In this paper, positron annihilation measurements have been carried out on a-Si: H thin films deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at high and low rates by means of the variable energy positron beam Doppler-broadening technique. The depth profiles of microvoids in the films grown under different conditions have been determined. We found a smaller void fraction in the surface region of all films compared to the bulk, and a smaller void fraction in low rate than in high growth rate films. By plotting S and W parameters in the (S, W) plane, we have shown that the vacancies in all of the high-rate and low-rate deposited intrinsic samples, and in differently doped low-rate samples are of the same nature, although there appears to be a higher density of defects in the boron than phosphorus doped films. The depth profiles of the microvoid-like defects in the a-Si: H films are extracted by use of the vepfit program.