A Volume Shadow Copy is the backup technology included in Microsoft Windows which lets you to automatically or manually take backups of entire volume or snapshot of volume data. Since the backup is implemented as Windows service, once you set up the Volume Shadow Copy, Windows will start saving all the previous version of files. By this Windows lets you to restore one file or entire volume to particular point in time.
The restore to previous versions option is available under property menu of right click context menu. However, Windows doesn’t let you to browse all the files and their version preserved in Shadow Copy. Either restore one file or entire volume, that’s the only option you have got.
There could be a situation when you would require to view all the versions of files before restoring them and that’s where ShadowExplorer will come handy. As the name suggest this freeware tool lets you to view, explorer and retrieve files/folders from Shadow Copy.
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The utility is typically useful for home edition of Windows Vista and 7, as well as for Windows 8 users. Though enterprise and pro users do get to access previous versions of files and folder but home edition users doesn’t have this option.
You need to download and install ShadowExplorer, the installer is less than 1 MB in size. Once installed you can start Shadow Explorer via desktop icon. The GUI interface of ShadowExplorer is very simple. The left navigation menu lets you to view folders of a selected drive.
Whereas right pan lets you to files and folders of selected folder. At the top you have option to change drive as well select date if any previous version of drive or file is preserved in Shadow Copy backup.
To export any file or folder simply right click and select Export Option. And you will presented with window to browse and select location to save the folder and file. ShadowExplorer works well on Windows 8, 7 and Vista.