When I use C-f to find a file in Spacemacs, how can I use <backspace> to navigate to the parent folder?

1 Answer 1


This is the default behavior if using the Ivy completion engine.

Assuming you are using Helm (the default for Spacemacs) for your completion engine, there is a command helm-find-files-up-one-level which is bound to C-l in the helm-find-files-map. If you want to bind your backspace key to that function you can do this:

(define-key helm-find-files-map (kbd "<backspace>") 'helm-find-files-up-one-level)

You can put this into your dotspacemacs/user-config section and re-evaluate your init file, or just evaluate it in the *scratch* buffer to try it out first.

  • 1
    my friend has such configuration which to navigate to upper folder, but he doesn't do anything with the init.el. I am wondering is there any command to do this.
    – Wei Wu
    Jan 29, 2019 at 8:01
  • If you use Ivy for the completion back-end, that is the default behavior. It is possible your friend is using that, or maybe a different version of spacemacs?
    – shoshin
    Jan 29, 2019 at 13:06
  • yes, Ivy is the plugin I need.
    – Wei Wu
    Jan 31, 2019 at 1:24

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