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Shadow Copies - Retrieving Deleted Items

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Using shadow copies is a quick and easy way to restore or retrieve files that are located on your network drives (for example, your personal H drive, departmental I or O drives, and N drive) that you may have accidentally deleted. Shadow copies are created at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm daily for these drives. The shadow copies are what you will be viewing and retrieving your files from in the steps below.

Intended Audience

This Quicknote is intended for all faculty, staff, and students of the University of Michigan-Flint as well as any other users who maintain an active account.


To perform the steps provided you must be connected to the University of Michigan-Flint domain. If you are at home you will need to connect to the VPN to do this.

Table of Contents

Restoring and Retrieving Files (Windows)

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  • Navigate to the drive where the file was deleted from.
  • Right-click either on the drive or on a folder in your drive
  • Click on Restore Previous Versions
  • A new window will pop up searching for previous versions when it finishes searching it will show you all the latest versions based on when they were shadow copied, not when you last changed them.
  • Double-click on whichever previous version you need and it will open up a new Windows file explorer window with all the documents that were backed up at that time.
  • Navigate to the file that you would like to get back.
  • Right-click the file and click copy.
  • Navigate to the folder you would like the file to be placed in.
  • Right-click the empty space and paste the file to this location.
  • The document should now be restored to the location of your choice.


If you have any questions or experience any issues with this Quicknote, please visit or contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.

Location: 206 Murchie Science Building
Phone#: (810)-762-3123 (option 1)

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