Volume shadow copy service error

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a built-in tool allows you to create backups and restore previous versions of files. This service is closely associated with system restore feature, and Proper function of Volume Shadow Copy Service is important to complete windows backup, create restore points or perform system restore. This service uses snapshots of computer files or volumes to maintain backups. However sometimes while taking backups or performing a system restore you may experience Volume Shadow Copy Service error code like 0x807800A1, 0x800423F4, 0x81000202, or 0x80042302. This article we explorer common reasons why Volume Shadow Copy Service is not working and provide troubleshooting steps to Get your device backup working again.

Volume Shadow Copy Service error

The most common cause for the Volume Shadow Copy Service error is that the service has been disabled or system does not have enough disk space to create a shadow copy during a backup. Again Corrupted System Files, third-party applications or services may interfere with the proper functioning of VSS, causing errors.

Sometimes Running an outdated version of Windows may result in compatibility issues with the VSS service. Antivirus or Windows Firewall also can interfere with the Volume Shadow Copy Service and lead to errors.

Check the Volume Shadow Copy Service status

to fix Volume Shadow Copy Service error on windows 11 or 10, the first thing you need to check and ensure the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) service is running and its set to start automaticly.

  • Press windows key + R, type services.msc and click on ok to open the Services window.
  • Scrolldown to locate Volume Shadow Copy service in the list, right click on it select properties,
  • Make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic and the Service status is Running.
  • If not, click on Start to start the service or change the Startup type accordingly.
  • Click OK to save the changes and close the window.

Start the Volume Shadow Copy service

In addition The “Remote Procedure Call (RPC)” and “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider” services are essential dependencies for VSS. Verifying their status ensures a smooth operation of VSS.

Note: If both services already running on your computer, we recommend right click and select restart option. This action reloads the service and can clear any temporary glitches that might be causing the error.

Restart your computer and see if the Volume Shadow Copy Service error is gone.

Free up Storage space

Enough free storage space is required for Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create shadow copies successfully. If the volume where the shadow copies are stored runs out of space, it can trigger different errors. You need to check and make sure the system drive (Usually C: Drive) has enough free space to prevent such error.

You can run built in disk clean up tool to free up temp files and free up valuable storage space. Also you need to move large files to different drive or external storage to free up system drive.

To run disk clean up tool:

  • Press windows key + S, type disk clean up and select the first result,
  • Select C drive to clean up and clic on ok button,
  • Now select the checkboxes next to the file name you are looking for clear such as temporary file, thumbnails, recycle bit and more and click on ok
  • Press the Delete Files button to confirm.

Disk cleanup windows 11

Again, sometimes VSS may fail due to insufficient disk space for storing the snapshots, and allocating more storage space for shadow copies can fix VSS errors.

Open command prompt as administrator, and run the following vssadmin command to increase the disk space for storing snapshots.

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=C: /on=C: /maxsize=10GB

You can adjust the parameters according to your needs and preferences.

command to increase disk space allocated for VSS snapshots

Repair Windows system image

System files are important for proper functioning of your computer, if for some reason system files corrupted or missing it an impact various services, including VSS. Running System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tools helps identify and repair corrupted system files, ensuring the integrity of the operating system and resolving VSS errors stemming from file corruption.

  • Press windows key + S, type cmd and select run as administrator,
  • In the command prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter to scan and repair corrupted system files, this may take some time, so please be patient.
  • After the scan is completed, run dism command dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth to scan and repair windows system image. This may also take some time, so please wait until it finishes.

Restart your computer and see if the error is resolved.

Check Disk for Errors

Sometimes, Disk errors can interfere with the smooth operation of the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), preventing it from creating reliable snapshots of your system. Checking the disk drive for errors using builtin tool Check Disk utility (chkdsk) helps identify and fix these errors.

  • Press windows key + I to open file explorer, and select This PC option,
  • Right click on C drive, select Properties > Tools > Check.
  • Or you can open command prompt as administrator, run command chkdsk C: /f /r
  • Type Y and press enterkey to schadule scan disk errors on next start, and reboot your PC.

Check Disk Errors

Update windows and System Drivers

Using outdated version of windows or drivers, especially those related to storage and chipset, can introduce instability into the system, leading to VSS errors. Updating drivers ensures compatibility with the latest system requirements and stability, addressing potential conflicts that might impact VSS functionality.

  • Open windows settings go to windows update and check for updates,
  • If new updates are available allow them download and install,
  • In addition click on advanced options then optional updates,
  • Here you will get driver updates from Microsoft, related to storage and chipset

Optional update audio driver

Also you can update drivers on Device manager or visit manufacturus site to download and install latest driver update.

Disable Antivirus and Firewall Temporarily

Some antivirus, third party backup, or encryption software may cause conflicts with VSS and prevent it from working properly. You can try to disable or uninstall these software temporarily and see if VSS works again. Alternatively, you can check the settings of these software and see if they have any options to exclude VSS from their operations or to allow VSS to run without interference.

Temporarily disabling the antivirus allows you to test whether it is a contributing factor to the VSS errors.

Re-register VSS Components

Over time, VSS components may become corrupted, leading to operational issues. Re-registering these components involves ensuring that essential DLL files are correctly registered with the system. This process can fix corruption problems and restore the integrity of VSS, resolving errors related to damaged or misconfigured components.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator and the following commands and press Enter after each:

net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll

Once done, reboot your computer and check if this help fix Volume Shadow Copy Service error on windows 11.

Address different VSS errors

There are other solutions that you can try based on the type of VSS error you encounter, for example:

If you get the Volume Shadow Copy Service error code 0x80042313, The shadow copy provider timed out while flushing data to the volume being shadow copied. To fix It try increasing the VSS timeout period, turning off antivirus protection, or performing a clean boot.

If you get the Volume Shadow Copy Service error code 0x81000202 or 0x81000203, No restore point could be created or The volume shadow copy service used by system restore is not working, you can try re-registering the VSS DLL files, copying the required registry files from a working system, or increasing the limit of shadow copy storage.

If you get the event ID 8193, Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine Output buffer overflow. Reading bad arguments. dwSize = 8., you can try deleting a registry key or changing a registry value.

Also read:

Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.