Create a new archive key password

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Administrators can require that all CrashPlan apps in the environment use archive key passwords. When the administrator pushes that setting to existing devices, or when new devices first sign in, CrashPlan apps prompt users to create their passwords. This article describes how to respond to that prompt and how to use archive key passwords.

For details, see Archive Encryption Key Security.

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Before you begin

Understand the purpose of the archive key password

An archive key password is one available archive encryption key security option.

A backup archive holds encrypted data from your device. To restore data from the archive, the CrashPlan app copies it to your device, then decrypts it so you can read it.

The encryption key is a random string of characters used to encrypt and decrypt your data. Standard CrashPlan security stores that key in the CrashPlan cloud.

Your archive key password secures your archive encryption key. No one but you knows your archive key password. Therefore, only you can decrypt the data stored in your backup archive.

recovery question is a memory aid. If you define a question, and remember the answer, you can recover from forgetting your password.


Password applies to all your devices

An archive key password applies to all devices included on an account. You cannot have separate archive key passwords for separate devices on a single account.

If you forget your password

If you forget your archive key password, you can reset it if you previously configured a recovery question. If you did not configure a recovery question, or you do not know the answer to your recovery question, then there is no way to reset your archive key password.

Lost archive key password
The CrashPlan technical support team and your administrator have no way to help you recover an archive key password or recovery question. You will be unable to restore files.

Recovery question

You can optionally create a recovery question that lets you reset your archive key password in the event that you lose or forget it. A recovery question reduces the risk of being unable to restore your files. However, it increases the risk of someone bypassing your archive key password.

Creating a strong recovery question
If you choose to use this optional feature, take great care when selecting a recovery question and answer. In general, a secure question has the following characteristics:
  • Question has hundreds, if not thousands, of possible answers
  • Question is not a question you would answer publicly (online or in person)
  • Answer is easy for you to remember
  • Answer cannot be researched online via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Answer does not change over time


Create an archive key password

When an administrator sets your CrashPlan environment to require archive key passwords, the Create new archive key password dialog opens the next time you sign in to the CrashPlan app. (If your CrashPlan app is open at the time of the change, you will be prompted to sign in again.)

  1. Enter, and then confirm, an archive key password.
    • Passwords must be at least 8 characters. For stronger security, use 16 characters or more.
    • Passwords must have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. Special characters and symbols are also allowed.
    • Passwords can't contain spaces or 3 or more repeating letters, numbers, or characters.
    • Passwords shouldn't contain common words or phrases that are easily guessed (like "password" or "letmein").
    • Never reuse passwords. Don't use a password for CrashPlan that you use for any other online account.
  2. (Optional) Enter a recovery question and answer. This question and answer is used to reset your archive key password in the event you lose or forget it.
    Your question and answer may include any combination of capital or lower-case letters, numerals, symbols, and spaces.
  3. Click OK.

Use your archive key password

The next time you download files, the CrashPlan app will prompt you to enter the archive key password you just created.

You may change your archive key password at any time.

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