Using CrashPlan for Backups

What is CrashPlan?

CrashPlan is backup system that will copy files and folders that you specify to a central backup server. The system runs silently and copies as you create or add files to the specified directories. Using this system you can even revert files to older versions that may have been written over accidentally.

Who installs CrashPlan?

The SCSD Technology Services Group will install and enroll you into the system.

What should you back up?

Chances are, you know better than anyone else what files to back up because they're the files you would miss the most if something were to happen to them. This includes folders that contain:

  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Documents

In other words, you want to back up the files you create and interact with on a regular basis. As an SCSD policy, we backup your entire user profile which include directories like: Desktop, Documents, Download, Movies, Music, Pictures.

How to check if CrashPlan is working?

In order to check the status your backups, you must open the CrashPlan application which resides in your Applications folder on OS X. From there, you should already be in the 'Backup' section of the application. To make sure, see if 'Backup' is highlighted on the left. In the top section of 'Backup', you will see what is called 'Destinations', this is where you will see the status of your backups currently running. Underneath that section you will see 'Files', these are the files you are choosing to backup to the CrashPlan server.

In the image below, you can see what it looks like when your backups are complete and it awaiting changes or new files.


How to restore deleted files or revert to an earlier version

In order to restore files, you must open the CrashPlan application which resides in your Applications folder on OS X. From there you will get a window that appears the same as the one below:


Now you must select the specific files or directories of files you wish to restore. To select them, check the boxes to the left of the files. The following picture is an example of what I would select to restore a directory of files that is named Switch Temp Configs which resides on my Desktop.


Once I have selected the files I would like to restore, I will need to set the properties of the restore. The options below the file chooser may need to be changed to your preference. View the example below.


The blue highlighted texts may be clicked, this will change the properties of the files you wish to restore. In the example above, the restore will bring the latest version of the files, with their original permissions to you and copy them to your Desktop and will rename the files if they already exist. Confusing? let's break it down:

Configurable restore options

Restore date (most recent): If you click on this option, you can change the files to an earlier date that they were backed up on. For example, if I had saved an Excel spreadsheet three weeks ago, and then today made a change that I did not mean to, I can revert the file back to before I changed it today.

Permissions (original permissions): This is an advanced feature, we recommend you always change it to 'current permissions'.

Restore location (Desktop): This is the destination you would like to copy down your restore. If you click this, you will get the option of 'original location' which will bring the file to the exact same location it was saved from. If you click it again, you will also get the 'A Folder (Desktop)' option. This will allow you to specify a new folder you would like to save the restored files to.

Overwriting (rename): This option is the action CrashPlan will take in the event the file already exists in the directory you are restoring to. For example: If you are restoring a file called 'Test.txt' to your Desktop, and there already resides a file called 'Test.txt' on your Desktop, this is where you would specify to overwrite the existing file or rename the conflicting file to something else.

After you have everything set the way you want, click 'Restore' and that's it!

Still need help? Get in touch!
Last updated on 16th Dec 2016