How to enable “previous versions” in Windows 7 or 8

Previous Versions Feature_thumb.jpg
The most recent versions of Windows (Vista, 7, 8) all support a feature called “previous versions” that allow you to restore files to an earlier state. However, you first have to enable it.


First, let’s take a look at the “previous versions” feature.

1. Step Right-click on a file, click on Properties and go to the tab “Previous Versions” and this should come up:

There Are No Previous Versions Available 1

2. Step You’d now have to enable the “system restore” feature of Windows 7/8 to actually get something listed that you can restore.

3. Step Open up the Control Panel and click on System. A screen showing your basic system information should pop up. In the left pane, click on System Protection, select a hard drive as seen below and click the button Configure

Turn On System Protection 1

4. Step Select the option Only restore previous versions of files, click on Apply and System Protection will not be set to “On” for that hard drive and you can restore previous versions.

Only Restore Previous Versions Of Files 1

5. Step If the option “Restore system settings and previous versions of files” is greyed out make sure to start the service Volume Shadow Copy. To do that enter service.msc into the search bar and hit enter, scroll down until you find Volume Shadow Copy, then click on Start the service

Volume Shadow Copy Service 1

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Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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