What is VSS Full Form in a Computer?

VSS Full Form: Many computer users are unaware of the fact that they are using VSS on their systems. This technology has been part of Windows since Vista, and earlier versions include it as well. The full form of Volume Shadow Copy Service.

Exactly what its name says – it provides volume shadow copies that are used to create backup copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, even when they are in use at the time of snapshot creation.

What is VSS Full Form ?

VSS stands for Volume Shadow Copy Service in its entire form. Volume Snapshot Service is another name for it. It is a Microsoft-developed technology that can produce backup copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, even while they are in use, and is included in MS Windows.


A volume shadow copy or snapshot of a disk can be used to restore an older version of a file when it has been accidentally modified or deleted. This feature works with hard disks that support it, such as NTFS (used by Windows).

It saves changes in files and applications to a shadow copy while they are being made so that if there is an error, you can go back to how things were before changes were made.

Microsoft developed VSS technology for use with Windows XP and later. A basic understanding of how snapshots work can come in handy when troubleshooting problems with backups.


This service runs in the background and takes snapshots (or backup copies) of your computer’s volumes when they are requested or at a scheduled time. So, if any problem happens to your volume, you can restore it from a snapshot. To do so,

  • Right-click on the Computer icon in your Desktop screen or Start menu and select Properties.
  • You will see an option named System Protection.
  • Click on it and you will see all of your computer’s volumes as well as snapshots available.
  • Select any volume that you want to restore and click Restore.

Windows XP has three versions of VSS which are known as 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.


Using VSS, you can make copies of volumes or file system volumes and you can also schedule these copies to be made automatically at regular time intervals.

These scheduled snapshots can be used for file recovery purposes. For example, if a user accidentally deletes any important document from his computer, he can use the Previous Versions feature to access an older version of that document.

A versioning control system based on snapshots has a lot of applications in today’s computing environment including database management systems and virtualization software.

Version control systems will continue to evolve over time to meet future needs and requirements. However, they remain useful because they help IT departments and users manage large amounts of information efficiently by allowing them to easily restore data when needed.

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The first version of VSS was released in 2002. It runs on different operating systems such as Windows 2000, XP, 2003, and Server 2008. By backing up files automatically in a safe way without interrupting users’ work sessions, it helps to protect critical data from corruption or loss caused by hardware failure.

The best thing about VSS is that backup operations are invisible to end-users, so IT admins can schedule them at off-peak hours and keep business processes uninterrupted.

This technology has been designed with a simple user interface so that even inexperienced people can easily get familiar with it.

The only drawback of VSS lies in its learning curve; you need to invest some time into studying how to use it efficiently before you can gain full benefits from it.

Pros and Cons

While creating backup copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, VSS does not interrupt users and ensures that applications continue to function properly.

It can create point-in-time images of files and allows easy recovery in case of data loss. But it has a large storage requirement and slow system performance.

So, it may not be suitable for systems with limited hard disk space. Moreover, it can only be used by those who have Windows operating systems.

To make sure you don’t lose any important data, you should use the volume shadow copy service to create backups of your important files.


  • What Is Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)?
  • Creating a Snapshot of a File or Folder in Windows XP/2000/2003 by Microsoft.
  • How to Create a Shadow Copy of an Active Volume on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 by TechNet.
  • How To Create Volume Shadow Copies Using Shadow Explorer from PC Magazine.


It was concluded that ( VSS Full Form ) Volume Shadow Copy Service stands for Volume Snapshot Service. It’s a technology developed by Microsoft included in MS Windows that can create backup copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, even when they are in use.

This means it can provide instant backup without disrupting any other operation on the computer. Because of its availability and flexibility, you must have a piece of good knowledge about how to use it to have productive results.

Always remember if you have more information about this wonderful service known as Volume Shadow Copy Service, share it with us and we will be thankful to you forever!

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This is Amit Kumar Giri in Short Amit KG, Owner of basiccomputerknowledge.in site, and a part young part-time blogger, computer trainer.  With basiccomputerknowledge.in, you can learn everything about computers in a simple and straightforward manner. We have content written by computer experts to help you achieve success with your computer usage. We also offer online courses that will teach you how to use computers effectively and efficiently. If you're looking for help learning how to use computers or want to improve your skills, visit us at www.basiccomputerknowledge.in today!

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