ITS Documentation

Using Desktop Backup

s4392 • March 2014

Desktop Backup is powered by CrashPlan, an automated backup utility that stores selected files in the cloud. Only files that are stored on your local machine are covered by Desktop Backup. Other network folders, such as your home directory or shared folders, are backed up using other means.

In the event of data loss, the CrashPlan application can be used to restore lost files. After some initial setup, CrashPlan will work in the background to save versions of files at set intervals.

These instructions do not apply to MiWorkspace customers using Desktop Backup. Please see the MiWorkspace support site for more information on using Desktop Backup with MiWorkspace.

NOTE: The University of Michigan Medical School Information Services (MSIS) 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 MSIS.

Table of Contents

First-Time Setup

Password Sync

Your UMICH password must be synced to Active Directory. If you are not sure, you should change your password.

Download and Install CrashPlan

This action requires administrator rights on your computer.

  1. Navigate to the CrashPlan website.
  2. Type your uniqname (do not include and UMICH password.
  3. Click Sign In.
  4. Choose your machine’s Operating System.
  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, click Applications and then click CrashPlan.
  2. Click Existing Account.
  3. Type your uniqname and UMICH password.
    Note: If the PROe Server address field is present and not filled in, type
  4. 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 do the Adopt 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. Rather, select locations where you regularly save files.
  3. Click Save. Your backup will begin immediately.
  4. Select the Settings tab.
  5. Under the General tab in the Backup Status and Alerts section, click Configure.
  6. Check any of the boxes you wish to get email alerts on. If you don't enable these settings you won't be notified if your client is having trouble backing up unless you go into the client and look. There are editable fields to specify how often you want to get alerted.

Adopt a Computer

You should use this method when you have either 1) reformatted or replaced your computer's hard drive; or 2) moved to a new computer and you do not want to start your backup new and from the beginning.

  1. Install the CrashPlan Client.
  2. Sign in. You should see a message at the top of the client asking if you want to adopt a previous computer, wait for now.
  3. Click Restore.
  4. Check all of the files from your old device you wish to transfer to your new workstation. There is a drop down at the top of the restore window that allows you to select your old machine.
  5. Change the options at the bottom of the restore window to say the following: Restore the most recent version to original location and rename any existing files.
  6. Once the files have been restored, press the adopt link on the backup page of the client.
  7. From the Action menu, choose Adopt a Computer. This displays a window that lists available devices from within the user's account.
  8. Select the device to adopt.
  9. Click Adopt.
  10. Select the Backup tab and use the change button under files to ensure all the folders you want to backup are selected.

Restoring Files

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

  1. Launch the CrashPlan application.
  2. Click Restore.
  3. Check the box next to the folder or file you want restored.
  4. If a file was deleted, click the Show deleted files checkbox to show all deleted files.
  5. By default, CrashPlan will restore the the most recent version of the file(s). If you click the link, a calendar appears where you can pick a specific time and date to restore from.
  6. By default, files are restored to the Desktop on Macs and CrashPlan for PCs. Click the link to change the location where the file(s) will be restored. The subsequent choices are original location, followed by a folder (Desktop). When you select a folder, click the folder in parentheses to select a custom location to restore the file(s).
  7. By default, restored files are renamed to preserve the current version of the selected file(s). Click the link to select overwrite, which deletes the current version of the file with the restored version.
  8. Click Restore.

Using the CrashPlan Web Console

The web console provides access to your data and many of the settings on all of the computers you back up with CrashPlan, even from computers that don’t have CrashPlan installed.

  1. From a web browser, go to
  2. Type your uniqname (do not include and UMICH password.
  3. Click Sign In.
  4. If the Welcome screen appears, close it.

For Local IT Support: Basic Troubleshooting

Follow the steps below to determine if the user is experiencing a true performance issue or if it is a backup issue.

Performance Issue

  1. Within the CrashPlan PROe client interface, select the Settings tab, and then the Network tab.
  2. Underneath WAN (in the WAN section), there are two options to check:
    • Limit Sending Rate When Away To
    • Limit Sending Rate When Present To
    Be sure these are both set to None.

Backup Issue

  1. Within the CrashPlan PROe client interface, select the Destinations tab, and then the Cloud tab.
  2. Click on the Information Graphic (little i in a circle). This shows the actual transfer speed. If it is anything above 1 megabit per second, this is expected performance. The amount of data to backup determines how long the backup takes to complete. It is not uncommon for a backup to take 24 hours or more the first time. Some can take several hours or days.

NOTE: It's not unusual to see "Backup running - x minutes remaining." Since backups are run frequently, it's not unusual to see that the backup is running every time you check. This does not mean that the backup is not completing.

Tutorials from CrashPlan Pro

Adopting a Computer

Backing up Opened Files (in particular VMs, Databases and PST files)

How Backup Works

  • "Prioritizing Backup To Multiple Destinations" isn't allowed in the university environment.

Restoring Files from the Client

Restoring Files from the Web Console

Using CrashPlan and Time Machine Together

Speeding up your Backup

Changing File Selection

What is Not Being Backed Up

Specifying Version Settings

Device Backup Overview & Settings

Using Backup Sets

File and Folder Hierarchy

Backup Status Report Reference

Mac Menu Bar

Windows Notification Area Menu

Excluding Files By Using File Type and Regular Expressions

Additional Resources

Visit ITS's Information System to obtain ITS computer documentation and other resources. A list of relevant documents follows:

The ITS Service Center provides a variety of computing help resources.

For further help with this or any other topic, call 734-764-HELP [4357] or submit an online service request.