DirectFolders is an application that makes file system folder navigation quick and easy. It’s sweet spot is when you’ve got deeply nested folders. You can create bookmarks for them which are accessible via hotkeys anytime, anyplace.
Xplorer2 is a powerful, extensively customisable replacement for Windows Explorer. The Windows 7 native Explorer specialises in making life hard for anyone using it so turned to Xplorer2 for the sake of my mental health.
There are free ‘lite’ versions of both applications and they are well worth a test drive.
By default, DirectFolders launches the native Windows Explorer but it can be configured to launch Xplorer2 instead.
Configuring DirectFolders to launch Xplorer2
To get DirectFolders to launch Xplorer2:
- launch the DirectFolders ‘Configure…’ window
- Select the Options tab
- In the Misc section
- Select ‘Open Folder in’: Custom
- Enter the command to launch Xplorer2:
C:\Program Files\zabkat\xplorer2\xplorer2_64.exe /R:%1
Substitute the correct location of Xplorer2 for your installation.
Configuring Xplorer2 to load folders in a new tab
After making the changes above, DirectFolders will launch it’s shortcuts in Xplorer2 but it will create a new instance of Xplorer2 for each launch. To make the folders appear as new tabs in the same Xplorer2 instance do the following:
- Open Xplorer2 advanced options: Tools –> Advanced Options
- Select the Layout Settings tab
- Scroll down to Single Window Mode
- Select ‘Always open new tabs in a single window’
- Select OK
- Restart Xplorer2 and test launching shortcuts from DirectFolders. They should appear in new tabs in a single instance of Xplorer2.
Xplorer2 has a lot of shortcut functionality built in, so you could manage folder navigation entirely within it. I’m so comfortable with DirectFolders having used it for years that it suits me better to integrate the two.