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Code42 Support

Use the Code42 app to help upgrade your operating system


You can use the Code42 app to ensure that your personal files are safe when you upgrade your operating system. This article explains how the Code42 app can help before and after an operating system upgrade.


If you are upgrading to a new version of your existing operating system, you can often perform an in-place upgrade, wherein you don’t have to remove your existing operating system prior to installing the new operating system. Typically, your personal files, as well as all compatible applications, are preserved when your perform an in-place upgrade.

You may prefer, or be required, to do a clean install, in which case you must remove your existing operating system (including all personal files) prior to installing the new operating system. For example, if you are upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10, you should do a clean install.

Before upgrading your operating system

Whether you are performing an in-place upgrade or a clean install, ensure that you have a complete backup.

For an in-place upgrade, having a complete backup is a precautionary measure — your personal files should not be impacted by the upgrade. However, with a clean install, you need to use the replace device wizard to choose the device that was previously backing up and then transfer your personal files to the newly reformatted device.

Confirm your backup file selection

You can confirm that you are backing up all of your important personal files by viewing backup file selection within the Code42 app.

  1. Go to Manage Files
  • Code42 app version 6.8.3 and later: Click Manage Files.
  • Code42 app version 6.8.2 and earlier: Click Details > Manage Files.
  1. (Optional) Click the options menu options menu and select Show hidden files to view hidden files.
  2. Navigate to the drive, folder, or files that you want to add or remove, then:
    • Deselect the check box next to any item you want to delete from your backup.
    • Select an empty box to add an item to your backup.
    • A minus sign deselected indicates that a subfolder within this folder is selected for backup. New subfolders within the folder will not be automatically added to your backup file selection.
    • A check mark selected indicates that this folder is selected for backup. New subfolders within the folder will be automatically added to your backup file selection.

    Manage Files

  3. Click Save.
    If you deselected any files or folders, the Delete Files from Backup warning displays.
  4. If applicable, select I understand to confirm you want to delete deselected files from your backup.

    Delete files from backup message

  5. If applicable, select Delete.
    After changing the file selection, the Code42 app synchronizes the files selected for backup with the files already backed up to that destination.
Are your files protected?
If you are unsure what you should backup, you can follow these simple guidelines. If you have questions about backing up files for specific applications, our Backup guide has a number of tutorials about backing up files for various applications.

Confirm your backup is complete

After verifying that you are backing up all of your important files, confirm that your backup is complete on at least one destination (for example, the Code42 Cloud). If you are performing a clean installation, you should also have a complete backup on a local destination, like an external drive. When you restore from a local destination, your files are restored faster and you conserve bandwidth.

You can view your backup status on the Code42 app Home view. You can start a backup manually by clicking Run backup now for each destination.

If the Code42 app appears to be unable to back up one or more files, follow our troubleshooting article to diagnose and resolve the issue.

After upgrading your operating system

In-place upgrade

If you completed an in-place upgrade, your personal files should be unaffected by the upgrade. Additionally, all of your settings for the Code42 app should be preserved.

Clean install

If you upgraded by performing a clean install, you must first download and install the Code42 app, then use the replace device wizard to choose the device that was previously backing up and transfer your personal files to the newly reformatted device. All of your Code42 app settings are applied to your computer automatically during the replace device process.

Is my backup starting over?

After an operating system upgrade or device replacement, the Code42 app will launch a file verification scan to compare the contents of your backup file selection against your existing backup archive. It may look like your files are backing up again, and the estimated time to complete may seem unusually long.

However, the Code42 app will only back up what has changed (for example, folder paths for moved files, new files), and it will use data de-duplication to identify files that are already backed up. This is a normal part of the Code42 app's operation, but if you are concerned, there are several ways to confirm that your backup isn't starting over.

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