One of the choices that the various Windows operating systems gives you is whether a sub-folder will open in the parent window or whether it will open in a window of its own. This choice is made from the Options sub-menu of the View menu of any folder.
Having sub-folders open in the same window as the parent folder reduces the number of windows that you have open on your screen at the same time and with the Up One Level button on the folder toolbar returning to the parent folder is only one click away.
Some people might frequently find themselves wanting to access the content of several different folders at different levels in this hierarchy at the same time. If you are one of these people then having each sub-folder open in a new window is more convenient because you still have access to the parent folder at the same time as the new one. You can have several folders at different levels all open at the same time without having to start from the top of the hierarchy in order to open each one. This can make things much simpler for transferring files up and down the hierarchy.
The main disadvantage of opening separate windows for each level is that you end up with all of these windows that you will eventually want to close. Well as it turns out there is a very simple way of closing all of these folders once you are finished with them all.
All that you need to do is to hold down the shift key on your keyboard while clicking on the close button in the top right corner of one of the folder windows and not only the selected window will close but also all of the parent windows all the way back up the hierarchy will be closed as well. If you shift-close the window containing the lowest level sub-folder then all of the folder windows that were opened to get to that folder will be closed as well. If you instead select the window containing the parent folder of the one at the lowest level and shift-close that one then all of the windows except the lowest level one will be closed giving the same result for one more keypress as you could have got by selecting to open all folders in the same window.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.