Featured Freeware: UltraExplorer

UltraExplorer overhauls the Windows file-browsing experience, with excellent copy and navigation tools. Too bad the built-in search sucks.

UltraExplorer overhauls the Windows file-browsing experience. Many things will seem similar, yet several key features have radically different work flows from the Microsoft file navigator. It also combines the best aspects of Windows Vista's Explorer with those from XP, and then throws in a few spices of its own to come up with a delicious meal of file management.

The UltraExplorer interface is entirely customizable, from the toolbar menu to the various icons, tools, and options that live below. You can permanently hide any of the 17 toolbars and nine windows that come with the program, so you never have to deal with more clutter than is absolutely necessary. Useful features include an address bar, breadcrumb bar, Dual Views for FTP-style management, and a killer temporary scratch pad called the Drop Stack. It also supports Total Commander plug-ins, and has Quick Thumbs and Stretch tools for quickly resizing icons.

However, the search feature is worse than the one in Windows Explorer, the Options menu is unnecessarily complicated, and the auto-replace Windows Explorer hot key is buggy. UltraExplorer is a very good but not absolutely necessary file-managing replacement.