If you have a PC with Windows installed and are looking to make your work routine more efficient try out these free programs. They are mostly inspired from Mac OS X and Linux but they have great user interface tools to better manage multiple windows explorer windows using panes (sometimes called panels) which are side by side views and tabs. You can also get multiple desktops like Linux and better deal with multiple open windows whether you use one or multiple monitors.
If you are tired of dealing with lots of open windows and losing track of what you have open, you’ll want to try these out. If you are a power Windows user or do a lot of multi-tasking, these applications will help you speed up your productivity on your computer.
Windows Explorer Tabs and/or Multiple Panes
- Q-Dir – tabs, multiple panels (up to 4), favorites – my #1 choice
- FreeCommander – tabs, dual panel
- Multi Commander – tabs, dual panel
- Unreal Commander – tabs, dual panel
- XYplorer – tabs, dual panel – free version doesn’t have a favorites feature, but it does remember your last open tabs and places last open
- QTTabBar – tabs, no dual or multiple panes, very clean, Windows Explorer plugin
- Clover – tabs, no dual or multiple panes, very clean, Windows Explorer plugin
Mission Control clone
Dexpot – Mac OS X Mission Control clone. Free for personal use only! This does what Mac OS X Spaces and Expose clones do in one program. Multiple desktops and easily switching from open windows. Hot corners, keyboard shortcuts and more. If you need something free for a work, business or commercial computer, use the two programs WindowsPager and Switcher, which I mention below.
Multiple Desktop / Spaces clone
WindowsPager – Mac OS X Spaces clone or Linux Multiple Desktops clone. This is the one I like the best, configuration takes awhile to figure out. I like the windows box in my Windows taskbar. You can configure keyboard shortcuts and more. You can configure different wallpaper for each desktop, but you have to edit an ini file.
Switcher – Mac OS X Expose clone. It allows you to more easily switch from all your open windows rather than dealing with alt-tab. If you have a lot of windows open, you’ll want this. You can configure hotspots and it works with multiple monitors.