This video looks at the Previous Versions feature inside system protection. When you make a change to a document and a restore point is created, Previous Versions will keep a copy of the last version inside its cache. This version is accessible by right clicking on the file and selecting the Previous Versions tab.
Previous Versions demonstration 02:25
Previous Versions was originally called shadow copies in older versions of Windows. In Windows 7, Previous Versions has been moved into system protection. Previous Versions uses the volume, “shadow copy service,” and thus this may cause some confusion in some literature that may refer to Previous Versions as shadow copies.
System Restore Points
Previous Versions are created when a system restore point is created. These are created at start up, midday or when a significant change occurs in the operating system, like software being installed. It is important to note that Previous Versions will only save the first change in a document per day. In other words, you will only have access to one document change per day. Previous Versions will also only save a document in its cache if it has changed. If, for example, you copied a file from another location on your hard disk, Previous Versions would not save a copy of this file until a change is made to it.
Previous Versions Demo
To access the properties for Previous Versions, open the system properties and select the option, “system protection.” For the drive that you want Previous Versions to run on, ensure that you have it configured to “restore system settings and previous versions of files” or “only restore previous versions of files.” If you install a new hard disk in your system and put your documents on it, it may have Previous Versions disabled until you configure it.
To access Previous Versions, right click the file you want and select “restore previous versions.” If that file has been deleted, right click the folder and select “restore previous versions.”
If you use Backup and Restore, files which are available to be restored will also appear in the Previous Versions tab.