to avoid conflict with new FileSystem changes in Insider Preview Windows 10 (Fall Creator Update)
FIXED - 4 stability issue reported by crash report system

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

A decent stab at providing a comprehensive file-management tool, packed with useful features and infinitely more attractive now it’s completely free.