In Windows 7 I had the following habit:

  • Create a system restore point (which creates a shadow copy)
  • Make some heavy changes to files
  • Open [Properties > previous versions > Timestamp] of a folder for which I was interested in changes
  • Copy the UNC path (for example \localhost\[email protected]) which exposes the shadow copy to my preferred sync tool to compare the changes with the current folder

Unfortunately in Windows 10, [Properties > previous versions] is reserved for some backup tool and I can only access shadow copys with tools like shadow copy viewer (Source: Microsoft forums). The UNC path isn't avaliable (despite Volume shadow service being turned on).

Now I am looking for an alternative which mounts a shadow copy at some UNC path for my sync tool.

1 Answer 1


I found a solution dug deep here: Aaron Mason by using symlinks:

  • cmd as Admin
  • vssadmin list shadows
  • Look for text at correct system restore point after "Shadow Copy Volume:" and copy it
  • mklink /d C:\vsstest [Paste the text here]\ (for example mklink /d C:\vsstest \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy2\ )
  • Use the Path C:\vsstest for your tasks
  • If done you can delete the Link with rmdir C:\vsstest
  • I still wonder why going directly to \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy2\ doesn't work. Sep 30, 2020 at 9:17

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