Skip to main content

Who is this article for?

Code42 for EnterpriseSee product plans and features
CrashPlan for Small Business 

CrashPlan for Small Business, yes.

Code42 for Enterprise, yes.

Link: Product plans and features.

This article applies to version 5.

Code42 Support

Replace a device with a different operating system or file system (version 5.0.X of the CrashPlan app)

Who is this article for?

Code42 for EnterpriseSee product plans and features
CrashPlan for Small Business 

CrashPlan for Small Business, no.

Code42 for Enterprise, yes.

Link: Product plans and features.

This article applies to version 5.


When you get a new device, the Code42 CrashPlan app can help you transfer files, move your backup, and update settings. If you are switching from one operating system to another (like going from Windows to OS X), and you are using version 5.0.x of the CrashPlan app, then you should carefully follow the tutorial below to reconnect to the previous device’s backup archive.

These instructions apply to users working at endpoint devices with CrashPlan apps older than version 5.1. They do not include transferring Windows user settings (USMT data).

To work with newer versions of the CrashPlan app, the administration console, or USMT data, select the appropriate article from Use Code42 to simplify device migration.


This process assumes your new device has a different operating system or file system than your previous device. If not, follow the normal process for replacing your device.

Step 1: Download and install Code42 CrashPlan

  1. Download and install the latest version of CrashPlan.
  2. Sign in to your existing account.

Step 2: Replace your files

Before you replace a device, you should download all of the files you previously backed up. Any files you don't transfer from your existing backup will be retained as deleted files and are less visible, which could lead to unintentional data loss. Additionally, if the previously backed up files are not downloaded to the device before replacing it, you may have an extended wait to download your files while CrashPlan synchronizes your device with the backup destination.

Before replacing a device, you can use any of the following methods to transfer your original files to your new or re-built device:

  • Download files from the CrashPlan app.
  • Copy or transfer files from the old device to the new device. Some example methods:
    • Copy files with your operating system’s standard tools such as the Finder, Windows Explorer, cp command, or rsync command.
    • Restore files from a Time Machine backup.
    • Transfer files using Windows Easy Transfer.
Download original files to your new user folder
To resume your previous backup as fast as possible, download your files as described in our tutorial on downloading all files to a new computer or drive.

Step 3: Replace your device

Once your files have been downloaded to the new operating system, it's time to replace your device so CrashPlan sees your new device as a continuation of your previous device. When you replace your device, your new device:

  • Is immediately linked to your existing backup settings, file selection, version history, and backup archive
  • Inherits your previous backup archive and attempts to resume backup
  1. On Home, click Replace Device.
    If you don’t see the option to replace device, go to Tools > Replace device (Windows and Linux) or File > Replace device (OS X), and choose Replace device.

Replace device message

  1. Choose an existing device to replace and click OK.
    You are signed out of the CrashPlan app. If you're not sure which device to select, check out these tips.

Choose an existing device to replace

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
    The Settings Transferred! message displays.

After you replace your previous device, the CrashPlan app attempts to synchronize the folders included in your file selection with your backup archive. However, CrashPlan is looking for the file paths included in your file selection in their old location on your previous operating system. Since these paths don't exist on the new operating system, CrashPlan reports them as File is missing.

Don't worry. As long as these folders remain in your file selection, they are safe in your backup archive. We'll walk through updating your file selection in the next step.

Do not deselect folders
DO NOT deselect the folders from your old operating system! Deselecting files deletes them from your backup archive and there is no way to recover them.

Step 4: Update your file selection

Next, update the file selection to add the files and folders that you moved or transferred to the new operating system. Once you have completed replacing your device and all previous settings have been applied, CrashPlan will report the old locations as "missing". By updating the file selection to include both the old locations and the new locations of your files (for example, under a folder with a different user name), CrashPlan will de-duplicate the data.

Do not deselect folders
Remember, DO NOT deselect the folders from your old operating system yet! Once these files are removed from your file selection, there is no way to restore them. Deselecting files deletes them from your backup archive and there is no way to recover them.
  1. From Home, click Details.
    Files from the previous device are marked as File is missing.
  2. Keep the previous folders selected. CrashPlan automatically deletes any files that are deselected.
  3. Add folders from your new device to your file selection.
  4. Click Save.

Step 5: Wait for CrashPlan to synchronize your file selection

After you add folders from your new operating system to your file selection, the CrashPlan app synchronizes your file selection. It detects the files you transferred to your computer, and recognizes them as the same files you previously backed up on your old device. Any new files added to your selection are analyzed and prepared for backup.

synchronizing files

Any files that cannot be found during synchronization will be marked as "missing". You can follow these steps to download them.

Step 6: Clean up file selection (optional)

Changing your file selection
Use caution when changing your file selection:
  • You should only deselect files that you want CrashPlan to permanently and immediately delete from your backup archive.
  • There is no way to recover deselected files.
  • You will lose any historical versions associated with the deselected folders and files. Even if the file verification scan has updated the new location information for your files, any versions associated with the old deselected location will be lost.

If you are not concerned with maintaining historical versions, and you want to clean up your file selection by deleting the old file and folder paths, you must follow these steps exactly in the sequence presented.

  1. From Home, go to Details.
  2. Click Manage Files.
  3. Verify that the new location for the files is included in your backup file selection.
  4. Keep the original file location selected. Do not deselect any files at this time.
  5. Allow your backup status to reach 100% complete.
    During the initial backup after replacing a device, CrashPlan de-duplicates files in your backup with your updated file selection. By allowing CrashPlan to reach 100% complete, you can be certain that the files on your new device remain in your backup without being resent to your destinations.
  6. It is now safe to deselect the old files and folders. You can download these files from their new location on your new computer.
File verification scan
When you change the backup file selection, CrashPlan compares the contents of your backup file selection against your existing backup archive. While on the surface it may look like CrashPlan is starting your backup over, this is a normal part of CrashPlan's operation. There are several ways to confirm that your backup isn't starting over.