CrashPlan tracks multiple versions of each file as it backs up changes over time. Version snapshots can be restored from an archive to revert to the file's previous state. This tutorial includes instructions for changing your version retention settings.
How it works
In CrashPlan, version retention means keeping more of the recent versions of your backed up files and less of the older ones. If an administrator has not locked the setting, a user can change the default version settings, which includes the ability to keep all versions of all files forever.
Specifying the versions to retain involves:
- Specifying versions to retain for each interval
- Pruning unnecessary files from the backup archive (optional)
- Specifying when CrashPlan compacts the backup archive
CrashPlan backs up new changes to files as often as your Backup Frequency settings allow. CrashPlan watches the filesystem in real-time (unless that feature is turned off), and when a file changes it schedules the next backup of that file based on the frequency settings (i.e. if the backup frequency is set to the default 15 minutes, once a file changes CrashPlan will schedule a backup to happen 15 minutes later).
CrashPlan retains the newest version in several intervals:
- the last week
- the last 90 days
- the last year
- previous years
CrashPlan selectively prunes out older file versions during the regular archive maintenance process. This decreases the amount of data CrashPlan tracks as the archive grows and decreases memory usage in the CrashPlan app (i.e. two months from now, you may not need to restore a file from 8:45AM when the hourly snapshot will do).
We do not recommend increasing the frequency or versions settings to more than the default settings. An increase in these settings requires CrashPlan to use more system resources to maintain your backup. Even if you have a small file selection, increasing the version retention can cause a delay in backing up your files due to file monitoring.
If you have a large file selection, consider changing your settings to back up less frequently or increasing the memory allocated to the CrashPlan app.
You can tell CrashPlan to only retain a single version of older files. This may be useful if you have large files that change frequently, but for which older versions provide little value. For example:
- a database
- Photoshop project file
- iMovie project file
- ProTools project file
- Last week: every week
- Last 90 days: never
- Previous years: never
Deleted file retention
If you delete a file from your computer that was previously backed up, CrashPlan keeps it in the archive for as long as indicated in the deleted files retention setting. CrashPlan never removes deleted files from the archive by default. Learn more about retaining and restoring deleted files.
Specify versions to retain from the CrashPlan app
You can change your version retention settings from Settings > Backup using the steps below.
- Choose Settings.
- Click Backup.
If you have multiple backup sets, you can adjust the backup frequency for each backup set on the Backup Sets tab.
- Click Frequency and versions > Configure.
- In the Backup Frequency and Versioning Settings dialog, move the slider to a new backup frequency.
- Click Ok.
- Click Save to apply your changes.
Remove unwanted versions immediately
- From the CrashPlan app, go to Destinations.
- Choose the destination type.
- Select the destination that contains the versions you want to remove.
- Click Compact.
CrashPlan sends a request to that destination to immediately remove unwanted versions from the backup archive.
Default retention settings
The following example displays the default retention settings for each interval:
In this example, CrashPlan retains a version as often as every 15 minutes for files modified in the past week. It keeps only one version per day of the past 90 days, only one version per week over the last year, and only one version per month for previous years.