With the help of ShadowExplorer you can inspect shadow copies created by the system Volume Shadow Copy service, which contain older versions of retrievable files. Although it may sound complicated to work with, the tool actually contains only basic and intuitive options.
Easy setup and GUI
After a fast and uncomplicated installation, you are welcomed by a large window with an approachable structure, similar to the one of Windows Explorer.
ShadowExplorer has a built-in file manager that contains multiple times and dates recorded by the shadow service. After choosing a specific checkpoint in time, you can jump to any drive to navigate its directories and locate files with older versions.
Find and extract files with older versions
You can check out file names, extensions, types and sizes, along with the dates or creation, modification, or last access. All you have to do is select one or more files and pick a directory to extract them to.
This operation shouldn't take a long time. If files with the same name already exist, ShadowExplorer asks you for permission to overwrite them, so it doesn't perform this action without confirmation.
It's possible to switch the file viewing mode from details to list, small or large icon, disable automatic checkups for software updates at startup, as well as configure system protection settings. Apart from the fact that you can consult an online help file, there are no other notable options available.
Evaluation and conclusion
We haven't come across any stability issues in our tests, thanks to the fact that ShadowExplorer didn't freeze, crash or prompt error dialogs. Unsurprisingly, its impact on the PC's overall performance was barely noticeable, since it consumed low CPU and memory.
No recent updates have been made. Nevertheless, ShadowExplorer offers a simple and straightforward solution to track down older file versions recorded by the Volume Shadow Copy service and extract them to the disk.