Replace your device

This article applies to all products.pngOverview

When you get a new device, the CrashPlan app's replace device wizard can help you transfer files, move your backup, and update settings from a previous device. Use the replace device wizard if you are:

  • Moving a backup to a new device
  • Replacing an old device
  • Replacing your device's main hard drive
  • Recovering after an operating system reinstall

These instructions apply to users working at endpoint devices with CrashPlan app version 5.1 and later. They do not include transferring Windows user settings (USMT data).

To work with older versions of the CrashPlan app, the CrashPlan console, or USMT data, select the appropriate article from Use CrashPlan to simplify device migration.


  • Backup starts once you complete the replace device wizard. In the meantime, your device is not backing up.
  • Any changes you make to Device Preferences prior to completing the wizard will be replaced with your previous device's preferences in Step 3 of the replace device wizard.
  • If your account uses an enhanced security setting (archive key password or custom key), you must enter your security information several times when replacing a device. You are prompted to enter your archive key password or custom key:
    • After signing in to a device that has never backed up
    • Before viewing and transferring files from your backup to your new device
    • After settings are transferred to your new device
  • You must perform the steps below directly on the new device while signed in as the user who owns the device. If you attempt to use remote desktop (RDP) or another similar tool to perform the steps remotely, the CrashPlan app is not able to determine the correct username. This causes the replace device wizard to fail and prevents files from being properly restored.

 Completing the replace device wizard

It's OK if you can't complete all of the replace device steps during a single session. You can close the CrashPlan app, or shut down your device, at any time. After choosing the device you want to replace, the CrashPlan app automatically remembers where you left off and returns you to that step. Additionally, any files you choose to transfer will continue to transfer even when the CrashPlan app is closed.

New device setup 

When replacing a device, before undertaking the following steps, set up the new device with the same exact username (case-sensitive) and drive letter that you used on your previous device. If the username or drive letter on your new device is different than on your old device, you may need to update your file selection to include the new location of your files, and you risk having backup problems.

If you take the time before device replacement to set up the new device with the same username and drive letter, the CrashPlan app can then run a file verification scan to synchronize with the destination and continue backing up files using the same username and drive letter on the new device.

 Enable full disk access on new Mac devices

On a new Mac device, you will not be able to transfer your files in Step 2 unless full disk access is enabled. Before you follow the replace device wizard, perform the steps to grant CrashPlan the ability to access personal data on Mac OS.

Before you begin

Install the CrashPlan app on the new device. The first time you sign in to the CrashPlan app on a device, the CrashPlan app detects whether there are other devices on your account. If there are other devices on your account, the CrashPlan app asks you to either:

  • Add New Device: Starts a new backup for this device. Use this option if you plan to use both devices.
  • Replace Existing: Starts the replace device wizard, which includes choosing a device, transferring files, and updating settings. Use this option if you plan to use the new device instead of the existing device.

Choose Replace Existing to use the replace device wizard. Click Start to begin the wizard.

I don't see the option to replace a device.

 More information

Throughout the replace device wizard, you can mouse over underlined text for additional explanations and helpful tips.


Step 1: Choose a device to replace

After starting the replace device wizard, all of the devices on your account display, sorted by most recent activity.

  1. Choose the device you want to replace. You can identify which device to replace by:
    • Device name: By default, the device name matches the user name of your device.
    • Date Created On: Date the CrashPlan app was installed on that device.
  2. Click Continue


In the following, less common, situations, the CrashPlan app may ask you for additional input based on the device selected.

  • Different operating system: If your current device has a different operating system than the device selected, the CrashPlan app will notify you about limitations. Learn more about these limitations before continuing.
  • No cloud destination: If the device you selected backed up exclusively to local destinations, then the CrashPlan app will prompt you to attach a local destination now.

Step 2: Transfer files to your new device

You can now transfer files from your previous device to this device. Because users may have different goals and needs when replacing a device, there isn't a single "right way" to transfer files. The steps below describe the most common need, which is transferring your entire user folder.

 The importance of transferring files

You should transfer all of the files from your previous backup to this device. Any files in your backup that aren't transferred are retained as deleted files. Deleted files are at greater risk for unintentional data loss because they are less visible in your backup file selection, and they may be periodically removed from your backup based on your retention settings. If you or your administrator already transferred files to your device, you can click Skip File Transfer to skip this step.

  1. On the Step 2 screen, click Select Files to open the file browser.
  2. (Optional) If your previous device backed up to multiple destinations, select the destination to use from Restore files from.
    For some cloud destinations, the backup set list appears if your previous device had multiple backup sets that use the same destination. Select the backup set that contains the files to restore.
  3. Browse to the user folder for your previous device (typically, the folder matching your name) and select a single folder within your user folder (for example, Documents).
    Files transfer in the order that they are added to Downloads. Consequently, choose the folder you think you will need access to first.
  4. Do the following:
      • Click Restore Files.
      • (Applies only if you have multiple devices) From the menu, select the device that originally backed up the files you want to restore.
  5. From Save selected files to, select Other.
  6. From the file browser for your device, select the user folder on your new device (typically, your name).
  7. Click Go to begin transferring the selected folder.
    The transfer is added to your Downloads. Download Activity displays the status of your download.
  8. Repeat Steps 2–5 for each additional folder in your user folder (Desktop, Downloads, Pictures, Music, and so on).
  9. When you have queued every folder in your user folder for transfer, click Continue.
    All of the folders and files queued for transfer display. It's important to let all files transfer before continuing to the next step. This way, when the CrashPlan app scans your device after transferring your settings, it can accurately compare the files on your device and those in your existing backup archive. The Next button is disabled whenever files are transferring or queued for transfer.
  10. Once all of your transfers are complete, click Next.


 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.

Step 3: Transfer settings to new device

Next, the wizard will transfer and update your settings, which includes:

  • Linking your previous device's backup archives to this device.
  • Transferring your file selection, backup settings, and device preferences to this device.
  • 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.


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

Your device will now resume backing up.

What to expect after you replace a device

After replacing your device, the CrashPlan app resumes normal operation. But, you might notice the following behaviors or differences.

File verification scan

You might notice the file verification scan running after replacing your device. By default, the file verification 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, you can take some additional steps to confirm that your backup is not starting over.


Manage files warning

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 lets the CrashPlan app record that a file has a new location, rather than backing up a new copy of the file. As a result, you avoid repeating the potentially lengthy initial backup.

Delete from selection = delete from archive
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.

Frequently asked questions

About the replace device wizard

Does my device back up while I'm completing the replace device wizard?

No. You must complete the replace device wizard before your device will start backing up.

Do I have to complete the replace device wizard in a single session?

It's okay if you can't complete all of the steps during a single session. You can close the CrashPlan app, or shut down your device, at any time. After choosing the device you want to replace, the CrashPlan app automatically remembers where you left off and returns you to that step.

Can I close the CrashPlan app or my device when I’m transferring files?

Yes. The CrashPlan app will transfer files, even when it is closed. If you turn off your device, the CrashPlan app will resume transferring files when you turn your device back on.

Enter and exit the replace device wizard

I don't see the option to replace a device. Can I still use the wizard?

Yes, you can open the replace device wizard at any time. From the menu bar, select Tools > Replace device (Windows and Linux) or File > Replace device (Mac) to open the replace device wizard.

Replacing a device after starting backup
If your old device is currently backing up, then wait for the backup to complete before replacing it.

If you already started a new backup on the new device, replacing it with a previous device:
  • Deletes the backup archive. Step 3 of the replace device wizard transfers settings from the previous device to your current device. This includes replacing the new backup archives with those from the replaced device.
  • Overwrites any changes to device preferences and backup settings. The new settings and preferences are overwritten with those from the previous device.

Choose a device to replace

I don't want to replace any of these devices. Can I start a new backup of this device instead?

Yes. In Step 1, select Add as new device to exit the replace device wizard. Alternatively, if you already started a backup of your current device, choose Use current device to continue where it left off.

I chose the wrong device to replace. Can I change devices?

If you accidentally select the wrong device, you can change it at any time up until you transfer the selected device's previous settings to this device. In the upper-left corner of Step 2, select Change Device.

Can I replace a device with a different operating system than my current device?

Yes, but the CrashPlan app will warn you about certain limitations and differences when compared to replacing a device with the same operating system. Learn more about replacing a device with a different operating system.

Transfer files to your new device

I already transferred my files. Should I still use the replace device wizard?

Yes. If you or your administrator already transferred files from your previous device to your current device, the replace device wizard can still help you transfer your settings and reconnect your previous backup archives to your current device. By reconnecting to the previous device's backup archives, you avoid repeating the potentially lengthy, initial backup. In Step 2, you can choose Skip file transfer.

Can I transfer files from a local destination (like an external drive)?

Yes. If the device you are replacing was backed up to a local destination, you can add that destination and transfer files.

My files were corrupted on my previous device. Can I recover the file version prior to corruption?

Yes. In Step 2, use the As of Date filter to choose a date prior to corruption of your files. If you are unsure of the exact date of file corruption, try transferring a single file first. Once you narrow down the date of corruption, proceed with transferring the remaining files.


Something went wrong. I'm unable to continue or quit the replace device wizard. What should I do?

It's normal for the replace device wizard to take some time, especially when transferring a large amount of data. Whenever possible, complete all three steps of the replace device wizard. However, if you encounter an unexpected error and become stuck in the replace device wizard, you can manually force it to quit.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut for your operating system:
    • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+C
    • Mac: Option+Command+C
    • Linux: Ctrl+Shift+C
      The CrashPlan app command-line area opens.
  2. Enter the following command: replace.device abort
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