Make Windows 7 Explorer go up one folder

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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:

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!

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Ken Leathermann
October 31st, 2011


You’re spoiling me. My new laptop is Windows 7 and I had noticed the missing up icon. Now I have a work around.

Thanks for another great tip.


November 4th, 2011

Thanks for that tip, Scott. I have been missing my “up” button.
I have another question for you. You Tube sent me an invitation to sign up with them so that they could place ads on my uploaded videos and I would earn money for each click on the ad they placed by my video. I was starting the sign up process when I got to the screen that asked me to enable cookies on my computer. I didn’t want to do that. Is it worth the risk? Am I being too cautious?

Scott Johnson
November 5th, 2011

Irene, I wouldn’t really worry about it. Cookies aren’t necessarily bad, and in fact are pretty handy in most cases. I do like the fact that you are thinking cautiously though! I hope you make a fortune on YouTube videos!