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Drives: Windows ShadowCopy PDF of this article

Last modified on 02/19/2017 2:59 pm CST


ShadowCopy is a program that allows users easy access to back-up copies of files or entire folders. Back-up copies are created twice daily: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. These back-up copies or previous versions are kept for two weeks. They can be copied so the user can access both the current version and a previous version. Back-up copies can also be used to overwrite or restore a current version to its previous state.

Accessing previous versions of files with ShadowCopy is done through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. This document assumes that you have some familiarity with Windows Explorer.

Accessing the Previous Versions Tab

You can view and access previous versions of files with ShadowCopy through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. Viewing previous versions can help you locate the version you want to copy or restore.

  1. On the Taskbar, right click the Start button
  2. Select Open Windows Explorer (Windows 7) or File Explorer (Windows 10).
    A new window opens.
     
  3. Navigate to the desired file or folder.
  4. Right click the file or folder and select Properties.
    The Properties dialog box appears.
     
  5. Select the Previous Versions tab.
    The Folder versions scroll box lists all available previous versions.
    LTS training folder properties

Viewing Previous Versions

You can view and access previous versions of files with ShadowCopy through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. Viewing previous versions can help you locate the version that you want to copy or restore.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab.
  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you wish to view.
  3. Click Open. 
    A new Windows Explorer window appears, showing that version of the file.

Making a Copy of Previous Versions

There may be times, after having made changes to a file, that you would like to have a copy of the file as it existed before your changes. Using ShadowCopy, once you locate the desired previous version of a file, you can make a copy of it. You can place the copy in an existing folder or create a new folder for the copy.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab.
  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you want to copy.
  3. Click Copy...
    The Copy Items dialog box appears.
    copy items
     
  4. From the scroll box, select a location for the copy.
  5. (Optional) To create a new folder for the copy,
    Click Make New Folder. 
    A new folder appears in the location in you selected in step four. The name New Folder is highlighted.
    Type a name for the folder.
    Press [Enter].
     
  6. Click Copy. 
    The previous version of the file is copied to the designated location.

Restoring a Previous Version

You can restore files that you deleted. Or there may be times, after having made changes to a file, that you would like to return to the original file as it existed before your changes. Using ShadowCopy, once you locate the desired previous version of a file, you can restore it.

WARNING: The Restore function overwrites the current version of a file. So, if the current version has not been backed up yet and not saved under another name, it will be lost.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab.
  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you want to restore.
  3. Click Restore. 
    A confirmation dialog box appears.
     
  4. To restore the file to that version, click Yes. 
    The previous version overwrites the current file.

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