Commander One 3 Review – An Enhanced File Manager

Reviews • Feb. 23, 2021

File managers have always been on a tough spot due to the general user being comfortable with the inbuilt variant. However, if you ever needed more control and access, third-party file managers were vital to use, and thus, they were necessary. Since then, we have come a long way, and with an all-new era of power users, file managers had to upgrade themselves so they could keep up with the needs, and with all that included, they have become an excellent choice for all power users on the market.

For regular users, the idea of a different application to manage files presumably seems like a needless concept. Finder is free, baked directly into macOS, and does pretty much all that one might need. Be that as it may, file manager applications are not, at this point, only built for power users, and once you have tasted the fruit, you could never go back, and hence, we have brought you the best Finder alternative on the internet.

Commander One version 3

With its quirky name, Commander One sounds like an excellent file manager that comes equipped with a dual window interface with support for multiple tabs looks very similar to its predecessor. The first thing Bir Sur users will notice, yes, you heard right, Big Sur is supported. The application now supports “macFUSE 4”, and comes with an updated Dark Mode and better stability out of the box. All this makes the application a banger and perfect for an alternative.


Commander One is stuffed and loaded with the main highlights for incredible Mac performance and file management. Whether you are a power user or merely finding your approach for turning into a professional and completely controlling your devices, Commander One is your across-the-board best option. The file manager provides a lot of features, and these are:

Show hidden files

Commander One comes equipped with a handy toolbar displaying all invisible or hidden files on a folder or drive. This helps you find any data that hogs up the storage space, and I used to clean up my drive by deleting any useless files present.

Fonts & Colors

The essential feature and something we much appreciate, the file manager allows the option to change the theme, accent color, and fonts for all the tinkerers looking for the bling.

History and Favorites

The history and favorites feature made a difference by customizing the preference and accessing most-used files or folders at a whim. I also added some choices, including direct access to the media drive, making it easy for me to access all the files, including those on the cloud.


Customizable Hotkeys

The function will work great for power users as it did for us. The hotkeys functionality is fantastic for saving time and getting all your work done with a single click. We used the most basic of hotkeys, such as one for copy-pasting and directly accessing music.

Unlimited tabs

Unlimited tabs and panels are an excellent option for users looking to access multiple locations simultaneously, and the feature works great. Still, it has flaws with RAM management problems, which hindered us as soon as we got up to ten tabs.


File operations queue

Operations such as copying files over or deleting multiple batches at a single click could be made into a queue for better performance throughout the application, which improves user experience and standards.

ZIP Support

The zip support was an excellent addition and allowed for better compression and extraction for all zips and compressed files. We noticed that zips worked perfectly with our testing, but formats such as RAR were something that it took time with.

Root Access

The root access support is one of the best features if you know how to use it. Root access is critical for any developers and creators that work on coding or programming different programs. The root access is also used for testing beta or upcoming software for a better experience for the regular users.

The above features were just a crash course on the file manager, and the main features that we thought were the best and worst follow below.

The best and the worst

Let’s get the worst out first, as it’s something that is very much needed for all day-to-day tasks and is something already available with your inbuilt file manager. I am talking about the FTP protocol and the ability to mount MTP and Android devices or the lack thereof. These features are a given to have but are not included in the free version of One Commander and require you to buy the pro version.

Finder supports both MTP and FTP protocols, making it a fantastic value, but One Commander comes at a cost for the necessities. We have multiple devices to test all aspects of the software, and the free version didn’t let us use any MTP device to transfer photos or other files. Hence, buying the pro license key became our only solution. This is not something we encourage, and we would like to see the bare necessities included in the free version for future updates.

In short, the need to buy a pro pack for using the necessary features is one of the worst aspects of the entire experience and should be removed. The extra features that the pro version don’t seem to be an exciting value.


In general, the value it provides is underwhelming, and the things we didn’t like were:

  • The need of getting the pro version only to use essential features such as MTP and FTP protocols
  • The expensive cost of the license coming at $30 for a single Mac
  • An inbuilt file manager such as Finder does a better job at providing “pro” features for free

Now, let us take a look at the best feature of the entire experience. Let me be forward and say that budget seeker or consumers with a regular need don’t require this file manager, and it provides zero value for them. However, if you’re someone who appreciates accessing cloud storage at once or a better search engine for all files on your device, it stands to reason for getting it.

We thought the best feature was the direct connection to the cloud, the process manager, and the integrated terminal. These three combined made my inner geek blast off to the moon with a smile on my face.

The built-in Terminal has also been updated to customize font, accent color, background, and allows power users the offer to execute all commands at notice, and the process manager kept up with all running applications in both the foreground and background. WebDAV connections are also at blazing fast speeds. Commander One enables search through Finder tags and extensions, with the ability to color-code and manually add files to connected Dropbox or Google Drive accounts example.


The other feature we noticed about it was the multiple FTP files and Network Transfers that worked flawlessly with easy transfers throughout devices. I generally used it to transfer game files and movies to different laptops and devices, which worked like a charm and delivered transfer rates to tens of MB per sec and moved a single 12gig file in about 15 mins.

In Short, if you’re a power user and a developer, then the pro package would be a great choice as it brings in features that would make a tonne of sense for development or testing programs or beta software.

Some general FAQ’s

Q: Is Commander One free?

Yes, however, the trial version lasts for 15 days and, after that, requires a license key to unlock all the pro features. However, if you don’t need the pro features, the program is entirely free to use with features such as multiple panels to access files and folders and the ability to create custom hotkeys.

Q: Is Commander One compatible with Big Sur?

The Commander One app has been updated for compatibility with macOS Big Sur, with upgrades for stability, and brings in added functionality too. Since the file manager is built with Swift programming language, Commander One v3.0 is natively compatible with every version of macOS X currently out there.

Q: Does Commander One work on M1 Macs?

The latest generation of M1 MacBooks and iMac are designed for faster processing, lower heat transmission, and better graphical performance. However, the processor of your macOS X system does not affect what apps you can run on it. Hence, Commander One is entirely compatible with the latest generation of M1 Macs available.

Q: Is Commander One available for Windows?

Yes, there is a beta version that works on Windows. We have tested it too, and the user interface looked beautiful, but the bugs were something that hindered the experience and should be something that would be improved with time and future updates.

Final words

Although lacking the ease of access of the built-in Finder application, Commander One welcomes new features and improvements regarding performance and multi-tasking that make it worth shelling out for, but only if you’re looking for the “Pro” upgrade. However, if you’re a regular user with no need for extra access and features, then the default file manager would serve you with no problems.

With this, we end the blog and hope that the review might have helped look for something that could entirely change up your space and view on file managers. We would like to hear from you in the comment section below about the experience of using the file explorer and how it fared in your daily life.

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