Migrate Windows user settings — troubleshooting

This article applies to all products.pngOverview

When you get a new Windows device, the CrashPlan app's device migration wizard transfers your user settings (also called user state or user profile) from a previous Windows device. The same wizard transfers backed up files and CrashPlan app settings from the previous device. After migration, your working environment and your backups continue as though there had been no change of device. Migrating Windows user settings eases the process of:

  • Replacing a Windows device with a new one (due to theft, loss, or upgrade)
  • Replacing a device's main hard drive
  • Reinstalling a device's operating system
  • Finishing a complete uninstall and reinstall of the CrashPlan app

Applies to

This article describes use of the CrashPlan app migration wizard in full detail. It is intended for troubleshooting and for administrators preparing devices to receive migrated data. Users in a carefully prepared, trouble-free environment should see a simpler version.

You can migrate Windows user settings in the following situations:

Migrate From

Migrate To

Windows Windows version the same or newer than the device you migrate from
32-bit Windows system 32- or 64-bit Windows system
64-bit Windows system 64-bit Windows system
A backup that includes USMT data

USMT installed at:

  • CrashPlan app version 8.2 and later: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\USMT\
  • CrashPlan app version 8.0 and earlier: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\USMT\

For advice about migrations outside the above constraints, see Use CrashPlan to simplify device migration .

For directions about migrating from Windows version 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, see Use the CrashPlan app to help move to Windows 10 .


  • While you work with the migration wizard, your device is not backing up. Normal backup resumes once you complete the migration.
  • Migration will discard any changes to CrashPlan app settings that you previously made on the new device. The CrashPlan app on your new device adopts the settings of the CrashPlan app on the previous device.
  • If your CrashPlan app account uses an enhanced security setting, the app prompts you for your custom key or archive key password several times during the migration process:
    • When the CrashPlan app starts
    • When the migration wizard starts
    • After migration, when the CrashPlan app restarts
  • You may start the migration and come back later. Once you select a device to migrate from, you can safely close the CrashPlan app or shut down your device at any time, then return to the migration process later. Once started, file transfers continue, even while the CrashPlan app is closed.
  • CrashPlan and USMT: Our technical support engineers are available to assist you with backing up Windows user settings. However, USMT is not a CrashPlan product, and our technical support team cannot provide detailed assistance with USMT-specific tasks, such as deploying USMT to devices, creating the necessary .XML files, or selecting ScanState and LoadState options. For assistance with USMT, consult Microsoft's documentation.

Migrate and replace
Migrating settings and files from a backup archive to a new device is also called replacing a device. The two terms are synonyms. Duplicate old user names on new devices
When you prepare a new device for migration from a previous device, you can avoid a common error by duplicating the previous user name on the new device.

Start the migration wizard

The first time the CrashPlan app starts

The first time you sign in to the CrashPlan app on a device, it looks for backups of other devices belonging to your CrashPlan account. If it finds any, the CrashPlan app prompts you to either:

  • Add New Device: Start a new backup for this new device. Nothing migrates forward from a previous device.
  • Replace Existing: Start the migration wizard and proceed to migrate Windows user settings, backed up data files, and CrashPlan app settings from an existing backup.

Any time after the first migration

Once you complete migration, you can re-start the migration wizard at any later time by going to the top of the app and selecting Tools > Replace device.

Replace a device with three steps

To begin the migration, press Start.

Replace Device Three Step Process.png

Mouse-over for more information
Throughout the migration wizard, you can mouse-over underlined text for additional explanation and helpful tips.

Step 1: Choose an existing device to replace

The migration wizard lists all of the devices backed up to your account. The device at the top of the list saw the most recent activity.

  1. Select the Windows device whose settings and files you want to migrate to your new device.
    If no device Windows 7 or later is listed, you cannot migrate Windows user settings.
  2. Click Continue.

If you see either of the following messages:

  • Cannot detect cloud destinations
  • This device has no cloud destinations

then you have three or four options, depending on the situation:

  • Select a local destination (a portable drive, for example) provided it is connected to your new device and contains a backup archive. For details, see Download files from an external drive to a new device or drive using CrashPlan
  • Skip: Do not migrate Windows user settings or user files. Proceed instead to Start backup on your  new device.
  • Change Device: Abandon migration from this device. Return to the beginning to select a different device or abandon migration altogether.
  • Retry: The wizard will make another attempt to communicate with the machine where the backup is stored.

Step 2: Transfer settings and files to your new device

Step 2 has two parts:

  • Transfer Windows User Settings: Download Windows user settings from backup and apply them to the new device.
    If the device you selected to migrate did not back up any Windows user settings, the wizard skips ahead to Transfer files to your new device.
  • Transfer Files To New Device: Download user data files from backup to the new device.

Transfer Windows user settings

The CrashPlan app prompts you to select Windows user settings, then downloads and applies them to make your new device match the old one. These user settings include lists of favorites and desktop background images, to name two examples. Understand the following:

  • Windows user settings can be large files that take as much as an hour to download. Feel free to leave the CrashPlan app running unattended. But first, disable Windows sleep settings.
  • Newly transferred Windows user settings take effect the next time you log off, then log on, to your machine.
    1. From Last backed up on, select the date and time of the Windows user settings you wish to migrate.
      Typically, you want the most recent back up.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. As Windows user settings download, you may cancel the download at any time:
      • Click Cancel, then Go Back, to select another version of the Windows user settings
      • Click Cancel, then Next, to transfer no Windows user settings and proceed instead to Transfer files to your new device.
        client replace device step 2.png
    4. Transferring Windows user settings leads to one of the following results:
      completed icon.png Completed: Typically, the transfer completes without incident, and both icons display green check marks.
      In some cases, however, the following messages call for the following actions:
      lost connection icon.png Waiting for destination: If your machine loses connection to the backup archive before the download completes, the icon displays a gray tilde.

Skip: Transfer no Windows user settings. Proceed instead to Transfer files to your new device.

Multiple user settings are available
If the backup holds Windows settings for multiple users, and none of them match your current user name, then the wizard lists all of those user names. You have two options:

  • Select a user name, then click Continue.
    That user's Windows settings will become your Windows settings.
  • Skip: Transfer no Windows user settings. Proceed instead to Transfer files to your new device.

exclamation icon.png Applying Settings Failed

If the Windows user settings cannot apply to the new device for some reason, the icon displays a gray exclamation point. You have two options:

  • Go back: Select Windows user settings from a different date and time.
  • Skip or Next: Transfer no Windows user settings. Proceed instead to Transfer files to your new device.

Transfer files to your new device

Migrating to a new device typically means transferring all or most of a user's files from backup to the new device.

  1. Click Select Files To Transfer.
    The wizard lists the folders and files held in backup for the previous device.
  2. Select the folders and files you want to transfer to your new device.

You have two other options:

The importance of select files to transfer
Transfer all of the files from your previous backup to the new device. Files you don't transfer do remain in the backup, but only temporarily. The CrashPlan app marks them as deleted files, then permanently discards them after the interval specified by your administrator.

Get files

After you click Select Files To Transfer in the above step the Get files from screen opens. To transfer files from the backup to your new device:

  1. Select the folders and files to transfer to the new device.
    search icon.png Click the search icon to search for folders and files by name.
  2. (Optional) At the date chooser, select the age/version of the data you wish to transfer .
    Typically, you want the most-recent version: As Of Today.Transfer Files Replace Device.png
  3. Click Get Files...
  4. At Save selected files to, select Original Location.
    You may also choose these locations:
    Other: Select a new location for the files you transfer from backup.
    Desktop: All the files you transfer from backup are downloaded to your new desktop.
    Downloads: All the files you transfer from backup go to your new Downloads folderRestore Files Options.png

    If you have a new user name, do not select original location
    If your user name at the new device does not match your user name at the previous device, transfer files to your new user name:

    1. Select Other.
      Do not select Original Location.

    2. From the file browser, select C:\Users\newName, where newName is your new user name.

  5. At If file already exists, select Rename.
    If your new device has a file with the same name as an archived file, the CrashPlan app will give the existing file a new name (original1.fileName.txt) then transfer the archived file.
    Overwrite replaces your existing files with the backed up versions.

  6. At Permissions, select Current.
    Once files are transferred from backup, your access to them is governed by the permissions assigned to your user name at the new device. Original assigns the transferred files the same access controls that they had at the previous device. In most cases, that will cause problems.
  7. Click Go to begin transferring the selected folders and files.
    The Download Activity dialog reports the progress of your file transfers.
    lost connection icon.png Grey tildes mean the wizard lost its connection to the backup. Click Retry.
    completed icon.png Green checkmarks mean transfers succeeded.
  8. Once all of your transfers are complete, click Continue.

 Restore tips

  • It is safe to close the CrashPlan app while the files restore in the background.
  • If you are restoring a large amount of data, consider optimizing your computer settings to prevent disruptions.
  • Alternatively, if you don't want to restore all of the files at once, you can shut down or put your device to sleep and restoration will resume where it left off when it is powered on again.

Transfer more files

If, in previous steps, you did not transfer all your backed up files to your new device, you can return to Get files from and select more files to transfer.

  1. Click on Transfer More Files.
  2. At the top of the file list, click on C:
  3. Select the folders and files you want to transfer.
  4. Proceed as described above for transferring files from a username folder.

Step 3: Start backup on your new device

Next, the wizard transfers and updates your CrashPlan settings, which includes:

  • Linking your new device to the previous device's backup archives.
  • Transferring to your new device the previous device's file selections, backup settings, and device preferences.
  • Updating your file selection to include the new device.
    The CrashPlan app will add the folders that your administrator has chosen as your default backup selection.

transfer settings.png

  1. Click Continue.
    You are signed out of the CrashPlan app.
  2. Sign into the CrashPlan app.
    A success message displays, "Your device is ready!"
  3. Click Finish.

Allow backup to fully complete before managing files
For efficiency, wait until your backup reaches 100% complete before you deselect any folders or files copied from your previous device to your new backup selection. This enables the CrashPlan app to record that a given file has a new location, rather than backing up a new copy of that file. As a result, you avoid repeating the potentially lengthy initial backup. Deselecting folders and files
Be careful of removing folders and files from your new backup selection. Deselecting folders and files immediately deletes them from your backup archive. You cannot restore folders or files once you delete them from your backup selection.

What to expect after you replace a device

After you replace a device, the CrashPlan app resumes normal operation. You may notice the following behaviors or differences.

Sign out, sign in

Any Windows user settings that you transferred to the new device will take effect after you sign out of Windows and sign in again.

File verification scan

It's common for the file verification scan to run after replacing your device. By default, that scan runs daily to inspect your file selection for any new, changed, or deleted files. The CrashPlan app runs additional verification scans to detect data corruption, purge files that are no longer selected for backup, and prune file versions and deleted files according to your frequency and version settings.

During the scan, the CrashPlan app is calculating the full size of your backup selection. As a result, it cannot report the percent complete. This is expected behavior. However, if you have concerns, there are some additional steps you can take to confirm that your backup is not starting over.

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