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Who is this article for?

CrashPlan Cloud
CrashPlan for Small Business
CrashPlan On-Premises

Find your product plan in the Code42 console on the Account menu.
Not a CrashPlan On-Premises customer? Search or browse Incydr and Instructor, CrashPlan Cloud, or CrashPlan for Small Business.

Instructor, no.

Incydr Professional, Enterprise, Gov F2, and Horizon, no.

Incydr Basic, Advanced, and Gov F1, no.

CrashPlan Cloud, no.

Retired product plans, yes.

CrashPlan for Small Business, no.

Code42 Support

CrashPlan glossary

Who is this article for?

CrashPlan Cloud
CrashPlan for Small Business
CrashPlan On-Premises

Find your product plan in the Code42 console on the Account menu.
Not a CrashPlan On-Premises customer? Search or browse Incydr and Instructor, CrashPlan Cloud, or CrashPlan for Small Business.

Instructor, no.

Incydr Professional, Enterprise, Gov F2, and Horizon, no.

Incydr Basic, Advanced, and Gov F1, no.

CrashPlan Cloud, no.

Retired product plans, yes.

CrashPlan for Small Business, no.


List of CrashPlan user-related terms and definitions.


Account password

Password you supplied when you registered your CrashPlan user account.

Actual transfer rate

The basic, measured rate of the data moving between the Code42 app and Code42's data centers, usually given in megabits per second (Mbps) or kilobits per second (Kbps). This is the rate at which the compressed and encrypted data is actually transmitted. This rate does not take into account compression, and will generally be lower than the effective transfer rate or backup speed.


Term that describes the process of having one device take over for another device that has been lost, stolen, sold, or reformatted. As in “Adopting a computer.” The adoption process is an optional operation available when the Code42 app detects a new device under an existing account. Adoption allows the new computer to use an existing computer's backup archive, backup file selection and backup settings. It also deactivates the other device so it can no longer back up.

Application files

These files contain application settings and data specific to the applications on your computer. Your applications—like your email, word processor, and web browser—need these files in order to operate. Typically, you don't interact with these files directly. They can also change frequently, particularly when the application is in use. See also system files.


Directory that contains the files that you have saved to another location as a safeguard against loss. A backup archive contains the backed up data for a single computer.

Archive key password

Password supplied when you the enable archive key password option for archive encryption. If you have enabled this option, you must supply the archive key password to restore files. See also account password, secured key.

Archive maintenance

A regularly scheduled task that checks a backup archive for any corrupted files and self-heals those files, and also removes excess file versions, deleted files, and files no longer selected for backup. Archive maintenance can be triggered manually from the Compact button in the Code42 app. In the enterprise and business versions, an admin can also initiate archive maintenance from the Code42 console.

Archive question

An archive question is an optional feature of the archive key password security option. If your account has an archive question and answer configured, you are able to reset the archive key password if it is lost or forgotten. When you enable the archive question, the security of your archive key depends on both how hard it is to guess your answer and the strength of your archive key password. You can enable the archive question feature at any time, provided you know your current archive key password.

Back up

The operation in which files are sent to and stored on another computer or device; the action of backing up. Ex: "It is recommended that you back up your files to multiple destinations.”


Files that you have saved to another location as a safeguard against loss. Also known as a backup archive. Ex: "My backup is stored in the cloud."

Backup file selection

All of the folders and files selected for backup. The top-level folders included in your backup file selection are displayed in the Files section of the Backup tab in the Code42 app. See also default backup file selection.

Backup frequency

The setting that determines how often CrashPlan backs up to your destinations. If you are using CrashPlan Free, you can back up as often as once a day. All other versions of CrashPlan can back up as often as every minute.

Backup set

A group of files that you want backed up to a specific location or with specific settings.

Backup speed

The rate at which the data selected for backup on a device is actually backed up by the Code42 app. This can be defined as the amount of data selected, divided by the total time taken to complete the backup. The Code42 app provides an estimate of the time remaining to complete a backup, but keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Backup speed may also be referred to as "effective backup speed."

Backup status report

A summary report of your backup activity that is emailed to you once a week (by default). The report includes details on your backup file selection, the percent of your backup that is complete, and the last time backup activity was detected for each of your computers.


A measurement of the theoretical capacity of a network. The actual achieved throughput available to applications will rarely match the theoretical maximum rate claimed by your ISP, due to the overhead required by the transmission protocols, bandwidth shared with other applications, other users on the network, etc.

Block (of data)

A block is a sequence of data of variable length. Blocked data is passed through a data buffer and de-duplicated against the destination. If the data is new or changed, it is written to the disk a whole block at a time. Processing data in blocks reduces the memory and bandwidth required to transmit your files and speeds up your backup.

Cold storage

Temporary holding state for backup archives after they are deactivated, but before they expire and are permanently deleted. This is similar to the period when a deleted file remains in the Recycle Bin or the Trash.


The final step during the archive maintenance process. Compact reclaims disk space by removing from the backup archive data controlled by device settings: files no longer selected for backup, file versions beyond what the device's versioning settings allow, or deleted files older than allowed.


The process of transforming information into smaller pieces and fewer bits. CrashPlan compresses files from the source device, before transmitting the backup data, so that backup consumes less space at the destination and speeds up transmission.

Code42 app

The part of CrashPlan that you install on your laptop or desktop device, used to view and manage your backups.

CrashPlan Central

A cloud-based backup destination available to CrashPlan home users. CrashPlan Central is a subscription service for which you pay a fee to store your files in a secure location that we manage for you in our data center. You can back up your files to CrashPlan Central for a 30-day free trial period.

Code42 service

The CrashPlan service or engine that performs all backup operations in the background on a device running the Code42 app.

CrashPlan web app

The web-based application where you can edit settings or perform web restore.

Custom key

Encryption key that is user-created (using the Passphrase or Generate options) and is used instead of the encryption key generated by the Code42 app. This encryption security option offers the greatest security because the custom key never leaves the source computer. It also greatly increases user responsibility; there is no way to recover a backup if the custom key is lost or forgotten. CrashPlan Customer Champions have no way to assist with custom key recovery.

Data de-duplication

Process in which duplicate files and parts of files are automatically identified and transmitted and stored only once. CrashPlan's data de-duplication occurs per source device on the source device.


Applies to devices, users, orgs, and plans. CrashPlan For Home users may deactivate a device they no longer wish to back up (i.e. deactivate an old computer after adopting a new computer). Deactivation stops backup and causes associated archives to be placed into cold storage, and is therefore destructive: after the cold storage period, the affected archives are permanently deleted. Deactivation frees seat licenses.

Default backup file selection

The default backup file selection is the folder or folders on your computer that are automatically selected for backup on new installations of the Code42 app. Additionally, in versions 4.5 and later of the Code42 app, after adopting a device, the default backup file selection is added to your existing backup file selection. Your administrator may configure the default backup file selection; the User directory or Home folder is selected by default.


General term applied to locations where your files back up. Destinations may be CrashPlan Central, CrashPlan Australia, your company's data center, an external hard drive, another computer, or a friend's computer. Available destination types depend on your subscription or licensing.

Effective transfer rate

The effective transfer rate is often greater than the actual transfer rate of the data across the network, due to data compression. An example will help to clarify this idea:

CrashPlan user Susan has 10 GB of data on her system to be backed up. After CrashPlan compresses and encrypts the data, it now takes up only 8 GB of space. Her Code42 app transfers that 8 GB at the normal rate, but the effective rate is calculated as if it were sending the 10 GB rather than the 8 GB. The effective transfer rate often exceeds the actual transfer rate.


The process of encoding data so no unauthorized persons can read the data.

Encryption key

A piece of information that a cryptographic algorithm uses to encrypt data.

Enhanced security

Archive encryption that has been upgraded from the standard security option. There are two enhanced security options: Archive key password and custom key.

External address

The device's public IP address as seen by the CrashPlan.

File verification scan

A scan that inspects your file selection for any new, changed, or deleted files that real-time file watching may have missed. Think of it as CrashPlan's second line of defense for detecting changes to your backup file selection.

Gigabyte (gb)

A gigabyte equals 109 or 1,000,000,000 bytes.


(1) Globally Unique Identifier. A number generated by CrashPlan and assigned to each device. A device's GUID is used to associate the device with its backup archive.
(2) A Code42 app command line command for viewing and manipulating the GUID value for the current device.

Initial backup

The very first backup performed on a specific source computer. Because this backup establishes a baseline for your backup selection, the initial backup can take significantly longer than subsequent backups, which back up only the changes you've made since the last backup. See incremental backup.

Incremental backup

The process of backing up only files that are new or have changed since the previous backup.

Internal address

The IP address the operating system reports to the Code42 app and Code42 service for a particular device.

Local folder

A type of backup destination that is directly attached to the source device, e.g. a directory on the file system or an external drive.


A location that is outside the facility that contains the devices being backed up.


A type of backup in which files are transmitted over the Internet or WAN. In the Code42 app, all server-based or cloud destinations are considered online destinations.


A backup location that is in the same facility as the source devices.

Pruning (archive)

As part of the backup process, CrashPlan regularly performs archive maintenance and removes (“prunes”) file versions in accordance to your file retention settings.


The process of backing up files immediately after the files have been created or changed. Real-time backup protects you from loss that might occur if backups are scheduled only at specific times.


The process of retrieving lost files. Restoring makes it possible for you to avoid the effort of recreating data or starting from scratch… allowing you or your business to move forward with minimal disruption.

  • Guaranteed Restore™ - The process of verifying your backed-up files frequently to make sure they have not been corrupted. It ensures that the quality of your files remains intact and that what you restore is what you backed up. If CrashPlan finds an error, it recovers automatically or notifies you if there is a problem.

Secured key

A version of a user's archive encryption key that is encrypted with the user's account password (default security) or archive key password (enhanced security).

Seed backup

The process in which you perform an initial backup locally and after transporting the archive to a remote location, resume backing up to the new offsite destination. Because you are not performing the initial backup over the Internet, seeding your initial backup saves a lot of time.


Locations from which you send files to be backed up or stored. The sending computer or folder (drive) is a source.


A process where the source and destination compare what files are actually stored on the destination vs. what files the source has sent to the destination.

System files

These are files that your computer needs in order to operate. System files are part of your operating system, third-party device drivers, and other programs. Typically, you don't interact with these files directly and they may change frequently, particularly when the system is in use. See also application files.


The actual useable rate of data flowing on a network. This will never reach the bandwidth advertised by your ISP, due to various factors: network congestion, degraded cables or equipment, application or OS performance issues, network settings, networking protocol overhead, etc.


VSS stands for the Volume Shadow Service and it's what Code42 for Enterprise uses to back up open files on Windows. Both the Code42 app and the program with the open file must have VSS support in order to back up the file while it's open. CrashPlan Free does not have VSS support.

Version history

CrashPlan backs up and stores previous versions of your files according to your Backup Frequency and Versioning Settings. The collection of previous versions for a file is known as its version history.

Version retention

The ability to specify the rules for removing from your backup archive the versions of files that you no longer want to back up. Removing these no longer relevant versions can play a big role in managing the size of your backup archive. In CrashPlan, version retention means keeping more of your more recent versions and fewer of the older ones.

Web restore

The ability to restore files from the CrashPlan web app via a web browser. Web restore is a secondary method of restoring files.

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