Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I see an incredible amount of .snapshot files on one of my testing servers. What software creates these files? And can I delete them?

It's filename pattern looks something like xxx.exe-2009-10-24.

share|improve this question

migrated from Jan 16 '10 at 3:44

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

An SU topic, yea? – o.k.w Jan 15 '10 at 3:37

hmm, I do know that MS Office 2003 (maybe earlier) uses SNP (snapshot) as one of its output options. They are read by the "snapshot viewer". It's somewhat analogous to PDF, which v2007 now uses.

share|improve this answer

VmWare also create snapshots files

share|improve this answer

if you are talking about files that end in .SNP then they are generated from older versions of MS Access. They were (may still be) the only easy reporting export from Access. Developers could use other formats but they require time to layout properly. If they are being lazy they will just export reports and from from Access using this file type and tell you to install the snapshot viewer (free from MS) if you want to view them.

share|improve this answer

What kind of NFS filers do you have? I assume they are NetApp NFS filers. These are backups of file changes. This is not a bug but a HUGE feature. You can go back in time to get any files that were changed or deleted. The downside, you need to think about .snapshot dirs for any find commands.

Once you get used to them, you won't be able to live without them.

share|improve this answer

.snapshot files implies to me that it is a native *nix program of sorts creating these simply because a preceding '.' means "hidden" in the *nix world, you are running a windows server though? interesting, I would see if there are any open source software that you installed recently or before as that might be your culprit. If they are constantly appearing then it is obviously a process that is running now, or a running service. so looking through your task manager should shed light on what is running that could be making these.

share|improve this answer

Apparently Mirage Microdrive creates .snapshot files, but yours look more like a backup utility's files.

As for deleting them, it depends on whether or not you need the backups from those dates. Beware however, that if they are not full backups (ie, are "incremental"), deleting an earlier backup could render subsequent partial backups useless.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.