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Best practices for file exclusions and preservation policies

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Small Business
Applies to:


The administration console includes many ways to exclude files from being backed up. Each setting applies to different backup archives or group of users. Certain file exclusion settings apply to preservation policies, which are used in legal holds. This article explains how to configure file exclusions in your Code42 environment so that the exclusions do not also apply to legal holds. 


Filename exclusions added under the Global Exclusions in the administration console also apply to all preservation policies. This means that those files will not be kept under legal hold. 

For more flexibility around which files are excluded for users under legal hold, add file exclusions by organization. These file exclusions do not automatically apply to preservation policies. Follow the steps below to exclude files at the organization level. 

Before you begin

The steps below describe where to find the correct settings in your Code42 environment. However, there are several ways to use these settings to specify which files and folders are excluded from backup archives, but not legal holds:   

  • Use substitution variables
  • Specify filename patterns using wildcards
  • Specify file extensions to exclude
  • Use regular expressions

Learn more about how to use these methods to include and exclude files

Exclude files at the organization level

Disabled inheritance
If you disable inheritance for an organization, that organization is not affected by changes to its parent organization.
  1. Versions 6.5 and later: From the administration console, go to Organizations > Active.
    Versions 6.0.x: Select Organizations from the navigation menu.
  2. Select an organization.
  3. Click the action menu in the upper-right corner.
  4. Select Device Backup Defaults.

Organization-level settings

  1. Select the Backup tab.
    If the the settings are disabled, select the General tab, then deselect Inherit settings from parent
  2. Choose a method for excluding files: 
    1. Under File Selection, enter pathnames of directories that should be excluded from backup. This option excludes entire directories and folders.
    2. Under Filename Exclusions, enter filename pattern, or enter text in the form of a Regular Expression (regex) to exclude from backup. This option excludes a specific type of file, no matter where it is located on a user's device.
  3. Click the + icon to add the exclusions.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Repeat these steps for other organizations in your Code42 environment.
    Excluding files

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