CrashPlan FAQs

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This page contains a list of frequently asked questions for users of CrashPlan's enterprise products.


Backup begins with a process called data de-duplication. The CrashPlan app analyzes a small piece of the file (a block), and checks to see if that block was previously backed up. 

  • If that block was already backed up, the CrashPlan app moves on and analyzes the next block.
  • If the block has not yet been backed up, the CrashPlan app compresses the block to save storage space, encrypts the block to secure the data, and sends the block to the backup destination.

As a result of this analysis, compression, and encryption activity for new files, a device’s initial backup takes much longer than subsequent, incremental backups. The length of time for the initial backup can quite literally range from minutes to weeks, and is dependent on many factors, including the number and size of files being backed up, the backup destination, network topology, and available device resources. However, once the first backup is complete, future backups are much faster, because the CrashPlan app only needs to back up new files and changed blocks of data for each file.

Why does the CrashPlan app report a different file size than the size of files selected for backup?

If users compare the size of files selected for backup to the file size the CrashPlan app reports it's backing up, they may notice a difference. Multiple factors can contribute to this difference, such as our de-duplication and compression processes. For more information, see:

In addition, users may notice that the CrashPlan app and CrashPlan console show slightly different values for the size of backup. This is because the CrashPlan app and CrashPlan console calculate file sizes differently

Why isn’t this backup reaching 100% complete?

When a backup is unable to reach 100% complete, it is often because the CrashPlan app can't access some of the files. This may happen if a file is in use by another application or has incorrect permissions. Click a link below to troubleshoot:

How do users add a computer/device?

To add a computer, users simply download the CrashPlan app from the CrashPlan console, install it, and sign in. The device then appears on the Active Devices list in the CrashPlan console. For instructions on how to replace an existing device, see Replace your device using CrashPlan.

Can the CrashPlan app handle terabytes (TBs) of data?

Each new file that the CrashPlan app backs up is indexed, compressed, and de-duplicated, which takes time. This usually isn't a problem for smaller backups, but if the backup is more than 1 TB of data or more than 1 million files, users will likely need to increase the amount of memory available to the CrashPlan app to get the backup to complete. For more information, see:

What should users back up?

Users should back up the files they create, edit, and access. Typically, these are stored in the User directory or Home folder. The CrashPlan app isn't designed to back up system and application files. For more information, see What should you back up with CrashPlan?

Can users back up files on an external drive, NAS, or a mapped drive?

  • External drives: The CrashPlan app can back up storage connected to a device such as an external hard drive directly attached via USB, Thunderbolt, or Firewire.
  • NAS:
    • Users can back up Network Attached Storage (NAS) on Mac and Linux, but not Windows.
    • Storage must be mounted in order for the CrashPlan app to access it.
    • Users may see performance bottlenecks on a NAS that is serving multiple purposes or is not fiber attached because the CrashPlan app requires fast disk I/O.
  • Mapped drive: Users can back up any drive that is mounted as a Volume for Mac and Linux. However, we don't support backing up mapped drives on Windows due to an OS-level restriction built into Windows.

Can I install the CrashPlan app on a headless/NAS setup?

No. Installing the CrashPlan app on a headless/NAS setup is not supported.  

Can users back up to other users' computers?

Computer-to-computer backup, also known as inbound backup or peer-to-peer, is no longer supported in the CrashPlan app. Users can only back up to local drives and to the CrashPlan cloud, not to other computers. 

Can I back up a server?

No, we do not support server backup with CrashPlan. For details, see Platform end of support for the CrashPlan app on Windows Server.

How do users set up a new device for backup and no longer back up the old one?

When a device is lost or stolen, the hardware fails, or users get a new device, the CrashPlan app's replace device wizard can help transfer files, move the backup, and update settings from a previous device. After users have installed the CrashPlan app on the new computer, they will need to associate the new device with their existing archive.

In the wizard, the transfer files step is an opportunity to download files from the archive. If users do not need to download the previously backed-up files to the new device right now, they can skip it. Regardless of what they choose, everything currently in the archive will remain there as long as it is selected for backup and they haven't changed the default file retention settings.

How do I exclude entire folders and specific files from backups?

You can exclude files and folders from backup at various levels in your CrashPlan environment: 

  • Use Organization Defaults to apply global exclusions for individual organizations:
    1. In the CrashPlan console, go to Administration > Environment > Organizations
    2. Select an organization. 
    3. From the action menu, select Device Backup Defaults
    4. From the General tab, scroll down to Global Exclusions.
    5. Enter a string to exclude and click the plus icon. If you don't see the option to add exclusions, deselect Use device defaults from parent at the top of the General tab.
    6. Click Save.
  • Use Device backup settings to modify settings for specific devices: 
    1. In the CrashPlan console, go to Administration > Environment > Devices.
    2. Select a device.
    3. From the action menu, select Edit.
    4. From the General tab, scroll down to Global Exclusions.
    5. Enter a string to exclude and click the plus icon.
    6. Click Save.

There are several ways of specifying which files and folders should be included or excluded from the backup file selection:

  • Use substitution variables to specify the types of files or locations in the directory field instead of identifying each user folder by name, for example.
  • Specify filename patterns using wildcards 
  • Specify file extensions or file types to exclude. For example, add “mp3” to the exclude list to prevent all .mp3 files to be ignored for backup.
  • Use regular expressions (regex) to designate files to be excluded from backup. Each expression you provide is always matched against the absolute path of the file, so take the full file path into account when you exclude files this way.

How do I back up files for legal hold purposes?

CrashPlan Enterprise only

To create a backup for legal hold, you'll need to:  

  1. Create a preservation policy that you can apply to different matters.
  2. Create a matter for your legal hold. 

How do users restore files?

Users can restore files from the CrashPlan app or from the CrashPlan console, or you can restore files for users if you have the proper permissions. Users should typically restore files with the CrashPlan app whenever they have access to one of their devices. The CrashPlan console is convenient for restoring files when users are not near one of their devices, but these restores are limited to 1 GB.

How do I collect files from legal hold?

CrashPlan Enterprise only

Collecting files from a legal hold is very similar to restoring files from the CrashPlan console, with a few differences. For more details, see Collect files from a CrashPlan legal hold.

How do I restore files from cold storage?

CrashPlan Enterprise and MSPs only

You can bring archives out of cold storage so that you can again use them for backup and restore. Archives can only be brought out of cold storage if they have not yet been purged. To restore files that are in cold storage, you'll need to: 

  1. Bring the archive out of cold storage in one of the following ways:
    • Activate a deactivated user
      The user's archives are moved out of cold storage and all devices associated with the user account are reactivated immediately. If the user signs in to the CrashPlan app on the same device that was used before deactivation, backup resumes automatically. 
    • Activate a deactivated device
      The device's archives are moved out of cold storage. When the user logs in to the device, backups resume automatically.
  2. Restore the files from the CrashPlan console.

How do I reduce the amount of CPU the CrashPlan app is using?

CrashPlan complements the functionality of antivirus or endpoint detection and response (EDR) applications. However, when the CrashPlan app and these other applications are installed on the same device, they may compete for locked files and system resources. This can cause a large amount of CPU resources to be used on the device.

To reduce this usage, configure the CrashPlan app to exclude other endpoint security programs. You can also configure the CrashPlan app to exclude the cache files created by antivirus and EDR applications from backup. 

See Best practices for using CrashPlan with EDR software if you are using applications like: 

  • Carbon Black Cb Defense
  • Carbon Black Cb Response
  • CrowdStrike Falcon
  • Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business
  • McAfee AntiVirus
  • McAfee Endpoint Threat Defense and Response
  • Sophos Intercept X

You can also change the amount of CPU used

Cold Storage (CrashPlan Enterprise and MSPs only)

What is cold storage?

When a user or device is deactivated, its data is not deleted. Instead, it is moved into cold storage. Cold storage is a temporary holding state for archives after they are deactivated but before they expire and are permanently deleted. 

How long does data stay in cold storage?

The amount of time archives are kept in cold storage depends on the action that places the archives in cold storage:

  • Conclusion of service - Data is held in cold storage for 14 days before deletion.
  • Deactivation - If you deactivate individual users, devices, or organizations, the data is held in cold storage per the cold storage retention settings configured in the CrashPlan console.

When an archive's cold storage retention period is over, it becomes an expired archive. Expired archives are marked for deletion and are not recoverable.

For more information on our data retention policy, see Data retention in the CrashPlan cloud .

Does cold storage consume a subscription?

Yes. Archives associated with deactivated users and devices remain in cold storage for the retention period defined in the CrashPlan console. During that time, the archives continue to consume user subscriptions. As an administrator, you can free up subscriptions by purging archives from cold storage. Once a user's archives are purged, the associated subscription becomes available for other users within 24 hours.


How do I upgrade?

In the CrashPlan cloud, we update the CrashPlan console and the CrashPlan apps on user devices automatically so you are always on the latest version. However, administrators can optionally delay CrashPlan app upgrades on user devices for up to 30 days. This enables you to test new CrashPlan app versions on a small group of users before updating all users in your CrashPlan environment. It also allows for a staggered rollout schedule.

Archive maintenance

What is archive maintenance?

Archive maintenance is a regularly scheduled task that runs on each backup destination. The purpose is to maintain archive integrity and optimize the size of the archives. When archive maintenance runs, it:

  • Checks backup archives for corrupted files and repairs any detected corruption.
  • Prunes file versions and removes deleted files according to the frequency and version settings.
  • Purges files that are no longer selected for backup.

Why can’t users restore during archive maintenance?

Archive maintenance locks the archive, so users won't be able to restore until maintenance is complete. 

Why did the archive change in size?

An archive may change size after archive maintenance because it removes file versions and deleted files according to the frequency and version settings.


How do I configure backup reports to only go to administrators and not end users?

To send device backup reports to administrators only, follow these steps:

Step 1: From the CrashPlan console, set your reporting settings

  1. Select Administration > Environment > Organizations.
  2. Select an organization.
  3. From the action menu, select Edit, then click the Reporting tab.
  4. Update your settings

Step 2: Shut off backup status email notifications for your end users

  1. Select Administration > Environment > Organizations.
  2. Select an organization.
  3. From the action menu, select Device Backup Defaults, then click the Reporting tab.
  4. Deselect all the options on that tab. 
Subscriptions, billing, and licensing

Can I get a refund for my CrashPlan subscription?

No, all CrashPlan subscriptions are non-refundable.

How is CrashPlan licensed?

CrashPlan is licensed by monthly user subscription. Each active user consumes a user subscription

Is CrashPlan available outside of the US and Canada?

Yes. CrashPlan is available worldwide.

Is CrashPlan translated in other languages?

Yes. For more information, see details on available languages for all CrashPlan products.

How do I buy?

If you are an existing customer and want to renew or add more users, contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM) or email If you are a new customer, contact sales.

How do I get help with my subscription, invoice or bill?

For questions about your subscription, invoice or bill, contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM). If you do not know your CSM, contact our technical support team.

Why are we using more subscriptions than we have active users?

If you are using more subscriptions than the total number of active users displayed on the Users > Active screen in the CrashPlan console, it may be because you have data in cold storage that is consuming a subscription. When users are deactivated, their backup archives go into cold storage where they continue to consume user subscriptions until they expire and are permanently deleted. To free up subscriptions before expiration, you can purge archives from cold storage. For more information, see:

Australia and New Zealand customers

Are your cloud services based in Australia?

Yes. We have a data center in Sydney.

I have already purchased a plan through the US store. What price do I pay to renew?

If you have already purchased a plan through the US store, we'll continue to honor renewals of that plan at the US renewal prices.

Why the big price difference between Australia and US offerings?

Even though our operating costs in Australia are significantly higher than they are in the US, we are absorbing some of the increased cost to make us more in line with similar products.

Can I purchase subscriptions for multi-year plans?

No. Our longest subscription term in Australia and New Zealand for CrashPlan Enterprise is one year.


Is CrashPlan certified for ISO 27001 or SSAE 16 compliance?

CrashPlan is an ISO 27001-certified organization and conducts annual SOC 2 Type 2 attestations on our product and infrastructure. Additionally, CrashPlan ensures and monitors appropriate security assurance obligations (SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001) for its cloud data centers.

Is CrashPlan HIPAA compliant?

CrashPlan can be configured to support HIPAA compliance. Learn more about CrashPlan and HIPAA compliance.

Contact support

How do I get help from the technical support team?

See our article Contact support: create a ticket, chat, or call.


There are several different ways to get more information about CrashPlan Enterprise:

  • Check out our support site to get all of our documentation.
  • In the CrashPlan console, click the Help icon in the upper-right to display a reference article about that page.
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