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Undelete and revert: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for version history

Overview
Transporter Desktop 2.7 introduces a powerful new version history feature, also known as Transporter Versions. This FAQ document provides background information on how it works and what expectations you should have when using it. While simple to use, version history has nuances that will make this FAQ worth your time, such as what happens when sharing a folder or renaming a file.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is version history?
A: version history is a feature that keeps copies of your deleted files and past versions of files in a recoverable repository on your Transporter–it’s kind of like retrieving a file from Trash or Recycle Bin on your computer.

Q: How do I get the version history feature?
A: Download and install Transporter Desktop version 2.7 or later. Your Transporter must also have current firmware, which updates itself automatically. Version 2.5 or later is required. To see which versions you have now, please see: How to find the version of Transporter firmware or software

Q: How do I access and use version history?
A: In use, version history consists of the View Deleted Items and Show Versions commands. Both of these commands appear in the Transporter contextual menu, but not at the same time. When you have selected a file, the contextual menu will display Show Versions. When you have selected a folder or empty area of a folder window, the contextual menu will display View Deleted Items. Please review this FAQ for background information, then see: How to revert or undelete a file on your Transporter

Q: Which files will version history keep?
A: Generally speaking, version history will keep the last version when you save or delete a file. The retention is cumulative, such that a file may have many past versions, going back to its creation. If you delete a folder, it will keep the entire folder with contents.

In more precise terms, please keep in mind that versioning depends upon the sync process between your computer and the Transporter and/or between multiple Transporter units. That means you will have gaps in a file’s history if you save that file more often than the Transporter can sync it (minimum sync interval is approximately one minute but may vary under heavy activity).

Q: Where is version history available?
A: Both components of history, Show Versions and View Deleted Items, are available for content stored in your Transporter folderSpecial Folders, and Shared Folders.

However, special circumstances apply for unshared content in the Transporter Library and its subfolders. For such content that resides on only one Transporter, only the last deleted version of a file will be available. However, if that content resides on at least two Transporter devices, both Versions and Deleted Items will be available, regardless of whether both Transporter units are owned by you or by you and another person.

Q: For how long does version history keep files, i.e. what is the file retention period?
Version history will keep file versions for as long as there is free space on your Transporter hard drive. As the drive gets full, older versions will be deleted automatically. If the drive is nearly full of live content, there will be little space for versions, meaning that only a few of the most recent file versions would be retained. The file retention period is thus limited by space but not by time.

Q: Where is version history stored?
A: Past versions and deleted files reside on the Transporter. To preserve space on your computer, version history is not retained on your computer. For content that resides on more than one Transporter, each Transporter will retain as much version history as it can fit within available disk space.

Q: Where can I see how much space version history is consuming on my Transporter hard drive?
A: Because it may be reclaimed at any time by live files, the space consumed by version history is reported as available disk space on the Transporter management website. It does not appear separately.

Q: Does version history affect how much storage space is available for current files?
A: No. As the drive gets full, older versions will be deleted.

Q: Who can access version history?
A: Any member of a Shared Folder can restore a deleted file or past version, within the limits of the file retention period. For private content, only the Transporter owner can access version history.

Q: Do deleted files lose their versions?
A: When you undelete a file, it may still have its previous versions. However, you must do Show Versions as a separate action to see the versions, after you have completed the initial restoration.

Q: Is version history an auto save feature?
A: No. Version history retains only copies of files that you have written or saved to the Transporter yourself. It does not generate auto saves on its own. However, you may see auto saves created by any third-party apps which are configured to auto save.

Q: What happens when a folder syncs to another Transporter?
A: A folder syncing to another Transporter will maintain as much history as will fit within available disk space.

Q: Why are some files marked as not available (N/A)?
A: When a version of a live or deleted file is marked as not available, it means one of two things. Either all copies of that version have been deleted from all Transporter devices due to disk space constraints, or a Transporter storing it is temporarily offline.

When multiple Transporter units have copies of a given folder, each Transporter might store its version history to a different depth, due to differing amounts of available disk space and the time at which each Transporter first stored the content in question. Version history may retrieve a version from another user’s Transporter, which means that the greatest depth of version history is available when all Transporter units storing the folder are online. Please see: version history: Why are some files not available (N/A)?

Q: Can I restore a file that is Not Available?
A: If you know for certain that all Transporter units which at some point have stored a copy of the file are online when Not Available appears, then the answer is no. However, if a Transporter that has previously stored the file is currently offline, you might be able to restore the file after placing that Transporter back online.

Q: Will Transporter Desktop ever tell me definitively that a file no longer exists?
A: No, but the fact that Transporter software cannot tell you that is a privacy benefit, because we do not centrally look at or record users’ individual files. Rather, when you Show Versions or View Deleted Items, Transporter software is doing a real-time search of online Transporter devices from the perspective of your user account.

Q: Will all users see the same version history?
A: Yes, but availability can vary for the same reasons noted in the previous three questions.

Q: What happens to version history when I move a file?
A: When you move a file from one folder to another, the history of the file will remain at the source folder, where the file will appear under View Deleted Items. If the file has not been edited while on the Transporter, then it would simply be moved and would not appear as a deleted file at the original location. If you subsequently move the file back to its original location, it would reconnect with its original history, leaving its newer history behind.

Q: What happens when I move a folder?
A: When you move a folder into a different folder, any past versions of the files within the moved folder will remain at the original location as Deleted Items. The files will start a new history at the new location, so if you do Show Versions at the new location you won’t see any versions other than those created after the move. To see previous history, you would do View Deleted Items at the folder’s original location (i.e. on its previous enclosing folder), and look under the folder’s name. Any files that had a version history prior to the move will appear there, while files that had not been previously edited will have no history and thus simply not appear. Subfolders of the moved folder will only appear under Deleted Items if the subfolders contained one or more files with history. Subfolders containing only unedited files will be omitted when viewing Deleted Items. If you subsequently move the folder back to its original location, it would reconnect with its original history, leaving its newer history behind.

Q: When I convert a private folder to a Shared Folder, what happens to its history?
A: From the perspective of invited folder members, version history is available from the time that the folder last became a Shared Folder. From the folder owner’s perspective, the folder’s pre-share history is available under View Deleted Items within its enclosing folder. Sharing’s effect is similar to a folder move as described in the previous question.  If you stop sharing a folder and it’s still at the same location on your computer, then it will reconnect with any of its prior history that is still being stored, and the history from the shared period would be lost. If a folder is shared/unshared repeatedly, history from the non-shared periods will accumulate.

Q: What happens to version history when I move a folder from Transporter Folder to Transporter Library using the Transporter contextual menu, or vice versa?
A: Version history treats this special type of folder move the same as a regular folder move, as described in the previous question.

Q: Can I save the version as a copy when restoring from Show Versions?
A: No. The only option is to replace the current file. To achieve your goal, use the OS X Finder or Windows Explorer to duplicate the file prior to restoring it, then do Show Versions on the original copy to replace it. Repeat this process for each version you want to compare.

Q: How can I compare two versions of a file? Can I restore multiple or all versions simultaneously?
A: You can only restore one version at a time. Please see the previous question for a workaround.

Q: What happens if I rename a file?
A: If the file has previous history, it would appear as a deleted file under its original name and start a new history under its new name. If the file has not been edited while on the Transporter, then it would simply be renamed and would not appear as a deleted file.

Q: What happens if I rename a folder?
A: The folder will appear under Deleted Items under its original name and location (i.e. its enclosing folder), and all the items contained within the folder would start a new history under the new folder name, which is equivalent to a new location. To access the previous versions of the files contained within that folder, you would look inside the original folder name under Deleted Items. Any files that had a version history prior to the rename will appear there, while files that had not been previously edited will simply not appear.

Q: I moved or renamed a file or folder, but it didn’t leave any versions behind–why?
A: A file will only leave a history behind if it has been previously edited or resaved. Files which have never been edited or resaved after being added to the Transporter will not have any history and thus will leave nothing behind. Moving and renaming do not count as edits for purpose of generating a version in the file’s history, so a move or renaming will only leave history behind if the file has been previously edited.

Q: Some of my files have versions, despite the fact that I have never edited them–why?
A: This happens if you undelete a file or the folder containing that file. File restoration counts as an edit in the version history system and will generate a new version, despite the fact that the file has not actually changed.

Q: I can’t find previous versions of my file. What should I do?
A: Have you moved or renamed the file? If so, look for it at its previous location or under its original name by using View Deleted Items. To see versions of any item that you undelete, you must do Show Versions as an additional action after completing the initial restoration. If you have shared the folder containing the file, then the folder’s pre-share history is available under View Deleted Items within its enclosing folder.

Q: When I look inside a folder under Deleted Items, many items I expected to see are missing–why?
A: Please see the following questions above:

  • What happens when I move a folder? 
  • What happens when I rename a folder?
  • I moved or renamed a file or folder, but it didn’t lave any versions behind–why?

Q: What happens to files with the same name?
A: If you deleted an old file named IMG_0001 and then later add or create a new file named IMG_0001 in the same folder, the new file will inherit the history of the old file as if they were the same file.

Q: Why does a brand new file have a history with much older versions?
A: As mentioned in the previous question, this happens when a file of the same name previously resided in that folder.

Q: Can hosted users, or guests, who don’t own their own Transporter devices access the version history?
A: Yes. Hosted users may access version history for Shared Folders of which they are members.

Q: Can I fully delete a deleted file or version to prevent others from reading it? Can I delete version history entirely?
A: You can leave a file’s history behind by moving it to a new Shared Folder, where its history will not follow. However, any member of the original Shared Folder would still be able to see its history there. You cannot modify the version history manually, nor can you delete all of version history. A deleted file will remain on the Transporter in version history until it expires naturally or until its folder is shared.

Q: Is version history encrypted or password protected?
A: version history does not require a password and is available to all members of a given folder. Version history is encrypted when in transit to the same extent that other Transporter traffic is encrypted when in Transit. No Transporter content is encrypted on the Transporter hard drive, other than that which you explicitly encrypt via third-party software.

Q: How do I enable or disable version history?
A: Version history is always on.

Q: I accidentally deleted my file, how do I get it back? My coworker deleted my file, how do I get it back?
A: Please see: How to revert or undelete a file on your Transporter

 

ref: https://support.filetransporter.com/article/AA-00459

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