Starting with Vista, Windows allows the recovering of previous versions of files without a dedicated backup. These previous versions are stored in "System Snapshots" as "Shadow Copies" whenever a Restore Point is made by the system or manually made by the user from the System Protection tab of the System App in the Control Panel.

Microsoft limited this feature in Vista to the Business Editions. Home Basic and Premium do not have it, hence the need for this program. It turns out in Windows 8 the feature has been deprecated. The tab is not available except by accessing the computer as if it were over a network. However Previous Version File Recoverer still works, as does an alternative piece of freeware named Shadow Explorer.

This version fixes a major flaw which prevented the recovery of files other than those saved on the operating system partition.

This program was previously known as Vista Previous Version File Recoverer and Windows Previous Version Recoverer.


  • Recover previous versions of files hidden in Vista Home Basic and Premium.
  • Explore restore point file system snapshots saved in Windows Vista and 7.
  • Access previous versions of files in Vista and Windows 7 without resorting to the right-click/context menu.

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User Reviews

  • Works as advertised on Win8.1, without adware (as of 4/8/16, ver Don't know if it works for Win10 (still) Very simple UI, you only need to know the path/filename of the file you want, it lists the older versions found in the Windows (VSS) restore points. Doesn't support wildcards or partial filenames. The language/instructions are crude. E.g. for the alert: 'Please wait while searching..' - you have to click the OK button to start the search. If you don't click OK, you'll be waiting forever. The SourceForge link to their website has been hijacked. This is part of the S2 products at: http The tools was updated 5/7/15, so there may be some latent support, don't know, so only gave it a two. There are occasional problems (Win8.1) with the underlying Microsoft VSS service used for restore points. If you get a (large, >4MB) file back and it's corrupted, it's likely a problem in VSS, not in this tool. Follow the discussion here: https!topic/chrome/hDb9WeS2uSQ

  • hhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Installs unwanted software. If we are not careful, it will be install.

  • Works as advertised! I was able to restore a file that has previous version that would not show up in Previous Versions oddly. But it worked!

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Additional Project Details



Intended Audience

Non-Profit Organizations, Information Technology, Advanced End Users, System Administrators, Religion, End Users/Desktop

User Interface


Programming Language

Visual Basic .NET