Quick Start Guide

Basics | Interface | Configuration | Usability | Speed | File Information | File Operations


Configuration Dialog: The F9 key opens the Configuration dialog. Within this dialog, pressing F3 opens a list of all available settings.
Main Menu Commands: Menu Help | List All Commands... Ctrl+F1 opens a list of all menu commands in the XYplorer main window.
Keyboard Shortcuts: Tools | Customize Keyboard Shortcuts... Shift+F9 lets you manage keyboard access to all menu commands.


Here’s an image with almost every important element (except the Dual Pane). Note that they can all be hidden except for the list.

The elements of XYplorer. (Click to zoom)


A fresh install comes with a lot of cool options disabled. Reason: New users should not be overwhelmed with new experiences, but feel at home in an Explorer-like environment. Downside: Many users will never find the good stuff and miss out on the game changers in their digital lives. So here is a list of features that should be enabled and tried when evaluating or starting to use XYplorer.

Hover Box: Tick Configuration | Information | File Info Tips & Hover Box | Show Hover Box (there is also a toolbar button to toggle it) and check out the Hover Box for a zero click preview of images, texts, folders, and archives. Simply move your mouse pointer over the icon of such files and a small preview will pop up. No clicks required. You can even scroll the preview using the mouse wheel, or in case of images scale it.
Mouse Down Blow Up: Tick Configuration | Preview | Mouse Down Blow Up | Mouse Down on Thumbnails and Icons | On left mouse down to get a quick view of an image in the original size when you down the left mouse button on its preview or thumbnail.

Tick also Configuration | Preview | Mouse Down Blow Up | Mouse Down on Thumbnails and Icons | Enable blow ups on file icons as well to enable this feature for mouse down on the mere file icons. Invaluable when you work with images.

Mini Tree: Tick the "Mini Tree" toolbar button (or menu View | Mini Tree | Mini Tree) and try out the Mini Tree. With the Mini Tree when you go to new locations by opening folders from the file list or through the address bar, the folder tree will show only those folders you have actually visited. Makes for a much smaller and faster tree.
Color Filters: Tick Configuration | Colors and Styles | Color Filters | Enable color filters to color-code your files and folders by Name, Size, Date, Age, or Attributes. Also check out the Toggle Instant Color Filter toolbar button to quickly color items with specific properties.
Color Labels: These are used to manually color individual files and folders. To assign color labels, you first show the Label column (right-click the Name column header and tick Label), then right-click the cell in this column to assign a color. These colors are permanent, even if you hide the label column again. By the way, you can move a column by dragging its header with the left mouse button.


These are some simple tricks and bits to boost your efficiency and go easy on your muscles and tendons.

Toolbar Buttons have Context Menus: Almost all the toolbar buttons have right-click menus providing handy access to a number of contextual commands.
Context Menus All Over: Actually almost all interface elements have right-click menus, even the column headers in the file list and some buttons. Try for example the "..." button at the Location dropdown in the Find Files | Name & Location tab.
Open a Folder in a New Tab: Hold SHIFT while you click the folder in the Tree, select it from Favorite Folders, or enter it through the Address Bar.
Go Up by Double-Click: Double-Click the empty space in Tree or List to go up one level. This and many other automatic behaviors can be configured at Configuration | General | Custom Event Actions.
Go to Previous Location: You’ll love the F7 shortcut, which instantly beams you back to your previous location.
Full Row Select: To turn it on tick Tools | Customize List | Full Row Select.
Autosize Columns: To automatically adjust the column widths to their contents tick Tools | Customize List | Autosize Columns.
Autosize Columns by Double-Click: Double-Click the Line Number column header (#) and all columns are sized to their optimal width.


This setting is found here: Configuration | General | Custom Event Actions | Double-click on line numbers header.

Moving Columns: You can move a column by dragging its header with the left mouse button.
On-the-fly Font Sizing: Use Ctrl+Wheel to quickly change the application’s font size. The font size is instantly adjusted for all major interface elements. The current value is shown in the Status Bar.

Ctrl+Wheel also works on certain other elements, like Breadcrumb Bars, Status Bar, or Info Panel, each of which can have its own individual font size.

Info Panel Sizing: Enlarge the Info Panel (F12) by dragging the splitter right below the Status Bar. Previewed images are resized in real time.

Here the splitter is shown in yellow. In reality it is invisible.

Locked Tabs and Default Tab: If you work with locked tabs (which you should) then declare one tab in each pane as "Default Tab" (right-click the tab header and select "Default Tab"). This will save you from ending up with too many tabs (that are automatically opened to protect the location of the locked tab).
Wide Tab Bar: If you work with many tabs and only a single pane you will benefit from enabling Window | Arrangement | Wide Tab Bar to use the entire width of the window for your tabs.
Clipboard Viewer: Hover the "Edit Clipboard" or "Paste" button in the toolbar for an instant preview of the current clipboard contents. No clicks required. Even works for images. To enable it tick Configuration | Information | File Info Tips & Hover Box | Show Hover Box.
Clipboard Markers: For a new way to indicate which items are currently on the clipboard and whether they have been cut or copied, select Configuration | Colors and Styles | Styles | Clipboard Markers | Colored lines. See here.
Event Sounds: If you are into auditory feedback, tick Configuration | General | Controls & More | Miscellaneous | Play sound on certain events, and turn on your speakers. More information can be found here.


Simple Trick to Gain a Little Speed: Anti Virus software, e.g. Windows Defender, can slow down the listing of directories that contain many executable files. Here is how to work around this.
Faster Thumbnails: Thumbnail quality is preset to “High Speed” (Configuration | Thumbnails | Quality). However, it turns out that on some systems the setting “Fast” is actually faster than the setting “High Speed”. Play with it to find out what’s fastest on your system.
Network 1: If it takes too long to enumerate the network servers when starting the app or opening the network node in the folder tree, you should check this box: Configuration | General | Safety Belts, Network | Network | Cache network servers. Next time, it’ll happen in no time.
Network 2: If you are periodically stuck on startup due to a currently unavailable network location, you should tick this: Configuration | General | Startup & Exit | No network browsing on startup.

File Information

Show Folder Sizes: To show folder sizes right in the file list simply tick Configuration | General | Tree and List | List | Always show folder sizes. Or even quicker: "Show folder sizes" is also found in the right-click menu of the Size column header.
Show the Age of Items: Right-click the Modified column header in the file list and tick Show Age.
Icon Overlays: To show shell icon overlays in Tree and List simply tick Configuration | General | Refresh, Icons, History | Icons | Show icon overlays.
Folder View Settings: To save the individual layout (view mode, sort order, column layout, list style) of a folder use menu View | Folder View Settings | Save Folder View, or simply press the toolbar button with the big blue "F".

Save Folder View

Column Layouts: You will find the "Column Layouts" button in the toolbar. Here you can load predefined and custom column layouts with just one click. Instead of laboriously collecting special columns, the photo column layout, for example, shows the date the photo was taken, dimensions, aspect ratio, exposure time, exposure compensation, F-stop, focal length, ISO sensitivity and camera model in no time at all. The audio column layout gives you length, sample rate, bit depth, bit rate and channels. You can adapt the column layouts to your particular needs.

File Operations

Custom Copy: To use XYplorer’s own deluxe copier, tick Configuration | File Operations | File Operations | Custom Copy Operations | Use Custom Copy. You get speed, name clash options, verification options, plus an optional progress interface with final report.

Custom Copy Configuration

Background Processing: To keep the foreground thread always responsive, enable Configuration | File Operations | File Operations | Background Processing | Enable background processing.