Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope

BackslashAlternatively referred to as a backward slash and reverse solidus, the backslash is a character ( \ ) first introduced by Bob Bemer in 1960.

Note: Although "slash" is most often used to describe the forward slash, it could be used to describe either a forward slash or backslash. It is better to say "backslash" or "whack" instead of "slash" when telling someone to enter a backslash.

Tip: Early typewriters and computer keyboards only had a forward slash. The backward slash was not made popular until MS-DOS started being used.

Where is the backslash key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the backslash key highlighted in blue. It is also not uncommon for this key to be directly below the Backspace key and above the Enter key.

Backslash key

How to create a backslash

Creating the \ symbol on a U.S. keyboard

On English PC and Mac keyboards, the backslash is on the same key as the pipe key, just above the Enter key (Return key) and just below the Backspace key. Pressing this key will create a backslash.

Creating the \ symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a quote symbol on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the \ symbol.

What is a backslash used for on a computer?

A backslash can be used to represent a file path in MS-DOS and Windows. For example, c:\windows is an example of the backslash being used. A backslash may also be used for any of the following reasons.

Forward slash, Keyboard terms, Slant, Slash