Question Decent file manager?


Well-known member
May 31, 2024
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Hi there. The File Manager in my new Android 14 phone shows just a list of recent files, and a facility to search for files by name. It's not how it looked on my old phone. Is there a "proper" file manager that shows files and folders?


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Jan 5, 2019
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What phone are you using? If you are using the stock "Files by Google" app as your file manager, it should show "Recents," but also below "Recents" it should show "Categories," "Collections" and "Storage Devices." "Storage Devices" can be tapped to open up all of the files on your device. If "Files by Google" is your file manger, you may have to clear its cache and storage and restart your phone to get all of the files to show properly.

Long press on the file manager app icon, tap App Info, tap Storage and cache, tap Clear storage and tap Clear cache, restart your device. Note that when you clear Storage, you will lose any files you may have placed in Safe Folder, anything you may have Starred and any Settings you may have set for the app (you do not lose any of your files).
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B. Diddy

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Mar 9, 2012
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I didn't like it when Files by Google took the approach that I think was started by Samsung, where the first thing you see are "Categories" -- these categories are essentially grouped from the entire phone's storage, and make it a little harder to understand where on the phone the files are. For the conventional file explorer view, you have to browse the Storage Devices, as SeeBeeEss explained above.

If you want a more conventional file explorer that's versatile and free (and continues to get good support from the dev), try Total Commander.


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May 16, 2014
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There are dozens of Android file manager apps and while they all do basically the same thing, manage files and folders, they all also have different user interfaces. And some have a wide number of features, some are more limited. Not knowing just which file manager app you're asking about, this is just a generic suggestion but try looking into your file manager app's Settings menu and see if there are any options that allow you to customize how things appear in its display.
If your file manager app is lacking, there's no shortage of viable options in the Play Store. I like the MiXplorer Silver app, it has a large number of options to change its appearance so you can set it show a sparse number of items or a more extensive display.
A very popular file manager that gets good user reviews is the Solid Explorer app

These are just two choices, there are plenty to choose from. Browse through different Play Store offerings and note the screen captures for each. Pick one you'll feel comfortable using that can do what you want it to do.

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