Using Desktop Backup


Desktop Backup is powered by Crashplan, an automated backup utility from Code 42 that stores files you select from your computer in the cloud. 

The CrashPlan application can be used to restore files that were lost or damaged. After some initial setup, CrashPlan will work in the background to save versions of files at set intervals.

Note Desktop Backup is only for files on a local computer. Network folders, such as a home directory or shared folders, are backed up by a different process.

Note The University of Michigan Medical Health Information Technology & Services (HITS) 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 HITS.

Note Some of the actions can only be taken if you have administrator permissions to CrashPlan.

First-Time Setup

Ordering and Rates

For ordering and rates information, see the ITS Desktop Backup site.

Download and Install CrashPlan

This action requires that you have administrator rights on your computer. If you do not, contact your local IT department. 

Note MiWorkspace customers should contact 4-HELP to request CrashPlan be installed on their MiWorkspace 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 into the search box and press ENTER
    Mac: In the Dock, open Finder, click Applications and then click CrashPlan
  2. Type your uniqname and UMICH password
    NoteIf the PROe Server address field is present and not filled in, type
  3. 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 Replace 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 as Crashplan can not do full operating system restores. Rather, select only locations where you regularly save files.
  3. Click Save. Your backup will begin immediately

Note Your initial backup should be performed on a fast network, e.g. on campus, to minimize time. 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.


mac OS 10.14 Mojave Users

Due to changes introduced with Mojave, you will need to modify your CrashPlan settings in order to back up your data. Until you take the following steps, your data will not be backed up:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Security and Privacy
  3. Click on the Privacy tab
  4. Click on Full Disk Access (to the left)
  5. Check the box for CrashPlan
  6. Reboot

Move to a New Computer or Restore From Drive Failure

Replace a Computer

You should use this method when you have either 1) moved to a new computer or 2) your computer's hard drive has been reformatted or replaced.

  1. Install the CrashPlan Client
  2. Sign in. CrashPlan will ask you if you would like to Add New Device or Replace Existing
  3. Select Replace Existing and then Start (below the listed 3-step process)
  4. You will be prompted to select the computer you are replacing from the list
  5. Check all of the files from your old device you wish to transfer to your new workstation and click Get Files
  6. You will be prompted to pick the file location, what to do if the file exists, and permissions: Restore the most recent version to original location and rename any existing files
  7. Once the files have been restored, click Next, settings will be transferred over and the user will have to login again. The replace device process is now complete, click Finish
  8. Click on the Details of the current computer and then Manage Files to ensure all the folders you want to back up are selected 

Restoring Files

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

  1. Launch the CrashPlan application.
  2. Login
  3. Click Get Files on the computer you will be restoring data from.
  4. Check the box(s) next to the folder or file you need restored.
  5. If a file was deleted, click the ooo to show all deleted and hidden file options.
  6. By default, CrashPlan will restore the the most recent version of the file(s).  A calendar is available so you can pick a specific time and date to restore from.
  7. By default, files are restored to a folder in Downloads unless selected otherwise. Click the dropdown to change the location where the file(s) will be restored. The subsequent choices are Original Location, followed by Desktop and Other. When you select a folder, click the folder in parentheses to select a custom location to restore the file(s).
  8. By default, restored files are renamed to preserve the current version of the selected file(s). Click the dropdown to select overwrite; this replaces the current version of the file with the restored version.
  9. Click Go.

Blocking or Deactivating Devices

  • Blocking is a non-destructive action that prevents access to CrashPlan. A blocked user or device cannot sign in. (Useful to prevent further backing up of a device, for example, if a device has been stolen but you still would like to retain the data previously backed up.)
  • Deactivating is a destructive action that removes a device, user, organization, or plan from your Code42 environment. An active user can sign in again to a deactivated device, but a deactivated user cannot sign in

Submit a blocking or deactivation request using the Desktop Backup Request form.

Deprovisioning Users

Deprovisioning a user removes the user’s account from the CrashPlan server and stops backup of all devices assigned to the user. It also stops billing for that user account.

  1. Submit a request through the Desktop Backup Request form.
  2. Uninstall the client from the computer.

Note The data in deprovisioned accounts will be removed from the cloud in 30 days. If you need the data removed immediately, please include that in your request.

Tracking Backups

CrashPlan Web Reporting

The CrashPlan Web Console allows you see which devices you are backing up, if your computer(s) is backing up, which files and folders you are backing up, and allows you to to turn email notifications on and off.

To use the CrashPlan Web Console:

  1. Login to CrashPlan using your uniqname (no and your UMICH password
  2. Select devices or users from the left panel
  3. Click the gear icon located near the top of the page
  4. Select Export All to export the report to a CSV file for review

To change your email notifications (must be changed for each device):

  1. Click on the computer
  2. Click on gear icon in upper right-hand corner
  3. Click on Edit
  4. Click on Reporting tab
  5. Set your notification (email) preferences

Crashplanner Reporting Tool

Crashplanner provides the ability to see the backup status and details of computers in your unit that have CrashPlan installed. This requires an account that has been given administrator permissions. If you do not have access, submit an access request through the Desktop Backup Request form.

  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.

Tutorials from CrashPlan Pro

Related See Other Troubleshooting Resources

Vendor provided site outside of U-M domain:

Last Updated: 
Monday, December 3, 2018