Shadow Copies of Shared Folders provides point-in-time copies of files that are located on shared resources, such as a file server. With Shadow Copies of Shared Folders, users can view shared files and folders as they existed at points of time in the past. Accessing previous versions of files, or shadow copies, is useful because users can:

Additional considerations

  • When you restore a file, the file permissions will not be changed. Permissions will remain the same as they were before the file was restored. When you recover a file that was accidentally deleted, the file permissions will be set to the default permissions for the directory.

  • Shadow Copies of Shared Folders is available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 R2. However, the user interface is not available for the Server Core installation option. To create shadow copies for computers with a Server Core installation, you need to manage this feature remotely from another computer.

  • When you bring disks online, if a disk contains shadow copy storage space for a volume, it is brought online before the volume itself to prevent the possibility of lost snapshots.

  • Creating shadow copies is not a replacement for creating regular backups.

  • When storage area limits are reached, the oldest shadow copy will be deleted to make room for more shadow copies to be created. After a shadow copy is deleted, it cannot be retrieved.

  • Storage location, space allocation, and the schedule can be adjusted to suit your needs. On the Local Disk Properties page, on the Shadow Copies tab, click Settings.

  • There is a limit of 64 shadow copies per volume that can be stored. When this limit is reached, the oldest shadow copy will be deleted and cannot be retrieved.

  • Shadow copies are read-only. You cannot edit the contents of a shadow copy.

  • You can only enable Shadow Copies of Shared Folders on a per-volume basis—that is, you cannot select specific shared folders and files on a volume to be copied or not copied.

Additional references

For more information about Shadow Copies of Shared Folders and related backup and recovery features, see