Recover Deleted or Old versions of Files in Windows with Shadow Explorer

Many a time, you delete files or change anything, and at some moment you want them back. It is possible for some applications like Microsoft Office word where you can track every change, but thinking from an OS level to track everything is just not easy. In this post, we will show how you can recover the deleted and old version of files in Windows using the Shadow Copy feature. It works on Windows 10 as well.

Recover Deleted or Old versions of Files in Windows with Shadow Explorer

Windows runs a service that is called Shadow copy, which maintains all the versions of the file created, which is helpful when you want a file back at a specific date or even when you want to recover deleted files.  It is also called Volume Snapshot Service, which was introduced in Windows XP SP1 and Windows Server 2003 and is now available in all versions of Windows.

It is also called as Volume Snapshot Service or Volume Shadow Copy Service or VSS that can create backup copies aka Snapshots of computer files and volumes.

While VSS service is available in the Windows 10 Home version, they cannot access it directly. However, Shadow Copy software opens this option for them without upgrading to Pro or Enterprise.

How Shadow Explorer Works?

Run Shadow explorer after the installation is down. As soon as you run it, it gives you a list of all drives i.e., C, D, etc., and It gives you another drop-down, which contains the list of dates when the shadow copy was made.

Recover Deleted Files Windows 10

If you take a look at the picture above, You can see how it maintains the same structure of directories and files which is in your drive. You can select any date and then extract the copy. Right-click on any file or folder, and choose to export

It’s a good idea to either restore the file first in any external drive or USB. Later you can replace the files.

Does Shadow Explorer show an empty list?

That happens, and it happened with me because I had disabled the System protection feature of Windows, which is responsible for making a restore point. Yes, I guess this is involved in using shadow copy internally. If this is the case with you, you will not see any restore point in the date drop-down box.

Missing Restore Point in Shadow explorer
Missing Restore Point in Shadow explorer

If you like this software, download the latest version of this file from Shadow Explorer

If you ever lose your files, using Shadow Copy makes a lot of sense instead of using anything software. However, it will be able to extract files from restore points only so the move you have better the chances of recovery.

Related Read: Create fully functional Backups of your files  with Shadow Copy


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