Original Windows File Manager (winfile) for Windows 10

Windows File Manager (winfile) is reborn! The program now ships with enhancements for Windows 10. Microsoft Windows File Manager is the graphical user interface (GUI) through which end users can view and manipulate files and folders on Windows first version computers.

The File Manager has proven to be a powerful and intuitive way to move away from the traditional DOS command line interface (CLI). Users could view the directory structure of the computer in a left window, while the contents of files and subfolders in the selected directory would appear in the right window. End users could then move, copy, rename, print, delete and search files and folders. Users can also set attributes (permissions) of files and folders such as read-only, system, hidden, or archive, and make associations between files and applications. Windows File Manager also allowed users to format drives and manage network file sharing.

The formation of file names was found to be a major limitation of the Windows File Manager, which only supported traditional DOS 8.3 type file names. Extended file names longer than 8 characters and supporting spaces displayed in the file manager appear truncated with a tilde and a number in the last two spaces. For example, a file name like Official-real-computers.doc would appear in the file manager, like Offica ~ 1.doc.

Windows File Manager (the WINFILE.EXE) was included in versions of Windows earlier than Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, but is no longer in use. The file management function in Windows 95 / NT 4.0 and later versions has been replaced by the Windows Explorer interface accessible through the My computer icon.

Windows File Manager (winfile)

Last year Microsoft released binaries and source code, under the MIT license, for an enhanced version of File Manager that can run on Windows 10. This version included changes such as the ability to compile into modern versions of Visual Studio, the ability to compile as a 64-bit application, and many usability improvements.

In summary, winfile v10.0 has the following changes:

  • OLE Drag and drop support.
  • Control characters (for example, ctrl + C) map to the current shortcut (for example, ctrl + c -> copy) instead of changing drives.
  • To cut (ctrl + X) followed by dough (ctrl + V) results in file displacement as one would expect.
  • Left and right arrows in the tree view, expand and collapse the folders as in Explorer.
  • Add context menus in both streams.
  • Improved means by which icons are displayed for files.
  • F12 is running notepad or notepad ++ on the selected file.
  • Moving the ini file location at % AppData% Roaming Microsoft WinFile.
  • File search may include a date that limits files returned to those after the date provided; the output is also sorted by date instead of by name.
  • File search includes an option to include or not include subdirectories.
  • Ctrl + K starts a command shell (ConEmu if installed) in the current directory; Shift + Ctrl + K start an elevated command shell (cmd.exe only).
  • File.Go to (ctrl + G) allows you to type a few words of a path and get a list of directories; by selecting one, you access this directory. Only drive c: is indexed.
  • user interface displays reparse points (for example, junction points) as such.
  • Added simple forward / backward navigation (probably to be improved).
  • View order has a new option to sort by date forward (oldest at top); the normal date sort is most recent at the top.

Microsoft has released the winfile application in the Microsoft Store free at the end of January 2019. More details on GitHub.

Hope this can be useful to you.


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Donald E. Hollingsworth