The file manager that Android forgot: How to find photos and other data on your device

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Yolanda Ortiz asked how she could create new folders and move photos into them on her Android tablet.

In Windows, it’s all so easy. You’ve got File Explorer in Windows 8 and Windows Explorer in previous versions, making it a cinch to create folders and copy, move, or delete files. But although Android has a perfectly fine file system, it doesn’t come with a file management tool.

The solution, of course, is to download and install one.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

The app I recommend is the free ES File Explorer—which could easily be described as the file manager Android forgot.

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Move a file in ES File Explorer

When you open it, you get a screen of folders and files displayed as touch-friendly icons. You can configure the display via the View option at the bottom of the screen. Tap a folder or file to open it.

The New icon in the lower-left corner allows you to create a new folder.

To move, copy, or delete files, tap and hold a file. That selects the file, and changes ES’ behavior. The file you tapped and held is now selected, and you can tap other files and folders to select them as well.

The changed icons on the bottom—Copy, Cut, Delete, and so on—are pretty obvious. You’ll find “Move to” when you tap the menu icon in the lower-right corner.

The menu in the top-left corner provides location options. For instance, if you tap Network > Cloud > New, you’ll find options for syncing OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and other such services.

The Library option on this menu may be a bit confusing for Windows veterans. It doesn’t open the Music folder on your phone or tablet. Instead, it displays search results for all of the  audio files on your device.

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