CrashPlan is unable to back up files (CrashPlan for Small Business FAQ)

When the backup is unable to reach 100% complete, this is usually because CrashPlan is "Unable to back up 'X' files." You would see this in the History tab of the CrashPlan app installed on your computer. The message "Unable to back up 'X' files (next attempt within Y minutes)" means that the CrashPlan app is trying to back up certain files but cannot access them. This may happen if:

  • The normal method of backing up open files fails when in use by another application.
  • The file is locked due to permissions or other issues.

  • The CrashPlan app is backing up system or application files that it should not be.

Steps for Windows

  1. Open a file browser and paste the following location into the address bar:
    • Installed for everyone:C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan\log
    • Installed per user:C:\Users\<username>\AppData\<Local or Roaming>\CrashPlan\log
  2. Open the backup_files.log.0 file in a text editor.
    Most problem files can be found towards the end of the log file.
  3. A file failing to back up is noted with a "W" at the start of the line:
    W 01/06/21 12:00PM 42  - C:\Users\John\Blackberry\Backup\BlackBerry Tour 9630-1.ipd

    A file backing up successfully is noted with an "I" at the start of the line:
    I 01/06/21 12:00PM 42 50cd0afdb853e65f1f47c31407ce9a4a 
    0 C:\Users\Jill\Documents\Outlook Files\outlook.pst (200483653) [1,0,200483653,0,0,0,0]

Steps for MacOS

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Press Command+Shift+G, and paste the following file path into the dialog:
    • Installed for everyone: /Library/Logs/CrashPlan
    • Installed per user:~/Library/Logs/CrashPlan
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Open the backup_files.log.0 file with TextEdit.

This document lists every file that the CrashPlan app has backed up. However, any log lines beginning with a "W" signify a file the CrashPlan app wasn't able to back up at that time.

Steps for Linux

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter: cd /usr/local/crashplan/log/
    This command accesses the logs directory.
  3. Enter: nano backup_files.log.0

The file opens in nano. This document lists every file that the CrashPlan app attempted to back up. Any log lines beginning with a "W" signify a file that the CrashPlan app wasn't able to back up at that time.

Once you have identified the problem files, you can determine the best course of action. Usually these files are inconsequential system or application files and can be safely removed from the file selection by selecting Manage Files in the CrashPlan app. If the files not backing up appear to be important or you are not sure what the best course of action is, please reach out to our Technical Support team for further assistance.

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