How do I recover files I have overwritten in Windows XP and Vista

Microsoft has a feature built into Windows XP & Vista called “Volume Shadow Copy” which creates a snapshot of documents that you save to your machine. This allows you to easily recover files that have been overwritten in Windows XP or Vista. Below is a set of instructions on how you can recover a file which has been overwritten.
Windows XP

Recovering a file that has been overwritten in Windows XP:

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Navigate to the folder where the file you would like to recover resides.
  • Right Click on the file you would like to recover
  • Select Properties
  • Click on the “Previous Versions” tab
  • Select the version you would like to restore.
  • Click Restore. If you select Copy, it will prompt you for a location to restore the file to. This will allow you to retain the original in case you restore an incorrect version.

(If you are not sure which version would like to restore, click View to preview the file before restoring)

Recovering a file that has been overwritten in Windows Vista:

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Navigate to the folder where the file you would like to recover resides.
  • Right Click on the file you would like to recover
  • Select Properties
  • Click on the “Previous Versions” tab
  • Select the version you would like to restore.
  • Click Restore. If you select Copy, it will prompt you for a location to restore the file to. This will allow you to retain the original in case you restore an incorrect version.

(If you are not sure which version would like to restore, click View to preview the file before restoring)