The original Windows File Manager is now available on Windows 10 for nostalgia's sake

The original Windows File Manager is now available for Windows 10. (Source: The Verge)
The original Windows File Manager is now available for Windows 10. (Source: The Verge)
Microsoft has released the source code for the original Windows File Manager that debuted nearly 28 years ago in Windows 3.0. The source code has been modified a bit to make it compatible with modern Windows versions and can be downloaded via GitHub and compiled using Visual Studio 2015 and above.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

Nothing brings more delight than revisiting a piece of software from the early days of computing. Making its debut in Windows 3.0, Program Manager provided a GUI for performing file/folder operations in a primarily command-line DOS environment. Since then, Program Manager developed into the Windows File Manager (winfile.exe), which was included in Windows 95 and NT 4.0 onwards. Although Windows Explorer has replaced the File Manager, the executable was still available for those who wished to use it.

Now, Microsoft veteran Craig Wittenberg has released the source code for the Windows NT 4.0 version of File Manager on GitHub. Anyone is free to modify and distribute the same as long as it complies with the MIT license. The source code can be downloaded and compiled using Visual Studio 2015 or 2017 and run in Windows 10. This version allows common file manager tasks such as drag/drop, cut, copy and paste, context menus, and more. An elevated command prompt can also be launched in the current directory by pressing Ctrl+Shift+K. 

While the program might not have any real usage these days, it serves to remind how efficacious backward compatibility has been with Windows to this date, which has been one of the main reasons for its success. It can also serve as an educational tool for new programmers to understand how code is written and possibly, develop their own fork of the software.

You can download the source code at the GitHub link below and compile the executable on your own. You can also run a pre-compiled executable available here and relive computing from the bygone era.


static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 04 > The original Windows File Manager is now available on Windows 10 for nostalgia's sake
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-04- 9 (Update: 2018-04- 9)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.