Back up cloud services


If you use cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, you may have questions about how the CrashPlan app interacts with these services. This article provides information and links about using the CrashPlan app alongside several popular cloud services.

 Non-CrashPlan products

Information about products from other manufacturers is intended as a resource to help you get the most out of CrashPlan products. However, our technical support engineers cannot provide direct assistance for these products. For assistance with products not developed by CrashPlan, contact the product's manufacturer.


  • CrashPlan backs up only local files. For the CrashPlan app to back up a file stored in a cloud service, you must also store a local copy on your device.
  • Every vendor has its own local file settings. Check the documentation for your cloud services for their process to make your files available offline so you can add them to your file selection.
  • "Smart file" placeholders will not back up. Cloud services that offer to free up hard drive space on your device do so by replacing your local files with placeholders. CrashPlan cannot back up those files. You must make the complete files available offline on your device.
  • CrashPlan is not an archival service. Any files deleted from a cloud service that are stored locally will also be deleted from your backup archive after 90 days. Learn more about deleted file retention settings.


Files uploaded to Box remain stored on your hard drive and can be backed up by CrashPlan. However, if you do not have a local copy of a file in your Box, you can make the file available locally using the Box Drive app. Follow the official instructions to make your files available offline using Box Drive.

Offline Box files are typically stored on your device at the following locations:

  • Windows: C:\Users\[username]\Box
  • Mac: ~/Box
  • Linux: Box Drive is not available on Linux.


Dropbox stores files directly on your computer's hard drive. The CrashPlan app can back up these files like any other personal file on your computer. If any of your files are only available online, you can follow the official instructions to make them available offline in the Dropbox folder.

The default location of the Dropbox folder varies by operating system:

  • Windows: C:\Users\[username]\Dropbox
  • Mac: ~/Library/CloudStorage
  • Linux: /home/dropbox

 Offline file locations on macOS

On macOS, many cloud services have a folder for downloaded or "streamed" offline files located in the user library; for example, in ~/Library/CloudStorage. CrashPlan excludes the macOS user library from backup by default. Move any offline files from the cloud service location to another user folder on your macOS device in order to back them up.

Google Drive

Using Drive for Desktop, you can choose to stream or mirror your files. If you mirror your files, they remain at their original locations on your device and can be backed up by CrashPlan.

To back up Google Drive files that are stored only online, you must make them available offline or download them individually from your Google Drive to your device.

Online-only files made available offline can be accessed from the Google Drive location through the Finder on macOS or through the File Explorer on Windows. Files from this location can be copied and pasted to another location on your device to back them up.


Files created using Google's suite of productivity tools can also be downloaded individually.

On Windows, the location of the Google Drive files is a virtual drive. To add this drive to your file selection, you must install the CrashPlan app per user. This gives Windows permissions to access the files in the Google Drive folder.


iCloud syncs files that are already stored on your device, so you can select them for CrashPlan to back up as you normally would. However, files from your iOS devices or files that are only available online will require you to download local copies if you want to include them in your CrashPlan backup. Follow Apple's official instructions to download local copies of your iCloud files.

iCloud Drive can be used to access iCloud files from a location available in any Finder window. On Windows, they can be accessed through File Explorer in a similar fashion. Files from the iCloud Drive can be copied and pasted to another location on your device to back them up.



Using OneDrive, you can choose to sync your existing files, in which case CrashPlan can back them up as normal, or to stream your files with Files-On-Demand. Files-On-Demand will keep your data online and leave behind placeholders that CrashPlan can't back up. To back up Files-On-Demand, follow Microsoft's instructions on how to make your files available offline.

Offline OneDrive files will be available at their original locations on your device or in the OneDrive location accessible through the Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows).


You can also download files from OneDrive individually to your device.

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