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CrashPlan Support

Are "Unlimited" Subscriptions Really Unlimited?

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home


Are CrashPlan's "Unlimited" plans really unlimited? Short answer: yes. However, technical limitations can arise, as described in this article.

Unlimited plans

All of our CrashPlan for Home subscriptions offer an unlimited amount of storage space. We don't care if you're backing up 5 GB or 5 TB, and we don't place limits on individual file sizes. Furthermore, we don't throttle upload speeds, no matter how much data you've backed up.


Although Code42 does not limit the size of your backup, there can be technical limitations to the amount of data that can be backed up from a particular computer. Additionally, some files are excluded from your backup by default because they can cause problems in the backup.

Memory usage

CrashPlan is a real-time backup solution that monitors the files on your system to detect and back up changes. Consequently, the amount of available memory needed to use the CrashPlan app increases with the size of your backup file selection. While we offer unlimited storage, available memory may be a limiting factor for larger file selections.

Code42 typically recommends allocating 1 GB (1024 MB) of memory per 1 TB of storage (or per 1 million files). However, you should not allocate more memory to the CrashPlan app than the maximum supported by your computer. For example, if your computer has 8 GB of RAM, you shouldn’t allocate more than 8 GB (8192 MB) to the CrashPlan app.

Review our guide to adjusting CrashPlan settings for large archives for additional considerations related to memory usage.

Backup speed

The time required to complete a large initial backup may also be a consideration. Code42 has a finite amount of bandwidth that is split amongst all our users. If you have a very fast Internet connection, it's unlikely that your upload to CrashPlan Central will saturate your upload bandwidth. If you have a very large backup file selection, consider whether or not the time to complete the initial backup is acceptable to you.

How much can I expect to back up to CrashPlan Central in a day? (CrashPlan for Home only)

On average, you can expect your CrashPlan Central backup to progress by at least 10 GB of information a day, as long as your computer is powered on and not in standby mode. That's the equivalent of:

  • 6,800+ photos from a camera phone (at 1.5 MB per photo)
  • 1024 photos from a DSLR camera (at 10 MB per photo)
  • 1500+ MP3s (at 6.5 MB per song)
  • 8 full-length standard definition movies (at 1.2 GB per movie)

Large open files

Although they are not restricted from your backup selection, the nature of large, open, constantly changing files (for example, Outlook PST files) can make it difficult to back them up successfully. For tips on backing up open files, see our guide to backing up open files and databases.

Files excluded from backup

CrashPlan has built-in "admin excludes" that prevent certain files and folders from backing up. These include temporary files and certain system files that can cause problems with backup progress and that are not advantageous to restore.

Additionally, CrashPlan is prevented from backing up its own backup archives as well as its cache files. You cannot change these settings.