A tool for managing file systems
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File Helper

This is an application to help me organize my file system. Specifically, it is going to help me decide which files should be backed up, and to which backup tier each file belongs.



Organize your files!

File Helper lets you categorize your files. It includes a handy visualizer to quickly show how large your files are.

By categorizing your files, you can more easily manage them:

  • Know which files you care about, so you can back them up

  • Mark which files you can delete when you run low on space


Why you want this

I'm a bit of a data pack-rat. I try to back up everything I think is valuable to me.

However, my backup ended up way too large. It would be costly in both time and money to upload it to the cloud services I wanted. In order to trim the size of my backup, I needed a robust, fast way to annotate multiple file systems.

File Helper solves this problem for me. It allows me to quickly traverse the entire system and mark which files are critical to back up, which files would be onerous to lose (but not the end of the world), and which files I don't care about.

By annotating files and directories with categories, I could more effectively reason about my data and how to back it up.

I imagine others have similar issues with file organization, which is why I made it a general tool. Note that File Helper is not tied to backing up files.



The categories you choose are up to you. For example, I might have these categories:

  • Backup

  • Configuration

  • Media

  • System

While the example given focused on helping decide which files to back up, you can use the tool to organize your music by genre, mark files by importance, etc. File helper is designed to have a very efficient user interface to assist you in quickly performing any file categorization task.

  • Categories are inherited from parent directories. You may override inherited categories.

  • When the majority of entries share the same category, you can mark the parent directory as that category instead, then exclude files which do not match by setting their appropriate categories as overrides.

Directory Browser

The Directory Browser is the primary interface for traversing and categorizing your file system. Using the keyboard is the most efficient way to categorize your filesystem in File Helper.



The Treemap view visualizes file sizes with rectangles. The larger the rectangle, the larger the file. The sizing is determined relative to all other files in the directory the Treemap is showing.


Using the categorizations

File Helper is designed as a tool for generic categorization. You can use the data in any way.

For example, I can use the list of entries in my Backup category along with the rsync tool to copy all my Backup files to a separate drive. Entries in the associated category file are "pure": they do not contain any other categories. This makes it easy to use with other tools.

Free and open source

File Helper's source code is available under the terms of the GPL version 3.


File Helper is $8.88.

By purchasing File Helper, you support further development on it and other open source projects.

Help and feedback

If you have comments about File Helper, please email me. I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Questions and answers

If it is Free and Open Source, why do I have to pay?

My goal is to be able to sell software in a way I believe is ethical, which necessitates it being free and open source. This does not preclude me from making money off of the software to sustain future development. The free in Free and Open Source means freedom, not free as in price. File Helper's source code is freely available upon request. If you build your own version of File Helper, you are free to redistribute it under the same terms. You may not distribute the source nor binaries under any other license except the GPL v.3 or later.

What am I putting on my computer?

File Helper is a native executable which is around 2 MiB in size. It has only a few dependencies and no heavyweight frameworks. File Helper requires no installers or additional downloads to work. Simply extract the archive in your system's file explorer, then double-click the file named "File Helper". It is portable, so you can keep the executable on a USB or network drive if you want. File Helper has zero code for analytics or network access, which means it is completely offline. It absolutely respects your privacy.