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CrashPlan Support

Reducing Backup Archive Size

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home


As you continue to back up, the size of your backup archive may grow larger and exceed capacity at one or more of your backup destinations. To reduce the size of your backup archive, you can:

  • Remove files
  • Reduce the number of backed up versions
  • Deactivate a computer that is backing up


Deselecting a file from your backup set is not the same as deleting a file from your computer:

  • Deleted files: CrashPlan retains deleted files according to your Keep Deleted Files setting (Settings > Backup > Frequency and versions). For example, if you specify that deleted files should be retained for 30 days, then you can restore these files for 30 days after the delete date.
  • Deselecting files: CrashPlan removes all versions of files that you deselect from your backup selection as part of the archive maintenance operation. You may also trigger the removal manually using the Compact button for a destination. After the file is removed from the backup archive, you can't restore the file.


Removing files

  1. Go to Backup and click Change
    Change File Selection
  2. Navigate to the folder and files that you want to include or exclude (you can also choose external drives that are displayed in this list), then:
    • Clear the marked box next to the folders you want to exclude from back up
    • Select an empty box to include it
    • A solid square Windows Selected (Windows), or a minus sign Minus Sign (OS X), indicates that a subfolder within this folder is selected for backup and is being monitored for changes
    • A check mark Check Mark indicates that this folder is selected for backup
  3. Click Save
    After changing the file selection, CrashPlan synchronizes the files selected for backup with the files already backed up to that destination
In addition to the manual process described above, you can also remove files throughout your archive using REGEX or file type.

Reducing backed up versions

CrashPlan tracks multiple versions of each file as it backs up changes over time. Retaining a large number of file versions can increase the size of your backup archive. Modifying your version retention settings to retain fewer versions of your files will decrease the size of your backup archive.

You can tell CrashPlan to only retain a single version of older files. This may be useful if you have large files that change frequently, but for which older versions provide little value. For example:
  • a database
  • Photoshop project file
  • iMovie project file
  • ProTools project file
To only retain a single version of a file, set your retention settings to:
  • Last week: every week
  • Last 90 days: never
  • Previous years: never
Please note that your retention settings apply to every file backed up to particular destination. In other words, if you are backing up to CrashPlan Central, your version retention settings apply to every file backing up to CrashPlan Central regardless of the backup set to which a file belongs.

Compacting a destination archive

To remove deselected files or retained versions from your archive, you can trigger archive maintenance on the destination using the steps below. If you don't complete this step, the files or versions will be removed the next time your regularly scheduled maintenance runs.

  1. Go to Destinations
  2. Select the destination type that corresponds to the location of the archive you want reduced (i.e. Friend, Computers, Folder or Cloud)
  3. Click Compact to remove deselected files or reduce retained versions right away

Alternative options

If removing files and reducing versions did not create enough space on your backup destination, you can also move the archive to a new destination or completely remove the archive from your destination.

Moving a backup archive to a new folder or drive

If your archive continues to grow in size, you may want to move the archive from the current destination to another destination that has more available space. When you change the backup location, CrashPlan moves the entire backup archive so that your archive is in one place. This frees up space on the original destination.

Removing a backup archive from the destination

If you no longer need to back up to a destination and you want to free up space at that destination, you can remove it as a backup destination for one or more of your computers.

Deactivating a computer

If you have more than one computer backing up to your backup destination, you can deactivate one of the computers if you no longer need to back up that computer and want to free up space. Only do this if you want to completely remove all of a computer's archives from all destinations.