Adjust CrashPlan app settings for memory usage with large backups

Overview

The amount of available memory needed to use the CrashPlan app increases with the size of your archive or backup file selection. If your CrashPlan app crashes frequently, you may benefit from increasing the available memory (or adjusting backup settings to require less memory) if the following conditions apply:

  • Your Mac or Linux device's backup selection exceeds 1 TB of storage or 1 million files.
  • Your Windows device's backup selection exceeds 4 TB of storage or 4 million files.

Considerations

This article assumes you have the ability to edit your backup settings. Your administrator may prevent editing of these settings.

Additional memory considerations:

  • The CrashPlan app uses memory up to the maximum allotted. The maximum is used only if it is needed.
  • Allocate 1 GB (1024 MB) of memory per 1 TB of storage (or per 1 million files). The CrashPlan app only needs about 600 MB of memory per 1 TB of storage (or per 1 million files), but this allocation is intended to account for growth in your file selection.
  • By default, memory allocation for the CrashPlan app is dynamically set to use 25% of the physical memory on the device.

Memory allocation

Backup Selection Size Memory Allocation (MB) 
Up to 1 TB or up to 1 million files 1024
1.5 TB or 1.5 million files 1536 
2 TB or 2 million files 2048 
2.5 TB or 2.5 million files 2560
3 TB or 3 million files 3072
4 TB or 4 million files 4096


Memory limitations 

Do not allocate more memory to the CrashPlan app than what exists in your device. For example, if your device has 8 GB of RAM, make sure to allocate less than 8 GB (8192 MB) to the CrashPlan app to allow for other required processes on your device.

Windows 32-bit operating systems
Due to limited resources on devices running 32-bit Windows operating systems, the maximum memory allocation for the CrashPlan app should be 1200-1500 MB.

Solution

You can increase the amount of memory available to the CrashPlan app using command-line interface (CLI) commands. 

You shouldn't need to increase memory unless you are experiencing frequent crashes of the CrashPlan app and your backup files exceed 1 TB of storage or 1 million files on Mac or Linux or exceed 4 TB of storage or 4 million files on Windows. If you have questions about whether adjusting memory may help resolve crashes of the CrashPlan app, contact our technical support team.

If you are able to open and sign into the CrashPlan app, you can use the command-line interface (CLI) to allocate more memory.

Sending commands from the CrashPlan console
Administrators can execute this command from the CrashPlan console.

Steps

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. If necessary, sign in to your account.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut for your operating system:
    • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+C
    • Mac: Option+Command+C
    • Linux: Ctrl+Shift+C
      The command-line area opens.
  4. Enter the following command. Use a value appropriate for the size of your backup selection (for example, 1536 for a 1.5 TB selection):java mx 1536, restart 
    The CrashPlan app closes.
  5. Open the CrashPlan app and sign in.
By default, memory allocation for the CrashPlan app is dynamically set to use 25% of the physical memory on the device. To set the default value, use the command java mx clear.

Alternative solution

The CrashPlan app only uses the maximum memory allotted if it is needed. However, if the maximum memory supported by your device does not accommodate the size of your backup file selection, there are several alternative ways to reduce memory usage.

Remove system and application files from your backup selection

The CrashPlan app is designed to back up user files (photos, documents, etc.). It is not designed to back up your operating system or application files. When system and application files are included in your backup file selection, the CrashPlan app uses more resources, like memory, backing up these files. Review our guidelines for choosing what to back up for more information.

Reduce backup frequency

The CrashPlan app monitors changes to files in real time based on your backup frequency and versions settings. More frequent backups or large numbers of files require the CrashPlan app to use more system resources to process your backup. You can reduce the frequency of the New Versions scan to conserve memory.

Reduce CPU allocated to the CrashPlan app

You can control the amount of CPU processing time the CrashPlan app is allowed to use both when you are present (working on your device) and away. Most modern devices can support allowing the CrashPlan app to use a high percentage of CPU time without experiencing any performance issues, but you may want to adjust these settings for older devices. You can adjust these settings from the CrashPlan app.

CPU settings apply to the amount of CPU processing time dedicated to CrashPlan app work, not to total CPU processing capacity. Therefore, while % CPU may be set at 20, for example, a system monitor may show that 70% of CPU capacity is used for the CrashPlan app at a particular point in time. For more information, see Configure CPU usage in the CrashPlan console (CrashPlan).

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
  2. Navigate to Device Preferences:
    • Select Settings-gear-export.png.
    • Click Details.
    • Select the arrow next to your device name.
    • Choose Device preferences. 
  3. Click Usage.
  4. Reduce the percent of time CPU is allowed to use when the user is both away and present.

DevicePreference.png

Schedule backup

Finally, if you are still experiencing performance issues related to memory, you can configure the CrashPlan app to back up only at specified times. However, be careful to set a schedule that allows the CrashPlan app to run while your device is on and not in standby mode. You can adjust your backup schedule from the CrashPlan app.

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
  2. Navigate to Backup Set Settings.
    • Select Settings-gear-export.png.
    • Select Backup Sets.
  3. Next to Backup Schedule, click Change.
  4. Select Only run between specified times.
  5. Select the days and hours when the CrashPlan app is allowed to back up.
  6. Click Save.

Reduce your file selection

If you experience issues related to the CrashPlan app's memory usage after adjusting the settings described above, you may need to remove files from your selection to reduce the amount of memory needed to run the CrashPlan app.

Removing files
Deselecting files from your backup file selection permanently deletes them from your backup archive. You cannot download files that have been removed from your backup file selection.
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