Volume Shadow Copy

volume shadow copy
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Volume Shadow Copy, also known as Volume Snapshot Service or VSS, is a feature of Microsoft Windows that allows your system to create snapshots, or backup copies, of files and volumes. What makes this feature unique is its ability to create backups in the background while your system is running.

Volume Shadow Copy: Here’s what you need to know

How does Volume Shadow Copy work?

Volume Shadow Copies are created on a weekly basis or when new software or update is added to the system. Usually, the VSS is scheduled to run automatically two times a day.

Bear in mind that VSS works for the entire drive, but it won’t back entire files. Instead, the snapshots work on a block level, and they will only back up the changed portion of a file.

How to restore files using Volume Shadow Copy?

Restoring files and folders with VSS is simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Locate the file or folder you wish to restore, right-click it and choose Properties.
    properties Volume Shadow Copy
  2. Go to the Previous Versions You should see all the available backups there.
    previous versions tab Volume Shadow Copy
  3. Now click on Copy or Restore buttons to restore the file or folder. Bear in mind that the Restore option will overwrite the selected file or folder.

Frequently asked questions

Where are Volume Shadow Copies stored?

Volume Shadow Copies are stored on the System Volume Information folder on each drive that has protection enabled.

Can I disable the Volume Shadow Copy service?

To disable Volume Shadow Copy service, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter advanced system. Now select View advanced system settings.
    view advanced system settings Volume Shadow Copy
  2. Navigate to the System Protection tab and select the drive that has protection enabled. Click the Configure button.
    Volume Shadow Copy system protection tab
  3. Select Disable system protection. Now click Apply and OK to save changes.
    disable system protection Volume Shadow Copy

Note: By disabling this feature you’ll also disable System Restore, so keep that in mind.

Alternatively, you can disable Volume Shadow Copy service by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R. Enter services.msc and press Enter or click OK.
    services Volume Shadow Copy
  2. Locate the Volume Shadow Copy and double-click it.
    Volume Shadow Copy service
  3. Set the Startup type to Disabled. If the service is running, click the Stop button to disable it. Lastly, click Apply and OK to save changes.
    service properties Volume Shadow Copy

How much space does Volume Shadow Copy use?

The amount of space that Volume Shadow Copy uses varies, but it’s limited to 5% of the volume space, but usually they use less than that.

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