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Getting a Bloat-Free Version of ES File Explorer for Android

Feb 2, 2016   Mobile   Nick Vogt   Comments (8)
Please note that this post is over a year old and may contain outdated information.
ES File Explorer for Android has become increasingly bloated, starting with version 4.0 that came out in August 2015. It now has forced home screens, background running, notifications, a cleaner app built-in, and other bloat that is generally not necessary for a file manager.

After searching high and low for a good free replacement, I found that the best solution was to manually install a previous version of ES File Explorer, and never upgrade. In my opinion, the last "good" version of ES File Explorer was 3.2.5.5. You can get this version easily, and it does not require root. Just follow these steps:

Step 1
Uninstall ES File Explorer if you currently have it installed.

Step 2
Make sure auto-update of apps is turned off in Google Play Store.

Step 3
Download the APK for ES File Explorer version 3.2.5.5. You can find it at APKMirror:
http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/es-global/es-file-explorer/es-file-explorer-3-2-5-5-android-apk-download/

Step 4
Enable installation of non-market apps on your Android device. This setting is usually under Settings > Security and may be called "Unknown Sources".

Step 5
Install the APK onto your device. There are a couple ways to do this. Probably the easiest way is to plug your device in to your PC via USB cable, then copy the APK over, then using any other file manager app, navigate to the APK and install it (this does require using a different file manager app temporarily for the purpose of installing ES File Explorer).

Another way is using ADB (Android Debug Bridge), but that is beyond the scope of this post.

You should now have version 3.2.5.5 of ES File Explorer installed. Google Play will show it as needing to update, so you'll have to avoid updating it.
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Comments (8)

SplAdam   Mar 07, 2018
Guys, if you arrived here doing a google search, you need to read this reddit thread. You can use an app called zipsigner to modify the apk so that ES File Explorer won't try to update without you having to turn all updates off. Also, the condenses is that 4.0.2.3 is the last good clean version. Here: https://www.reddit.com/r/androidapps/comments/3wh0rf/what_is_the_last_version_of_es_file_explorer_that/
Manabi   Mar 07, 2018
@ksfarmer You have to disable auto-updates for ALL apps in the Google Play store app, there is no way to prevent auto-updates to just one app. And yes, it's a pain in the ass having to manually update everything else. But current versions of ES File Explorer are SO bad, it's either do that, or find another file manager.
ksfarmer   Feb 18, 2018
is there a way to PREVENT auto updates to es file explorer once you have loaded the version you recommend?
suburbansteve   Nov 22, 2017
Thanx mate just brought another tablet and installed an earlier version but it wasn't quite right, your post sorted it out perfectly.
Hi   Oct 02, 2017
Thanks dude. I was super. Bummed when I pulled my old galaxy out of retirement and saw my favorite explorer went to shit. Was just googling around to find the last good version. Thank you
Ed Cooper   Jun 26, 2017
Thank you! I was wondering which version was still OK. The devolopers of this are idiots.
Erick Oldaker   Jan 24, 2017
So much better everyone! Wish ES hadn't sold out and started bloating their users.
Doug McKinnon   Nov 10, 2016
Yeah, buddy :)
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