ShadowExplorer: Browse Through Shadow Copies in All Windows Vista Versions

Windows Vista creates point-in-time copies of your files from time to time using Volume Shadow Copy service. This allows you to restore older versions of files you accidentally deleted or altered. This service is turned on by default on all versions of Windows Vista, but Microsoft grants access to these copies only in Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions.

Since the Volume Shadow Copy Service is included, and turned on by default, in all editions of Windows Vista, why not take advantage of it? All it takes is an additional tool like ShadowExplorer, that can access the shadow storage and make the point-in-time copies accessible to the user.

ShadowExplorer is a freeware which allows you to browse the shadow copies created by the Windows Vista Volume Shadow Copy Service. It was especially created for users of the home editions, who don't have access to the shadow copies by default, but it's also useful for users of the other editions.


  • Show available point-in-time copies
  • Browse through Shadow Copies
  • Retrieve versions of files and folders


Shadow Copies and ShadowExplorer are in no way a replacement for regular backups! This is very important and can't be stressed enough. A Shadow Copy is kept on the same disc as the original data. In case of a disc failure all data is lost, including the Shadow Copies. ShadowExplorer is a good addition to regular backups, but not a replacement.

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Posted in: Software, Windows Vista

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