Recover from viruses and malware using CrashPlan

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While the CrashPlan app cannot protect your device from viruses or malware, it can protect you from data loss. You can use the CrashPlan app to restore your files from a date and time prior to an infection. This article describes how to use the CrashPlan app to restore uninfected files.

How the CrashPlan app can help you recover from viruses and malware

The CrashPlan app's default frequency and version settings backs up and keeps previous versions of files. If your device becomes infected by viruses or malware, this enables you to recover your data by downloading files from a date and time prior to the infection.

Frequency and version settings
Your version settings must allow backups frequently enough to give you a range of dates from which to choose should your device become infected. If your frequency and version settings are too restrictive, it's possible that even your oldest version could be infected. At a minimum, use the default settings shown below.

Backup Set Settings - Frequency and Versions.png


Step 1: Remove the virus or malware infection

If you have not already done so, remove the infection from the device. Use the antivirus or anti-malware software of your choice to remove the infection.

Step 2: Download files from a time prior to infection

If any of your personal files were infected, you can download your files from a date prior to the infection.

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
  2. From the list of your devices, select Get Files for the device containing the infected files.
  3. Click As Of Today.
    The date and time selection dialog opens.
  4. Select a date and time from before the time of the infection.
  5. Select files from the list.
  6. Click Get Files.
  7. Modify the Files Options:
    1. From Save selected files to, select Original Location.
    2. From If file already exists, select Overwrite.
    3. Leave Permissions as Current.
  8. Click Go to download the files.
    The download may take a long time. Do not cancel the download.

The current, infected files are now replaced by uninfected versions.

Step 3: Verify downloaded files

Once you have downloaded uninfected files to your device:

  1. Use antivirus and anti-malware software to ensure there are no longer any infected files on your device.
    • If the result shows no infection, then you know that your device was not yet infected on the date and time you selected to download files.
    • If the downloaded files are infected, repeat the steps above and select an earlier date and time.
  2. When all uninfected files have been downloaded, run a final antivirus and anti-malware scan to confirm your device is clear of infection.

Alternative solution

If you replaced or reformatted the infected device, follow our guide to replace your device. Make sure to transfer your files from a date and time prior to infection.

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