The Shareware Review People

Tray Explorer

TRAYexp23.gif (3039 bytes)

Type of Program:Desktop Utility
Platform: Windows 95
Author: Brian Glover
Version: 2.3
Price: free
Installed size: 48K


Of all the system-tray-icon apps out there that give you Windows Explorer access, I confess, I have a soft spot for Tray Explorer -- mainly because it proved me so wrong. I'd thought, "Here's a dinky little free download, it can't do much...." Surprise!

The general goal of us system-tray-icon fanatics is to avoid minimizing windows and shorten that annoying chain of mouse-clicks just to find/fetch/look-at some dang simple thing. We want getting there to be simple too. Okay. With a click on the related tray icon, Tray Explorer may be like other shortcuts to Windows Explorer. But..... right-click, and you'll see what sets it apart. A right-click on the Tray Explorer icon gives you a popup menu, one click access to your choice of: Explorer, Explore Folder, Desktop, Options, About, and Exit.

I like using Tray Explorer to access the Desktop, since it does NOT minimize your current window(s) but gives you a popup menu of Desktop shortcuts, in alphabetical order -- and you're really keen on shortcut icons, they still appear next to the related shortcut listed. It ends up being easier to use than the Desktop itself. And oh sure, you can use IE4's Quick Launch Desktop icon, but poof! there go all your open windows, down to the taskbar.... And MS PowerToys has an Explorer access icon you can plug in down there, but poof! it's gone the next time you re-boot. Or you can try one offered by some other developer, and pay anywhere from $5 to $20 for the shareware. Tray Explorer is free! I even told the developer I couldn't believe he wasn't charging for it, but he's an "aw shucks" kind of guy, it seems..... So, folks, I suggest you go get this thing for free, before he changes his mind.

The only minor thing, is that if you want Tray Explorer to boot with your system, you need to put the shortcut in the Start-Up folder yourself.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell

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