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Code42 Support

Create a new archive key password

Applies to:
  • Code42 CrashPlan (previously CrashPlan PROe)


A Code42 platform administrator can require that all CrashPlan apps in the environment use archive key passwords. When the administrator pushes that setting to existing devices, or when new devices first sign in, CrashPlan apps prompt users to create their passwords. This article describes how to respond to that prompt and how to use archive key passwords.

For details, see Archive Encryption Key Security.



  • CrashPlan app versions 4.8 and later

Before you begin

Understand the purpose of the archive key password

An archive key password is one available archive encryption key security option.

A backup archive holds encrypted data from your device. To restore data from the archive, Code42 for Enterprise copies it to your device, then decrypts it so you can read it.

The encryption key is a random string of characters used to encrypt and decrypt your data. Standard Code42 security stores that key at the authority server.

Your archive key password secures your archive encryption key. No one but you knows your archive key password. Therefore, only you can decrypt the data stored in your backup archive.

An archive question is a memory aid. If you define a question, and remember the answer, you can recover from forgetting your password.


When you upgrade your encryption key security to the archive key password option, you change how the encryption key is secured, but the encryption key itself doesn't change. Instead of securing the encryption key with your account password, you are choosing to secure the key with an additional password, called an archive key password. Only the secured encryption key is stored on CrashPlan servers.

Archive key password considerations
  • An archive key password applies to all computers included on an account. You cannot have separate archive key passwords for separate computers on a single account. This is true for CrashPlan for Home family plan subscriptions, as well as CrashPlan for Small Business (previously CrashPlan PRO) and Code42 for Enterprise user accounts.
  • (CrashPlan for Small Business and Code42 for Enterprise only) If archive key encryption is enabled from the administration console, the CrashPlan app prompts users to create their passwords.
    (Versions 4.7 and earlier: The prompt does not appear. The password is set to the user's account password until it is changed from the CrashPlan app.)
  • If you lose or forget your archive key password:
    • With an archive question enabled (versions 3.6.1 and later only): You can reset your archive key password by answering your archive question. If you are unable to provide the correct answer, you will be unable to restore your files and you must start over with a new account.
    • Without an archive question enabled: There is no way to reset your archive key password if it is lost or forgotten. You will be unable to restore files and you must start over with a new account.
    • Code42's Customer Champions cannot assist with recovery of an archive key password or your archive question.

Recovery question

You can optionally create a recovery question that lets you reset your archive key password in the event that you lose or forget it. A recovery question reduces the risk of being unable to restore your files. However, it increases the risk of someone bypassing your archive key password.

Creating a strong recovery question
If you choose to use this optional feature, take great care when selecting a recovery question and answer. In general, a secure question has the following characteristics:
  • Question has hundreds, if not thousands, of possible answers
  • Question is not a question you would answer publicly (online or in person)
  • Answer is easy for you to remember
  • Answer cannot be researched online via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Answer does not change over time

Password length

Password limitation for archive key password on mobile devices
To access the CrashPlan mobile app, your archive key password must be between 8 and 56 characters. If your archive key password exceeds 56 characters or contains less than 8, you can change the archive key password.


Create an archive key password

When an administrator sets your Code42 environment to require archive key passwords, the Archive Password Required dialog opens the next time you sign in to the CrashPlan app. (If your CrashPlan app is open at the time of the change, the dialog will appear in the Backup panel.)

  1. Enter, and then confirm, an archive key password.
    Enter at least 8 characters. Use any combination of capital or lower-case letters, numerals, symbols, and spaces.
  2. (Optional) Enter a recovery question and answer that you can later use to reset your archive key password in the event you lose or forget it.
    Your question and answer may include any combination of capital or lower-case letters, numerals, symbols, and spaces.
  3. Click Save.

Use archive key password

The next time you restore files, Code42 for Enterprise will prompt you to provide the archive key password you just created.

You may change your archive key password at any time.