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Introduction

What is ShadowConnect?

Windows file servers can be configured to save point-in-time versions of the files stored on them at a regular interval. This is typically done a few times per day. ShadowConnect allows you to browse and restore the previous versions of files and folders stored on your file server. This capability can be used to get back an earlier version of a file that you changed and saved. It can also be used to restore files that have been recently deleted from the server.

Because your server only saves previous versions of files, also known as "shadow copies," at certain times during the day, the most recent changes to a file are not saved until the server's next scheduled shadow copy time is reached. For example, a server might be configured to save previous versions of files every day at 7 AM and 12 PM. If you start working on an existing file at 8 AM and you modify and save it several times during the morning, only the file as it exists at 12 PM will be saved as a previous version you can later restore. If you come back in the afternoon, you will only have the option of restoring the version of the file that existed at 7 AM or 12 PM, or any version that was shadow copied on previous days.  For this reason, you may not see previous versions available for files that you have very recently created or changed.

Installing ShadowConnect

Macintosh Client Application

It is likely ShadowConnect has already been installed on your Mac by your systems administrator. You can confirm ShadowConnect is installed by right-clicking or control-clicking on a file in the Finder. If a Restore Previous Version option exists in the menu, ShadowConnect has been installed.


If this option does not exist in the menu, ShadowConnect is not running on your Mac. If you have the account permissions to install applications on your Mac, you can refer to the Installation and Administration Guide - Installation on the Macintosh section, for directions on installing ShadowConnect.

Using ShadowConnect

Finder Integration

ShadowConnect is integrated into the Mac OS Finder. If you right-click or control-click on any file or folder, you will see new menu options in the Finder contextual menu: Restore Previous Version and Restore Deleted Files


The Restore Deleted Files option only appears when you click on a folder, drive, or file server volume.

ShadowConnect only works with files on ExtremeZ-IP File Servers. Your systems administrator must have installed ExtremeZ-IP and ShadowConnect on your server in order for it to work. If you attempt to Restore Previous Version or Restore Deleted Files on a file or folder that is not stored on a server with ShadowConnect enabled, you will be presented with a message that ShadowConnect is not supported on that drive or volume.

When you want to restore a deleted file or a previous version of a file or folder, you simply right-click or control-click it and select the desired option.

Restoring Previous Versions

Using ShadowConnect, you can restore a previous version of a file or folder. This allows you to return the file or folder to the state it was in at a specific point-in-time in the past. When restoring a previous version, you have the option of restoring the file to its original location or copying it to a new location.

Restoring a File

Right-click the desired file and choose Restore Previous Version.

The ShadowConnect application will open and allow you to browse through previous versions. All previous versions are displayed on the left, showing the date and time each version was saved.

As you select a version from the list, a Cover Flow style preview is displayed on the right. If you have a slow connection to your server, you can uncheck the Show previews option to speed up browsing.

While browsing versions, you can press the spacebar for a Quick Look preview. Press the spacebar again to dismiss it.


Select Restore to restore the selected previous version to its original location. This will overwrite the current version of the file, so make sure you really want to do this. You will be asked to confirm the restore operation before the file is restored.

Select Copy to restore the selected previous version to a location of your choosing. As long as you pick a location other than the file's current location, the current version will not be overwritten.

Select Cancel to close the ShadowConnect window without performing a restore.

Restoring a Folder

Right-click the desired folder and choose Restore Previous Version.

The ShadowConnect application will open and allow you to browse previous versions of the folder. All previous versions are displayed on the left, showing the date and time each version was saved. A Cover Flow, column-style preview of the folder's contents is displayed on the right.


Press the space bar to zoom in and browse the contents of the selected version of the folder.


From within the preview, you can navigate into subfolders and select individual files from within that version of the folder. This allows you to restore just one or a number files from that previous version of the folder, without having to restore the entire folder. If you would like to revert back to restoring the entire folder after you've selected an individual file in the preview, you must command-click the file to deselect it. Alternatively, you can click Cancel and choose Restore Previous Version for the desired folder again.

When you're ready to restore, if you have a folder version alone selected in the left column, the whole folder will be restored. If you have one or more items in the right side preview selected, only those items will be restored.

Select Restore to restore the previous version selected to it's original location. This will overwrite the current version of the folder or the files you selected from within the folder. If you are restoring a folder, any files in the current version, that also exist in the previous version, will be overwritten.  Files that are new to the current version of the folder and do not exist in the previous version will not be overwritten or deleted. You will be asked to confirm before the folder or selected files are restored.

Select Copy to restore the previous version selected to a location of your choosing. As long as you pick a location other than the folder or selected files' current location, the current version will not be overwritten.

Select Cancel to close the ShadowConnect window without performing a restore.

Restoring Deleted Files

Right-click on a folder and choose Restore Deleted Files.

The ShadowConnect application will open and allow you to browse a list of files that have been recently deleted from that folder.  The file server only has room for a finite number of previous versions, so if the file you're looking for was deleted a long time ago, it may not appear in the list.

As files are selected, a Cover Flow style preview is displayed on the right. If you have a slow connection to your server, you can uncheck the Show previews option to speed up browsing.

You can press the spacebar for a Quick Look preview of the file. Press the spacebar again to dismiss it.

Select Restore to restore the file to its original location.

Select Copy to restore the file to a location of your choosing.

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