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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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Moving up one folder in Windows 7

Windows 7 dropped Windows XP's beloved "Up Folder" icon.Q: In Windows XP, I could move from one folder to the next higher folder by clicking on the Up Arrow icon.

For example, I could be working inside a folder within the My Documents folder. A click on my folder’s Up Arrow icon would quickly return me to the My Documents folder.

How can I do this in Windows 7?

A: Microsoft removed the Up Arrow icon from Windows 7, releasing howls of dismay from many. As you’ve noted, clicking Windows XP’s conveniently placed Up Arrow icon moved you up one folder, letting you revisit neighboring folders quickly and easily. Hardcore folder spelunkers were outraged, but Microsoft stood fast.

Apparently Microsoft’s study groups had revealed that most people never used that feature, so Microsoft removed it from Windows 7. But if you’re one of the few who treasured that Up Arrow icon, you’re not lost. Microsoft left you a quick way to move up one folder:

  • Hold down the Alt key and press your keyboard’s Up arrow. That takes you up one folder up from your current folder.

You can also click the Libraries entry on every folder’s left side to return you to your Libraries folder. Once in there, you can start navigating inward toward your Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos libraries to revisit them.

Those tricks aren’t as handy as the Up Arrow icon. But they may push you toward using keyboard shortcuts, which outpace the mouse for many quick tasks. WordPad offers many keyboard shortcuts, as well.

(Windows 8 places the Up Arrow icon back in its rightful spot.)


Comment from Harry
Time January 27, 2013 at 12:45 am

Just found this article after installing Win 7 a few weeks back. There’s a little app called “Coalde UpFolder” at coalde.com that lets you middle-click to go up a folder, just like XP. Just though your readers would like to know.

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