Skip to main content
CrashPlan Support

Backing Up To A Friend's Computer

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home


This tutorial explains how to back up to a friend's computer. Backing up to a friend gives you the advantage of off-site protection, and it's free!


Follow these steps to begin backing up to a friend's computer.

  1. Ask your friend for the Backup Code that appears on the Friends tab.
  2. Open the CrashPlan app, and go to Destinations > Friends.
  3. Under Back up to a friend's computer, enter your friend's backup code.
    Friends tab
  4. Click Start Backup.


Don't want to use friends as a backup destination? Hundreds of thousands of CrashPlan users back up to CrashPlan Central, our secure cloud storage system. When you’re backed up to CrashPlan Central, your backups are offsite, away from any mishaps that could befall your computer. Online backup to CrashPlan Central is included for subscribers of CrashPlan for Home. 


If a friend starts backing up to me, can I also back up to my friend?

Sharing your backup code with a friend does not automatically allow you to back up to your friend’s computer. To allow backup, your friend can either:

  • Give you his or her backup code.
  • From the CrashPlan app, click Friends. From the list of friends, select your name. Then, click Allow this friend to back up to this computer.
What happens if my friend's computer is offline?

When your friend's computer is offline, the connection between your computers is disconnected. Your computers can be disconnected at any time, and for any length of time—CrashPlan won't delete the files. When both computers are online, your backup will reconnect, and CrashPlan resumes backup from where it left off.

How is my backup archive stored?

Your backup is stored in a folder labeled with the 18-digit computer ID that corresponds to the computer being backed up. The folder contains all of the elements of your backup in an encrypted archive format.

What happens if my drive becomes full?

If a drive becomes too full for CrashPlan to continue backing up to it, the CrashPlan app reports Out of space at destination. To continue backing up, you can either move the backup archive to a larger drive, or reduce the size of the archive. Review our troubleshooting article for full details.

More details

  • CrashPlan app: Your friend must download the CrashPlan app before you can begin backing up to their computer.
  • Accessibility: Your friend's computer needs to be powered on when you want to back up or restore files.
  • Speed: Because backing up and restoring takes place over the Internet, the initial backup and a complete restore could take a while. You can reduce the time required to back up by "seeding" your backup locally.
  • Security: Your friend is not able to see the files you have backed up. Even though the backup data is stored on your friend's computer, it is encrypted and can only be accessed when you sign in with your account information. Likewise, you are not able to see your friend's files.
  • Multiple computers: A computer destination can receive backups from multiple computers simultaneously.