If you like the look of Windows 8’s new version of Windows Explorer, but don’t want to use the developer preview, free app Better Explorer brings some of the perks to your Windows 7 desktop.
Better Explorer attempts to emulate the best features of Windows 8’d Explorer, like the collapsible ribbon UI and the quick access toolbar, while also adding tabs and a bit of extra jumplist options. It’s a completely separate program, too, not an add-on for Windows Explorer, which can be kind of a scary endeavour. The tabs are definitely nice to have and adding functions like copy, paste or refresh to the quick access toolbar is just a matter of right-clicking on them.
Better Explorer is still in the alpha stages and while it’s quite usable, it isn’t exactly perfect. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious keyboard shortcut for opening a new tab, nor is there anything under the File menu. I haven’t noticed any big bugs, but just know that it isn’t a finished product. Development doesn’t seem to fast, either, but it’ll certainly hold you over until Windows 8 if you don’t want to completely replace your file explorer.
Better Explorer is a free download for Windows 7 and Vista only.