Configure and use shadow copy in Microsoft Windows

File Properties

After saving the document and exiting Word, I right-clicked the file name and navigated to the Properties screen for the file and clicked on the Previous Versions tab as shown. As you can see there is no shadow copy version of this Word document yet. Under normal operation, a shadow copy will be created during the next power down and boot cycle.

This is important to remember - the shadow copy feature does not replace file back up procedures. Instead, shadow copy should be considered a supplement to regular file backups. Restoring a file from shadow copy almost always results in a loss of data and/or time and effort. It should be used as a last resort recovery method.


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.