How To Restore a File from Your CrashPlan Backup

Here are instructions on how to restore one or more files from your CrashPlan online backup archive. The instructions work for both CrashPlan and CrashPlan Pro. In my opinion, an untested backup system is next to useless. Only by testing it do you know for sure that your backup system is working properly. By testing it, you also learn how to restore a file, which will enable you to be a bit more calm in the event of an actual disaster.

If you’re a visual learner, you might like to watch my video demonstration of how to perform a restore from CrashPlan.

  • Open the CrashPlan (or CrashPlan Pro) application by clicking on its icon on your Dock or in your Applications folder.
  • On the left-hand side you’ll see six¬†sections. Click on Restore.
  • You’ll see the CrashPlan Central Destination listed at the top, as well as the time of the most recent backup. If you want to restore from a backup other than the most recent backup, click the words “most recent” which appear at the bottom of the window. From the calendar that appears, select a previous date and time then click “Ok.”
  • Next, select the files or folders you want to restore by inserting a checkmark in the checkbox to the left of the file’s name. You can either use the search field to locate your file or you can click the arrows to the left of folder names to see the contents of the folder. Using these arrows, you can navigate down several layers of folders to locate the files or folders that you want to see.
  • The files will be restored to the Desktop by default. If you prefer, you can click on the word “Desktop” near the bottom of the window to select another location.
  • Finally, click the “Restore” button.
  • “Restore Status” information will be listed at the bottom of the CrashPlan window. Depending upon how many Kilobytes of data you select, it can take a while for CrashPlan to retrieve the files and send them to your computer. When the restoration is complete the status message will list the time at which that the files were restored to the destination on your Mac.

It’s also possible to restore files from CrashPlan’s web site. This option could be useful if your laptop was stolen or if you’re traveling without your laptop, but need a file. Restoring files from the CrashPlan web site limits you to a maximum of 500 MB.

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