Set up CrashPlan Essential or Professional

This article applies to CrashPlan Essential and Professional.png


Welcome to CrashPlan! Our goal is to help you get the most out of your free trial and set you up for success. This one-stop guide provides basic instructions for getting started with CrashPlan Essential or Professional.

Considerations before you begin

CrashPlan requires two-factor authentication

When you sign in to the CrashPlan console for the first time, you'll be asked to set up two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator or another TOTP authenticator of your choice. This step is required. For more information, see our article Two-factor authentication for CrashPlan.

Back up network storage devices.

CrashPlan supports backing up files that reside on network attached storage (NAS) on Mac and Linux. CrashPlan doesn't support backing up NAS on Windows. For more information, see our article Back up networked storage or NAS devices.

macOS permission requirements

Due to Apple's privacy restrictions for files and folders containing personal data, CrashPlan cannot back up some files from locations like the desktop, Contacts, Photos, and Mail until you grant access to the CrashPlan app. For more information, see our article macOS not backing up files with personal data.

CrashPlan app settings for memory usage with large backups

The amount of available memory needed to use the CrashPlan app increases with the size of your archive or backup file selection. For backup selections exceeding 1TB in size (for Mac and Linux) or 4TB (for Windows), see our article Adjust CrashPlan app settings for memory usage with large backups.

CrashPlan and HIPAA compliance

CrashPlan Professional only

CrashPlan can support compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as long as you follow proper policies and procedures. For more information, see our article CrashPlan and HIPAA compliance

Step 1: Add users

CrashPlan Essential

Your user account is already created with the email address you signed up with, so no further action is necessary. CrashPlan Essential plans allow for one user account.

CrashPlan Professional

The CrashPlan console offers a few different ways to add users, giving you flexibility to quickly add one user or add multiple users at once. See Add users from the CrashPlan console for details. 

 Use unique email addresses and passwords

Each person using CrashPlan needs their own user account with a unique email address and password. Sharing a user account among multiple people is a large security and data privacy risk because any person using the shared account can download backed-up files from every device under that user account.

User types

CrashPlan offers the following user types:

  • Administrators can manage users and organization-wide settings. See our tutorial on adding users for more information about administrator privileges and how to make a user an administrator.
  • Non-administrator users only have access to devices on their user account and cannot manage other users or subscription information. 

For more information on specific roles and their permissions see Manage user roles.

Step 2: Add devices

To protect all of your data, it's important to back up all your devices. First, ensure your devices meet our system requirements.
Once you add a device to your account, you'll be billed automatically on your monthly renewal date. Each user on the account can add up to 2 devices.


If you have Mac devices, see macOS not backing up files with personal data for important information about using CrashPlan with macOS.

Download and install

After confirming your hardware and software meet our system requirements, add devices as follows:

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console
  2. Go to Administration > Client Management > Downloads.
  3. Download and install the CrashPlan app.

For detailed instructions, see Install the CrashPlan app.

Sign in and complete setup

Once you've installed the CrashPlan app, sign in and complete setup to start backing up your data. 

  1. Enter your account's Email address, then click Continue.
    A browser window opens.
  2. Enter your password and 2FA code to complete sign in.
    The device appears in the CrashPlan console on the Active Devices page.
  3. Your backup starts automatically.

 Signing out of CrashPlan does not pause backups

Crashplan will continue to back up files in the background even if the user signed out of the app by closing the window or due to inactivity.


Step 3: Back up your most important data

Now that you've set up your users and devices, make sure you're backing up your most important data. Consider backing up the following: 

Step 4: Restore files

Now that you've set up your account, users, and devices, test out restoring one or more files so that you're familiar with the process before disaster strikes. You can restore files from the CrashPlan app or CrashPlan console. 

Restore from the CrashPlan app

Restore from the CrashPlan app when possible, as it offers you the most flexibility. See Download files from the CrashPlan app for details. 

Restore from the CrashPlan console

The CrashPlan console provides an option for restoring files when you are not near one of your devices. However, when you restore from the CrashPlan console, you can only download 1 GB per session. See Download files from the web for details. 

Replace your device

If you recently reformatted or replaced a device or hard drive, follow the steps in Replace your device to use the CrashPlan app to transfer files, move your backup, and update settings from a previous device. 

Step 5: Monitor the health of your backup

Using the default settings, the CrashPlan app usually works quietly in the background. However, you can check the status of your backup, to make sure things are working as expected, from the following locations:

  • The CrashPlan app
  • Your device's notification area (Windows) or menu bar (Mac)
  • The CrashPlan console 

Backup status reports

CrashPlan for Small Business backup status reports are sent via email and keep you informed about the health of your devices' backups.

Report types

  • Backup Status Reports: These reports are sent to each individual user. They provide information about the device or devices under that individual user account.
  • Backup Status Reports for administrators: These reports provide information about any device in your organization that has a backup warning or alert, for all users and all devices.

Configuring reports

From the CrashPlan console, you can configure how often you receive these reports. You can also configure who receives the backup status report for administrators. 

Troubleshooting backup

If your backup status reports indicate an issue with your backup, see What to do after receiving a backup alert to determine the cause and how to resolve it.

Step 6: Manage your subscription

Your subscription renews automatically each month and you are charged for each active user in your organization.

Additional Resources

Explore our help center for additional information and resources, such as an overview of the CrashPlan console and the CrashPlan app.

Need further help? See Contact support for more information about how to contact our technical support agents. 

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