Suppose that I'm editing a file, then I press :w to store it. And then I use :e. to navigate its containing folder in the netrw. Suppose its containing folder is ./A/B/. In netrw, I open a file with path ./D/E.

My question is when I enter into the file ./D/E, how can I return to ./D/ or ./A/B/?

I tried :b#, but only to return to the previous edited file, not to the netrw. I know that I can use :e. again to return to ./A/B/ since it's current path. Is there any way to return to ./D/, the containing folder of the currently being edited file?


3 Answers 3


does the same thing as :e %:h, and is shorter to type.

If you look up :help :Explore, you can see that there are also variations to open the directory of the current file in a new tab or split instead of in the current window.

  • :E is no less convenient than <C-o>. But :E is easier to remember since I can group it together with :e, :sp., :vs. etc. Jul 1, 2015 at 0:08
  • 2
    Seems :Rex is better because it remembers last position in netrw.
    – ks1322
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:04

:e %:h navigates to the directory of the current file. See :help expand() for more info. Tim Pope's Vinegar plugin essentially binds - to this, and introduces a few small other conveniences.

You could also use <c-o> to navigate to the previous jump/file shown in the current window.


There are a lot of commands in netrw for directory navigation. Some that come to mind: :Rexplore (to return from a file to netrw); :help netrw-qb will inform you of netrw's history mechanism (u, U), :help g:netrw_keepdir, etc.

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