Recover files and folders using previous versions overview
The ability to use Microsoft Previous Versions is applicable to file systems that support Snapshot copies in some form and have them enabled. Snapshot technology is an integral part of ONTAP. Users can recover files and folders from Snapshot copies from their Windows client by using the Microsoft Previous Versions feature.
Previous Versions functionality provides a method for users to browse through the Snapshot copies or to restore data from a Snapshot copy without a storage administrator’s intervention. Previous Versions is not configurable. It is always enabled. If the storage administrator has made Snapshot copies available on a share, then the user can use Previous Versions to perform the following tasks:
Recover files that were accidentally deleted.
Recover from accidentally overwriting a file.
Compare versions of file while working.
The data stored in Snapshot copies is read-only. Users must save a copy of a file to another location to make any changes to the file. Snapshot copies are periodically deleted; therefore, users need to create copies of files contained in Previous Versions if they want to indefinitely retain a previous version of a file.