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 the ITS Service Center 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. Select Install for Everyone unless you are using a shared computer (if you are using a shared computer, choose "Only for me")
  9. Click Install
  10. Click Finish

Note Installing CrashPlan for the user in the shared computer scenario only backs up when the user is logged in to the computer. It does not back up when the user is not logged in.


  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.

Important macOS 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.

Crashplanner Reporting Tool

Crashplanner is a reporting and administration tool for CrashPlan. Crashplanner provides access to the following information for computers in your unit that have CrashPlan installed:

  • Backup status
  • Quick view of which computers and operating systems are backing up
  • Update shortcodes and manage backup email settings for users per system
  • Search for multiple items from the home screen

In addition, with the new Crashplanner, Crashplanner Administrators can give MCommunity groups the ability to administer future users (Administrator role), manage user device settings (Manager role), or view device settings (Guest role). Note This requires a uniqname in the MCommunity group that has been given permissions.

Access Crashplanner

To access Crashplanner, go to You should automatically be logged in. If not, you will be redirected to the Weblogin page where you should log in with your uniqname and UMICH (Level-1) password.

Crashplanner Actions Menu

Once you are in Crashplanner, click on the Actions menu in the top left of the Crashplanner home page to access additional features.

Organization reports

  • Click on the Actions menu in the top left of the Crashplanner home page
  • Select Browse Organization
  • Click on your organization and a page of reports will load

Note All reports can be downloaded to a CSV formatted file for external data needs

Show Permissions

  • Click on the Actions menu in the top left of the Crashplanner home page
  • Click on Show Permissions
  • Your role will be listed on the left side


You can request hands-on training by emailing

Tutorials from CrashPlan Pro

Related See Other Troubleshooting Resources

Vendor provided site outside of U-M domain:

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019