Back in Windows XP, if you were using Windows Explorer (Start – My Computer), you might click through several layers of folders and subfolders to get to the file you were looking for. Then you realized you went “down” one folder too far, so you need to go “up” one folder. There was this little icon that did just that – the UP button:
There was also a BACK button, but that was not exactly the same thing (which is why they are two different icons). “Back” just takes you to the folder you were looking at previously (just like the Back button on your web browser). “Up” actually takes you up one folder.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 still show the Back button, but for some reason they left out the Up button. This makes it inconvenient to navigate in some situations. I guess they thought no one uses it enough to keep that icon on display.
Fortunately, all they eliminated was the icon itself – the actual procedure still exists as a keyboard shortcut. All you have to do is hold down the Alt key and tap the UP arrow on your keyboard.
If you have Vista or 7, go try it out and see for yourself. If you work with files and folders, this is a keyboard shortcut to remember!