A quick method to restore items from a Windows shared folder
A feature called Windows Shadow Copy is a scheduled task within a Windows computer system that can capture recent copies of files and folders as changes occur to them, this is called “Previous Versions”.
“Previous Versions” is designed to be a convenient method to allow the computer user to undo recent changes to files or folders without asking for a computer administrator’s assistance.
“Previous Versions” is not a external backup. If the Windows system that hosts the files is not functional, the “Previous Versions” will not function either.
Also, “Previous Versions” are not retained forever, so if the requirement to compare the restored copy with the current item in the future is required, rename the current item with a new name to keep both current-renamed and restored items visible.
The Windows system will not have this feature turned on by default, the administrator will have already actioned this for this feature to work.
Lastly, having backups will be the only solution for worst case scenarios. Don’t be afraid to ask for a backup copy of an item from your system administrator before there is an actual issue, testing is better no testing at all!
Below, is a quick example viewing a previous folder copy.
1. Find the folder or file you need to restore, open the context menu (typically a right click on your mouse or trackpad) and choose Restore previous versions
2. Scroll the “Previous Versions” dated items
3. Once a date/time you want to review is found, click to highlight it, then click the Open button, do not click the restore button unless you want to overwrite all the items shown. In a multi-user shared environment, that is not the best thing to do.
4. Within the newly opened dated version folder, highlight and copy any items you need back to the original folder. This is why we rename existing items before doing this action so not to overwrite the current item.