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Code42 Support

Back up multiple user accounts on one device

Applies to:
  • Code42 CrashPlan (previously CrashPlan PROe)


By default, all user accounts on a device use a single instance of the Code42 CrashPlan app. Alternatively, you can install the CrashPlan app per user so that each user on the device accesses a separate instance of the CrashPlan app.

This article provides considerations and instructions for per-user installations of the CrashPlan app. If you want a default installation, see the general installation instructions.

For the CrashPlan for Home version of this article, see Separately Backing Up Multiple User Accounts On One Device.

Back up multiple users

What installation type should I choose?
Unless your device requires unique security settings for each user account, Code42 recommends the default installation (for everyone).

You can back up multiple users on a single device by installing for everyone (default), or installing per user. When you install the CrashPlan app per user, each installation can have a separate user account with its own settings, license, and archive.

Installing per user is necessary if each user should have unique security settings. The table below explains how security features in per-user installations are different than a default installation.

  Install for everyone (default) Install per user
Username & password Single username & password for all users on the device Individual username & password for each per-user installation

Encryption key

Single encryption key for all users on the device

Can have individual encryption key for each per-user installation

Backup permissions

Can back up any file on the device, except those contained in admin exclusions

Can only back up files that the individual user account can access, except those contained in admin exclusions
Backup activity Backs up at all times, regardless of whether users are signed in to the device Backs up only when the associated user is signed in to the device
Backup archive Files included in the backup file selection back up to a single backup archive, regardless of user Each per-user installation backs up to a unique backup archive
Encrypted file system Supports encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at a system level (for example, FileVault on OS X Lion and later) Supports encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at the user level (for example, Windows Encrypting File System)
CrashPlan app and CrashPlan tray access Application and tray visible to all users on the device; any user can access the application by default (version 5.x and later requires sign in for first use) Application is visible only to the user who installed the app and can only be accessed by that user

Can download any files or folders within the backup file selection

Can only download files and folders the individual user account has backed up

Considerations for per-user installations

Review the considerations below before installing the CrashPlan app per user.

System requirements

  • Per-user installation is supported on OS X and on Windows 7 and later.
  • Per-user installation is not supported on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
  • Only one per-user installation is supported on a single Linux device. Multiple per-user installations are not supported.

Licenses and subscriptions

When you install per user, each user or device requires a license and follows the guidelines for license consumption.


When you install per user:

  • The CrashPlan app cannot back up files and folders that the user does not have permission to access. The CrashPlan app relies on the user's system permissions to access and back up files.
  • The CrashPlan app cannot back up when the user is signed out of the device.

Volume Shadow Service (VSS)

(Windows only)

On Windows, CrashPlan coordinates with VSS to back up open files. When CrashPlan app is installed per user, the CrashPlan service does not have full access to VSS. As a result, files that are left open may not back up regularly. If files are not backing up, the history log reports, “Unable to backup n files”. If this occurs, CrashPlan will try again later; if the file is closed, then backup will succeed.

Backup does not reach 100%
VSS may not have access to system and application files included in your backup file selection, which can prevent your backup from completing. CrashPlan isn't designed to back up system and application files, and we don't recommend adding these files to your backup selection. Additionally, since CrashPlan isn't designed to restore your operating system or applications, there is no advantage to backing up these types of files.

Install per user and for everyone on the same device

Installing the CrashPlan app using both installation types on a single device is not supported in version 5.x CrashPlan apps. To install the CrashPlan app per user and for everyone on the same device, you must install version 4.x of the CrashPlan app.

Install the CrashPlan app per user on Windows and OS X

  1. Sign in to the device.
    The per-user installation of the CrashPlan app is applied to the signed-in user account.
  2. Download the CrashPlan app.
    See your system administrator for guidelines on downloading the CrashPlan app.
  3. Open the CrashPlan app installer:
    • Windows: Double-click the CrashPlan installer file and follow the prompts.
    • OS X: Double-click the DMG file, then double-click Install Code42 CrashPlan.
  4. When prompted for Installation Type, choose the option to install the CrashPlan app for your user account:
    • Windows: Select Only for me and continue the installation.
    • OS X: Select Change Install Location, then choose Install for me only and continue the installation.
  5. Create or sign in to your CrashPlan account.
  6. Repeat the installation for each user account on the device.
  7. (OS X only) Restart the device.
OS X contacts, reminders, and Calendars
After backup starts, OS X prompts for access to your contacts, reminders, and calendars. Click Ok to allow CrashPlan access to back up the contents of your user folder. If you select Don't Allow, CrashPlan will back up everything other than your contacts, reminders, and calendars.

Command-line installation

To install the CrashPlan app per user on the command line, adapt these examples to your needs.

Command-line installation on Windows

Use msiexec to run the CrashPlan app installer with the following parameters:

msiexec /i "<path_to_known_location>\<CrashPlan_version>.msi" /qn ALLUSERS=2 MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 INSTALL_PER_USER=1 CP_SILENT=true /log install_log.txt
Parameter Purpose
msiexec /i Allows the use of Windows Installer from the command line.

The full directory path to the installer file.


  • C:\Users\James\Desktop
  • D:\Downloads

Replace with the file name and version of the MSI installer for your version of CrashPlan.


  • Code42CrashPlan-x64_5.1.2_Win
  • CrashPlanPROe-x64_4.5.2_Win
/qn Specifies a silent installation.
ALLUSERS=2 MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 INSTALL_PER_USER=1 Specifies the per-user installation context.
CP_SILENT=true Prevents the CrashPlan app from opening on the device after installation is complete.
/log install_log.txt Creates an installation log for a given file name.

Command-line installation on OS X

  1. Obtain the package (.pkg) installer file for the CrashPlan app:
    1. Download the CrashPlan app from the administration console.
    2. Double-click the CrashPlan app's installer dmg to mount it.
      • Version 4: CrashPlanPROe.dmg
      • Version 5: Code42CrashPlan.dmg
    3. Copy the .pkg file from the mounted installer to a known location on the destination device.
      • Version 4: Install CrashPlanPROe.pkg
      • Version 5: Install Code42 CrashPlan.pkg
  2. Use Apple's installer tool to run the CrashPlan app installer with the following parameters:
installer -pkg "<path_to_known_location>/<CrashPlan_version>.pkg" -target CurrentUserHomeDirectory
Parameter Purpose
installer -pkg Allows OS X installer packages to be run from terminal

The full directory path to the installer file.
Do not use the tilde character to enter a relative path.


  • /Users/James/Desktop
  • /Users/Blaine/Downloads

Replace with the file name and version of the package (PKG) file installer for your version of CrashPlan.

Example: Install CrashPlan PROe

-target CurrentUserHomeDirectory Specifies the per-user installation context.
CurrentUserHomeDirectory is an OS X domain, not an example. Do not replace this text with a path or folder on your device.

Change a current CrashPlan app install to per user

If the CrashPlan app is installed for everyone on your device, and you want to install per user instead:

  1. Perform a complete uninstall of the CrashPlan app.
  2. Install the CrashPlan app for each user account.
  3. Adopt your previous backup.
    Only one user can adopt the previous backup.