winfile.exe Reviving Windows File Manager

Installer for WinFile.exe for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Operating Systems

This web page provides an installer for the Microsoft Windows File Manager ("WinFile") that will specifically run on the Windows Vista and Windows 7 platforms (perhaps others). It has been tested and verified to work properly on the 32 and 64 bit versions of each.

Download Now     Download the Winfile installer here...

Introduction - Why are we here?

This installer was originally designed to run on the Microsoft Windows Vista platform. It also runs on Windows 7 (currently without the ACL edit feature - this will hopefully be updated shortly). It might work on other later versions as well, but this is more by accident rather than design.

The intention of this installer is to provide WinFile.exe for use on the Windows Vista and later operating systems, with minimal modifications required to get it working. WinFile (and related support files) was produced by Microsoft but targeted for a different version of the operating system. This installer consists of WinFile.exe plus required support files necessary to make WinFile work with Windows Vista/Windows 7 (plus some documentation and related files). There are no advertisers or sponsors. There are no cookies. There are no “visit this site to use it” conditions. Your email address is not required. There are no additional things that have to be installed on your computer to use it.

This installer’s contents comprise Microsoft files from previous versions of the operating system which are modified according to details described at:


Thanks to David Schneider ( for determining the details necessary to get WinFile to run on these platforms.

Having said all that, this software is provided “as is” with no warranties or guarantees provided or implied. The original file functionality was provided by Microsoft, which may or may not support it, or even acknowledge its existence.

WinFile History

WinFile was the main file manager application for several operating systems. Various 16 bit version were shipped with Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME. Various 32 bit versions were shipped with Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0. The 32 bit version was usable on Windows 2000 and Windows XP by simply copying the executable and support files to the newer operating system. This process does not work starting with Vista, some say intentionally.

The 32 bit WinFile version correctly handled long file names, NTFS file systems, ACL editing and properly supported post-2000 year dates (none of which were available with the 16 bit version). Windows Explorer provided similar functionality and became the advertised and supported means of handling files from user interaction as of Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0.

WinFile is credited to Microsoft developers Chris Kuzak (sp?) and Ian Ellison-Taylor, described in an online video at:


Why use WinFile?

If WinFile is such an old fashioned interface, why use it? Here are a few reasons, which completely comprise a personal point of view.  In general, WinFile is a precise, accurate razor sharp tool that gives detailed information without fluff.  Explorer on the other hand, is like coloring with crayons.  One is a "grown up" tool.  The other "hides" things that it doesn't think you can handle and doesn't tell the whole truth.

Why should we not use WinFile?

Alas, it is not perfect. There are several things that Explorer does better:

Known Issues with the Installer

There are several known issues with this version of the installer.  I may or may not work on fixes for any or all of them.

Release Details


You are visitor 901