I'm a bit late to the Windows 7 party, and having just installed it yesterday, I'm already sorely missing an XP feature. In explorer, I used to be able to click the toolbar Up button with Ctrl held down to open a new explorer window. In Windows 7, I neither have an Up button nor a keystroke to change navigation to open a new window (aside from Ctrl+double click).

I'm not asking about the "open everything in a new window" option in Tools -> Folder Options. Most of the time I want to stay in the same window - but sometimes I don't.

I also know Alt+ will go up a level, but Ctrl+Alt+ doesn't do anything.

So, two questions:

  • Is there a convenient way to open the parent folder in a new window
  • Does someone have a link to a good reference on all Windows 7 keyboard short cuts?

6 Answers 6


For the second part of your question there is this article on MS's site.

Click show all and you have them all.

Unfortunately there is no shortcut to open a parent folder in a new window.

But there is a way...

You can do 1 of 2 things.

  1. Ctrl+N then Alt+Up

  2. use AutoHotkey to run this exact key command with a smaller and quicker command of your choosing

  • Thanks - So far I'm settling on Ctrl+N, Alt+Up - make a new window, then go up one. It's going to take some time for my fingers to get used to 7.
    – Seth
    Jul 2, 2010 at 18:23
  • Don't you mean Control+N in stead of Control+Up?
    – jahroy
    Mar 14, 2013 at 2:09

In Windows 7 it is simple:

  • Use the arrow keys to select the folder you want to open in a new window, then press Ctrl+Enter

or using a mouse...

  • Ctrl+double-click
  • This is a great tip, but the question was how to open the parent folder
    – Jason
    Aug 29, 2014 at 2:30

Just click the folder you want to open in a new window then hold the Ctrl and click once on another folder (doesn't matter which) then double-click on the same folder (that you clicked last).

If you want to open two folders in new windows: click to the first then just double-click on the second (without marking it beforehand). This way you will have them both opened in new windows and your old folder. It's working in the same way if you want open multiple folders in new windows.

If you have just one sub-folder and nothing else in it, just hold the Ctrl key and click twice on the folder.

  • Doesn't work for me...
    – Jason
    Aug 28, 2014 at 22:40
  • why? :) maybe it looks too complicated or uncomfortable. I just gave another suggestion, sorry if it is uncomfortable (just don't use it :) ). Aug 29, 2014 at 0:30
  • It opens a new window, but not the parent folder.
    – Jason
    Aug 29, 2014 at 2:29

To answer your first question:

In Tools, Options, ensure you have Navigation Pane set to "Expand to current folder."

Now with your folder open, in the Navigation pane you should see your current folder and the parent.

Type SHIFT + F6 to move your focus to the navigation pane. Hit LEFT ARROW to move up one level (parent folder) or UP ARROW until it's selected. Now, SHIFT + F10 for the context window, and click Open in new Window (or, in Windows 7, keyboard accelerator "e"), and you'll get the parent open in a new window.

Not as simple as the old method on the toolbar, but this way you need not have "Always open in new window" selected in options.


Strangely enough for me Ctrl+double-click does not work for me but Shift+Ctrl+double-click does work.

It can also open multiple folders in new windows :)

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jun 4, 2022 at 14:11

shift + right-click on "open file location"

I found the answer on another site

  • Can you post a link to the source?
    – bwDraco
    Aug 11, 2015 at 20:45
  • Where from you found this answer please reference here.
    – WaQaR Ali
    Aug 12, 2015 at 7:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.