System Volume Information folder is in the root of each disk. You can see System Volume INformation by unhiding System Files i Folder Options. System data related to system recovery and Shadow Copy Service are stored in it. It is hidden and only the SYSTEM has access to it, not even administrator can access System Volume Information. To view the contents of the folder, you have to change the security settings and make yourself owner of that folder ( Right click-> Properties-> Security-> Advanced), get yourself  the NTFSpermissions to access it.

What is stored in System Volume Information folder? I found information about the following services, which store their files in this folder (the list is not exhaustive):

  1. System restore points on client systems or System State backups made using Windows Server Backup (wbadmin) in server OSs
  2. The contents of Indexing Service database used for fast file search
  3. Distributed Link Tracking Service database
  4. Disk snapshots  made by Volume Shadow Copy, which can be used to recover older versions of files
  5. Disk quota settings
  6. The database of file deduplication service

For shadow copies, each new VSS snapshot is stored in System Volume Information folder. The more often the shadow copies are created and data on the disk are changed, the faster the size of this folder grows.


Note. It is not recommended to manually delete files in System Volume Information folder, since important information necessary for system recovery is stored in it.

Firstly, let’s see what is stored in this directory. Display the statistics of using shadow copies:

vssadmin list shadowstorage


vssadmin 1.1 – Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2013 Microsoft Corp.
Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{5a419164-9eba-11e5-84c5-004046bbefbb}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{5a419164-9eba-11e5-84c5-004046bbefbb}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 3.08 MB (0%)
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 896 MB (1%)
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 19.0 GB (29%)
Shadow Copy Storage association
For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{843c6330-9866-11e5-80b3-806e6f6e6942}\
Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{843c6330-9866-11e5-80b3-806e6f6e6942}\
Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 912 MB (2%)
Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 1.20 GB (3%)
Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 3.98 GB (10%)

We can see, 10% of disk is allocated to snapshot files on drive C:\ but only 2% of them are used. If the value of Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space is UNBOUNDED, that means  the limit for shadow copies is not set and it may take all free space on the disk. By default, the system gives 10% of the total disk space to store this data.

To Reduce the limit of the disk space used by Volume Shadow Copies to 2 GB with the following command:
Example :

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[drive letter]: /For=[drive letter]: /MaxSize=[maximum size]

Here we have to:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=2GB

system volume information resize

Previous system state backups using Windows  Backup, the old system state copies can be deleted as follows:

wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -keepversions:0

system volume information delete backup

Windows 7/8/10 we can manage recovery points and limits from GUI. In the system properties (System), go to System Protection tab.System Volume Information limit
Using Configure, we proceed to the settings of quotas for restore point storage. You can delete the existing restore points here.

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