Requesting a system restore point in certain Windows operating systems creates a shadow copy of a file or folder, which is essentially a previous version of that item at a particular point in time.
What Are Shadow Copies in Windows Operating Systems?
Shadow copies are created in some Windows operating systems when a system restore point is requested. These shadow copies are essentially previous versions of files or folders at a specific point in time. They serve as a safety net for users, allowing them to recover files or folders that may have been deleted or modified accidentally.
How Do Shadow Copies Work?
When you create a shadow copy, Windows takes a snapshot of the file or folder at that moment in time. Windows creates a copy of the file or folder, but it doesn’t overwrite the original. Instead, it creates a new copy at the time when the snapshot was taken. This copy is then stored on the same volume as the original file or folder in a hidden System Volume Information folder.
How Can Shadow Copies Be Beneficial?
Having shadow copies of your files or folders can be very beneficial. If you accidentally delete something, you can restore it very quickly without having to go through the process of restoring from a backup. Shadow copies can also be helpful if you need to go back to a previous version of a file or folder, maybe because you made changes and need to revert them.
How Can I Enable Shadow Copies?
Shadow copies are available on certain Windows operating systems, including Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. However, they are not enabled by default. To enable them, you’ll need to follow a few steps:
- Click the Start button and search for “Create a restore point”.
- Select the option that says “Create a restore point”.
- In the System Properties window, select the drive that you want to enable shadow copies on and click on the “Configure” button.
- Select the “Turn on system protection” option and adjust the maximum usage slider to the amount of space you want to allocate for shadow copies.
- Click “OK” to save your changes.
Once you’ve enabled shadow copies, Windows will start creating them automatically.
How Can I Access Shadow Copies?
To access shadow copies, follow these steps:
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder that contained the file or folder you want to restore.
- Right-click on the file or folder and select “Properties”.
- Go to the “Previous Versions” tab.
- If there are any shadow copies available, they will be listed here. Select the one you want to restore and click “Restore”.
- If you don’t see any shadow copies listed, it’s possible that they haven’t been created yet or that the volume where the file or folder is located does not have system protection enabled.
The finishing touch
Having the ability to create and access shadow copies can be a lifesaver for users who accidentally delete or modify important files or folders. By enabling system protection and configuring the maximum usage slider, users can ensure that Windows creates shadow copies automatically for added peace of mind. With the ability to restore previous versions of files or folders, users can save time and avoid the hassle of restoring from a backup.