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Here's why we're removing ES File Explorer from our best apps lists

To say that ES File Explorer has had a rocky few months would be an understatement. It has gone from being the best file explorer on Android to being one that we can no longer recommend. And for one main reason: an intrusive advertising mechanism that ruins its user experience. This is why we've decided to remove ES File Explorer from our best Android apps lists.

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We no longer recommend ES File Explorer. / © ANDROIDPIT

Our best Android apps list alone has more than four millions page impressions, and we spend a lot of time testing the apps that we recommend there. As of tomorrow, ES File Explorer will no longer feature on any of our best-of lists. An app which we once described as, "the best way to keep your data organized on Android" has seen a catastrophic fall from grace over the past few months. 

Where did it begin? Was it when the app was redesigned to be pretty but less functional? Or was it when, after loading the app up with ads and spammy notifications offering to clean your device, the developers announced, "we are about to launch a paid version"? It's hard to know for certain. But one thing is for sure: ES File Explorer has dug its own grave with comical rapidity.

The final straw, and the reason for this article, is that ES File Explorer recently added another piece of bloatware: DU Charge Booster. If I install a file explorer, it's generally because I want a file explorer, not a charge booster. But the team behind ES File Explorer disagreed, and so DU Charge Booster appeared on my phone's lock screen whenever I plugged it in to charge. 

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The lock screen replacement with ad, and automatic redirection to the Play Store upon unlocking. / © ANDROIDPIT

Not only did it hijack my lock screen without asking, but it used the space to display ads. These were conveniently placed where I would usually swipe to unlock my phone, so when I did eventually manage to unlock my device, the charge booster directed me to the Play Store and whatever app was being advertised. This is a form of malware. 

Not only that, but when users began complaining, some that the additional feature was causing their chargers to become extremely hot, a subsequent update removed the charge booster. All negative reviewers were offered a copy-and-pasted reply, stating that they should "consider giving the app a 5 star rating, if you are happy to see this change." Um. No. 

AndroidPIT has reached out to ES APP Group, which owns ES File Explorer, for comment and will update this article once we receive a response.

AndroidPIT best file explorers solid explorer 1
Solid Explorer (pictured) and MiXplorer are both much better choices now. / © ANDROIDPIT
Solid Explorer File Manager Install on Google Play

If this had been an isolated incident, some naive and misguided mistake, there would be room for a little patience. But instead it comes at the most recent end of an ever-growing string of decisions that do not simply reflect embarrassing mistakes, but malicious and misguided attempts to make money. To reiterate, this disservice to the Android community is why we've decided to drop ES File Explorer from our best app lists. We have never done this before and hope it's the first, and last, time. 

Ultimately, the sensitive access you grant any file exploring app means that you need to be able to trust the developers, and the tricks the ES File Explorer team is pulling make them untrustworthy.

Opinion by Chris Marshall
The tricks ES File Explorer is pulling make it untrustworthy
What do you think?
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We recommend that you uninstall ES File Explorer; there are plenty of much better alternatives out there.

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  • I noticed that ES file manager consumes 7% of my power. that's an incredible amount for a file manager. I installed solid explorer and file commander and they don't even show up on the list. Plus having to deal with the 'logger' feature in ES file manager is not pleasant.


  • wiped my SD card, which isn't what I was doing and I've now lost everything!
    Thanks a fucking lot 😟 😢😡


  • Fuck you, es. You went from the best file explorer out there to this piece of shit that is the definition of malware infused piece of shit apps. I hope you, whoever, read this.


  • Battery analyser shows that ES File explorer is using 35% of battery. I wonder why


  • I have had ES File explorer for a long time and have always loved it. However lately I have been getting all of these horrible advertisements that I HATE! I don't care if the app is face time I would uninstall it because of these horrible adds. My point is it doesn't matter how great your app is when you make it so annoying it has to go. I am uninstalling it as we speak!


  • No problem with the paid version, if its really the best app, why not put your money where your mouth is?


  • Ben1265 4 months ago Link to comment

    It took me a good while to discover that ES File Explorer was responsible for a wheel of apps that appeared on the lower right or lower left corner of my screen if I swiped from one of these corners. VERY ANNOYING feature. It would also overlay my search bar with an "I'm feeling lucky" bar. If you have that, and do not want to remove ES File Explorer, just look for ES Swipe on ES File Explorer and disable that. @John Terdick: If you have Nougat, you can stop ES File Explorer from working in the background. That way you can still use without impacting your battery life. ES File Explorer is still the best tool I've seen for transferring files to network drives or FTP sites... Suggestions welcome!


    • JDB 1 month ago Link to comment

      Oh my god, thank you so much! This has been driving me crazy recently as it keeps appearing when I'm just trying to use the phone normally, but I thought it was Samsung's Nougat update that caused it. I already disabled some other features of ES File Explorer that were driving me crazy, like the balloons that would pop up on screen every time I added a new file on my phone, but I hadn't figured out what was causing this particular issue.
      I do still like ES File Explorer as it has a lot of features that I like, and I thankfully haven't noticed the issues pointed out in the article, but it sure has been getting rather bloated recently.
      I'm certainly open to suggestions for other, better file managers if anyone knows of any.


  • Bob Atom 4 months ago Link to comment

    Too bad...this was a great app that I was considering buying a few weeks ago. But it has become to intrusive and the ads get in the way and take over the entire screen. I hope users will remove the app and comment on google play store to let them know that they screwed up. Not to be mean, but ES people really screwed this one up. It is almost insulting the changes they made. I was researching replacements for ES when I ran across this article.


  • Which version of ES File Explorer started having these ads? I can download the APK file of any version of most Android apps (including older versions going back to the earliest versions) on this other website uptodown.com and I want to make sure I download the latest version of ES File Explorer that was released before the ads started being pushed. Does anybody here know what version that is? I would like to downgrade by downloading the APK file of the last non-ad version of ES File Explorer.


  • I've been using es file explorer for about 2 years now and I've gotten no ads nor seen it on my lock screen. It's still amazing for me. I used the cleaner part of the app (never again) and it WAAAY too thorough.. deleted a bunch of pictures I didn't want deleted and all of the music on my phone (I'm overseas currently and won't be able to get my tunes back for over a month - it's quite frustrating) but other than the cleaner deleting almost everything, I haven't had any of the issues with this app that I've read about recently.


  • Used the app for a lot of years. As time moved on I've been noticing more and more bloat and advertisements. I just removed from one device and will do the same on my other devices.


  • Rich M 7 months ago Link to comment

    I already said in this conversation, that if you want the version without ads, contact me on: richardrich2004@gmail.com


  • Dean Rose 7 months ago Link to comment

    Totally agree with this. I have been using ES file explorer for year now. I removed it as soon as the spam started. Its now a crap piece of software


  • Prior to uninstalling ES my battery life was less than 4 hours. After uninstalling ES and the crapware it had installed my battery life is now almost 2 days.


  • Just curious if anyone knows the last known good (or best legacy) version of ES and/or where to find it? I still use uTorrent 2.2.1 and WinAmp 2.x because a lot of times a legacy version of a great app remains the best option forever after the app's demise. I loved ES but this article is right, it's garbage now. Any advice?


  • I just uninstalled ES because the apps it installed reduced my battery life to less than 4 hours. I had used ES for several years and enjoyed the function it provided but with the latest release and the malware it is the pits.
    I replaced it with Solid Explorer File Manager, hopefully it will do what ES did without the malware.

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