Screen shots

  • Better File Manager takes the stress out of organising files in Windows.
  • Ideal for people or people you know who struggle with shifts, clicks, drags.
  • Ideal for people or people you know who lose, duplicate and get in a muddle.


Better File Manager helps non-computery people organise their files without worrying about different sorts of clicking, performing mouse tricks or losing files in large heaps. If you are one of the many who find Windows difficult and frustrating then BFM has been written for you.
Here is a complete re-think of files, folders, clicking, right-click+shift, "umm should that be control and drag" if so where have my files gone to! Basically the standard file manager that comes with Windows is an awful thing to learn and needs frequent use and good hand control. Better File Manager had been specifically designed for the 'non-computer computer user'. It makes everything much simpler and doesn't rely on mysterious clicks and controls to work.

There are three main themes:

  1. Simplified manipulation of files. No need to worry about control, shift, left or right clicks.
  2. A clean filing system where everything goes in a logical place to suit the user.
  3. Tools for getting out of trouble and organising files.
Never have to worry about shift/ctrl/left/right click again
BFM is aimed at the average user, the vast majority, who want to use their computer as a proper filing system where they control what goes where even if they're not doing it at lightning speed. In practice, as anyone who is the tech support for their family will know, there are so many traps with the standard 'my-computer' file manager and so many impossible to find locations in a normal 'My documents' filing system that organising files is a nightmare. This applies to many everyday users as well.

The main screen is two directory trees and a single pane file listing. This can be operated quite simply without a mouse, or without worrying about shifty-clicks and all that stuff with simple mouse clicks. The information shown about files is adjustable as is the size of the font. Small generic file type icons can be used with the name and there is an optional image preview. The standard operations such as move and copy, rename and delete are started by ordinary buttons rather than mouse wiggling and these progress through full featured dialogs in no-hassle steps.

The Store and Shelves idiom

For a moment let's leave the improvements to the 'fetching and carrying' bit and look more closely at how people can organise their files. Typically things get saved to "My Documents" in a big heap, but often they're uploaded/downloaded to application specific places at the end of hugely complicated paths. Most people don't even use a \temp directory let alone \temp\downloads. Their desktop is also a graveyard crawling with un-dead shortcuts.

These matters are addressed also by establishing a scheme, and taking time to educate the user in its use, and finding their existing files and migrating them to a logical system. There are two key elements to this:


BFM does two things:
  1. Made the mechanics of looking after files easier
  2. Given the user a robust filing scheme they can understand and use.


Better File Manager has been developed as a result of years of watching people struggle. There are lots of things that go wrong and things that could be done much better. We've already touched on move and copy but what about finding lost files, duplicates, last year's invitation. What about bulk renaming of pictures uploaded from the camera? What about using key words in file names? - Many people have now got a lot of same-name photos and even if they're put into suitable directories they are unlikely to be labelled with who is in them - at least not systematically.

The design is such that additional extra modules can be added-in. A backup module is likely to be standard and a remote view to assist the family tech supporter is a possibility.

Free and easy help from a buddy

Now your buddy can 'look over your shoulder' via the internet with any web browser from anywhere in the world. This makes it ten times easier to smooth-out troubles and get to the bottom of those persistent blockages.
As BFM is particularly suited to people who are not fluent in Windows it is only natural that these are exactly the sort of people who phone up their 'computer expert' to get them out of a muddle. Of course BFM will reduce the need for family support calls, but as part of the deal you get a free licence for somebody who can step through actions together on the end of the phone.
Home page link Better File Manager is written by Peter Fox. ©
2 Tees Close, Witham, Essex, CM8 1LG, England
bfm @ vulpeculox • net