Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Windows Explorer with Multiple Tabs

Have you ever wanted Windows Explorer to enable multiple tabs within a window like a web browser can handle multiple tabs? Initially I thought there was no point in having multiple tabs in such an environment. I believed that having separate windows is all you ever needed. This was until one of my work colleagues showed me a little program called Clover.

Clover File Explorer
I found Clover to be a very simple but powerful add-on, that does not add any noticeable overheads to your computer's performance. You may notice there is not much difference between the image above and the default Windows Explorer. The only difference being that at the top of the window is the area where you can have multiple tabs. Also just below this is an area where you can bookmark different folders.

To open a new tab on the window just click the new tab icon (just left of the existing opened tab at the top of the window). To add a new bookmark right click the area where it says "For quick access, place your bookmarks here on the bookmarks bar", select Add Page, enter the location of the folder you wish to bookmark and click OK.

You can also select to add a folder as well via the right click menu and store numerous bookmarks under a folder as well.

If you click on the small wrench icon you can access the Settings for Clover. The settings consist of a number of options which can be seen via the screenshot below.

You will note that a number of the settings match what you would find in a standard web browser.

I have to admit, I personally found that having the multiple tabs makes tasks such as copying, pasting and comparing files from one folder and another much easier. The most noticeable benefit though is just simply the saving of screen space; so rather than having multiple windows open for each folder, it is all stored in one window. Some of the additional settings, which can be seen above, add further to the features of Clover.

Also another added bonus is that I did find that on an occasions when Windows Explorer crashed, Clover offered to restore the tabs that had been forcibly closed during the crash. Again this is similar to how a browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox would offer to restore your previous session.

After using this at work I found that the standard Windows Explorer just no longer cut the mustard and I had to install this at home as well. Good news is that Clover can be installed on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Please note that when you install this, it will replace your default Windows Explorer, but it is most definitely worth a try.