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Recover lost files with NirSoft’s ShadowCopyView and PreviousFilesRecovery

14 July 2016, Mike Williams

ShadowCopyViewNirSoft has released ShadowCopyView (64-bit version) and PreviousFilesRecovery (64-bit version), free tools designed to help you browse Windows’ volume shadow copies and restore whatever files you need.

ShadowCopyView lists all volume shadow copies on your PC, the hard drive snapshots created by Windows Vista and later.

You’re able to browse the older versions of files and folders contained in these snapshots, and restore anything interesting to your hard drive.

Windows allows you to do something similar with its “Previous Versions” feature, but ShadowCopyView may display more shadow copies, and it allows copying system files even when User Account Control is turned on.

PreviousFileRecovery is a simpler program which just searches your shadow copies for files which no longer exist on your hard drive.


Find and recover previous versions of lost files

If you know you’ve deleted some JPGs or DOCX files over the last few days, for instance, but aren’t sure of their precise names, PreviousFileRecovery provides a simple way to locate the necessary files.

The program works much like any other search tool. Set a starting folder, a subfolder depth and file mask (*, *.docx, pic*.jpg etc), and PreviousFileRecovery finds all the potential matches.

Select anything you’d like to restore, and it can be recovered to your chosen folder in a few seconds.

Please note, both programs will only be able to help you if the Windows Volume Shadow Copy service is enabled. This may not be the case by default, especially if your system drive is an SSD.

In addition, the 32-bit builds of both tools won’t work on 64-bit Windows (there’s no harm done, they just display an error message). Use the 64-bit build instead.

ShadowCopyView 32-bit and 64-bit version and PreviousFilesRecovery 32-bit and 64-bit version are available now for Windows Vista and later.

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