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CrashPlan Support

Restoring Files From The CrashPlan App

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.


We recommend using the CrashPlan app to restore files whenever you have access to one of your computers. The CrashPlan web app is convenient for restoring files when you are not near one of your computers. However, the CrashPlan app offers you the most flexibility. This article describes how to restore from the CrashPlan app.

Note: If you need to restore all of your files because you recently replaced a computer or the hard drive containing your operating system, refer to our Restoring All Files On A New Computer Or Drive guide instead.


  1. Open the CrashPlan app and go to Restore.
  2. If there are multiple computers on your account, select the computer containing the files you want to restore.
  3. If the selected computer is backing up to multiple destinations, select the backup destination that you want to use for this restore.
  4. If you want to restore your files from a previous date, click most recent to select the date from a calendar.
  5. Select the checkboxes for the folders and files you want to restore.
    Learn more about finding files (including hidden or deleted files) below.
  6. Click Next

Restore tab

  1. Update the restore options to specify the version, permissions, restore location, and naming convention for your restored files. When in doubt, restore using current permissions.
  2. Click Restore.
    Your download begins immediately. The Restore Status displays the status of your restored files.

Restore Tips
  • It is safe to close the CrashPlan app while the files restore in the background.
  • If you are restoring a large amount of data, consider optimizing your computer settings to prevent disruptions.
  • Alternatively, if you don't want to restore all of the files at once, you can shut down or put your computer to sleep, and the restore will resume where it left off when it is powered on again.
  • If you receive errors when restoring, refer to our troubleshooting guide.

Choosing the backup destination to use for restore

If you are backing up to multiple destinations, you can choose the destination that you want to use to restore. See the considerations below for the type of destination you are using.

  • From an external hard drive
    The hard drive must be connected to your computer. Restoring from an external hard drive is faster than restoring over the web.
  • From the cloud
    You must be connected to the Internet to restore from CrashPlan Central or another cloud destination.
  • From another computer on your account
    The computer must be turned on and CrashPlan must be running. If CrashPlan isn't set to run “always,” then you will only be able to restore during the backup times specified on that computer.
  • From a friend destination
    Like computers on your account, your friend's computer must be turned on and CrashPlan must be running. If the friend destination isn't set to "always" allow restores from inbound devices, then you will only be able to restore during the specified time.

Finding files to restore


If you want to restore a specific file, you can enter a portion of the file name in the search field. You can also search for a particular file extension (for example, jpeg).

To search, enter your search term and click the search icon:


Searching For Files Backed Up From Another Computer
Searching from the CrashPlan web app or the CrashPlan app may not locate files backed up for a computer other than the one you are using. If the file you are searching for is not found, use the file tree to navigate to the file's location.

Hidden files

Some temporary and system files are hidden in the CrashPlan restore view because you do not typically need to interact with these files. Hidden files and locations do not appear in the file selection list by default. Select Show hidden files to view hidden files.

Deleted files

CrashPlan stores deleted files based on your version retention settings (the default setting is to never remove deleted files from your backup archive). To display or search for deleted files in the file tree, select Show deleted files. Learn more about retaining and restoring deleted files.

Show deleted files select boxAfter you enable Show deleted files, your deleted files appear in the file tree and can be restored.

Deleted file icon

Restore options

CrashPlan suggests default settings for restoring your files, including the version, permissions, and location of restored files, as well has how to handle file name conflicts. 

Restore Options

File version

CrashPlan restores the latest version of a file by default. However, you may want to restore a previous version, either because the file became corrupted, or you simply liked an earlier version better. CrashPlan backs up versions of your files based on your version retention settings.

To restore an earlier version of a file, click most recent to change the selection. Select the date and time for the file you want to restore.

Select Date And Time

Restore location

By default, CrashPlan restores files to your computer's desktop. You can click Desktop to change your location. Your options include:

  • Desktop
  • Original location
  • A folder you choose
Original Location No Longer Exists
If you restore files to their original location, but that location no longer exists, CrashPlan will recreate the folders used by the original location. For this reason, pay special attention when changing computers to file path differences between your old and new computer. For example, suppose you back up the folder C:\Users\Jim\Documents. Later, you replace your computer and use a different username, so your new Documents folder is located at C:\Users\James\Documents. If you restore your Documents folder to the original location, CrashPlan will create a folder labeled Jim under the C:\Users directory and restore the Documents folder there. In this scenario, you probably don't want to restore files to their original location.

Rename or replace files?

If a file is restored to a location that already contains a file with the same name, CrashPlan defaults to renaming the original file with the prefix "original1." However, you can tell CrashPlan how to handle matching file names by clicking the rename option:

  • Overwrite: If a duplicate name is detected, CrashPlan replaces the existing file with the restored file
  • Rename: If a duplicate name is detected, CrashPlan renames the original file with the prefix "original1"
Rename Your Files
f you aren't sure whether you want to rename or replace, choose the rename option. You can always delete duplicate files later.


By default, CrashPlan restores files with the permissions associated with the original file. However, if you are restoring the files to a different computer than the one where the file originated, it is best to restore using current permissions.

To restore files using your current computer's permissions, click original permissions to change it to current permissions.

Restoring files to a different operating system

These considerations apply if you are, for example, moving from a Windows computer to a Mac computer.

  • Restore the files to a specific location, rather than the original location. This is important because the computer you are restoring to has a different file-system structure than the original computer.
  • Some file metadata may be lost during a cross-operating system restore. To preserve all file metadata, restore to a computer with the same operating system as the original.
  • Filenames containing characters that are illegal on the operating system you restore to cannot be restored to that computer. Restore those files to a computer of the same operating system or use web restore.
Restoring Mac Files To A Windows Computer
If you plan to restore Mac files to a Windows computer, we recommend using the more restrictive Windows naming rules with your Mac files to prevent any potential restore problems.

Restoring an external hard drive

If you are restoring files that were originally stored on an external hard drive, and that hard drive is not currently connected to the source computer, CrashPlan treats the files as missing. To restore:

  • If you are replacing the original drive (due to failure or another loss), see our guide to Restoring Files After Replacing A Drive.
  • If you are not replacing the drive, but it is not currently available (or you don't want to connect it because you are only restoring several files), you can select Show deleted files to restore the files.

Restore order

When performing a restore, files are downloaded starting at the top of the tree and recurse down. So if your file structure looks like this:

  • Folder 1
    • Folder 1.1
    • Folder 1.2
  • Folder 2

CrashPlan will restore the files and folders in this order:

  • Folder 1 and its contents
  • Folder 1.1 and its contents
  • Folder 1.2 and its contents
  • Folder 2 and its contents