Install CrashPlan for Small Business for multiple user accounts on one device


When you install the CrashPlan app on a device, by default, all user accounts on the device use a single instance of the CrashPlan app. If multiple users share a single device, install the CrashPlan app per user so that each user on the device accesses a separate instance of the CrashPlan app.

 Use unique usernames and passwords

Each individual user needs a unique username and password. Sharing credentials across multiple users is a large security and data privacy risk because users can download backed up files from every device using the same username.

This article provides considerations and instructions for per-user installations of the CrashPlan app. If you want a default installation, see the general installation instructions.

Protect data for multiple users

You can protect data for multiple users on a single device by installing for everyone (default), or installing per user. When you install the CrashPlan app per user, each installation can have a separate user account with its own settings, license, and archive.

 What installation type should I choose?

Choose per-user installation for multiple users on a single device. This provides unique security settings for each user account.

Installing per user is necessary to provide each user unique security settings. The table below explains how security features in per-user installations are different than a default installation.

  Install for everyone (default) Install per user
Username and password Single username and password for all users on the device. Individual username and password for each per-user installation.
Backup permissions

Can back up any file on the device.

Can only back up files that the individual user account can access.
Backup activity Backs up at all times, regardless of whether users are signed in to the device. Backs up only when the associated user is signed in to the device.
Backup archive Files included in the backup file selection back up to a single backup archive, regardless of user. Each per-user installation backs up to a unique backup archive.
Encrypted file system Supports encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at a system level (for example, FileVault on macOS). Supports encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at the user level (for example, Windows Encrypting File System).
CrashPlan app and tray access Application and tray visible to all users on the device. Any user can access the application by default. Requires sign in for first use. Application is visible only to the user who installed the app and can only be accessed by that user.

Can download any files or folders within the backup file selection.

Can only download files and folders the individual user account has backed up.

Considerations for per-user installations

Review the considerations below before installing the CrashPlan app per user.

System requirements

  • Per-user installation is supported on Mac and on Windows.
  • Only one per-user installation is supported on a single Linux device. Multiple per-user installations are not supported.

Licenses and subscriptions

When you install per user, each user or device requires an active CrashPlan for Small Business subscription.


When you install per user:

  • The CrashPlan app cannot back up files and folders that the user does not have permission to access. The CrashPlan app relies on the user's system permissions to access and back up files.
  • The CrashPlan app cannot back up when the user is signed out of the device.

Volume shadow service (VSS)

(Windows only)

On Windows, the CrashPlan service coordinates with VSS to back up open files. When the CrashPlan app is installed per user, the CrashPlan service does not have full access to VSS. As a result, files that are left open may not back up regularly. If files are not backing up, the history log reports, “Unable to backup n files”. If this occurs, the CrashPlan service will try again later; if the file is closed, then backup will succeed.

Backup does not reach 100%

VSS may not have access to system and application files included in your backup file selection, which can prevent your backup from completing. The CrashPlan app isn't designed to back up system and application files. Don't add these files to your backup selection. Additionally, since the CrashPlan app isn't designed to restore your operating system or applications, there is no advantage to backing up these types of files.

Install per user and for everyone on the same device

Installing the CrashPlan app using both installation types on a single device is not supported.

Install the CrashPlan app per user on Windows and Mac

  1. Sign in to the device.
    The per-user installation of the CrashPlan app is applied to the signed-in user account.
  2. Download the CrashPlan app.
    See your system administrator for guidelines on downloading the CrashPlan app.
  3. Open the CrashPlan app installer:
    • Windows: Double-click the installer file and follow the prompts.
    • Mac: Double-click the DMG file, then double-click Install CrashPlan CrashPlan.
  4. When prompted for Installation Type, choose the option to install the CrashPlan app for your user account:
    • Windows: Select Only for me and continue the installation.
    • Mac: Select Change Install Location, then choose Install for me only and continue the installation.
  5. Create or sign in to your account.
  6. Repeat the installation for each user account on the device.
  7. (Mac only) Restart the device.

 Mac contacts, reminders, and Calendars

After backup starts, the Mac operating system prompts for access to your contacts, reminders, and calendars. Click Ok to allow the CrashPlan app access to back up the contents of your user folder. If you select Don't Allow, the CrashPlan app will back up everything other than your contacts, reminders, and calendars.

Command-line installation

To install the CrashPlan app per user on the command line, adapt these examples to your needs.

Command-line installation on Windows

Use msiexec to run the CrashPlan app installer with the following parameters:

msiexec /i "\.msi" /qn ALLUSERS=2 MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 INSTALL_PER_USER=1 CP_SILENT=true /log install_log.txt
Parameter Purpose
msiexec /i Allows the use of Windows Installer from the command line.

The full directory path to the installer file.


  • C:\Users\James\Desktop
  • D:\Downloads

Replace with the file name and version of the MSI installer for your version of the CrashPlan app.


  • CrashPlan_10.0.0_Win
  • CrashPlan_10.0.0_Win64
/qn Specifies a silent installation.
ALLUSERS=2 MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 INSTALL_PER_USER=1 Specifies the per-user installation context.
CP_SILENT=true Prevents the CrashPlan app from opening on the device after installation is complete.
/log install_log.txt Creates an installation log for a given file name.


Command-line installation on Mac

  1. Obtain the package (.pkg) installer file for the CrashPlan app:
    1. Download the CrashPlan app from the CrashPlan console.
    2. Double-click the CrashPlan app's installer dmg to mount it.
    3. Copy the .pkg file from the mounted installer to a known location on the destination device.
  2. Use Apple's installer tool to run the CrashPlan app installer with the following parameters:
installer -pkg "<path_to_known_location>/<CrashPlan_app_version>.pkg42" -target CurrentUserHomeDirectory
Parameter Purpose
installer -pkg Allows Mac installer packages to be run from terminal

The full directory path to the installer file.
Do not use the tilde character to enter a relative path.


  • /Users/James/Desktop
  • /Users/Blaine/Downloads

Replace with the file name and version of the package (PKG) file installer for your version of the CrashPlan app.

Example: CrashPlan_10.0.0_1466571600600_Mac

-target CurrentUserHomeDirectory Specifies the per-user installation context.
CurrentUserHomeDirectory is an Mac domain, not an example. Do not replace this text with a path or folder on your device.

Change a current CrashPlan app install to per user

If the CrashPlan app is installed for everyone on your device, and you want to install per user instead:

  1. Perform a complete uninstall of the CrashPlan app.
  2. Install the CrashPlan app for each user account.
  3. Transfer files from your previous backup.
    Only one user can transfer files from the previous backup.
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