Get back to basics with OI File Manager for Android

Jack Wallen presents a file manager with a set of simplified features that will help you gain efficiency on your daily travels.

There are many file managers available for the Android platform. Some of these file managers offer tons of bells and whistles, and other user interfaces are so modern that they are hardly like anything you’ve used before. However, some of the fundamental actions of a file manager can be lost.

This is not the case with the OI file manager. Its simple user interface doesn’t interfere with what a file manager should do best – and that is file management. But don’t let the simplicity fool you; OI File Manager has several features, including:

  • Show file list
  • Show thumbnails of images
  • Move, copy, rename and delete files
  • Create and delete directories
  • Email files
  • Used by apps like Gmail to attach files
  • Support for many file types and MIME
  • Integrated file compression
  • Bookmarks
  • Shortcut creation

It’s not the longest list of features, but what OI File Manager offers makes it an important entry into the world of file managers. It only adds what you need and leaves out everything you don’t need. This is important for business users on the go who demand efficiency rather than heavy functionality. And, as a long-time user of the Nautilus file manager (default for Ubuntu Unity and other Linux desktops), the compression feature alone makes this file manager interesting.

Let’s install and use the OI file manager.


Installing OI File Manager is pretty straightforward. However, you will be surprised how long the installation takes. The only explanation for the installation time is app integration (although the only app I’ve found OI to integrate with is Gmail). In fact, some devices may have difficulty installing OI. The Verizon-branded HTC M8 installed the app after a while. The Verizon-branded LG G3 installed the app like a champ. The Sony Xperia Z2, on the other hand, was unable to complete the installation task (no matter how many times I tried – even though it was running the same version of Android, 4.4.2, than other devices).

Follow these steps to install the OI file manager:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
  2. Find OI File Manager
  3. Locate and tap the entry by OpenIntents
  4. Tap Install
  5. Read the list of permissions
  6. If the list of permissions is acceptable, tap Accept
  7. Let the installation complete

Now that the installation is complete, you should see a launcher on your home screen or your app drawer (or both). Tap this launcher to start using OI file manager.


The best thing about OI file manager is the lack of learning curve. If you have used a file manager before, you will have no problem using OI. I would, however, like to highlight a few features that could easily become must-have tools in this app, especially for those who depend on their Android devices as a tool regardless of what their business is. The first feature is file compression.

When you are on the move, you will most likely need to send files to co-workers. You don’t want to have to send full-sized files over your data connection (due to speed and data usage). Instead, you’ll want to compress these files first. Here is how to compress files with OI File Manager:

  1. Open the OI file manager
  2. Navigate to the location of the file to compress
  3. Long press the file until the top toolbar changes (Figure A)
  4. Press the menu button (three vertical dots in the upper right corner)
  5. Tap Compress
  6. Give the compressed file a name
  7. Press OK

Figure A

Figure A
The OI file manager running on a Verizon branded LG G3.

The newly created .zip file will be hosted in the same directory as the original file. You can then email the file by long pressing the file, pressing the menu button, pressing Send, and then selecting the application / service to be used for sending (via the email system). built-in Android sharing). Depending on the type of file, you may find that compression does not reduce the file size much. This is especially true for audio and video files (which have most likely already been compressed as much as possible). But for standard files and folders, this system works fine.

Here are some more quick tips for using OI File Manager:

  • To create a new folder, tap the menu button in the parent folder, tap Create Folder, give the folder a name and tap OK.
  • To rename a folder, long press the folder, tap the menu button, tap Rename, enter the new name and tap OK.
  • To mark a location, follow these steps: Tap and hold the folder you want to add to favorites, tap the menu button, and then tap Favorites.
  • To access your bookmarks, tap the bookmark icon (to the left of the search icon), and then tap the bookmark you want to go to.

If you’re looking for a file manager that reduces clutter and lets you work efficiently, try this free Android app and see if it doesn’t become your favorite file manager.

Are you using OI File Manager or other file manager app on your Android device? Let us know your favorite – and tell us why – in the discussion thread below.

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Donald E. Hollingsworth

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