Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Alternatives to 8.1's Windows Explorer and Task Manager?

  1. #1


    London
    Posts : 13
    Windows 8.1

    Alternatives to 8.1's Windows Explorer and Task Manager?


    I'm sure there must be a discussion already in existence but I can't find it.

    Please don't tell me off for being a reactionary, but the fact that I am now landed with an 8.1 OS is almost devastating to me. I've made a start at making it bearable to use by installing Start8, and did something else that (can't remember what) so that booting up lands me on desktop very quickly.

    Also, I discovered that Dell have reversed the default behaviour for the Fn keys: they're set to 'multimedia' so that they cannot be used as shortcut keys by third-party software. Fortunately that was easily changeable in Control Panel, once you knew (1) what had been done, and (2) where to find the setting. I wonder if this is now common in touchscreen laptops?

    I need advice on these two issues:

    My Windows Explorer's left panel is a complete mess, with all sorts jumbled together under 'This PC' instead of merely expanding into the drives and partitions that are physically on 'This PC', with everything else like TVs, PVRs and other networked gadgets showing separately.

    I also find the so-called "ribbon" navigation and settings less straightforward. I don't want an Explorer replacement with bells and whistles, just one that looks organised and whose menus are easily accessible. One exactly like 7's would be perfect.

    Task Manager in 8.1 only shows running programs in its small interface, and to see processes etc it has to become much larger, therefore interfering with things on my screen that I don't want covered up. Is there a compact replacement close to 7's version?

    Thanks for any advice.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    The only alternative to Task Manger is Process Explorer. But you end up loosing a lot of features. Windows Explorer is built into Internet Explorer, so you cannot just up and remove it or disable it.

    As for the small interface for Task Manager, that is on if you leave it in "Show Fewer Details". Windows Explorer Left pane options are the same way as you handled them in Windows 7. The Ribbon will not go away. You can minimize it. The Ribbon is actually more efficient than the old way that Microsoft had their menu items. As for the Function Key behavior, they went to the old Mainframe way, that you had Function Keys and PF keys. So that you had the use of 24 Function keys. Basically when set to just press the Function key or go Fn and Function key, it is just a reversal of which is the primary order of use, by user's choice. That can be changed in the Bios for all OEM machines. It is a permanent part of the UEFI bios.

    Really you are not going to get much pity on this, because the mass majority is soon to be moving away from 8 to 10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    London
    Posts : 13
    Windows 8.1


    Ztruker, thank you for the links. I fear that anything suggested for Window 7 will mean more bells and whistles but I'll have a look
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Trnava
    Posts : 683
    Win 8.1.1 Pro x64


    Explorer++ as well as Process Hacker can be customized by disabling columns/icons to your liking.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails capture_05292015_103449.jpg  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    I was also going to vouch for Explorer++. I have mine to look like it's XP Explorer running in Vista. I only use it as a file manager though; not a shell.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Explorer.jpg  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    London
    Posts : 13
    Windows 8.1


    Looks like Explorer++ is going to be the first one I try. Thank you!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    London
    Posts : 13
    Windows 8.1


    Nope! Explorer++, like the native Windows Explorer, is lumping all sorts of stuff under This PC. The 8 items under OS (C) shouldn't be there, they are on the network and should only be seen under Network.

    Click image for larger version

    Does my problem lie with Windows 8.1, not with Explorer? I've never seen this before and I've owned many (too many!) laptops running Windows 7.

    Where do I go from here?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    I don't see that in Windows 10 preview so maybe it will be better when you get to it?

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    London
    Posts : 13
    Windows 8.1


    I did register to try Windows 10 but then decided to wait until it's "safer", as my laptops are all very busy and I can't spend lots of time troubleshooting.

    Thanks again, Ztruker.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Alternatives to 8.1's Windows Explorer and Task Manager?
Related Threads
Hi` This is a screenshot of Windows 8 task manager ... when fully optimized & customized for my use. It does not look like this nor does it have or saved the settings I set to it previous windows boot session. Any method to have task manager remember all settings, even if I restart or...
As my machine doesn't support SLAT in HyperV I am using VMlite XP mode to run some 16 bit programs I need. Very occaisionally VMlite hangs on close after it has saved state or shutdown the guest machine. I go to task manager and click end task on the Workstation GUI and it closes but very...
I've added task manager to my scheduled tasks at logon. Everywhere I google, they say to put the /min or -minimized arguments in it to launch it minimized, except neither option works for me. Task Manager launches, but just sits there on my desktop. Is there a new argument for minimized in...
Solved Windows 8 task manager and 4th gen i7 in Performance & Maintenance
Hello everyone, a quick question.. I just got a new laptop with an i7-4700mq in it.. so for anyone else with 4th gen Intels.. what does your task manager performance tab show? Mine shows the processor at 1% usage, but the speed up at 3.2 GHz which is turbo boost speed I think.. see my...
Task manager & internet explorer(both 9 & 10) is not working anymore. i am using windows 8 64bit. i have tried refreshing system but it won't work the problem remain same:huh: i am getting frustrated because of this problem please help guys....
I tried to run a custom Windows 7 theme on Windows 8. The particular theme needs the system files to be patched, and I had not done so yet. I ran the theme anyway, just to see what would happen. It wasn't good at all. I could not open any Explorer windows whatsoever, right click on the desktop...
The Windows 8 Task Manager in Windows 8 News
More...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook