Forgot your archive key password or custom encryption key?

This article applies to CrashPlan Enterprise and MSPs.png


If you use an archive key password or a custom key and you lose or forget your password or key, you cannot restore files. This article describes your options if you forget your archive key password or custom key.


  • This article assumes you are familiar with the concept of archive encryption key security
  • CrashPlan technical support engineers have no way to recover an archive key password or custom encryption key for you, nor can they recover your data.

Lost archive key password

Because the archive key password applies to all the devices in your user account, the following options allow you to resume backup and restore for all your devices.

Option 1: Answer the recovery question

If you use an archive key password with the archive question option enabled, you can reset your password by answering the recovery question.

Option 2: Create a new user account

Because the archive key password is tied to the entire account, you must create a new user account.

Archive data from previous user account is unavailable
If you cannot recall your previous archive key password, the archive data associated with the previous user account is unavailable and cannot be recovered. Creating a new account means you start over with new archive data.
  1. Contact your CrashPlan administrator to create a new user account for you.
  2. On each device on the account:
    1. Sign out of the CrashPlan app. 
    2. Sign in using the new user account username.
    3. Reselect files
    4. Start your backups over again.

Lost custom key

The custom key is set per device, so if you have more than one device, each device has its own custom key. If you forget a device's custom key, you must assign your device a new ID and create a custom key for the device. Only then can you restart the backup for the device. 

Archive data from previous key is deleted
When you change the custom key, the archive data associated with the previous key is deleted and cannot be recovered.


  1. Open the CrashPlan app and enter your account credentials if prompted.
  2. Open CrashPlan CrashPlan Commands by entering the keyboard shortcut for your operating system:
    • Windows: Ctrl+shift+C
    • OS X: Option+Command+C
    • Linux: Ctrl+Shift+C
  3. To assign your device a new ID, enter: guid new 
  4. Press Enter.
    The CrashPlan app re-launches and displays the following message in the Sign in to CrashPlan dialog:
    Logged out by authority. Assigned a new identity.
  5. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
    You are prompted to either Add New Device or Replace Existing.
  6. Select Add New Device and select Yes when prompted.
    The Enter custom key dialog is displayed.
  7. On the Enter custom key dialog, select Enter key... and choose a method to enter the custom key.
  8. Click OK.
    The CrashPlan app Home screen displays the new device with the message Your setup is incomplete. View details
  9. Click View details
  10. Click Add destinations, select a destination, and click Save.
  11. Click Done.
    Backup starts to the selected destination. 
Old archive still displays
The previous device archive displays on the CrashPlan app home screen showing only a Get Files button, but no Details button. You cannot get files from this previous archive because you no longer have the custom key. If want to remove this archive from your Home screen, sign in to the CrashPlan console and deactivate the device.
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