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    Home > CrashPlan > Latest > Troubleshooting > Unable To Connect To The Backup Engine

    Unable To Connect To The Backup Engine

    Applies to:
    • CrashPlan for Home
    • CrashPlan PRO
    • CrashPlan PROe


    If you attempt to start the CrashPlan app and it gets stuck on the CrashPlan splash screen displaying the error, "Unable to connect to backup engine, retry?", this article can help troubleshoot the issue. Please note that this is usually because the CrashPlan service is not running; it is not a network error.

    Under The Hood

    The CrashPlan app consists of two parts: the graphical user interface that the user interacts with and the CrashPlan service that runs in the background. These two pieces communicate over a local network connection that is built into every computer. When the CrashPlan app starts, the CrashPlan service attempts to connect back to itself. If it can't connect, the backup engine won't start.

    Unable To Connect To Backup Engine

    Restart The Backup Engine

    The first thing to try on all platforms is to restart the CrashPlan service. If this doesn't resolve the issue, try the recommended solutions below.

    Out Of Memory

    If you have a large backup selection (more than 1 TB or 1 million files), you may need to allocate more memory to the CrashPlan app. When CrashPlan runs into this memory limit, the CrashPlan service is not able to run, resulting in the "Unable to connect to backup engine" message. If you have a large file selection backing up, refer to our troubleshooting article on this topic to address the issue.

    Uninstall And Reinstall

    If you're still having trouble, the next step is to uninstall and reinstall the CrashPlan app.

    Check For Port Conflicts

    Finally, if you're still having troubles, you can test to make sure that nothing else on the computer is already using ports 4242 and 4243, which CrashPlan needs to run. CrashPlan may not need to use these ports all the time, but it still needs to prepare them for use (open the socket). 

    Mac Solutions

    The file must reside in the Applications folder and must be named If you've moved or renamed, you may see the “CrashPlan unable to connect to the local backup engine” error upon starting the CrashPlan app. To resolve this, uninstall and reinstall CrashPlan.

    CrashPlan Version 3.6.3

    There is a known issue in the 3.6.3 version of the CrashPlan app that impacts systems running Mac OS X with case-sensitive file systems. This issue results in the Unable to connect to the backup engine message upon opening the CrashPlan app. See our troubleshooting guide for to resolve the issue.

    CrashPlan Version 3.4.1 And Earlier

    The CrashPlan app version 3.4.1 and earlier is not compatible with Java 1.7. On October 16, 2012, Apple released an update to Java 1.6 that could cause your computer to use Java 1.7 by default. This WikiHow article can help you determine which version(s) of Java are installed on your computer.

    • If you are running Java 1.6, CrashPlan still works.
    • If you are running Java 1.6 and Java 1.7, Apple's update defaults to Java 1.7, and CrashPlan no longer works. Refer to our troubleshooting article on this topic to correct the issue.

    Windows Solutions

    Is the CrashPlan service enabled? You can verify this from the Microsoft Services menu. To open the Microsoft Services menu:

    1. Open the Start menu
    2. Locate and open the Services program:
    • (Vista, Microsoft 7) Type "services.msc" into the Start menu search bar and click enter
    • (Windows XP) Select Run and type "services.msc", then click enter
    1. Double-click the CrashPlan Backup Service
      The CrashPlan Backup Service Properties window opens
      Backup Service Properties
    2. Ensure that the Startup Type is set to Automatic
    3. If the Start service status button is available, click it to start the CrashPlan service
    4. Click Apply if you made changes to your settings, then close the window

    Failure After Restarting Windows

    If the "Unable to connect to backup engine" error returns after each reboot, this is usually caused by another Windows service conflicting with the CrashPlan service at boot. To resolve this, you can delay CrashPlan's startup. To do this:

    1. Open the CrashPlan Backup Service's properties window using the directions above
    2. In the General tab, change Automatic to Automatic (delayed start)
    3. (Windows XP) If the Automatic (delayed start) option is unavailable, click the Recovery tab, and set First failure and Second failure to Restart the Service
    4. Click OK

    Linux Solution

    If your system language is not set to English when the CrashPlan app is installed, the application starts and backs up but fails to open after rebooting the computer. To ensure that the CrashPlan app is able to open after rebooting:

    1. Uninstall the CrashPlan app.
    2. Change the Linux system language to English.
      Consult the documentation for your Linux distribution for instructions on changing the system language.
    3. Install the CrashPlan app.
    4. Change the Linux system language back to your language.
      CrashPlan will open normally.

    Alternate Solution

    Manually starting the CrashPlan backup engine after rebooting your computer will allow you to open the CrashPlan app.

    Starting The CrashPlan Engine:
    Using this method to start the CrashPlan engine will not persist after restarting the computer and will have to be reapplied after every restart.
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    Last modified
    09:13, 29 Jan 2015



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