How to Turn Off Volume Shadow Copy in Windows Vista

Switch off System Protection and the Previous Copies Facility

How to Turn Off Volume Shadow Copy in Windows Vista

Windows Vista comes with a handy version control facility for your files, called Volume Shadow Copy. With volume shadow copy, Vista automatically tracks changes you make to files saved on your hard disk. If you ever find that you have accidentally overwritten a good copy of your document with one that has errors, the volume shadow copy feature makes it easy for you to recover the older saved copy of the file.

However, in some cases, you may want to turn volume shadow copy off on your machine. When you have shadow copies enabled, even when you delete a document, previously saved versions of the document will still be available. This can be an issue if you are running low on hard disk space, or if, for example, you use one of those solid state drives that have a very small capacity. It can also cause problems if you have sensitive documents on your system, like files with customer credit card numbers, that you want to delete before (say) sending a computer for repair. Simply deleting the file, or even wiping out the file securely isn't sufficient. The volume shadow copies of your file will still exist.

Steps to Turning Off the "Previous Copies" Facility

To turn off volume shadow copy, first bring up the System Properties window by going to your start menu, and opening up the Control Panel. In Control Panel, click "System and Maintenance". in the window that opens, click "System". On the left panel, look for a line that says "System protection" and click it. The Windows User Account Control, or UAC, will pop up. Click the "Continue" button.

In the dialog box that appears, you should be able to see a list box with all the available drives on your computer. Next to each drive is a check box. If there is a check in the box next to the drive, it means volume shadow copy, along with System Restore, is enabled for that drive. To disable volume shadow copy, simply uncheck the box. A dialog box will appear asking if you are sure you want to turn off System Restore. Click the "Turn System Restore off" button. Finally, click the OK button.

Some Additional Things to Be Aware Of

Here are a few things you should know when turning off the "Previous Copies" feature of Vista.

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