Windows Phone 8.1 gets official file manager

Windows Phone 8.1 is so full of surprises and opens the Windows Phone faithful up to a new world of apps. Video editors and file managers are just some of the new app categories possible thanks to Windows Phone 8.1. We’ve seen an official video editing app from Microsoft already, but today we finally get Files – the official file manager for Windows Phone.


Files is a free app for managing all the files on Windows Phone. We learned about the app when Joe Belfiore did an AMA on Reddit earlier this month. It was announced for a May release, but we later leaned it would be called Files and coming in June. The name was right, however the app is now live for you to download not in June, but in May.  


Here’s the set of features we get in this version 1.0 release:

  • Access files stored on your phone and SD card
  • Browse, search and launch files
  • Easily share one file or multiple files
  • Create folders to organize your files
  • Copy, move, rename and delete files

With Files you can access your phones documents, downloads, music, pictures, pictures and more. It doesn’t matter if it’s on your SD card or on you’re the internal phone storage, Files can handle it all. We’ve spent a few minutes playing around with Files and really like it. It’s basic, but gets the job done.


We’ll have a hands-on with Files shortly. In the meantime, grab the app and let us know what you think!

Via: Windows Phone Blog

Thanks for the tip everyone! 

QR: files


Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 gets official file manager



this shall silent all the complainers. even though i'm against having to do file management on a phone, 116k people wants it and it's cool that they got their way. It's great that others who don't want it don't have to face it.

I hope so. I just haven't seen anything to indicate the Mail app would be updated. I guess I'm not sure which app or part of the OS would need to be updated for this but they need to figure it out ASAP...

I think it's because of 8.1 this is possible. The core 8.1 OS added File Picker API. It's probable that WP7/8 users can't install this app. We'll see. All apps will need to be updated to use this feature. I'm not a fan of this type of app but it's ok to be available for those who need it.

Kitchen sink? A file manage has been a basic component of all operating systems for fucken ever.

LOL, really? How sad for them. I certainly expect more from Microsoft than I do Apple regardless of the current market share situation.

those operating sytems ran on hardware that had a ton of internal and external storage to manage. this is a phone. very few people are using it for file storage. it's mostly multimedia files that can be managed from apps that play those files. this gives another option, but i doubt most users will use it.

Attaching files to emails should have been in WP7... we're now onto WP8.1 three years later and it's still not an option. I hardly say this is a first release request for the whole kitchen sink...

I guess I'm a bit confused. You can share files through email from the Files app. You want to attach through the email app as opposed to the Files app then? Seems like something that would be a reasonable request though for now you can go to the file app, press and hold, share and select the email account you want.

What are you talking about, you can attach any file or files through the files manager. Yes you can't reply to an email and add a document for some odd reason, but that's hardly a train smash since you can find the files you want to attach through the files manager and attach it there. Stop bitching already ggg some people are never happy.

If you really want to get into business world then simple attachment of documents in mail app is a must. in Blackberry you can attach a file to a mail from phone, sd card, dropbox, One drive, Box, your pc or Mac at home even though you are away from them.

Why exactly are you try to attache? who does that anymore when you can simply share a link through OneDrive? I am not saying that no one needs a file manager but it is not necessary when it comes to sharing especially for picture and othe stuff.

I guess people are used to it on the desktop and they want it on the phone now.

"who does that anymore when you can simply share a link through OneDrive?"

It's just a matter of preference. And a reasonable one. A lot of people don't utilize cloud yet, and for good reason, so the ability to create traditional attachments in an email isn't too much to ask of MS. It's not like an attachment feature is gonna destroy their vision for the cloud and OneDrive, so really there's no excuse for the feature to be absent, especially this far into the platform's life.

A lot of my corporate clients cannot download anything from a link in an email. IT policy prohibits it. They can receive attachments, though.

Hmmm. Never thought of that email integration. I sent them feedback suggesting OneDrive integration (move files from phone to OneDrive, for example) as well as the ability to extract zipped files.

We have been spoiled by the nokia symbians we used 5 to 10 years back which had file managers...

Nokia definitely made file sharing a breeze on my N8 - I once worked with a developer on their app, and I was able to send screen shots of the bugs in the app via email - the first email I was able to attach three screen shots!  The thread was long, but it was one email thread!


While I don't have an immediate use for attaching files, I would expect to be able to reply to and attach as many files (be it Word, Excel, PDF, picture, mp3, or screen shots) as necessary in one email thread instead of having to create new email just to send different files.

I do like the fact that it's an optional download.  I don't care about it, I don't have ot install it.

But why wouldn't they just add the local file manager to the OneDrive app.  it basically already does the same thing, and in Windows 8 it's a one app for both.

Probably so a distinction between local storage and cloud storage is kept in tack. To prevent confusion.

While I agree I don't want to be fussing with file management, it's currently the only way to access the full resolution images on my 1020. Finally.

I didn´t mind not having one, but that was until i had to send a file as an attachment on an email and outlook app only show photos for attachment and that drove me nuts.

That was the first thing that i tested on this file manager, and it is really good.
I think that this app will be very usefull to other apps too, if you could call it whenever you need something from the storage, or to give the choice to the user to choose where to store something from your app.

As you pointed out, shouldn't be against it because you don't "have to face it". But tell me this: how would you send multiple songs and photos to a friend through Bluetooth? How about dealing with files your phone doesn't recognize at all?

What I don't get is the obsession and enthusiasm with which some deny the need for file management systems, just because Apple decided it was unnecessary. They also think their phones shouldn't be compatible with global standards, and that people should buy extra memory for a huge amount of money.

It's nice and fast too! Too bad Xbox Music can't load artist names as fast as this thing can.

I can finally make a folder for my hiking pictures and move them all there. Yay! I know the phone isn't the best place to keep them but they're also in the cloud. It was a pain having loads of pictures in the camera roll, now I can organize them into albums properly. Huzzah

I'm just glad I now have a way to access and delete the files I downloaded from the browser, without having to connect my phone to a computer.

I agree, great solution. Making it an optional app is perfect. 99% of users will have no need for this, so don't make them think they will need it by pre installing.

I also don't have a need for it, but the beauty part is that you don't "have to do file management on your phone," but if you need to or want to, now you can. :)

I'd like to see a much easier way to organize my pictures into folders/albums. Just show me the thumb nails instead of full file name to select a bunch of them.

So you expect a beta app on day one to do everything 100%... Seriously dude. Not saying that being able to attach documents from the mail app should not have been there from day one, but now that the steps to get there are finally being taken why complain? At least wait for the app to come out of beta. And seriously what is the diference between replying to an email and creating a new one with the attached file you want? 5 more seconds at the most.

Well then, its not much of a file manager. Hopefully an update to the mail app can fix this. It's pure speculation but I hope it becomes possible soon. Fingers crossed.

I've been using wp8 since launch and I can tell you really don't use your phone for work at all. I have been using OneDrive for collab projects, property inspections etc. In this day an age of limited data its literally not possible to send multiple large files to clients. Unless you like using unsecured Wi Fi hotspots for sending data. OneDrive makes it so much easier as you don't have to deal with multiple files, people not putting relevant subject heading. A link is only a few bytes and thus is much more easier to send/receive.

We use it for spreadsheets at work. A link can also be opened from multiple places and updated. Much more productive.

It really is and it shows well to clients which is the major upsale. Especially older clients who have vast sums of money but not really in touch with tech.

I can attach files to my emails from the office program itself. I'm sure there will be an update to the mail client coming this year too

Very well for app and blazing fast. Only downside for me so far is that you can't swipe through pictures.

It has a "move" option so to me it's good enough. Add more viewing options and it will be done as far as I go.

OMG! It's like Christmas came early! Well, that may be overstating it a bit, but it is pretty nice!

Well, maybe we didn't need a file manager, but this app is currently the only way to access the full resolution images on my 1020.

You can do it in Symbian. But I agree that it's missing and, from a productivity/office point of view, they should correct it quickly to reinforce their Office strength (I think WP is the best mobile OS for business).

This is exactly what this type of app is useful for. though you shouldn't need it on a phone. It's not like windows 7 when your drive is full and performance is affected.

It is very usefull for other thing besides deleting files... moving files around, creating folders, renaming files, etc

Some of the new apps in 8.1 support file picker, when you want to select a file under the three dots appears the option to choose location, I don't know why it is so hidden, also it should be available at the email client. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, I hate the people that used to say that WP wouldn't succeed without a file manager, but it should be easier to find to the "normal people".

If you need to make ringtones, use Nokias ringtone maker app. Then you dont need to move files around to different folders

Finally I'm just now ready to go back to Windows Phone, I couldn't manage without file manager, so I got back to Android, but for now I believe Windows Phone is a complete smart OS.

I still say it's unnecessary in WP, with one exception... if it connects directly to OneDrive then it's a great thing. If not... well, not so much.



Now wp is a real Enterprise tool, and my 1520 is a proper mobile computer! I wish my 1020 had an sd card that could enjoy this!

Well done for listening ms! I loved wm6.5 - I hope wp gets winrar.

And yes, you can share with one drive!

Thank you Microsoft ;)

I'm glad I'm not one of the many waiting around for the official 8.1 update to roll out. They are really missing out.

Very quick, probably won't use it but if you do.. fill your boots.

No email reply support is a pisser though - hope that comes next.

WhatsApp has been around for a while. The fact that idiots like you have to keep asking about it just because they took it down temporarily to fix a bug, is really pathetic. It will be back, get over it.

It is not integrated  with OS, there is no possibility to move folders, many things to improve. I hope that it would be integrated with music apps.

You don't need a file manager to delete multiple audio tracks at once, from the music app press the left side of the track's title to activate Multi-Select, then hit (...) & choose delete.
I don't know about the folders though, I use the desktop app to handle music on my 8X

I hope it's working properly now, the previous version would send me notifications only when it wanted to, which was about once a week or less.

spaulagain, I didn't asked you about it, so stfu and be quite ! You're no one to tell me all this sh*t! Don't try to be smart ! Keep this with you! I don't need it ! *slap*

To manage downloaded files from emails or from the internet, or to move pictures around, since we can't move pictures or create new folders in the pictures app. (although it'd be nice if they added that functionality directly in the pictures app...)

OMg! I can't believe they did that, the French version is terrible! It says I have "800 Mo gratuit"! Which means 800 Mo free, but in the "no money" meaning of the word, not in the "available" meaning. That is such a basic mistake, I didn't expect that in an official app!!

Is it capable of showing files on OneDrive so that docs, pics, videos etc can be copied back and forth in one place. If not, it should, like on the PC File Manager.

Doesn't see any of my music on my sdcard-I have all my music in a separate folder and the app doesn't even see the folder. It looks to me like the app will only show you default folders and any you create through the app. Between this and the awful implementation of the music app in 8.1 I am beginning to question sticking with WP.

This still sucks we can't delete anything from the "Files" app specially those annoying factory app that don't want on our phone to save space. Is very limited to what we can do.

I wish I would be to tell you but like I said we can't uninstall those apps. Probably chase they are factory apps and its stupid for those that don't use this apps and want them off.

I don't get what the point is for this app on a phone without an sd card. I cant see my music on there and shouldn't there be some kind of password lock to hide Private things?

I'm hinging on agreement with respects to a file locker. Althogh doing so would open the floodgates for a belief in privacy (the UK way)...

Sam, slightly off topic but I noticed you have "colour sheep". Do you recommend that game? I'm tempted, looks fun as hell and the concept seems fresh. I just got so many games.

Ok first I like the finishing. It's quite tidy.
Then I like the universal search ability.
However, I don't like the app tile, it's uninspiring.
Also, the memory of the action to move or copy should remain even while navigating around folders until I paste or cancel.

Super cool. Kudos to the developers who jumped in and released something before microsoft did. There is definitely room for more than one. I can see more folders with this app than with the other apps like Pocket explorer. Feels pretty stable and my camera roll pics load instantly, unlike the 3rd party apps already released.


It looks great in the pictures. Don't know how much use it'll get but I'm glad to finally get an official app.

Sounds like lots of you want this thing to have OneDrive integration so you can copy stuff to local storage from OneDrive, which is exactly what I want.  It can share files TO OneDrive, but it's not a share target so you can't copy stuff from OneDrive to your phone via this app.  To me, this seems like a primary use case and the app is more or less useless without this functionality.  Hence I have created a UserVoice request for this functionality so please vote for it here:

Why do ppl olys compare WP o.s with Android o.s ....if u guys want exactly like android o.s den used Android o.s instead of complaing..

You are so dam right my friend! I'm a big time MS fan and this app is little short to what MS can really do. Wouldn't you agree?I'm not comparing any OS with this comment.

The only reason I have this is for album management. FINALLY you can manage photos on your device without a computer.

Pocket File Manager blows this official app out of the water. It imports PDF files from email and you can add cloud folders such as dropbox and OneDrive. This app doesn't compare.

Would have liked to see it integrated into the OneDrive app. Similar as to how it works on Windows.

This nice.its a system wide file manager and to help with all other mimicking third party apps. Now we need wide file support. Including a functional CHM file reader for my medical textbooks. And FLV and other files support. Long-lived windows phone, & WPC

This is awesome! I never saw the need for a file manager until the first time I used the horrible Windows 8 syncing app, then switched to using file explorer for moving files on my phone. This will be so much betterer than having to connect my phone to my Surface almost daily!

I like it !

But I would like to have OneDrive included as well.

For the time being I give it : 3 stars out of 5.

Keep up the good work.

Anybody know how you save a PDF received in an email, then access and send it using the Files app?

Oyi! Can play videos & music from folders, without being promoted to sign into some Xbox thingy. No need to worry about my lectures and video lectures. Sanity has prevailed after how long? Thank you MS. Better late than never. No fix IE 11, can't comment on WPC, now I have to go to UC Browser. Also fix Skype, to half of what it is on the desktop.