Deleted files FAQ (CrashPlan for Small Business FAQ)

What is a deleted file? 

If a file or folder can't be found in the original selected location, CrashPlan marks it as deleted.

CrashPlan routinely scans your file selection to determine what needs to be backed up.  If a file has been moved or deleted from its location, CrashPlan will mark the file as “deleted”.

After a file has been marked as deleted, it remains in your backup archive for as long as your deleted file retention settings specify. If CrashPlan detects a file that was marked as deleted while scanning your file selection, it will no longer be marked as deleted.

When are deleted files removed?

CrashPlan determines how long to keep a file based on your file retentiron settings, and will always keep at least one copy of any file as long as the original remains on your device. Deleted files are removed during archive maintenance and can be retained for a maximum of 90 days. Archive maintenance runs on cloud destinations every 60 days. 

I want to keep my deleted files longer than 90 days

If you have deleted files from computer that you would like to retain longer than the 90 day retention setting in CrashPlan, you'll need to restore them to your device using these steps:

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan app.
  2. Click Restore Files.
  3. (Applies only if you have multiple devices) From the menu, select the device that originally backed up the files you want to restore.
  4. If you back up to multiple destinations, select the destination to Restore files from.
  5. Click the options menu (button with three dots).
  6. Choose Include deleted files.
  7. (Optional) If you want to restore an earlier version of your files, click As of Today to select a previous date from a calendar.
  8. Select the checkboxes for the folders and files you want to restore.
  9. Select Restore Files
  10. Update the options to specify the restore location, naming guidelines, and permissions for your restored files.
  11. Click Go. Your download is added to the downloads manager. The downloads manager displays the status of your download.

For additional instructions with screenshots, see our article Retain and download deleted files.

Can I select an option to download only deleted files?

Restoring only deleted files is not currently a feature of CrashPlan for Small Business.

Why can’t I keep deleted files forever?

When it comes to deciding on a backup strategy, experts recommend the "rule of three" - three copies of your data in at least 2 different locations. CrashPlan for Small Business accomplishes this by backing up your files to our secure cloud and also offers the ability to back up to local external drives.

While it may be tempting to delete files on your computer to free up space and rely on your CrashPlan for Small Business cloud or local backup, this compromises your backup strategy and puts your data at risk.

In the event of a drive failure or file corruption, there is a chance that a file could become unrecoverable. CrashPlan accounts for this by running regular archive maintenance and re-uploading a new version of a file if needed, but this can only occur if the original file remains on your computer. 

Why is CrashPlan excluding files?

CrashPlan for Small Business is designed to back up your user files (pictures, music, documents, etc.), not your operating system or applications. For this reason, the CrashPlan app excludes certain temporary files and system files. Additionally, some metadata is unsupported.

When external drives are disconnected for any reason, the CrashPlan app marks the drive as “missing”. Missing files and folders within the drive are not marked as deleted, and CrashPlan will automatically scan and upload new versions of the files when the drive is reconnected. This also applies to internal drives that are disconnected (if you have any in addition to the hard drive your computer boots from).

However, there are several circumstances where missing files and folders could be marked as deleted, such as:

  • A drive is reconnected under a different drive name, letter or path. 
  • A new drive or device (like a USB stick) is connected under the name, drive letter, or path of an existing disconnected drive. 

How do deleted file retention settings apply to external drives?

Backing up to an external drive

The 90-day deleted file retention policy applies to both cloud destinations and local destinations. If you back up to an external drive as a local destination, files deleted from your computer will be removed from the local backup archive after 90 days.

Backing up from an external drive

When external drives are disconnected for any reason, the CrashPlan app marks the drive as “missing”. Missing files and folders within the drive are not marked as deleted, and CrashPlan will automatically scan and upload new versions of the files when the drive is reconnected. This also applies to internal drives that are disconnected (if you have any in addition to the hard drive your computer boots from).

However, an external drive could be marked as deleted if a new drive or device (like a USB stick) is connected under the name, drive letter, or path of the existing disconnected drive. This is because CrashPlan would consider it the same drive with different contents.

We recommend keeping external and internal drives connected whenever possible. If a drive must be disconnected, reconnect it to your computer regularly to ensure that CrashPlan can scan and upload new versions of the files.

If a drive is disconnected permanently because of failure, loss, etc., you can follow our instructions to Download files after replacing a drive.

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