fman is a Dual-pane file manager for Mac, Windows and Linux.

I decided to try it for my Windows (10) machine. Here are my thoughts.

Things I don't like about fman:

1. Context menu is radically stripped down

This is huge for me. Like, I have no:

  • 7-Zip option to extract zip the way I prefer ("Extract Here").
  • Share options (Dropbox, OneDrive, etc)
  • Git Bash Here (to open the current folder in the terminal)
  • Open with Code (to open the current folder in VS Code)
  • New [file], to create a file in the current folder (this is very handy to create new text files where I'm in). And directly open them in a text editor of my choice.

2. No way to preview image files

I often need to see which image I need in a folder full of images. At least in Windows File Explorer I can have a Large Icons view in which I can have a hint of what's inside. I'm used to be able to do this very easily on the mac (Finder) by just hitting spacebar, to Preview the file without actually opening an app to fully load it.

Previewing is not just for images, but PDFs too. It's very easy to be lost when all you see is a list of file names.

3. No way to see which volumes are mounted and available

This is too bad. I like to access my NAS or other mounted (encrypted) volumes, without remembering which Letter it was assigned by Windows.

4. No handling of High Contrast mode

For people with visual difficulties, it is nice to have an interface that use more contrast. It's not a big downer for me, but I find it lacks consistency on my setup since that's what I'm using. I quite like the minimalist & brutalist feel of Windows' High Contrast mode. Plus, it's easier for my old eyes. ;-)

Things I do like about fman:

1. You can easily tidy up and classify

This is the big win that fman gives: a quick and easy way to have a split File explorer with which you can move around files from one remote place to another.

2. Very useful fuzzy search to find files and folders

This makes it a breeze to go from one place to another without moving your hands off the keyboard (I love to use keyboard shortcuts for this reason).

3. More intuitive keys for navigating folders

Arrow keys are a much better way to navigate between folders than the File Explorer keyboard shortcuts that are a very awkward in comparison.


I don't regret buying it, but I will use the default File Explorer almost exclusively from now on... until a best alternative comes up for Windows.