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CrashPlan Backup FAQ



About CrashPlan

What are the system requirements?

  • Mac OS Mavericks (10.9) or later
  • Windows 7 or later

How much data can I backup?

CrashPlan offers an unlimited amount of Cloud storage space for you to backup your data. There is also no limit on individual file sizes.

What is the maximum individual file size I can backup?

CrashPlan does not limit the size or types of files you can back up. If your backup frequently doesn’t reach 100% complete, it may be due to a large file that doesn’t have enough time to back up.

Will CrashPlan slow down my computer?

CrashPlan conserves resources so you should never even notice that it's running.

  • CrashPlan is designed to use less processing power when you are actively using your computer. When idle, CrashPlan will use additional available resources if a backup is necessary.
  • After your initial backup, CrashPlan only backs up changes you make to your files, not the entire file itself. This saves on bandwidth usage and hardware resources.

What is backed up on my computer?

CrashPlan provides an automatic, continuous backup of your data. The backup will include your files (documents, pictures, music, etc) from your user directory.

  • The user directory on Mac is /Users/username and on Windows is C:\Users\username
  • Your entire drive is no longer backed up, which means the backup will not include your operating system or applications [directories: Program Files (x86), Program Files, Windows]. Note: The Microsoft Office program will not be backed up. However, any personalized setting changes you made to an application will be backed up, if those setting are written to a file.
  • If you have a directory on the root of your drive, such as C:\Matlab or C:\Stata, CrashPlan will back it up.
  • DropBox and OneDrive are also included in the backup.
  • On Macs, Google Drive is backed up when you are logged in as the Adminstrator. On Windows, Google Drive is backed up only if you manually grant the SYSTEM read and write access to your Google Drive folder.
  • External and network drives are not backed up.
  • Multiple local partitions are not backed up. For example a Bootcamp partition on a Mac or an E: drive on Windows. Only the system partition, where CrashPlan is installed, is backed up. If you have multiple operating systems on the same device that need backing up, you may do so. CrashPlan needs to be installed on each OS. Please consult your TC.

How often does the backup run?

When a file changes, CrashPlan schedules a backup to occur 15 minutes later. Note: After your initial backup, CrashPlan only backs up changes you make to your files, not the entire file itself.

How many versions of my files are backed up?

CrashPlan retains the newest version in several intervals:

  • Last week: Every 15 minutes there will be a version, if the file changed.
  • Last 90 days: There will be a daily version based on the most recent version from that calendar date.
  • Last year: The most recent version per week will be available.
  • Previous years: The most recent version per month will be available.
  • Deleted files: These will stay available in your backup for 365 days.

Can I backup my desktop and laptop?

If you would like to back up multiple computers, please contact your TC.

Can I backup other devices, such as an iPad or other mobile device?

No. At this time, only desktop and laptop computers are supported by BC ITS.

Can I backup my personal/home computer?

No, you cannot backup your personal/home computer. Boston College owns and is responsible for any data backed up using CrashPlan at BC.

Does CrashPlan work with encryption?

Yes, in most cases. CrashPlan supports encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at a system level. For example, DDPE, Windows Bitlocker, and Mac Filevault full disk encryption (MAC OS 10.9+) are fully supported.

CrashPlan does support encrypted files, folders, drives, and file systems that are run at the user level (for example, Windows Encrypting File System), but with these caveats:

  • CrashPlan would need to be installed "per-user." See more about Separately Backing Up Multiple User Accounts On One Device from Code42.
  • BC ITS does not recommend this type of installation unless absolutely necessary. For example, a device shared between users.
  • If a user-level encryption such as EFS is used and CrashPlan was installed for "All-Users," the EFS encrypted files will not be backed up.

Does CrashPlan encrypt my data before backing it up?

Yes. Code42 regards data security as the most important component of their backup services, so your files are encrypted before they are backed up.

What happens when I leave Boston College?

When your BC credentials are deactivated, you CrashPlan account is also deactivated and your backed up data is deleted after 180 days.

Using CrashPlan

How do I open the CrashPlan app?

The easiest way to open the CrashPlan app is by searching for "crashplan" on your Mac or Windows computer.

Other ways to open the CrashPlan app:

  • Mac: Find CrashPlan on the Task Bar.
  • Windows: Find CrashPlan in the System Tray or Programs menu.

Do I log in with my BC username and password?

Yes. The CrashPlan app passes your BC username and password to BC's servers to verify your credentials. Your credentials are not stored within the CrashPlan app, on the server, or with your data in the Cloud.

How do I know if my data is being backed up?

CrashPlan offers several methods for viewing your backup status:

How do I view my backed up files?

After you’ve started backing up your files with CrashPlan, you may want to view your backup. Open the CrashPlan app, then learn how to view backups (by Code42).

How do I restore files in my backup that I deleted from my computer?

Any file that was backed up by CrashPlan, and then deleted from your computer, can be restored for up to 365 days after it was deleted. Learn how to restore deleted files (by Code42).

How do I manually grant the SYSTEM read and write access to my Google Drive folder on Windows?

Do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on your Google Drive folder (C:\Users\BCusername\Google Drive) and select Properties.
  3. On the Security tab, click the Edit button.
  4. In the "Group or user names" box, make sure SYSTEM is selected (see Figure 1).
  5. In the "Permissions for SYSTEM" box, check Allow for Read and Write (see Figure 1), then click OK.
Google Drive permissions for SYSTEM
Figure 1.


Will I be notified if my backup is not successful?

If your computer has not backed up in 7 days (or 21 days), you will receive an email alert from CrashPlan. 

What do I do if I get an email alert saying CrashPlan has not backed up?

CrashPlan cannot back up if your computer is asleep, turned off, or not connected to the internet. If your computer is on, awake, and has internet access, restart it. Most issues can be resolved by restarting your computer.

If you're still not backing up, try the following:

If the problem continues, contact the Help Center at (617) 552-HELP (4357).

What if the backup is incomplete and I need to shut down or put my computer to sleep?

In these cases, CrashPlan pauses the backup and will resume when your computer is back on (in full power mode) and connected to the internet.

What happens if I change my computer name?

When you change your computer name, it does not automatically change in CrashPlan's email alerts, the CrashPlan app, or the CrashPlan web app. However, backups are not interrupted. CrashPlan assigns a Device ID to your computer, which it uses as the unique identifier for your computer in your account. CrashPlan only uses your computer name to make it easy for you to distiguish it from another computer in your account. Learn how to change your computer name in CrashPlan.

What if I get a new computer or had to be "reimaged" due to a system failure?

Contact your TC for additional information and assistance.

Why are some CrashPlan options grayed out (disabled)?

BC ITS has done extensive testing of CrashPlan and has chosen the best options for the BC community, based on our experience and findings. In order to protect the integrity of your backups, some options are disabled.