Backup sets

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Backup sets are an option in CrashPlan that allows you to configure different groups of files to back up to different locations with different settings. For example, you can configure devices in your CrashPlan environment to back up frequently changed documents with a high priority each day, but also to back up relatively static system files with a lower priority only once a week.


This article assumes that you have permission to create backup sets. Your administrator controls this permission.

Different data to a single destination

Do not set your backup schedules to overlap

If you schedule multiple backup sets to run between specified times, and the backup sets go to the same destination, ensure that these times do not overlap. This ensures good backup performance. You can set backup sets to run on a specific schedule by changing the Backup will run setting to Between specified times.

File exclusions

For most destinations, file exclusions specified for any backup set impact all sets backing up to that same destination.

As an example, suppose Set A and Set B back up to an external hard drive destination. You create an exclusion for Set A indicating that files ending in .mp3 shouldn't back up. MP3s in Set B will back up to the destination normally, but these files are deleted from the destination during archive maintenance due to the exclusions in Set A even though you haven't specified this exclusion for Set B.

However, file exclusion settings are specific to each backup set in any destination starting with CrashPlan Destination. In these destinations, file exclusions specified for one backup set have no impact on a different set that backs up to the same destination. Each backup set uses its own file exclusion settings.

Frequency and version settings

For most destinations, you can only apply one set of version and deleted file retention settings to backup sets backing up to the same destination. When multiple backup sets back up to the same destination, the version and deleted file retention settings from the backup set with the highest priority are applied to all sets backing up to that destination.

As an example, backup Set 1 and Set 2 are both backing up to the same destination, and Set 1 has a higher priority than Set 2. You configure Set 1 to back up new versions of files every hour and Set 2 to back them up every 15 minutes. Both sets back up according to their new versions settings. During archive maintenance on the backup destination, Set 2's retained versions are reduced to every hour because Set 1's settings take priority.

However, frequency and version settings are specific to each backup set in any destination starting with CrashPlan Destination. In these destinations, the settings specified for one backup set have no impact on a different set that backs up to the same destination. Each backup set uses its own frequency and version settings.

Same data to different destinations

It is possible to create separate backup sets that contain the same file or folder. This is often useful when creating redundant backups of the same data to different destinations.

If you select the same file or folder in multiple backup sets, removing it from one backup set does not remove it from others.

Create backup sets

Using the CrashPlan app (Video)

Using the CrashPlan console

  1. Sign in to your CrashPlan console.
  2. Navigate to an organization, then click the action menu > Device Backup Defaults.
  3. In General, deselect Use device defaults from parent.
  4. In the Backup tab, click Backup sets: Enable.
    The normal backup options change to show the full set of configuration settings for backup sets.
  5. Configure the Backup Set options according to your needs.
  6. Click Save.
    Once you enable backup sets, the tab is renamed from Backup to Backup Sets.


Item Description
a Backup Set List Lists the name of each backup set.
b Add

Adds a new backup set.


The system adds a number to the end of the name of the new backup set, for example, ...(1)...(2)...(3), and so on. You can change this assigned name in the Name field.

c Remove Deletes the selected backup set.
d Lock lock_icon_04Mar2020.png

Locks the configured backup sets:

  • Locking this setting prevents users from adding or removing any backup sets.
  • Locking this setting does not prevent users from changing the settings of backup sets.
e Name The name of the backup set. Change this text to change the name of the backup set. This setting is user-facing.
f Priority The priority of the backup set. The set with priority 1 will back up completely before beginning the set with priority 2, and so on.
g Lock Set Applies the Lock action to each individual setting configured for this backup set.
h Push Set Indicates whether or not a change in this setting applies to existing users in addition to new users.
i Backup will run

Indicates whether backups are always running or running only at specific times.

  • Always: Backup is always running.
  • Between specified times: Backup will run only at specified times.
j Preferred time for verification scan Scans the system for file changes and deleted files within your backup selection at the interval and time of day that you specify. If the device is powered off or asleep at the scheduled scan time, the scan runs 15 minutes after the device reconnects.
k Lock lock_icon_04Mar2020.png Prevents users from changing this individual setting in their personal settings.
l Push Push_Icon-500-source.png Indicates whether or not a change in this setting applies to existing users in addition to new users.

Modify backup sets

You can modify your backup sets at any time. The process of changing backup sets is the same as creating backup sets.

Remove backup sets

Removing a backup set deletes its archived files from every destination. This action cannot be undone. If you want to keep any files from the backup set in your archive, ensure those files are included in a different backup set before deleting the selected backup set.

Deselecting files from a backup set

Removing items from a backup set carries the same risks as removing items from a backup selection:

Deselected files are files you choose to delete from your backup file selection. Files no longer selected for backup are deleted from the backup archive the next time daily maintenance runs, and they cannot be restored.

 Keep important files selected

To ensure that files remain in your backup archive and can be restored, you must keep them in your file selection. This applies to files backed up from external drives as well. Deselecting locations or files is a destructive, irreversible action. Once files, drives, or directories have been deselected they are deleted from your backup archive and there is no way to recover them.

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