CrashPlan Frequently Asked Questions

This service is for faculty and staff.

CrashPlan (previously known as Code42) is an automatic, continuous data backup application. It works on Mac, PC, and Linux computers and backs up your data whether you’re on campus, at home, or traveling abroad. A user license is required to use CrashPlan.

NOTE: While CrashPlan can be an effective solution for backing up your data, Microsoft OneDrive on Windows devices now allows you to automatically back up your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. ITS is beginning to migrate Windows users from CrashPlan to OneDrive Backup. The OneDrive Backup functionality is not yet available on macOS devices, but Microsoft has announced that they are planning to add it in the future.

Please refer to the questions below for information on using CrashPlan with your St. Thomas computer.

How do I access my CrashPlan backup?

You can open the desktop application by clicking on the icon in your taskbar to view your backup status, restore files, and change backup settings. Detailed instructions for restoring from the CrashPlan desktop application are here.

What is backed up?

All your user data is backed up, including the most common folders: 

  • Contacts 
  • Desktop 
  • Documents 
  • Favorites 
  • Music 
  • Pictures 
  • Videos 
  • And any custom folders
  • Optional: Secondary drives (e.g. drive F:\Data) CAN be backed up by manually selecting it in the CrashPlan backup settings, but they are not automatically selected.  Select the drive in the desktop application settings.

Details on changing your backup selection can be found here.

What is not backed up?

  • Operating system files are not backed up (e.g. C:\Windows) 
  • Other cloud service folders are not backed up by CrashPlan (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive)
  • Network drives cannot be backed up with CrashPlan (e.g. "ust-files") since they’re already backed up by St. Thomas. 

How long does a backup take to complete?

Backups and restore times depend on 3 variables:

  1. Size of the backup 
  2. Processor speed & throttling limit settings: It takes time to encrypt and send each file. We also want CrashPlan to run unnoticed on your computer, so while you’re at your computer, it’s programmed to only take up to 20% of your processor power. Then, while you’re away, it’s allowed to use up to 80% of your processor. 
  3. Internet connection speed: It is best to perform the initial backup while your computer is on campus where the Internet connection is fastest. After that, CrashPlan only backs up new or modified files.  

As a benchmark, we’ve found an average 80Gb backup to take about 160 minutes to backup and restore during our testing on campus, or roughly .5Gb/min. After the initial backup, the continuous 15 minute backups save changes and new files, which is very quick.

Do I have to use CrashPlan?

No. ITS now recommends using OneDrive to back up data whenever possible, especially with OneDrive Backup. CrashPlan remains an option for faculty and staff to use if OneDrive is not sufficient for their needs.

Please keep in mind all St. Thomas laptops must be encrypted. In the event your computer has a hardware failure, is lost, stolen, or destroyed, ITS will not be able to recover your data without a backup mechanism in place. 

Can I put CrashPlan on a second computer?

Yes, each person can have Code42 on up to 4 St. Thomas devices.


To report a problem or receive additional troubleshooting, please contact the Tech Desk
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Article ID: 96873
Wed 1/29/20 1:53 PM
Wed 3/22/23 1:06 PM

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Automatically back up your St. Thomas Mac or PC user files using CrashPlan.