ZX-Explorer is a file explorer for ZX-Spectrum emulator files, which supports (nearly all) functions you know from Windows explorer, but it also helps you to administrate your Spectrum program collection by using the great and powerful file archive database from World of Spectrum. ZX-Explorer is also a multi-functional Thumbnail viewer for your Spectrum files.

ZX-Explorer is a useful tool for the ZX-Modules project, which consists of many individual and helpful programs.

Working features

  • Browses through your hard-disks, CDs or something else where you have stored ZX-Spectrum files.
  • Uses virtual file display (file information within folders is determined ‘on the fly’).
  • Displays normal files as well as the contents of compressed files.
  • You also get an automatic program/game detection of your files, if you want. It tells you the name of the program, the publisher etc. The detection works with data from World of Spectrum file archive, which is kindfully supported by Martijn van der Heide. He publishes regular updates as a downloadable DAT file with which you can keep ZX-Explorer’s built-in program/game database up-to-date.
  • The built-in program/game database stores known games and programs that were found on your computer while browsing through the files. You later can run or locate these games and programs directly from the Knowledge database register tab!
  • Compressed files can be quick-scanned for game data directly. The first found game in the compressed file is displayed as a ‘preview’ file. This helps all people who have many compressed games on their machine and don’t want to look inside all of these compressed files separately.
  • ZX-Explorer can open a file or a compressed file with ZX-Blockeditor and ZX-Preview. Use the features that are available in the options dialog.
  • ZX-Explorer became also a powerful thumbnail picture viewer, which displays your files as small images – in this mode you also get the first file that is inside a compressed file displayed directly!
  • You may download missing files from World of Spectrum Archive directly – your Knowledge database marks all found games with a green hook. Not found games get a red cross icon instead.
  • ZX-Explorer allows you to rename, delete, copy or move your files, pretty much as in other file explorers. You may also use drag-and-drop to copy files to another file explorer, and ZX-Explorer can receive dropped files, as well.
  • ZX-Explorer has an included batch renaming tool, with which you can rename multiple files on your hard disk by their game information!

List of changes

Date:Description of changes:
Feb 2013New program version published
Jan. 2015Bugfix: The tool “Scan for known games in folders” could not be interrupted with the <ESC> key, as promised. The key recognition worked, but the scan did not stop.
The “Scan for known games in folders” was extremely slow in reading the files. In truth, you were never able to scan more than 2000 files in a reliable time. The recursive file search algorithm has been completely renewed and a fast accessible duplicate notation list is now used, so that it takes definitely less time.
I scanned the whole WoS games archive in less than 20 minutes (on an Intel core I7 PC). For totally over 21,000 files, I would say, this is okay.
Bugfix: The file item display produced problems when thumbnails or in-zip-game-data-search is used. The item display corrupted. To resolve the problem, I had to completely renew the item display routines. Thumbnails as well as in-zip-game info is now displayed time-delayed and do not longer disturb the list scrolling and item displaying.
Bugfix: The knowledge database function “download file from source” recognized a file that is already present on the user’s hard disk. But when the user changed the file name in the appearing “save file as” dialog to download the file with a different file name, it has been once again reported as being already present, even if that was not true. Now, when a file is to be downloaded to a file name that is already present, a special dialog appears that contains the function “rename”, which automatically produces a unique file name by attaching a bracketed number to the file name.
The “download file from source” now can be called with the F7 key. And furthermore, the file name of the downloaded file (which probably has been renamed), is always stored in the knowledge database.
When switching from knowledge database tab to file list tab and then back, it’s now ensured that the last displayed database record will be visible again.
Jan. 2015New program version 2.1 published. Final state for now!

Updating automatic program/game detection

If you want to update the knowledge database (game definitions) by yourself, use the auto-update function of ZX-Explorer, or if you want to perform this manually, follow these instructions:

  • Download the up-to-date zipped DAT-file from WoS (click here to )
  • Extract the DAT file from the ZIP file and store it into ZX-Explorer’s work directory.
  • Open ZX-Explorer and select the register tab ‘Knowledge database’
  • Click on the icon and wait until the database has been updated (may take several minutes).