CrashPlan: Introduction to University Cloud Data Backup System


What is CrashPlan and how does it help me backup files?


CrashPlan, previously called Code42, is the software powering the ITS Desktop Backup service, is designed to protect your data files, allowing you to restore your content to a repaired or replaced computer in case of theft or a hard drive crash. Desktop backup solutions are used to automatically back-up critical data stored on university-owned computers that isn't stored elsewhere.


  • Excellent data protection and file-version retention
  • User-friendly interface Unlimited data storage
  • User-based account may include up to four devices
  • No charge for UM-Ann Arbor campus faculty and all MiWorkspace subscribers

CrashPlan's file version retention allows recovery of clean versions of files in case of a virus or ransomware attack. CrashPlan is not designed to restore your applications and settings. Use Desktop Backup to protect data files (e.g., documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, music, videos) on your computer that are stored in locations not otherwise protected.


USE Desktop Backup for...

...backing up... ...because
Files stored locally on Mac computers. The Documents folder on Mac computers is not automatically stored on a file server and therefore is not otherwise backed up.
Files on Windows computers that do not redirect My Documents to a file server. Files not redirected to a file server will be lost in the event of a hard drive crash or other disaster.

Check with your local IT support if you are not sure.

Files on external hard drives. These files are otherwise unprotected.


DO NOT USE Desktop Backup for...

...backing up... ...because
Your entire computer hard drive. CrashPlan is not designed to restore your operating system or applications. These files are more successfully restored from installation media and backing them up may negatively impact backups of your important data.

See CrashPlan’s document What Should You Back Up for more information.

Network or Cloud storage, such as:
  • drives mapped to U-M network storage
  • U-M Box
  • U-M Google Drive
Files placed in these locations are protected by these services. Deleted files can be retrieved by the user for a period of time. Your local IT staff and ITS service providers can assist if necessary.
A computer running a server operating system or requiring a research data archive. CrashPlan is designed for backing up active data files on desktop operating systems.



For additional information, check these categories in the Knowledge Base:

CrashPlan Initial Setup Instructions

Using CrashPlan to Recover Data Online

Still Need assistance? See the following related services:

Code42 Desktop Backup (Ann Arbor page)

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Article ID: 132738
Thu 4/22/21 11:26 AM
Mon 4/3/23 10:32 AM