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CrashPlan Support

Setting And Answering An Archive Question

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.


An archive question is an optional feature of the archive key password encryption option. The archive question can be used to reset your archive key password in the event that the existing password is lost or forgotten.

This article explains how to set your archive question and how to use the archive question to reset your archive key password.


  • The archive question feature is available in versions 3.6.1 and later of the CrashPlan app. Find your current version in the CrashPlan app under Settings > Account.
  • You must know your existing archive key password in order to set the archive question. The question cannot be set if the archive key password has already been lost or forgotten.
  • Code42 Customer Champions cannot set an archive question for you or recover the answer to your archive question.

Archive Question
An archive question reduces the risk of not being able to restore your files due to a lost or forgotten password. However, it increases the risk of someone bypassing your archive key password. If you choose to use this optional feature, take great care when selecting an archive question and answer. In general, a secure question has the following characteristics:
  • Question has hundreds, if not thousands, of possible answers
  • Question is not a question you would answer publicly (online or in person)
  • Answer is easy for you to remember
  • Answer cannot be researched online via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Answer does not change over time

Before you begin

Setting an archive question

  1. Go to Settings > Security in the CrashPlan app.
  2. Click Set Archive Question.
    The Change Archive Question dialog displays.
    Set Archive Question in the CrashPlan app
  3. Enter your current archive key password.
  4. Enter a question to use as your archive question.
    The question cannot exceed 128 characters.
  5. Enter your answer to your archive question.
    The answer is not case sensitive.
    Change Archive Question
  6. Click Ok.

Your archive questions has been set, and you can use it to reset your archive key password in the future.

Answering an archive question

After setting your archive question, you can answer your archive question to change your archive key password.

  1. Go to Settings > Security in the CrashPlan app.
  2. Click Forgot?.
    The Change Archive Password window opens.
    Answer archive key password
  3. Enter the answer to your security question.
  4. Enter a new archive key password.
  5. Re-enter your new archive key password.
  6. Click Ok.
    Your archive key password has been changed.
Unable To Answer Archive Question
If the existing password is lost or forgotten and you are unable to answer your archive question, you must start over with a new account, which means you must start your backup over.

External resources

The links provided below contain considerations you may find useful for creating a secure archive question. However, a secure archive question is one that only you can answer, so we discourage simply copying these examples.