Shadow Copy

One of the precautionary measures built into a number of the Windows filestore system is Shadowcopy. This regularly copies all files into a back-up system (approximately every hour).

Shadowcopy is not our main back-up strategy, but is a useful by-product of the file server system.

If you accidentally damage or delete a file, you will usually be able to restore a copy, very quickly, which is only a few hours old.


  1. The Shadow Copy Service only applies to the Home Folder Service, Shared Filestore Service and Research Storage Service.  If you lose files from your own disk (either removable disk or own computer hard drive) you will need specialised software to retrieve them: we do not provide this service.
  2. In normal circumstances the system operates approximately every hour.
  3. If you have saved a new file today it may not yet have been shadow-copied.  If you have deleted a new file which you have not yet saved you will not be able to retrieve it using Shadow Copy.
  4. Up to 64 copies are kept, which covers around 3 weeks worth of shadow copies (this may be reduced if ever the space set aside for shadow copy becomes full).
  5. Occasionally system management issues may force us to switch off Shadow Copy for a period, on one or more servers.
  6. We strongly recommend that you ask for advice when using Shadow Copy for the first time, because an inexperienced user can overwrite good files with old copies! Ask for advice from:
    • a Cluster Room Help Desk;
    • or contact the IT Service Desk;

How do I use Shadowcopy?

Step by step guides on using the Shadow Copy service can be found here below.

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