Computer identities: How they work


The Code42 agent keeps a thorough and unique record of each computer's backup history, settings, and subscription information, which we call an identity. Typically, you don't need to think about your computer's identity unless you reformat your hard drive or start using a new computer. For users who want to know more, this article takes a deeper look at computer identities and what they mean for your backup.

How it works

When the Code42 agent is installed on your computer, it creates an 18-digit globally unique identifier (GUID) that serves as a way to identify that computer to the server and other backup destinations. The identity accompanies the GUID and contains information about your settings, file selection, history, and subscription.

Why your computer identity matters

  • All of your settings and subscription information are tied to your computer's identity.
  • Your computer identity and GUID link the Code42 agent on your computer to your backup destinations.
Uninstalling the Code42 agent
The Code42 agent's uninstaller does not remove your computer's identity. If you sign out of the Code42 agent, or uninstall the app without manually deleting the identity file, the identity stays the same even if you reinstall. When you sign in again, the Code42 agent uses the existing identity to restore your settings and locate your backup archive(s).

Where is my computer identity?

  • The identity is stored locally on a computer's hard drive in a file named .identity. Typically, there is no reason to access this file.
  • A copy of the .identity file is also stored at each of your backup destinations within your backup archive.

Adopt a computer identity

In the following cases, a computer does not have an existing identity:

  • The .identity file has been deleted.
  • The Code42 agent was installed on a new computer.
  • The Code42 agent was installed on a computer whose hard drive was reformatted.

If you install the Code42 agent on a computer that meets one of the above criteria and sign in with your existing user account:

  • A new identity is created.
  • Another computer is added to your account.

To reconnect to a previous identity, you can follow the adoption process. When you adopt, the Code42 agent restores all of your previous settings and reconnects to your backup archive. This way, you can avoid starting your backup over on your new or reformatted computer.