Total Commander Tutorial – First steps: Installation, Multiple Rename of Files or Folders, FTP transferring, File Comparing

In this article I would like to present You a Total Commander – very useful tool in daily working. This article is also available in YouTube video here.

Total Commander is a file manager which in compare to common Windows Explorator has got following additional functionalities:
  • Rename multiple files / folders;
  • Transferring files over network with ftp protocol;
  • Comparing of two files in easy way;
Disadvantage of this program is that it runs only on windows machines.


I recommend to download Total Commander from this main site for it.
Total Commander download section
You can click here to download installer which will install automatically suitable version for your windows 64 or 32 bit.
Choose server from which it should be downloaded.
choosing download server
Open downloaded file. You can follow my actions during installation as presented on my YouTube video.

First run

During first run you can see configuration window. At the tab “Display” you can activate option “show hidden files”. It will be helpful if you are working with this kind of files.
activating displaying hidden files
Now you have possibility to choose icon styles in total commander. It is up to you witch version you will choose.
choosing menu icon style
I encourage you to take a look on menu bar in Total Commander. For example here You can activate configuration window:
Activating configuration window in Total Commander.
Following two windows are characteristic for total commander. You can also easy create new tab in each window by pressing ctrl+t. Over ctrl+w you can close the tab. Shortcuts will be presented at the end of article.
Working windows in Total Commander.
By right mouse click on a file or folder you can select it. Selection can be also made by pressing space bar or insert key.
When you hold right mouse click more than 1 second on a file or folder you will see properties menu.

Rename Multiple files / folders

Firstly you can create ‘sandbox’ folder to try these functionalities. Inside create additional folders. Pressing F7 creates new folder.
To rename these folders select all of them by ctrl+a. Renaming tool can be found on a button bar
Renaming tool in Total Commander
Inside this tool you can define pattern according to which all folders will be named. For example [N] means the old name.
I will create new pattern which will consist from counter – which will start from 001. 3 digits should be presented. After it I put underline and than I will put creation date of the folder with underline. In order to set date with such underline you can follow my steps on the video (4:12). Field with pattern can look like here:
Multi Rename tool

When You are ready click start and close the tool. After that changes should be visible.

Transferring Files over FTP

Let’s assume that You have a hosting account where You publish your internet website. In order to send website files like html, it is needed to send them to server over ftp protocol. To establish ftp connection we have to use login and password which you received from hosting company.

In total commander we have to go to menu net and then choose “ftp connect”:

Menu for FTP connectionsWe see a window which asks you to choose which connection settings should be used. Now click on “New connection…”.

Menu with saved ftp connections
In this window you should define here session name, for instance “my_website”. At the field host name you should paste name of the server or name your website. You should also write down your user name.
If You have some problems with connection check this option this can help if connection is blocked by your firewall.
!!! Caution: I don’t recommend you to save password for your website inside Total Commander! Many viruses are able to steal the password from Total Commander and in such way attack your website. It is much better to set FTP connection without password and write it during every ftp connection!
FTP connection settings
When You finish you can click on ok button. New session should be right now established.
When You want to finish – click with right mouse click – Disconnect.
Disconnecting FTP session

Comparing two text files

In order to compare two files we can create inside sandbox folder two example text files. You can do it by pressing shift+F4 key.

By pressing shift+F6 you can change file name into for instance main.c known from C programming language.
Lets create second file with name example.c You can write down two similar text into both files. After that you are ready to compare content of these two files.
Select both files (for example with space-bar). After that click here:
Activating tool compare by content
As you can see Total Commander has shown us the differences in our two files.
In order to be able to see difference between ‘O’ and ‘0’(zero) sign, I recommend to change font into Consolas. This font clearly display the difference between such signs. Here you can change the font:
Changing font in Compare Content tool 

Total Commander Shortcuts

Here under is presented list of Total Commander shortcuts which in my opinion are most used:
  • ctrl + t – create new tab
  • ctrl + w – remove tab
  • ctrl + u – swap windows
  • ctrl + i – switches between windows
  • ctrl + r – refresh window
  • space bar / insert – selecting folder or file
  • F7 – create new folder
  • left mouse click + shift – multiple selection
  • shift + F4 – create new file
  • shift + F6 – change file name
  • alt + shift + enter – presents size of folders in window (for some folders it is need to run total commander as administrator to obtain detail size)

Total Commander YouTube Video