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Moving A Backup To A New Computer Or Reformatted Drive

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home
Need enterprise or small business documentation?
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.


Did you recently get a new computer? CrashPlan can help you get backups started by assigning an existing backup from your old computer to your new computer. Adoption is the process of having one computer take over another computer's settings and backup, which is useful when:

  • Moving a backup to a new computer
  • Replacing an old, lost, or stolen computer
  • Replacing or reformatting your computer's primary hard drive
  • Recovering after an operating system reinstall
  • Changing to a different operating system

By adopting the previous computer's backup archive, you avoid repeating the potentially lengthy, initial backup of your files.

What does adoption do?

When adopting a computer, the CrashPlan app does the following:

  • Retrieves previous settings
  • Recreates previous backup sets
  • Applies previous license information
  • Downloads file version information
  • Deactivates the archive for the current new computer
  • Links the computer to the previous archives (old) at the backup destinations
  • Renames the computer as the current name
  • If the old computer is still functional, it immediately stops backing up

To learn more about the technical details of the adoption process, see our How Adoption Works article.

Adoption scenarios

When getting a new computer, every situation is different. There are certain considerations that only apply to users in specific circumstances. This section gives information about the basic situations where you may want to adopt your previous backup.

Restore Files To Original Location
To resume your previous backup as fast as possible, restore your files as described in our tutorial on restoring all files to a new computer or drive.

Adopting between computers

This type of adoption is used in circumstances such as moving a backup to a new computer, replacing an old computer, replacing your computer's primary hard drive, or recovering after an operating system reinstall. This process assumes the following conditions:

  • You did not change operating systems
  • You do not use custom key security on your CrashPlan account

Adopting on a computer with a different operating system or file system

If you are changing your operating system (for example, from Mac to Windows), or the file system is changing on a newer version of the same operating system (for example, from Windows XP to Windows 8), there are additional considerations when adopting. This process assumes the following conditions:

  • Your files may or may not be located in the same place on the new computer as on the old computer
  • You have changed operating systems or file systems
  • You do not use custom key security on your CrashPlan account

Adopting an archive encrypted with a custom 448-bit key

If you have increased the security of your CrashPlan account to custom key encryption there are additional considerations to understand. You will want to test your data encryption key prior to adopting your backup. If an incorrect data key is entered when attempting to adopt, your old archives will be deleted. This process assumes the following conditions:

  • You did not change operating systems
  • You have custom key security on your CrashPlan account

Other forms of adoption

If your situation includes a combination of these scenarios, we recommend reading the considerations and steps for each scenario that applies before starting the adoption. If you encounter any problems in the adoption process, contact our Customer Champions.