Where is the “Up” button in Windows Vista?

The Up button present in earlier versions of Windows is one of the most useful shortcuts to navigate to the parent folder, one level up from the current folder. In Windows Vista, this button has been removed and the functionality is replaced by breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs in the Address bar show the current navigation path, enabling you to easily backtrack or navigate forward anywhere along an address location.

To open the parent folder (one level up), just click on the second to last location in the address bar.

To view the folder one level up using a keyboard shortcut, press ALT + UP ARROW.

Note: If you select the address bar using ALT+D or by clicking on an empty area on the Address bar, the breadcrumb view will disappear and it shows the path of the current folder.

Useful Keyboard shortcuts

ShortcutDescription
ALT+UP ARROWView the folder one level up in Windows Explorer
BackspaceNavigate to parent folder if there are no previous navigations. Navigate to previous location in history if one exists.
ALT+LEFTGo backward to previous location in history
ALT+RIGHTGo forward to next location in history
ALT+DSelect the Address bar

(Source: The Shell Blog – Do things faster with Keyboard Shortcuts)

Still need the Up button?

Mavis Up button, a software from Mavis Applications adds the Up button in Explorer in Windows Vista. This application is not a freeware.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.