Microsoft finally launches the 'Files' app for Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has launched the "Files," file management application for Windows Phone 8.1 devices after years of requests from users.

Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Windows Phone VP and manager, tweeted the availability of the much anticipated application today. Prior to the release of this application a couple of 3rd party file management applications were available for Windows Phone.

The "Files" application will allow users to access and move the data around on their Windows Phone 8.1 devices without the need of connecting to a computer which was a big crutch for the platform. Using this application users can not only access the phone storage but also external SD cards. The features currently supported by "Files" include, creating new folders and arranging files, in addition to the usual move, copy, delete and rename operations. Users can share files as well.

Users running the Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview can grab the application immediately as it has been rolled out to the Windows Phone marketplace globally.

Source: Windows Blog | Image via Microsoft

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Microsoft has launched the "Files," file management application for Windows Phone 8.1 devices after years of requests from users.

After years? They must really hate their customers.... :o

The screenshots in the article are from the internal builds that Joe posted before. The officially released app is slightly different but not too different. Really well made app :D

j2006 said,

It's still a preview version of the OS though and a beta version of the Lumia Cyan update. Someone on WPCentral reported that.

I really cannot fathom MS selling a device with a "preview OS". Understandably when they made it available to us, early adopters/ enthusiasts, they can call it "Preview" to keep carriers and OEMs at bay but distribute it in a commercial product... no way. Said that I am sure that improvements and refinements will follow.

Cosmocronos said,

I really cannot fathom MS selling a device with a "preview OS". Understandably when they made it available to us, early adopters/ enthusiasts, they can call it "Preview" to keep carriers and OEMs at bay but distribute it in a commercial product... no way. Said that I am sure that improvements and refinements will follow.


There have been small updates done to this "preview".

A strange inconsistency... the equivalent functionality in Windows 8.1/RT is called "OneDrive" ... and the local file management stuff is kind of hidden unless you realize you can touch the "One Drive" label at the top and select "This PC" from the drop-down.

Agreed. Beyond questions of the need on a phone, it doesn't make sense to put it somewhere else. This should have been an hub type update for OneDrive. Sadly it seems they are moving away from that approach. I didn't want an app for everything, sigh.

I think it's still coming. They stated a universal version of the Windows 8.1 OneDrive app is coming... but I guess they focused more on this. Which is fine since this is a really great app.

warwagon said,
That is one of the best looking UI's i've ever seen.

I can finally manage my sdcard again! My videos are explorable, and thumbnails work correctly. I'm one happy camper! :D

No. OS/system folders are hidden. You see the same folders as you would if you plug it into your PC (e.g. All your music, documents, photos, vids, etc.)

Well, are there going to be any 3rd party apps that will have the privilege? Probably not.

This is a Microsoft app that has file system access. 3rd party apps are silo-ed and only have access to their own storage and readable ones like pictures and videos.

cetla said,
Well, are there going to be any 3rd party apps that will have the privilege? Probably not.

This is a Microsoft app that has file system access. 3rd party apps are silo-ed and only have access to their own storage and readable ones like pictures and videos.

As of 8.1, that's simply not true, and there are already 3 or 4 file managers in the store.

techbeck said,
So what sets this apart from the 3rd party apps other than who make it?

1. It's faster than the others
2. It's more beautiful than the others
3. Sexy breadcrumb navigation
4. No ads

cetla said,
Well, are there going to be any 3rd party apps that will have the privilege? Probably not.

This is a Microsoft app that has file system access. 3rd party apps are silo-ed and only have access to their own storage and readable ones like pictures and videos.

There's no system access with this app. It's simply a file manager app like the rest, and only has access to a select few folders on the phone, or your SD card.

I have zero use for this app, other than saying "you don't want a Windows Phone because you can't manage files? Well, here you go, what's your excuse now?"

Seketh said,
I have zero use for this app, other than saying "you don't want a Windows Phone because you can't manage files? Well, here you go, what's your excuse now?"

"Can't get app

Your version of the Windows Phone software is not supported by this application. "

:( I'm using wp8.1

Seketh said,
I have zero use for this app, other than saying "you don't want a Windows Phone because you can't manage files? Well, here you go, what's your excuse now?"

Maybe not being as patient as someone like me went somewhere else? I am sure that there are plenty of people who ha no need/desire of this app but.... personally I have used a file manger since I bought a Journada all the way to my HD2 with WM 6.5 and I missed it since I bought my HD7. Bottom line I am pleased that is finally here but it has been a too long wait. IMHO of course.

Seketh said,
I have zero use for this app, other than saying "you don't want a Windows Phone because you can't manage files? Well, here you go, what's your excuse now?"

I agree except for the fact that it allows you to email any file from the phone which isn't possible from within the Mail app.

Its a nice addition but the WP team is painfully slow. Windows Mobile had this for donkeys years and its only now its returned.

They need a good kick up the backside.

TPreston said,
Its a nice addition but the WP team is painfully slow. Windows Mobile had this for donkeys years and its only now its returned.
I expect that a lot of the apps are farmed out to the non-core teams at Microsoft, if they are not outsourced entirely.

I suspect the reason that this app was not available anywhere near launch is because of what Seketh is pointing out: why do you need to manage files on your phone? I love that we have a useful file system rather than completely isolated apps as-in iOS, but I can wait until the end of the day to plug my phone into a computer and delete unnecessary files as though it were a flash drive.

Windows Mobile was not a smartphone in the modern sense of things. It was a neutered version of a computer OS that met the needs of the relatively few that wanted it. As a result, a lot of these kind of system level features came for free unlike the modern approach where the kernel is shared, but the layer above it is uncoupled with the other variants (Windows Phone versus Windows RT versus Windows 8) while features are slowly pushed down into the core so that they all benefit (particularly in the case of Windows Phone and Windows RT).

pickypg said,

I suspect the reason that this app was not available anywhere near launch is because of what Seketh is pointing out: why do you need to manage files on your phone? I love that we have a useful file system rather than completely isolated apps as-in iOS, but I can wait until the end of the day to plug my phone into a computer and delete unnecessary files as though it were a flash drive.

I have had this previous situation in which I'm interchanging a PowerPoint between a person. Unfortunately the person had problems with it (dead dropbox link). So the person asked me to convert it to PDF.

I was far from home and didn't have my lappy with me. I got my android based phone, sent the file online to convert it to PDF, downloaded it and managed to forward her back that data.

Jose_49 said,

I have had this previous situation in which I'm interchanging a PowerPoint between a person. Unfortunately the person had problems with it (dead dropbox link). So the person asked me to convert it to PDF.

I was far from home and didn't have my lappy with me. I got my android based phone, sent the file online to convert it to PDF, downloaded it and managed to forward her back that data.

You can already do that in WP8.1 via Internet Explorer. No need for a file manager for that. http://imgur.com/a/85Jhh

Scabrat said,
Now, if I can just download files via OneDrive now...

Wait... this is a basic feature, is it not? You guys can't do this?! :o

dead.cell said,

Wait... this is a basic feature, is it not? You guys can't do this?! :o

Its not integrated with Files yet. Obviously. =). I have a OneDrive App that I can open things on. But its seems very separate from the phone. But maybe I am doing something wrong.

dead.cell said,

Wait... this is a basic feature, is it not? You guys can't do this?! :o

Huh? You can do this already...

You can already... when you save the file locally it's in your "Downloads" folder which you can view in the "Files" app.