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CrashPlan Support

How File Decryption Works During Restores

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.


Before your files can be restored, they have to be decrypted with your key. The method for decrypting your files and accessing your key depends on how you restore your files, as well as your security settings. This article describes the different options for restoring and decrypting files.

We recommend familiarizing yourself with CrashPlan's Archive Encryption Key Security options before reading this article.


CrashPlan server
A server owned and maintained by Code42 as part of CrashPlan Central

File decryption

When and where your backed up files are decrypted varies based on which restore method you choose. Refer to the table below for details.

  State of files stored at backup destination Method of file transmission How are files transmitted? Where are files decrypted?
CrashPlan app Encrypted Internet, local network or direct connection 1 Communication channel secured with 128-bit AES encryption Your computer
CrashPlan web app Encrypted Internet


CrashPlan servers

1 Note: If you restore from a local backup destination, like an external hard drive, then files are not transmitted over a network. If you restore from another computer on your network, files are transmitted over your local network. If you restore from a remote friend's computer or from CrashPlan Central, files are transmitted over the Internet.

Restoring Files From The CrashPlan web app
If you restore from the CrashPlan web app, your files are decrypted on CrashPlan's servers. If you don't want your decrypted files stored on CrashPlan's servers, choose one of the other restore methods: from the CrashPlan app or from a friend's computer.

Removing your decrypted files from the CrashPlan server

When you use the CrashPlan web app to perform a web restore, your files are decrypted on CrashPlan's servers before being sent to your web browser. By default, the decrypted files are stored for 24 hours. However, you can opt to remove these files before their expiration period from the CrashPlan web app using the steps below:

  1. Restore your files using the CrashPlan web app
  2. Download the zip file containing your restored files
  3. Click the red X next to your restored files to remove the decrypted files
    Web Restore Delete