Saturday, October 09, 2004

File Management -- Xplorer2 Lite (version

Xplorer2 Lite

Xplorer2 Lite Screen Shot (click on the image to enlarge)

Windows used to come with a file manager that could be configured with two panes. It made moving files from one folder to another easy by using the drag and drop method. Later versions of Windows came with Windows Explorer that could not easily be configured with two panes. When I bought a new computer with Windows XP, I set out on a quest to find a good two pane file manager. I found what I wanted with Xplorer2 Lite. I probably use a file manager more than most people because I not only use it to move files around, but also just to navigate and open files. The advantage is you can double click on any file and launch the application that goes with it. The only requirement is that you have to know where your files are saved.

After I initially installed Xplorer2 Lite, I really didn’t like it that much until I extensively customized the toolbar. I was able to put the most frequently used functions on the toolbar and was still able to use other options with the pull down menus. The screen shot shows the toolbar after I changed it from the default. The left most pane is a navigation pane like the one in Windows Explorer. It doesn’t show any files but is used to navigate the active second or third pane. The “Tree” button will toggle the navigation pane on and off.

A very useful option is the ability to bookmark a folder. The bookmark can be named anything and once set, you can navigate directly to frequently used folders. A useful feature is in the file renaming option. When you rename a file, it only highlights the beginning portion of the file name but does not highlight the period or the extension. This eliminates the need to do any manual highlighting and you can just type the new file name. You can manually highlight the extension and change it, but it is not usually a good idea because the extension is what tells Windows the application to launch when you double click on a file.

The default "find" option opens the Windows search function which I don’t like. The help file shows how to change the registry so that when I click on "find" it opens “Super Finder” that I have reviewed on my site. I was a little apprehensive about changing the registry because if it gets messed up things will stop working. I found it was easy by following the following steps:

  1. Exit all running instances of Xplorer2.
  2. Start regedit by clicking on the Windows Start button, click on "Run..." and type regedit. Then click on OK.
  3. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZabaraKatranemia Plc\xplorer2\ in the left pane.
  4. In the right pane, double-click on szExtFindFiles to open a new window called “Edit String”.
  5. Type in C:\Program Files\SuperFinder\SuperFinder.exe into “Value Data:” (unless you changed the default location when you installed Super Finder).
  6. Click on “OK” to close the “Edit String” window.
  7. Click on the “Edit” pull down menu and then click on “Modify”.
  8. Close the registry.

I did encounter a small problem that was easily fixed. When I closed Xplorer2 Lite, I would get an error that said, “the instruction at "0xXXXXXXXX" referenced memory at "0xXXXXXXXX”. The memory could not be "read".” I read on a forum that by disabling a shell extension called "IZArcCM.dll", which belongs to a freeware compression zip utility named “IZArc”, made the problem go away. I fixed the problem by uninstalling IZArc and deleting the IZArc subfolder from my program files folder that contained the dll.

I have tried just about every freeware file manager that is available and consider Xplorer2 Lite the best. FreeCommander is pretty good and would rate it as second best. Before Xplorer2 Lite was released, I used 2xExplorer for more than a year. It was created by the same people that made Xplorer2 Lite. I would rate it now as third best.

The documentation states that Xplorer2 runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000 and XP. The download consists of a compressed file, When unzipped, one file is produced, xplorer2_lite_setup.exe. Double click on xplorer2_lite_setup.exe with your file manager to install. After installation, the executable is xplorer2.exe.

Xplorer2 Lite Home Page

Download Xplorer2 Lite


At March 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site you've got here. I particularly like this xplorer2 lite/copernic/superfinder combo! Do you still use this? Does copernic still not search system files? I'm using MSN Desktop, but may have to uninstall/reinstall to get it to stop coming up with WindowsSearch.exe errors when I shut down my computer; think I may just go with Copernic if you recommend it still.

Thought you might also be interested in my "Free Windows software to go" package I've been working on - version 2 at (not completed yet). The complete version 1.2 is at /free

At March 10, 2006, Blogger George said...

I still use Xplorer2 lite, Copernic and Superfinder. Copernic does not search system files. Be advised that Copernic indexes the text files on your C drive. Some folks I know don't like that. possibly because they have low end machines. I have found it is fairly resource intensive until it indexes your c drive. After that I don't notice it is running.

I like your site. I've been thinking about writing some reviews of several programs you include.


At March 31, 2006, Blogger wtchoax said...

Hello George: your kind insights are helpful to many! I suggest modifying your blogger settings so the DATE (instead of time from an unknown day) of comments is visible. Old information about computers is almost useless!

At March 31, 2006, Blogger George said...

Thanks for your comment! The date format change was easy to make on my blog settings.


At April 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to start search from the current opened directory in xplorer lite?

At April 16, 2006, Blogger George said...

I assume that you would like to open a folder in Xplorer2 Lite and have Super Finder search the contents of the folder. I don't know of a direct way of doing that. However, Xplorer2 Lite displays the path of the current folder near the top of the screen. All you have to do is highlight the path, hold your "Ctrl" key and type the letter "C" to copy. Then you can open Super Finder, highlight the current path shown and hold down your "Ctrl" key and type the letter "V" to paste the path in Super Finder. That's not too hard is it?

At April 25, 2006, Blogger lostinube said...

To echo the sentiments of others, this is a great site you have here. I've been wanting to learn how to use xplorer2 more effectively and you've really helped me out. One thing about using superfinder. The latest installer puts it in the FSL startup folder so unless you change it to match yours the string should now read C:\Program Files\FSL\SuperFinder\SuperFinder.exe

At June 13, 2006, Anonymous Nibor said...

Thank you for your really useful and very practical reviews.
At Saturday, October 09, 2004 George said:

File Management -- Xplorer2 Lite (version

When I closed Xplorer2 Lite, I would get an error that said, “the instruction at "0xXXXXXXXX" referenced memory at "0xXXXXXXXX”... I fixed the problem by uninstalling IZArc and deleting the IZArc subfolder from my program files folder that contained the dll [called "IZArcCM.dll"]...
Does this mean that it was impossible to use IZarc with Xplorer2 Lite in 2004 - and is that still true today?

At June 14, 2006, Blogger George said...

I checked the forum that is linked to the xplorer2 web site. From what I read, the error still occurs. You might want to try TugZip ( The interface is like IZArc and I think TugZip is as good as or better than IZArc. If you are dead set on using IZArc, the error only occurs when you close xplorer2 lite after you right click on a file to access functions from other programs like an anti-virus scan. The error is not very serious. When you encounter it, you can just click on cancel and go on about your business without doing any damage to anything.

At October 26, 2006, Blogger Doug said...

Hi George, Thanks for your tips

Is there a way to get xplorer2 to launch when I click on a drive letter?

BTW I'm using xplorer2 - superfinder - copernic. I was happily using the Windows Desktop Search beta until I joined my machine to a new domain and it stopped working. I can't uninstall or reinstall due to denied access to registry entries. There's a cure but it involves such a laborious process that I moved over to the above trio.

At October 26, 2006, Blogger George said...


One simple thing you can do is to right click on any folder (whether you have xplorer2 open or not) and then select "open with xplorer2". The folder will then open with xplorer2.

If you want to go beyond that, I'll have to refer you to the "xplorer2 complete user manual" that can be downloaded on the following web page:

The section that I think you want is called "Tweaking the Registry" on Page 277. I believe section "A" is what you want. I haven't tried the the changes to the registry that they discuss. Be careful what you do to the registry! It is possible to completely mess up your whole computer if you are not careful.


At December 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never chose to install anything like this, and I now see Xplorer2.exe clogging up my system. Grseat app. It might be hiding spyware.

At December 31, 2006, Blogger George said...

You need to provide more information. I don't see how you could have xplorer2.exe running without having installed it. I can say I run regular spyware scans on my system and have never detected spyware during installation of updates to xplorer2 lite.

At January 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I never chose to install anything like this, and I now see Xplorer2.exe clogging up my system. Grseat app. It might be hiding spyware."

George, I think what he is saying is > Great app, until I installed this, I could'nt see what was clogging up my system & he maybe able to find some spyware.


At January 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Be careful what you do to the registry! It is possible to completely mess up your whole computer if you are not careful."

Demystifying the Windows Registry
Don't Fear the Registry


At January 03, 2007, Blogger George said...

Thanks John. Your explanation of the previous post makes sense. I figured out the registry tweak I described in my posting by experimenting and reading the manual. Anyone that follows my directions shouldn't have any problem. If you upgrade to a new version of Xplorer2 Lite, then you will need to do the registry tweak again.

At January 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you upgrade to a new version of Xplorer2 Lite, then you will need to do the registry tweak again"

Thanks George, been following you in Google.

Like yourself, have tried a lot of managers ( just counted them, 57 so far )

Installed Xplorer2 Lite again, did your tweak, no problems, using XP pro.

I had previously been running multi Windows Explorer in minimized form, was'nt unhappy doing it that way.

Used this little beauty ( Still do ) from my Quick Launch bar.
XP Search replacement >
So now I have quick access to 2 search/find programs.

Display The Quick Launch Toolbar,1759,2550,00.asp

Bye for now, John in Western Australia.

At June 28, 2008, Anonymous Albert G. said...

Hello George,

First, I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your site and found this article about optimizing xplorer2 lite very useful. I changed my toolbar to match your setup and it is now much easier to navigate to files and folders. Thanks!

Although I am somewhat familiar with making registry changes, as of the current freeware version xporer2 lite (which is I could not find this "SuperFinder.exe" that you mention?

Looks like the program author may have removed it from this version and now you have to upgrade to the shareware version to use it.

In any case, thanks for the excellent tips.

At June 28, 2008, Anonymous Albert G. said...

I just realized that Super Finder is a separate download, which you have outlined how to incorporate it into the find file search function in xplorer2 lite. I will download it and try it out. Thanks again. Sorry about the "duh" moment I just had.


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