Use the CrashPlan app on a device with limited resources

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A great backup is one you don't notice until you need it. By default, the CrashPlan app has limits in place to keep it running silently, without using too many system resources. The CrashPlan app may cause noticeable slowdowns, however, if a device has limited resources or also runs high-demand applications, such as:

  • Computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Animation software
  • Video editing software

To reduce the amount of system resources used by the CrashPlan app, follow the recommendations in this article.


Even under ideal conditions, the initial backup process that starts immediately after you install the CrashPlan app can take days or even a month or more, depending on your upload speed and the total size of the files. It's best to wait until after the initial backup completes before reducing the CrashPlan app's system usage

Less backup means more risk
Understand the disadvantages of reducing the amount of system resources required by the CrashPlan app. After you take the steps below, your CrashPlan app will:
  • Take longer to back up your data.
  • Back up new data less often.
  • Capture fewer versions of your data.
For example, if you only back up nightly, then you can never recover today's changes; you can only restore yesterday's file versions.


Change usage settings

Increase the time before the CrashPlan app shifts to "user is away" mode, and lower the client's CPU time demand when the user is present. These settings only apply to Mac and Windows devices. 

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 .

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Select settings_icon.png Settings.
  3. Select Usage. Device_preferences_usage-export.png
  4. Next to User is away when not active for, increase the minutes. Start at 30 minutes. 
  5. Next to When user is present, decrease the percentage of CPU time that the CrashPlan app is allowed to use. Start at 20%.
    Learn more about how the CrashPlan app detects away and present settings. 
CPU settings for when user is away
If other applications run while you are away, you might want to also decrease CPU usage when a user is away to 20%. 

Adjust your backup schedule

You can schedule your CrashPlan app to back up during specific days and times when you aren't using other resources on the device, such as overnight.

  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Select settings_icon.png Settings.
  3. Select Backup Sets.
  4. Next to Backup Schedule, click Change
    Note: Your administrator may prevent editing the backup schedule settings. 
  5. Select Only run between specified times and set a start and end time for your backup window. 
  6. Click Save.
Make sure your device is on during scheduled backup
Optimize the energy settings of the device to make sure it's not asleep during the scheduled backup. If the device is not on and awake, the CrashPlan app cannot back up files.


Reduce backup frequency

The CrashPlan app monitors changes to files in real time based on your backup frequency and version settings. Your CrashPlan app uses fewer system resources if you set it to back up less frequently and retain fewer versions.

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