In XP i used backshift for going one folder upwards. In Win7 they changed that to Alt+ArrowUp and backshift means now go back in folder history.

Is there some way to use good old backshift for going upwards? I don't need the back functionality..

2 Answers 2


Here's an article on How-To Geek that should help!
Make Backspace in Windows 7 or Vista Explorer Go Up Like XP Did

The Awesome AutoHotkey Fix

Now that we know the shortcut key that actually works in Windows 7, we can use a small script to make it work the way we really want it to. With AutoHotkey installed, create a new script with New –> AutoHotkey Script, and then paste in the following:

#IfWinActive, ahk_class CabinetWClass Backspace::    ControlGet renamestatus,Visible,,Edit1,A    ControlGetFocus focussed, A   
    SendInput {Alt Down}{Up}{Alt Up}   }else{
      Send {Backspace}   }

Compiled version (exe file)

  • 4
    Autohotkey. It can solve world hunger.
    – surfasb
    Dec 15, 2011 at 18:53
  • So autohotkey is the only way to do this or at least best practice. no windows internal function?
    – sewo
    Dec 15, 2011 at 19:39
  • @sewo As the article mentions, you can also download a precompiled version of the same thing, which resides in your memory and captures backspaces in that context. I have not found a windows internal function. Dec 15, 2011 at 20:22
  • @sewo Haven't you noticed? The Explorer in Win7 has basically no customization capabilities. At all. What you see is what you get. Users ask for features, they get nothing. Spammers ask for toolbars, they get IE. /rant
    – mtone
    Dec 15, 2011 at 20:28
  • 1
    Welcome to Super User! We generally prefer you post content instead of just links. Could you summarize the article here and hit the EDIT button your post? Dec 15, 2011 at 21:37

I managed to modify the script in the answer from Jesse Smith so it works for Windows 10.
Tested with AutoHotkey v1.1.34.04 .

#IfWinActive, ahk_class CabinetWClass


ControlGet renamestatus,Visible,,Edit1,A
ControlGetFocus focused, A

; Popup a message box window containing the value of a variable (for debugging purposses)
;MsgBox % focused

if(renamestatus != 1 && (focused = "DirectUIHWND3" || focused = "DirectUIHWND2" || focused = "SysTreeView321"))
  SendInput {Alt Down}{Up}{Alt Up}
  Send {Backspace}

To make the script work in Windows 10 (at least for me) I needed to add a check for "DirectUIHWND2" (with a 2 instead of a 3).

If it does not work for someone else, the MsgBox-line can be uncommented so the value is shown on screen when pressing Backspace in a File Browser window.

Why a new Answer to this old Question

I believe this webpage comes up for many people searching for a solution to this problem for newer versions than Windows 7. So by posting my solution here it could potentially be of help to others.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .