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Recovering From Viruses And Malware

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.


CrashPlan is not a replacement for an antivirus or anti-malware program. While CrashPlan cannot protect your computer from viruses or malware, you can use CrashPlan to restore your files from a date and time prior to an infection. This article describes how to use CrashPlan to restore your files after recovering from a virus or malware.


Removing Viruses And Malware
Code42 Customer Champions cannot help you remove viruses and malware from your computer. Consult a computer specialist if you have questions about removing infections from your computer.

How CrashPlan can help you recover from viruses and malware

Code42 has always believed that comprehensive version retention of files is essential to a good backup. That's why CrashPlan's default frequency and version settings let you restore files from a date and time in the past. If your computer becomes infected by viruses or malware, this enables you to restore your files from a date and time prior to the infection.

Frequency And Version Settings
Your version settings must allow backups frequently enough to give you a range of dates from which to choose should your computer become infected. If your frequency and version settings are too restrictive, it's possible that even your oldest version could be infected. At a minimum, we recommend the default settings shown below.

CrashPlan Default Versioning Settings

Recommended solution

Step 1: Remove the virus or malware infection

If you have not already done so, the first step is to remove the infection from the affected computer. Use the antivirus or anti-malware software of your choosing to remove the infection from your computer.

Step 2: Testing files restored from a time prior to infection

If any of your personal files were damaged by the infection, you can restore your files from a date prior to the infection.

  1. Open the CrashPlan app and go to Restore.
  2. Select the previously infected computer.
  3. From the backup destination list, choose the backup destination from which you want to restore.
  4. Click most recent to open the options for restoring from a previous date and time.
  5. Select a date and time that you believe is before the time of infection.
    If you don't know the date of infection, use your best judgment in selecting a time when your computer was functioning properly.

    Select Date And Time

  6. Select original location.
  7. Select the option to overwrite any existing files.
    Restore Files
  8. Select a few previously infected files from the list.
  9. Click Restore.

Step 3: Verify restored files

Once you have restored the test files to your computer:

  1. Use antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer to ensure the files are not infected.
    • If the result shows no infection, then you know that your computer was not yet infected on the date and time you selected and you can proceed to restore your remaining files.
    • If the restored files are infected, repeat the steps above and select an earlier date and time.
  2. When all files have been restored, run a final antivirus and anti-malware scan on your computer to confirm your computer is clear of potential infection.

Alternative solution

If you replaced or reformatted the infected computer, follow our guide for Restoring All Files On A New Computer Or Drive. Make sure to restore your files from a date and time prior to infection.