How to Fix Snapshots Were Found, But They Were Outside of Your Allowed Context Error

User can create system restore or other third party software to make a snapshot of hard driver partition and these snapshot can be used later to recover and it is known as a Shadow Copy. The snapshots take a lot of storage space and you user can delete them through using vssadmin command in Command Prompt application.

However many users have been facing Snapshots Were Found, But They Were Outside of Your Allowed Context Error while trying to delete the Shadow Copy from their computer. There are several reasons why the error code can appear but most of them can be resolved by some common workaround methods.

If you are facing the same error code on your PC as well then don’t worry, we have mentioned all the possible workaround methods to fix the issue in the article below.

Resolve Unable to Delete Snapshot Error Code

As we know that there are multiple factors that can trigger the error code hence you will have all methods listed below and find the best for your situation.

Method 1: Manage Windows Backup Disk Space

You can make changes to Manage Windows Backup disk space settings to automatically delete older shadow copies and save storage space. These are the required instructions on how to make these changes:

  1. Open Control Panel from Start menu.
  2. Go to search bar and type backup.
  3. Choose Backup and Restore (Windown7) from search results.
  4. Click on Manage Space under Backup section.
  5. Now click on Change Settings button beside System image.
  6. From the next window, you can select any option according to your preference.
  7. After completing the procedure, close the window.
  8. Your Windows Backup shadow copies will be managed automatically according to the option you choose.
Method 2: Manually Delete Shadow Copy

Windows Backup Shadow copies can be managed manually through Control Panel window and you can use it to delete unnecessary snapshots to save storage space. These are the steps on how to do so:

  1. Navigate to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) through Control Panel. (Steps mentioned above)
  2. Click on Manage Space beside Backup option.
  3. Now click View Backups button under Data files backup section.
  4. All Windows Backup shadow copies will be listed in the next window.
  5. Select the one you want to get rid of and click on Delete button.
  6. When prompted, click on Delete again.
Method 3: Execute Resize Shadow Storage Command

This workaround let you get around the error code by using Resize shadow storage command with the help of Command Prompt window to clear out the snapshots created and clean system storage. These are the required instructions:

  1. Click on Start menu and go to Search bar.
  2. Type cmd and select Command Prompt from best match list.
  3. Select Run as Administrator option.
  4. When User Account Control prompts, click YES.
  5. Now type the command followed by Enter key.
  6. vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=”a”: /on=”x”: /maxsize=401MB
  7. Change “a” to drive letter or volume.
  8. A success message will be shown once all the steps are executed properly.
  9. Now type the following command to set the maxsize to unbound.
  10. vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=”a”: /on=”a”: maxsize=rebounded
  11. You will receive a success message after proper execution of command.
  12. Execute this command to delete all shadow copies.
  13. vssadmin delete shadow /for=d: /all /quiet
  14. Type vssadmin list shadow to confirm that there is no copy left.
Method 4: Execute Diskshadow Command

If you are seeing this error code on a Windows Server computer system then you can use Diskshadow command to clear the shadow copies. Follow these steps on how to do so:

  1. Press Win + R key at the same time to open RUN
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter key together to launch Command Prompt with admin rights.
  3. When User Account Control prompts, click YES.
  4. Type the following command and press Enter key afterwards.
  6. Now to preview created shadow copies with their IDs type this command.
  7. list shadow all
  8. Now execute delete shadow all command to clear all shadow copies ever created.
  9. Reboot your PC to fully apply the changes made.


Vssamdin command is the most used command and method to delete the shadow copies created and clear system storage. However if you are not able to execute the command and seeing Snapshots Were Found, But They Were Outside of Your Allowed Context Error then follow the methods and workarounds listed in the article above to resolve the error.

Sakshi Anant Author