Retain and download deleted files using CrashPlan for Small Business


Using the CrashPlan app, you can download files that you backed up but are no longer on your device. This article explains how to protect your data by using retention settings to keep deleted files in your backup archive and how to restore deleted files.

Retention settings for deleted files

If you back up a file and later delete it from your device, the CrashPlan app keeps it in your backup archive for as long as indicated by your deleted files retention setting, up to a maximum of 90 days.

 Deleted files retention for ransomware

Some ransomware programs change file extensions, causing the CrashPlan app to think the original files were deleted. This results in the original files being removed at the time set by the Remove deleted files value in the Frequency and Versions settings. Therefore, leave Remove deleted files at the default setting of Every 90 days to prevent immediate removal of files in the event of a ransomware attack.

To learn how to verify or change your deleted file retention setting, see our article on specifying version settings.

Download deleted files

You can download deleted files from both the CrashPlan app and the CrashPlan console.

CrashPlan app

The CrashPlan app stores deleted files based on your deleted file retention settings. To see or search for deleted files:

  1. From Home, navigate to a list of backed-up files:
  2. If you back up to multiple destinations, select the destination from Restore files from.
  3. Click the options menu.
  4. Choose Include deleted files.
    Deleted files are shown with a trash can icon to the right of the Date Modified column.
  5. Select the files that you want to restore. 
  6. Click Restore Files.

After you enable Include deleted files, your deleted files appear in the file browser and can be restored. You may also search for deleted files by entering a term in the search bar.

Learn more about downloading files from the CrashPlan app.

 Download files from an earlier date

Alternatively, if you know when the files were deleted, you can view your entire backup as of a date before the files were deleted. From Restore Files, click As of Today to open a calendar and select a previous date. The Options screen refreshes with the files that were backed up as of that date, including any files that have since been deleted.

CrashPlan console

To display or search deleted files from the CrashPlan console:

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console.
  2. Select Devices.
  3. Locate the device containing the files you want to download and click Restore.
  4. Choose Display deleted files.
    The file tree refreshes to include deleted files.
  5. Select the files you want to download, and click Restore.
    Click the arrow next to a file to view and select a specific version of that file to restore. Time stamps next to file versions are displayed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

For more information on web restores, see downloading files from the CrashPlan console.

 Download files from an earlier date

Alternatively, if you know the date that the files were deleted, you can view your entire backup "as of" a date prior to deleting the files. From the Restore files as of calendar, select a previous date. The file tree will refresh with the files that were backed up as of that date, including any files that have since been deleted.

Can I use CrashPlan to archive files deleted from my device?

CrashPlan should not be used as a data-archive service. There are several ways in which this can lead to inadvertent data loss:

  • Deleted files are kept for a maximum of 90 days, after which they are purged from the backup archive via archive maintenance.
  • If you deselect a folder from your backup file selection, any deleted files that were stored there are also deleted from your archive.
  • If you, or your administrator, change your deleted files retention setting, it could remove deleted files from your archive sooner than 90 days.

Since files deleted from your device have less visibility, it increases the possibility that changing your backup file selection or settings could result in accidental data loss.

 Keep a copy of your files on your computer

Always keep a copy of your files on the source device or drive. With archive maintenance, the health of your backup is validated and checked for data corruption. If bad blocks of data are found, the destination self-heals by re-requesting the affected data blocks from the source device.

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