Using Desktop Backup


Desktop Backup is powered by CrashPlan, an automated backup utility that stores selected files on the cloud. Only files that are stored on your local machine are covered by Desktop Backup. Other network folders, such as your home directory or shared folders, are backed up differently.

In the event of data loss, the CrashPlan application can be used to restore lost files. After some initial setup, CrashPlan will work in the background to save versions of files at set intervals.

Note The University of Michigan Medical School Information Services (MSIS) also uses CrashPlan for a service called Data Guard. This document and the ITS Service center do not cover the use of this product. For more information, please contact MSIS.

First-Time Setup

Password Sync

Your UMICH password must be synced to Active Directory. If you are not sure about this, you should change your password.

Download and Install CrashPlan

This action requires administrator rights on your computer.

  1. Navigate to the CrashPlan website.
  2. Type your uniqname (do not include and UMICH password.
  3. Click Sign In.
  4. Click on App Downloads on the left side banner and select your OS.
  5. Open the downloaded file to start the CrashPlan Setup Wizard.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Check Accept for the License Agreement and click Next twice.
  8. Click Install.
  9. Click Finish.


  1. Launch the CrashPlan application.
    Windows: Click the Start menu, type CrashPlan PROe into the search box and press ENTER.
    Mac: In the Dock, click Applications and then click CrashPlan.
  2. Click Existing Account.
  3. Type your uniqname and UMICH password.
    Note: If the PROe Server address field is present and not filled in, type
  4. Click Sign In.

Client Configuration

If this is the first time you have used CrashPlan, follow the first backup procedure. If you previously had CrashPlan installed on another workstation and want to continue to use your old backup archive, you will need to run the Adopt a Computer process.

First-Time Backup

You can select multiple locations to include in the backup. Your Users folder on your computer’s hard drive is selected by default.

  1. Under the Files section, click Change.
  2. Check the boxes for the folders to back up.
    Note It is not necessary to back up the entire hard drive. Rather, select locations where you regularly save files.
  3. Click Save. Your backup will begin immediately.
  4. Select the Settings tab.
  5. Under the General tab in the Backup Status and Alerts section, click Configure.
  6. Check any of the boxes next to settings you wish to receive email alerts on. If you do not enable these settings, you will not be notified if your client is having trouble backing up files unless you check the client computer. There are editable fields to specify how often you would like to receive alerts.

Note Your initial backup should be performed on a fast network, e.g. on campus. Large single files typically upload at a faster rate than many small files. Each gigabyte of data will typically take 1.5 hours to complete.

Adopt a Computer

You should use this method when you have either 1) reformatted or replaced your computer's hard drive; or 2) moved to a new computer and you do not want to start your backup new and from the beginning.

  1. Install the CrashPlan Client.
  2. Sign in. You should see a message at the top of the client asking if you want to adopt a previous computer; for now, select the option to wait.
  3. Click Restore.
  4. Check all of the files from your old device you wish to transfer to your new workstation. There is a drop-down menu at the top of the restore window that allows you to select your old machine.
  5. Change the options at the bottom of the restore window to the following: Restore the most recent version to original location and rename any existing files.
  6. Once the files have been restored, press the adopt link on the backup page of the client.
  7. From the Action menu, choose Adopt a Computer. This displays a window that lists available devices from within the user's account.
  8. Select the device to adopt.
  9. Click Adopt.
  10. Select the Backup tab and use the change button under files to ensure all the folders you want to backup are selected.

Restoring Files

After the initial backup is complete, you are able to restore previously saved versions of files from the cloud.

  1. Launch the CrashPlan application.
  2. Click Restore.
  3. Check the box next to the folder or file you need restored.
  4. If a file was deleted, click the Show deleted files checkbox to show all deleted files.
  5. By default, CrashPlan will restore the the most recent version of the file(s). If you click the link, a calendar appears; you can pick a specific time and date to restore from.
  6. By default, files are restored to the Desktop on Macs and CrashPlan for PCs. Click the link to change the location where the file(s) will be restored. The subsequent choices are original location, followed by a folder (Desktop). When you select a folder, click the folder in parentheses to select a custom location to restore the file(s).
  7. By default, restored files are renamed to preserve the current version of the selected file(s). Click the link to select overwrite; this replaces the current version of the file with the restored version.
  8. Click Restore.

Using Crashplanner

Crashplanner provides the ability to see the backup status and details of computers in your unit that have CrashPlan installed.

  1. To access Crashplanner, go to You should automatically be logged in. If you are redirected to the request page, enter your uniqname and password. Note:This requires an account that has been separately provisioned. If you do not have access, submit an access request through the Desktop Backup Request form.
Last Updated: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018