Can't find files after replacing a device using (Small Business)


If you don’t see your files in the Restore Files browser after using the CrashPlan app’s replace device feature, it is typically because those files weren’t transferred to your device first. If this is the case, those files are retained in your backup as deleted files. To ensure those files aren’t lost unintentionally, download them to your current device as soon as possible by following the steps below.


This article assumes that you have permission to change the deleted file retention settings. However, your administrator may lock these settings.

Under the hood

When you replace a device, all of the CrashPlan app's settings from that device are applied to the new device, including your backup file selection. If the CrashPlan app can't find the files on your current device, then they are marked as deleted files.

For example, assume you selected the folder C:\Users\John as your backup file selection on a previous device. When you replace this device with a new device:

  • The CrashPlan app scans the folder C:\Users\John.
  • Since the files weren't downloaded before replacing the device, the CrashPlan app doesn't find the files, and they are marked as "deleted".
  • At this point, if you look in the CrashPlan app under Restore Files, most or all of your files don't display by default. However, you can still download these files as long as you follow the steps below.


Step 1: Optimize your file retention settings

Begin by optimizing your deleted file retention setting. If you are unable to edit this setting, contact your administrator.

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console.
  2. Select Devices > Active.
  3. Click the name of your device.
  4. Select Edit from the action menu.
  5. Click Backup or Backup Sets.
    If your administrator has enabled backup sets, this tab is named Backup Sets.
  6. Under Frequency and Versions, move the slider for Remove deleted files to Every 90 days.
  7. Click Save.

 Do not deselect files

Even if the file paths for your files have changed on your new device, do not deselect any file or folder paths from your old device at this time. Deselecting files and folders permanently removes files from your backup archive. Instead, download your files using the instructions below, then follow the instructions for adding files to your backup file selection and deselecting folders and files.

Step 2: Download your files

Download the files from a date before you replaced your device. Alternatively, you can download all deleted files.

 Download files to your device

To ensure the safety and integrity of your data, store a copy of files you want in your backup on your device. Files retained as deleted files in your backup are kept for a maximum of 90 days before they are permanently removed from your backup archive during archive maintenance.

Deleted files are not visible in your backup file selection, making them easier to remove accidentally. Files removed from your backup file selection are permanently removed from your archive.

Option 1: Download files from a date prior to replacing device

The CrashPlan app allows you to download a "snapshot" of your file selections from a time before the CrashPlan app identified them as deleted.

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.

  2. Click Restore Files.

  3. (Applies only if you have multiple devices) From the menu, select the device that originally backed up the files you want to restore.

  4. Click As of Today to open the date and time selection window.

  5. Select a date and time prior to replacing your device or drive.

  6. Select files to download.

  7. Click Restore Files.

  8. Proceed to Step 3 to verify your backup file selection.

Option 2: Download all deleted files

Choose this option if you do not remember the last date that you had a file, or did not download files using the above method.

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.

Proceed to Step 3 to verify your backup file selection.

Step 3: Add folders to backup file selection

Now check your backup file selection to make sure your previous device and current device are included. If you used the replace device wizard to replace your device, then your file selection should be automatically updated to include both your previous and current device.

Adding your new folders to your backup file selection is important because:

  • You transferred the settings, including backup file selection, from your previous device. However, the folder locations on your new device may be different.
  • Your device user name may have changed, which increases the likelihood that files are now stored in different folders.
  • You may have downloaded files to locations that differ from their location on your previous device.

If you wish to remove folders or files, see Step 4: Deselect files and folders.

Step 4: Deselect files and folders (optional)

 Use caution when changing your file selection

  • Always wait for backup progress to complete before deselecting files. The time needed to back up depends on data de-duplication and the size of your backup selection.
  • You should only deselect files that you want to permanently and immediately delete from your backup archive.
  • There is no way to recover deselected files.
  • You will lose any historical versions associated with the deselected folders and files. Even if the file verification scan has updated the new location information for your files, any versions associated with the old deselected location will be lost.

When backup progress completes, you may choose to clean up your file selection by removing the old "missing" locations of your files.

If you are not concerned with maintaining historical versions, and you want to clean up your file selection by removing the old file and folder paths, you must follow these steps exactly in the sequence presented:

  1. Verify that the new location for the files is included in your backup file selection.
  2. Keep the original file location selected. Do not deselect any files at this time.
  3. Allow your backup status to reach 100% complete.
  4. It is now safe to deselect the old files and folders. You can restore these files from their new location on your new device.

When you change the backup file selection, the CrashPlan app starts scanning to compare your backup file selection with your backup archive. It may look like the CrashPlan app is starting your backup over, but it is not. This scan is a normal part of the process. There are several ways to confirm that your backup isn't starting over.

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