Who is this article for?
CrashPlan for Small Business, yes.
Code42 for Enterprise, yes.
Link: Product plans and features.
This article applies to version 4.
Other available versions:
This tutorial explains how to recover your user folder. If you recently reformatted or replaced a computer or hard drive, this process can be used to restore your files from a previous state. Once your files are restored, you can adopt your previous archive to prevent a lengthy initial backup on your new computer.
Note: If you only need to restore a couple of files, refer to the steps in our general restore guide instead.
In CrashPlan app version 4.8.4 and later, the Restore tab is updated. For instructions, see Restore files from the CrashPlan app version 4.8.4 and later.
Before you begin
- Restoring a large number of files can take time. If you need to access several files quickly, we recommend restoring those files first before proceeding with this tutorial.
- If you are restoring files to a different operating system (for example, moving from a Windows computer to a Mac computer), read the additional considerations below.
When setting up the operating system on the new computer, we recommend using the same user name that you used on your previous computer. If your user name changes, CrashPlan detects that the file paths for the files in your backup archive also changed. As a result, CrashPlan backs up these changes once the archive is adopted. Even though CrashPlan doesn't back up the files themselves again, backing up the new file paths can be a lengthy process, especially if you have a large number of files in your archive.
Step 1: Download and install CrashPlan
- Download and install the CrashPlan app.
- Open the CrashPlan app and sign in to your existing account.
Step 2: Select folders to be restored
Start by telling CrashPlan what to restore. Most users back up their user folder which contains documents, music, videos, and other content. The steps below guide you through restoring this data to a new user folder, even if the folder name is different than the original.
- Select the Restore tab.
- If there are multiple computers on your account, select the computer you want to restore.
- If you are backing up to multiple destinations, choose the destination from which you want to restore in the backup destination list. If you are restoring from an archive that's:
- From another computer: The computer must be turned on and CrashPlan must be running. If CrashPlan isn't set to run “always,” then you will only be able to restore between the backup times specified on that computer.
- From an external hard drive: You need to attach the archive before you can restore from that destination.
- From the cloud: You must be connected to the Internet.
- Click most recent to choose the version of the files to be restored.
- Choose a date and time just prior to replacing or reformatting your computer.
- Use the checkboxes to select the folders within your user folder (e.g., Desktop, Document, Music):
We recommend restoring the folders within your original user folder because most people store their personal or business files there. If you have files backed up outside of your user folder, we recommend restoring those separately. You can use the same general approach described in this article, but choose a restore location that makes sense for the files. If you have any questions, see our general article on restoring from the CrashPlan app.
Step 3: Restore original folders to your new user folder
Now that you've told CrashPlan what to restore, tell it where and how to restore by updating the description at the bottom of the app.
- Click original permissions to update the description to current permissions.
- Change the location of where the files are restored by clicking Desktop, then original location. The location should be set to a folder.
- Change the folder by clicking on the default (Desktop).
- From the Select a Directory dialog, choose the user folder (typically, this is your name) on your new computer or hard drive.
- Click the default setting "rename any existing files" to update it to "overwrite any existing files". The restore description at the bottom of the app should look similar to this:
This article assumes that your new computer doesn't contain updated files that could be lost by overwriting. If this is not the case, ensure that the updated files have a unique name to avoid losing your updates.
- Click Restore.
- Your download begins immediately. The Restore Status displays the status of your restored files.
- Even if you close the CrashPlan app, your files continue to restore in the background.
- It is safe to close the CrashPlan app while the files restore in the background.
- If you are restoring a large amount of data, consider optimizing your computer settings to prevent disruptions.
- Alternatively, if you don't want to restore all of the files at once, you can shut down or put your computer to sleep, and the restore will resume where it left off when it is powered on again.
- If you receive errors when restoring, refer to our troubleshooting guide.
Step 4: Adopt your previous computer
Once your files are restored, you can adopt the archive from your previous computer. This prevents a lengthy initial backup on your new computer, and restores all of your CrashPlan settings on the new installation of the app.
Note: If you are adopting an archive created under a different operating system, follow these instructions instead.
Restore files to a different operating system
These considerations apply if you are, for example, moving from a Windows computer to a Mac computer.
- Restore the files to a specific location, rather than the original location. This is important because the computer you are restoring to has a different file-system structure than the original computer.
- Some file metadata may be lost during a cross-operating system restore. To preserve all file metadata, restore to a computer with the same operating system as the original.
- Filenames containing characters that are illegal on the operating system you restore to cannot be restored to that computer. Restore those files to a computer of the same operating system or use web restore.
If you plan to restore Mac files to a Windows computer, we recommend using the more restrictive Windows naming rules with your Mac files to prevent any potential restore problems.
When performing a restore, files are downloaded starting at the top of the tree and recurse down. So if your file structure looks like this:
- Folder 1
- Folder 1.1
- Folder 1.2
- Folder 2
CrashPlan will restore the files and folders in this order:
- Folder 1 and its contents
- Folder 1.1 and its contents
- Folder 1.2 and its contents
- Folder 2 and its contents
Restore deleted files
CrashPlan stores deleted files based on your version retention settings (the default setting is to never remove deleted files from your backup archive). To display or search for deleted files in the file tree, select Show deleted files. Learn more about retaining and restoring deleted files.
After you enable Show deleted files, your deleted files appear in the file tree and can be restored.
Note: Typically users do not want to restore all deleted files when moving to a new computer. After restoring your files using the steps above, you can use this option to selectively restore deleted files that you want on your new computer.
This video tutorial reviews the process of restoring all of your files to a new computer or drive.