Access Windows Shadow Copies using ShadowExplorer to Restore old Files

Some users out there must be aware of the feature called Shadow Copy or Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS. This feature is a pre-included service in Microsoft Windows that provides or enables you to have a manual or automatic snapshot of a volume. It is a kind of backup or restoration services by creating shadow copies of the entire NTFS volume and stores it in the same volume, but how to browse these shadow volumes is the question here. This feature is made available only in higher Windows versions like that of Pro, Ultimate, Business and Enterprise, while versions like Home Premium, Home, Starter, are deprived of this feature. If you are using a version of Windows that doesn’t support shadow copy browsing, here is the tutorial how you can access the shadow copy using a third party tool.Windows Shadow copies ShadowExplorer

The shadow feature is enabled when the System Protection is turned on. Windows creates shadow copies of files that are recently modified since the last restore point was made. As told earlier, this feature allows you to retrieve older versions of files and documents that were accidentally deleted or altered.

By default Windows has enabled this feature on all versions, but the access to the copy files are allowed only in some limited versions of Windows as mentioned above. To get to the earlier version of the files one need to right click on the file and then select Restore Previous Versions or select Properties > Previous Versions box, to see the available versions. However you can overcome this feature using third party software.

ShadowExplorer is a freeware that allows you to access the shadow files created by Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service. This utility tool comes in handy for the users who have Windows version like that of Home editions, etc which limits the user from accessing the shadow files to restore to the previous version of files.

shadow explorer

Shadow Explorer is a small, clean utility program with easy to use interface with minimal customization. It comes with two variants, i.e. the setup and the portable variant.

Shadow copies are useful and can acts as emergency backup, i.e. when you have forgotten to create a restore point or back up. But this feature cannot replace regular backups. One more drawback using the utility tool is that the shadow copies are saved in the same volume, so it becomes inefficient when the system hard disk crashes down. If the disk crashes, the backups along with the data are gone.

If you want to restore back some of the system files, then ShadowExplorer is a must have utility. This is tiny, clean and fast shadow copies exploring utility. It shows all the hidden feature of Windows so that users can easily access them when needed, so that you can easily get to the previous versions of your files and recover them.


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