Cannot connect to background service

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If you attempt to start the CrashPlan app and it displays the message, "CrashPlan cannot connect to its background service", this article can help troubleshoot the issue. This error usually occurs because the CrashPlan service is not running.

However, if you see "Unable to connect, check your network" or "Can't connect to server", that indicates a network issue. Network issues occur when the CrashPlan app cannot communicate with the Internet. To fix a network issue, check that there is no software that conflicts with the CrashPlan app installed on your system and see Test your network connection to further troubleshoot the issue.

Under the hood

The CrashPlan app consists of two parts:

  • Graphical user interface that the user interacts with
  • CrashPlan service that runs in the background

These two pieces communicate over a local network connection that is built into every device. When the CrashPlan app starts, the graphical user interface and the CrashPlan service attempt to connect to each other. If they can't connect, the graphical user interface displays an error message.

To learn more about CrashPlan app status messages, see CrashPlan app status messages.


Recommended solutions (all operating systems)

The recommendations below apply to all operating systems. These are the resolutions that most often resolve the issue. If these solutions don't resolve the issue, review additional recommendations below.

Restart the CrashPlan service

The first thing to try on all platforms is to restart the CrashPlan service. If you cannot complete a basic restart, perform an advanced restart. If restarting the service doesn't resolve the issue, try the recommended solutions below.

Out of memory

If you have a large backup selection (more than 1 TB or 1 million files), you may need to allocate more memory to the CrashPlan app. When the CrashPlan app runs into this memory limit, the CrashPlan service is not able to run, resulting in the "CrashPlan cannot connect to its background service" message. If you have a large file selection backing up, refer to our troubleshooting article on this topic to address the issue.

Remove CrashPlan app files from previous installations 

If there are lingering files from a previous CrashPlan installation, or the CrashPlan app was previously installed per user, uninstalling and reinstalling for everyone (the default installation) causes an error. To resolve this issue, complete the following steps:

  1. Locate the .ui_info file from the previous per-user installation:
    • Windows: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\<Local or Roaming>\CrashPlan
    • Mac: /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/CrashPlan
      On Mac, the .ui_info file is hidden by default. See Lifewire's tutorial to show hidden files to view the .ui_info file. 
    • Linux: ~/.crashplan
  2. Delete the .ui_info file.
    Deleting this file does not harm your backup. It is a file left over from a previous installation and it is no longer necessary.
  3. Restart the CrashPlan app notification area or menu bar app:
    • Windows: From the Windows Start menu, select CrashPlan > CrashPlan Tray.
    • Mac: Open the CrashPlan app and select Settings > Show CrashPlan status in menu bar.
    • Linux: In the command line, navigate to /usr/local/crashplan/bin, then enter: ./ start to start the CrashPlan service.

      • After starting the CrashPlan service, open the CrashPlan app from the command line with the following command: /usr/local/crashplan/bin/

Uninstall and reinstall

If you're still having trouble, the next step is to uninstall and reinstall the CrashPlan app.

Check for port conflicts

If the CrashPlan service still does not connect, verify that another application is not already using the required ports. While these ports may not be required all of the time, the CrashPlan service still must prepare them for use.

Recommended solution (Windows)

If you are using a Windows device and the recommended solutions for all operating systems didn't resolve the problem, verify that the CrashPlan service is enabled.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Locate and open the Services program: Type services.msc into the Start menu search bar and click Enter.
  3. Double-click CrashPlan service.
    The CrashPlan service Properties window opens.
  4. Ensure that the Startup Type is set to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  5. If the Start service status button is available, click it to start the CrashPlan service.
  6. Click Apply if you made changes to your settings, then close the window.

Alternative solution (per user installation)

If the CrashPlan app is installed per user, the CrashPlan service does not appear listed under Services. Start the CrashPlan service with Windows Task Manager instead.

Recommended solution (Linux)

If your system language is not set to English when the CrashPlan app is installed, the application starts and backs up but fails to open after rebooting the device. To ensure that the CrashPlan app is able to open after rebooting:

  1. Uninstall the CrashPlan app.
  2. Change the Linux system language to English.
    Consult the documentation for your Linux distribution for instructions on changing the system language.
  3. Install the CrashPlan app.
  4. Change the Linux system language back to your language.
    The CrashPlan app will open normally.

Alternative solution

Manually starting the CrashPlan service after restarting your device will allow you to open the CrashPlan app.

Starting the CrashPlan service
Using this method to start the CrashPlan service will not persist after restarting the device and will have to be reapplied after every restart.
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