Finding Files on an Android Tablet

August 12, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’ve been using your Android tablet for a while, you might have noticed that there is no native file manager – no obvious way of finding the photos you recently snapped, or accessing the notepad file you created.

The default apps on an Android tablet don’t typically feature any type of file manager, and this can prove quite frustrating, particularly if you have copied data to your device for use in a third party app. For instance, you might have downloaded an eBook to your PC which you then wish to read on your tablet. Yet finding the file is next to impossible on the tablet itself without a file manager utility.

Finding Files on an Android Tablet

Fortunately there are solutions to this issue available on the Android Market. Several file manager apps are available, each ready to help you find your way around your tablet and offering a variety of different tools such as a folder size monitor or a task manager.

Among the best of these apps is ASTRO File Manager, a free app that affords various file and directory management options to users of Android tablets.

Using ASTRO File Manager

After visiting the Android Market on your tablet and downloading the ASTRO File Manager, you should find it listed in the apps list on your device as “ASTRO”. Simply tap this to launch and you will find yourself confronted with a much-missed list of files and folders.

Navigating around the directory structure of your tablet could prove tricky – if you’re used to Windows Explorer or the Finder on an Apple Mac, then you will need to remember that these tools are intended for mouse-controlled GUIs (graphical user interfaces) whereas ASTRO File Manager is meant for fingers.

You can open a folder by tapping it – the contents will then be listed. But how do you exit the folder, and return to the preview view?

This is done by tapping the Up button at the top of the ASTRO File Manager.

Finding and Sorting Files

Other navigation options are available as well as a useful search tool. Using the Search button, you can enter the name of the file or folder that you’re looking for on your device, as well as searching specific directories and finding text in a file. Various options are available for searching, such as specifying case, file size and date of creation.

Any directory view can, meanwhile, be sorted by name, date, size and file type, allowing you to get a good look at the contents of your folders.

One last thing to note is that ASTRO File Manager also offers some options for moving files and folders and creating compressed ZIP archives. By tapping and holding a file or folder you should see a context menu, offering Copy, Delete, Move, Paste, Rename and Create Zip options.  These can prove particularly powerful options, and add that much-missed file management option to your Android tablet.

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