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Deleting Files From Your Backup Archive

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home
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This article is intended for CrashPlan for Home users. For Code42 CrashPlan and CrashPlan for Small Business documentation, read this page on our enterprise support site.

Overview

CrashPlan allows unlimited retention of your backed up files, but there are times that you may want to delete files from your backup archive. This article explains ways that you can remove files from a backup destination or remove a backup destination entirely.

Options for removing files

The CrashPlan app monitors your file selection and automatically backs up your data, but there are times when you may decide that there are files you don't want to back up. The CrashPlan app provides three ways to remove files from your backup destinations:

  • By deselecting files, you can choose specific files and folders that you no longer want to back up.
  • By removing files that have been deleted from your computer, you can reduce the size of your backup archive and make your backup more efficient.
  • By removing a backup destination, you can completely remove an archive from a backup destination and delete all backups stored there.
Deleting Files
Each of the methods described in this article involve deleting files or destinations from your backup. Exercise caution when following these steps as there is no way to recover your files once they are removed from your backup.

Deselecting files

There are times that you may choose to remove specific locations or files from your backup. For example, since CrashPlan automatically selects your entire user folder for backup, you may want to remove your downloads folder from your backup selection to prevent every downloaded file from backing up. Backing up unnecessary files and folders uses more bandwidth, more storage at the destination, and slows down the backup of your other important files.

Deselecting Files
  • You should only deselect files that you want CrashPlan to permanently and immediately remove from your backup archive.
  • There is no way to recover deselected files.
  • You will lose any historical versions associated with the deselected folders and files.

Steps

  1. Go to Backup and click Change
    Change File Selection
  2. Navigate to the folder and files that you want to include or exclude (you can also choose external drives that are displayed in this list), then:
    • Clear the marked box next to the folders you want to exclude from back up
    • Select an empty box to include it
    • A solid square Windows Selected (Windows), or a minus sign Minus Sign (OS X), indicates that a subfolder within this folder is selected for backup and is being monitored for changes
    • A check mark Check Mark indicates that this folder is selected for backup
  3. Click Save
    After changing the file selection, CrashPlan synchronizes the files selected for backup with the files already backed up to that destination
Removing Deselected Files
The deselected files will be removed from your backup archive the next time maintenance runs on the destination. To manually start maintenance and remove the files more quickly, see Removing Files From Your Archive below.

Removing files that have been deleted from your computer

By default, files deleted from your computer are never removed from your backup archive. This prevents accidental data loss when something is removed from your computer.

However, you can change the deleted files retention setting to remove deleted files from your backup archive after a specific amount of time. For example, you may decide that you want to keep deleted files for only 90 days. This gives you 90 days to restore any files in your backup file selection that are no longer on your computer.

Deselecting Deleted Files
If you would like to remove individual files or folders from your backup, but you do not want to change your deleted files setting, you must:
  1. Restore the deleted file.
  2. Deselect the files from your backup selection using the steps above.

Considerations

  • Removing deleted files more frequently reduces the size of your backup archive and make your backup more efficient.
  • While deleted files are never removed from your archive by default, we do not recommend using CrashPlan as a data archive service.

Steps

  1. Open the CrashPlan app
  2. Go to Settings > Backup
  3. Click Configure next to Frequency and versions
  4. Change the Remove deleted files setting to something more frequent, such as every 90 days
    In this example, any files deleted from your computer more than 90 days ago will be removed from your backup archive the next time maintenance runs on the destination. To manually start maintenance and remove the files more quickly, see Removing Files From Your Archive below.

Remove deleted files

Removing a backup destination

If you back up to multiple destinations, you may decide that you want to free up space at a destination by removing your backup from that location. This is also useful if one of your backup destinations is no longer available or has been decommissioned. For detailed steps, see our guide to removing a backup destination.

Removing files from your archive (optional)

When you remove files from your backup selection or change your version retention settings, the files are not actually removed from your archive until the next time maintenance runs on the destination. If you want files to be removed from your archive more quickly, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Backup
  2. Click Now next to Verify selection
    CrashPlan performs a file verification scan
  3. Wait for CrashPlan to synchronize your file selection
  4. Go to Destinations
    Select your backup destination
  5. Click Compact
    Maintenance runs and removes the files from your archive