Recovering files from a local Crashplan archive

Crashplan is an excellent cross-platform backup to the cloud utility. Here I use it to backup to a local NAS and to the Crashplan Central ‘in the cloud’ storage site.

Recently I had to recover (again) all the files for a laptop which had had a new hard disk fitted. It had the operating system and the crashplan software installed.

During recovery there seemed to be no way to recover the files from the local archive. This would have been faster than pulling everything back down from the Internet. I logged a support case with Crashplan and there is a way to do this (which I have suggested they make explicitly clear).

The archive can be attached and recovered from using the following procedure:

1. Open the CrashPlan desktop and go to Backup > Inbound.
(If you don’t see the Inbound section, go to Settings > General > Inbound backup from other computers > Configure. Click Accept Inbound Backups.)

2. Select Attach a backup archive
(If you already have another inbound device listed, click the triangle icon in the top-right of the window to open the menu.)

3. Navigate to and select the archive folder.
The archive folder will have a long series of numbers as the file name: e.g., 948212309528060501.

4. Click Ok.

5. Navigate back to the Restore tab and choose “This Computer” as the destination.

6. The archive on the NAS should be attached and you should be able to browse the files in that archive.

You can also use this procedure to restore files from the NAS archive belonging to a different computer then the one you are on (though of course you can also do that from the Crashplan software by accessing Crashplan Central, or from a web interface, or from a mobile interface).


5 thoughts on “Recovering files from a local Crashplan archive

  1. Anonymous October 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm Reply

    Remember that you can only do that if you already have CrashPlan installed — in your case you already had CrashPlan installed. CrashPlan requires an internet connection to install (and obviously requires the CrashPlan servers to exist and be functioning).

    The point is that if CrashPlan (Code 42) was to ever disappear, so would our backups, even the local ones.

  2. cloud November 20, 2012 at 5:59 am Reply

    Here some of the points are useful on crash plan..with an different platforms…!!

  3. Geen Naam December 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm Reply

    Don’t ever do this.

    If Crashplan doesn’t recognize the computer correctly, it will throw the backup away after step 4.

  4. BigR December 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm Reply


    I have not seen that behaviour – what were the circumstances of your recovery?

  5. Jeremy Felix D. (@jfelixdev) November 27, 2016 at 5:22 am Reply

    I had the same problem. Priceless irreplaceable data, I was confident it was backed up since I had my CrashPlan archives.

    Crashplan bugged the fuck out, deleted the backup files and now I’m attempting to use NFTS GetDataBack to recover 178GB of deleted CrashPlan archives.

    So, wish me luck.
    I’m going to look for a backup solution that uses uncompressed backups in the future. 😦

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