Change the file selection

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The collection of files that the CrashPlan app backs up is your backup file selection. Typically, this is your User or Home folder. This tutorial explains how to:

  • Add files, folders, or drives to your backup file selection
  • Remove files, folders, or drives from your backup file selection
  • If you have questions about what to include in your file selection, see What should you back up with CrashPlan? for tips and advice on backing up the files you need.
  • You can specify what's included and excluded in your backup by using regular expressions and file naming patterns.
  • This article assumes you have permission to change your backup file selection. Your administrator may prevent editing of the backup file selection.

 Enterprise file selection is locked by default

New CrashPlan Enterprise accounts have their file selections locked by default, preventing users from changing the backup file selection in the CrashPlan app. To allow changes to the file selection by end users, an administrator must navigate to the file selection in the CrashPlan Console and unlock and push the setting to devices. For larger organizations, consider keeping the file selection locked and setting a default file selection for all users. 

Important information about deselecting files

Deselected files are files you choose to delete from your backup file selection. Files no longer selected for backup are deleted from the backup archive the next time daily maintenance runs, and they cannot be restored.

 Keep important files selected

To ensure that files remain in your backup archive and can be restored, you must keep them in your file selection. This applies to files backed up from external drives as well. Deselecting locations or files is a destructive, irreversible action. Once files, drives, or directories have been deselected they are deleted from your backup archive and there is no way to recover them.

After replacing a device

Use caution when deselecting files from your backup selection, especially when updating your backup selection after replacing a device. If files from your previous device are deselected before the CrashPlan app de-duplicates the files in your backup with the files on your device, then the files are permanently deleted from your backup archive, and there is no way to recover them.

previous device deselect warning.png

Because of this, the first time you enter the Manage Files browser after you replace a device, you are warned, "Deselecting files from your previous device can result in permanent loss of those files". If you recently replaced a device, review these considerations before deselecting files.


  1. Open the CrashPlan app.
  2. Go to Manage Files.
  3. (Optional) Click the options menu ellipsis button.png and select Show hidden files to view hidden files.
  4. Navigate to the drive, folder, or files that you want to add or remove, then:
    • Deselect the check box next to any item you want to delete from your backup.
    • Select an empty box to add an item to your backup.
    • A minus sign dashbox icon.png indicates that a subfolder within this folder is selected for backup. New subfolders within the folder will not be automatically added to your backup file selection.
    • A check mark checkbox icon.png indicates that this folder is selected for backup. New subfolders within the folder will be automatically added to your backup file selection.

    manage files checkmark.png

  5. Click Save.
    If you deselected any files or folders, the Delete Files from Backup warning displays.
  6. If applicable, select I understand to confirm you want to delete deselected files from your backup.

    deleted files.png

  7. If applicable, select Delete.
    After changing the file selection, the CrashPlan app synchronizes the files selected for backup with the files already backed up to that destination.
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