How to Migrate All of Your Data from CrashPlan

By | August 25th, 2017

Migrating from Crashplan

With CrashPlan deciding to leave the consumer backup space, CrashPlan for Home customers are now faced with having to migrate their data to a new cloud backup service. Uploading your data from your computer to a new service is onerous enough, but one thing that seems to be getting overlooked is the potential for the files that reside in CrashPlan Central, but not on your computer, to be lost during the migration to a new provider. Here’s an overview of the migration process to make sure you don’t lose data you wish to keep.

Why would you lose files?

By default CrashPlan for Home does not delete files from CrashPlan Central (their cloud storage servers) after they are uploaded from your computer. Unless you changed your CrashPlan “Frequency and versions” settings, all of the files you uploaded are still there. This includes all the files you deleted from your computer. For example, you may have a folder of old videos that you uploaded to CrashPlan and then deleted from your computer because of space concerns. This folder of old video files is still in your CrashPlan archive. It is very likely you have files stored in CrashPlan Central that are not on your computer. Such files are now in migration limbo, and we’ll get to those files in a minute, but first…

Get Started Now

CrashPlan was kind enough to make sure that everyone will have at least 60 days from August 22nd, 2017 to transfer their data. Most people will have more time, but everyone must be migrated by the end of October 2018.

Regardless, it’s better to get started now as it can take some time to upload your data to another backup provider. The first step in migrating your files is to choose a new cloud backup provider. Let’s assume you choose Backblaze Personal Backup.

Crashplan Migration Steps

The first step is to migrate all the data that is currently on your computer to Backblaze. Once you install Backblaze on your computer, it will automatically scan your system to locate the data to upload to Backblaze. The upload will continue automatically. You can speed up or slow down how quickly Backblaze will upload files by adjusting your performance settings for your Mac or for your Windows PC. In addition, any changes and new files are automatically uploaded as well. Backblaze keeps up to 30 days’ worth of file versions and always keeps the most recent version of every data file currently on your computer.

Question — Should you remove CrashPlan from your computer before migrating to Backblaze?
Answer — No.

If your computer fails during the upload to Backblaze, you’ll still have a full backup with CrashPlan. During the upload period you may want to decrease the resources (CPU and Network) used by CrashPlan and increase the resources available to Backblaze. You can “pause” CrashPlan for up to 24 hours, but that is a manual operation and may not be practical. In any case, you’ll also need to have CrashPlan around to recover those files in migration limbo.

Saving the Files in Migration Limbo

Let’s divide this process into two major parts: recovering the files and getting them stored somewhere else.

    Recovering Files in Limbo

    1. Choose a recovery device — Right now you don’t know how many files you will need to recover, but once you know that information, you’ll need a device to hold them. We recommend that you use an external USB hard drive as your recovery device.
    2. Locate the Limbo files — Open the CrashPlan App on your computer and select the “Restore” menu item on the left. As an example, you can navigate to a given folder and see the files in that folder as shown below:

    Restore files from Crashplan

    1. Click on the “Show deleted files” box as shown below to display all the files, including those that are deleted. As an example, the same files listed above are shown below, and the list now includes the deleted file IMG_6533.JPG.

    Finding deleted file in Crasphlan Central

    1. Deleted files can be visually identified via the different icon and the text shown grayed out. Navigate through your folder/directory structure and select the files you wish to recover. Yes, this can take a while. You only need to click on the deleted files as the other files are currently still on your computer and being backed up directly to Backblaze.
    2. Make sure you change the restore location. By default this is set to “Desktop.” Click on the word “Desktop” to toggle through your options. Click on the option, and you’ll be able to change your backup destination to any mounted device connected to your system. As an example, we’ve chosen to restore the deleted files to the USB external drive named “Backblaze.”
    3. Click “Restore” to restore the files you have selected.

    Storing the Restored Limbo Files

    Now that you have an external USB hard drive with the recovered Limbo files, let’s get them saved to the cloud. With Backblaze you have two options. The first option is to make the Limbo files part of your Backblaze backup. You can do this in two ways.

    1. Copy the Limbo files to your computer and they will be automatically backed up to Backblaze with the rest of your files.
    2. – or –

    3. Connect the external USB Hard Drive to your computer and configure Backblaze to back up that device. This device should remain connected to the computer while the backup occurs, and then once every couple of weeks to make sure that nothing has changed on the hard drive.

    If neither of the above solutions works for you, the other option is to use the Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage service.

What is Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage?

B2 Cloud Storage is a service for storing files in the cloud. Files are available for download at any time, either through the API or through a browser-compatible URL. Files stored in the B2 cloud are not deleted unless you explicitly delete them. In that way it is very similar to CrashPlan. Here’s some help, if you are unsure about the difference between Backblaze Personal Backup and Backblaze B2.

There are four ways to access B2: 1) a Web GUI, 2) a Command-line interface (CLI), 3) an API, and 4) via partner integrations, such a CloudBerry, Synology, Arq, QNAP, GoodSync and many more you can find on our B2 integrations page. Most CrashPlan users will find either the Web GUI or a partner integration to be the way to go. Note: There is an additional cost to use the B2 service, and we’ll get to that shortly.

  1. Since you already have a Backblaze account, you just have to log in to your account. Click on “My Settings” on the left hand navigation and enable B2 Cloud Storage. If you haven’t already done so you will be asked to provide a Mobile number for contact and authentication purposes.
  2. To use the B2 Web GUI, you create a B2 “bucket” and then drag-and-drop the files into the B2 bucket.
  3. You can also choose to use a B2 partner integration to store your data into B2.

If you use B2 to store your Limbo files rescued from CrashPlan and you use Backblaze to back up your computer, you will be able to access and manage all of your data from your one Backblaze account.

What does all this cost?

If you are only going to use Backblaze Personal Backup to back up your computer, then you will pay $50/year per computer.

If you decide to combine the use of Backblaze Personal Backup and Backblaze B2, let’s assume you have 500 GB of data to back up from your computer to Backblaze. Let’s also assume you have to store 100 GB of data in Backblaze B2 that you rescued from CrashPlan limbo. Your annual cost would be:

    To back up 500 GB:

    1. — Backblaze Personal Backup — 1 year/1 computer — $50.00

    To archive 100 GB:

    1. — Backblaze B2 — 100 GB @ $0.005/GB/month for 12 months — $6.00

    The Total Annual Cost to store your CrashPlan data in Backblaze, including your recovered deleted files, is $56.00.

Migrating from CrashPlan to Carbonite

If you are considering migrating your CrashPlan for Home account to Carbonite, you will still have to upload your data to Carbonite. There is no automatic process to copy the files from CrashPlan to Carbonite. You will also have to recover the Limbo files we’ve been speaking about using the process we’ve outlined above. In summary, when moving from CrashPlan for Home to any other vendor you will have to reupload your data to the new vendor.

One More Option

There is one more option you can use when you move your data from CrashPlan to another cloud service. You can download all of your data from CrashPlan, including the active and deleted files, to a local computer or device such an external USB Hard Drive. Then you can upload all that data to the new cloud backup provider. Of course this will mean all that data makes two trips through your local network — down and then back up. This will take time and could be very taxing on any bandwidth limits you may have in place from your network provider.

If you have the bandwidth and the time, this can be a good option, as all your files stored in CrashPlan Central are included in your backup. But, if you have a lot of data and/or a slow internet connection, this can take a really, really long time.

Join Our Webinar for More Information

You can sign up for our upcoming webinar, “Migrating from CrashPlan for Home to Backblaze” on September 7th at 10:00 am PDT if you’d like to learn more about the migration methods we covered today. Please note, you will need to register for this webinar by either signing up for a Backblaze BrightTALK channel account or using your existing BrightTALK account.

CrashPlan Replacement

Now that you are faced with replacing your CrashPlan for Home account, don’t wait until your contract is about to run out. Give yourself at least a couple of months to make sure all the data, including the Limbo data, is safely migrated somewhere else.

Also, regardless of which option you chose for migrating your data from CrashPlan to a new cloud backup service, once everything is moved and you’ve checked to make sure you got everything, then and only then should you turn off your CrashPlan account and uninstall CrashPlan.

An Invitation

If you are a CrashPlan for Home user going through the migration to a new cloud backup service, and have ideas to help other users through the migration process, let us know in the comments. We’ll update this post with any relevant ideas from the community.

Andy Klein

Andy Klein

Director of Product Marketing at Backblaze
Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing. He has shared his expertise in computer security and data backup at the Federal Trade Commission, Rootstech, RSA and over 100 other events. His current passion is to get everyone to back up their data before it's too late.
Andy Klein

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Category:  Backing Up
  • Salim

    Hello, why am I being censored? I genuinely want to confirm my understanding of the Backblaze Personal offering.

    • Your comment is visible. Did you have a question?

      • Salim

        By censored, I was referring to a comment I posted yesterday. I checked my Disqus feed and it was marked a spam. Reposting my understanding below (with clarification)…

        If I understand correctly, a sizable difference between CrashPlan and Backblaze Personal is Backblaze Personal does not store all archived indefinitely?
        For example, from Backblaze blog:

        “By default CrashPlan for Home does not delete files from CrashPlan Central… This includes all the files you deleted from your computer. For example, you may have a folder of old videos that you uploaded to CrashPlan and then deleted from your computer because of space concerns. This folder of old video files is still in your CrashPlan archive.”

        By contrast, I believe if I uploaded the same folder of videos to Backblaze, then deleted the folder from my computer, Backback would eventually purge the folder from its archive and my videos would be lost.

        I believe this difference is discussed in the article (but does require clear reading); for those who skim or want the tl;dr — Backblaze Personal w/o the addition of B2 is not a drop-in replacement for Crashplan.

        Additionally, the following Crashplan features have no equivalent in Backblaze Personal:

        * Backup to a friend’s computer offsite backup
        * Backup to a external harddrive onsite back

        Is this correct?

        (For the record, I’ll still likely go with Backblaze Personal + B2 Cloud Storage)

        • Hi Salim. Disqus is not fond of comments with links so will mark them as spam.
          Yes, your statements are correct. Backblaze Backup stores up to 30 days of changes to your files. If you delete files or disconnect a drive, those files will be stored for up to 30 days. You can find more detail here:
          Backblaze Backup does not support backing up to another computer or hard drive.

          • Salim

            Thank you Roderick for confirming my understanding (I wanted to make sure I’d correctly synthesized the information).


  • Salim

    If I understand correctly based on this article and the post here

    A major difference between CrashPlan and Backblaze is Backblaze does not store all archived indefinitely?

    For example,from the article above:

    “By default CrashPlan for Home does not delete files from CrashPlan Central… This includes all the files you deleted from your computer. For example, you may have a folder of old videos that you uploaded to CrashPlan and then deleted from your computer because of space concerns. This folder of old video files is still in your CrashPlan archive.”

    By contrast, I believe if I uploaded the same folder of videos to Backblaze, then deleted the folder from my computer, Backback would eventually purge the folder from its archive and my videos would be lost.


  • Brent Christensen

    I’ve been a Crashplan Family Unlimited user since 2007 and though I’ve rarely ever needed to actually use the backups, I’ve enjoyed the security it has afforded me, my business, and my family. One thing I’d really like to figure out is how to implement a new backup strategy that backs up locally to my Synology NAS in addition to backing up our Macs to the cloud. Does BackBlaze have such a solution?

  • linux is the best

  • Aamir Bilal

    Moved to BB. The only thing I don’t like about BB is 30 policy for external hard drives. I am a doctor with frequent trips away from my home city and cannot carry all my external drives with me. Just extend the 30 day time to at least 60. I liked the speeds however.

  • Simon Bratt

    Well as an affected user of crashplan, i have to do something. I chose crashplan mostly becuse of the none deletion of files removed from my hard drive. Backblaze doesnt work like that.
    I wont be chosing crashplan for business mostly because i have lost trust in them now. If they can do this to users without an automated transfer option to a new provider, then I cannot trust what thier next move will be.
    I am testing backblaze, but to be honest it will be a pain to have to plug in my local storage drives every 3-4 weeks. This time should be 6 months. If it was 6 months i would be much happier.
    The other thing i dont like about backblaze is the ZIP file recovery and the fact you have to wait for an email to be able to recover the file, that is pretty poor method, occasionally i need to restore a file fast, a possible wait of 2 hours for an email could be very embarassing.

  • Brian Scholer

    I will miss the unlimited retention.

    More worrying for me, looking at the restore options.. a ZIP file? Seriously?!

    We can’t just restore files directly to disk? That absolutely sucks, especially if a large restore is needed. We have stage a ZIP file somewhere and then wait for it to extract?

    An on top of that we can’t initiate a restore and then let it download in the background, we have to initiate, wait for an email telling us a ZIP is ready, then initiate a download of the ZIP, wait for that, then extract the ZIP.

    This sounds like a really poor experience.

    I haven’t tried the trial yet, so please correct me if this experience is incorrect. I’m going by the screenshots and content available on the site..

  • Windlasher

    I am impressed. I bought with Crashplan 30 days before they announced this. NO Refund. NICE.

    I back up about 3TB which they told me would take MONTHS to complete even though I have 100 gig fiber connection from centurylink which goes through the same telco building as CrashPlan here in Minneapolis. I bought Backbaze and in about a week my backup is done. The only thing I will miss is the ability to backup my parents data to my computer directly to my computer. They don’t use much and it was just easier that way. I have already deleted my Crashplan data from them and stopped backing up to them.

    Backblaze, I salute you. Let me know if you decide to go with a peer to peer backup solution.

    • kennyjay

      I also signed up just before they announced this. Burned all of my ISP limit and it took a month to get my 1.5TB uploaded. Now I have to do the whole thing again!
      They should have taken care of their customers.

  • nathan m

    This makes it sound like Backblaze is missing one major feature of Crashplan — keeping earlier and deleted files in one’s cloud backup. Is that true? If so, that’s a major omission.

    • Ticino

      This is the HUGE problem no other service clearly covers.

      • timothyhood

        Crashplan offers storing multiple versions, with user-defined settings for the number of versions of files modified in the last week, 90 days, last year and previous years. Deleted files can be removed anywhere from 1 day to 1 year or never. That level of flexibility means I don’t have to worry about not being able to retrieve a deleted file, and is closest to what true data “backup” is. (True data backup involves long-term file retention and multiple backup version retention.)

    • Hi Nathan. Our Personal Backup retains files and previous versions for 30 days prior to the current date. You can restore any of those versions.

      • brent

        This is why I will likely stick with CrashPlan Business version which while a bit more expensive, protects me if say I delete some files and don’t realize it until a few months later.

        • Eugene

          Totally agree.
          Wise marketing move on BackBlaze end to capture CrashPlan’s audience seeking for alternatives. But the 30 day limitation on keeping deleted data totally kills it for me.
          I don’t think I have LOTS of deleted data and I don’t have any “Limbo” AT ALL, but I’m willing to pay for the peace of mind CrashPlan is giving me with their data retention policy.
          And because I don’t have Limbo and just want a peace of mind, the method involving B2, which is described in this article, doesn’t work for me.

          • Matthew

            Despite being a Backblaze customer, I’m also in agreement on the file history time keeping period being too short. The 30 day limit was pretty much the only factor that made me even consider using CrashPlan in the first place. I can understand permanent file archiving being out the question from a business perspective, but even a limit of somewhere between 60-90 days would be significantly better for a lot of customers – even if longer file version history cost extra (e.g. $2.50 per 30 days extra), I’d be willing to pay a bit more for knowing I have a larger window to recover a file when I realise it’s gone (or in my case earlier this year, not have to rush to schedule & download a restore over remote desktop from my phone while on holiday abroad).

      • Concerned

        Agreed. The two features seemingly missing which are keeping me from switching are this 30 day limit (vs unlimited) and restore via zip file rather than a native restore through the client. The restore via zip file isn’t a deal-breaker for me though. The first one is.
        Since I realize how this “unlimited” could be abused, I’d be fine with some sort of data cap if “unlimited” versions are allowed. Like if I want unlimited versions, then those versions can only take up less than a certain amount of space before they are purged. Where live/active files are normal, the deleted versions have a space limit. Something like that.

      • Seconded about 30 days being a short time. I would have preferred Crashplan Business only nearly triple the cost is out of my budget right now. I would have signed up for it if it’d been only 50% extra, not 150% extra. But 30days! Happy to pay $70 a year for say, back up of 12 months.

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  • Zanpher

    Just an FYI, if you only want to archive the data, you can easily pay the $6 a year without needing to sign up for BackBlaze Personal.

    • Ticino

      What plan for archiving costs this little? I haven’t spotted it.

      • Zanpher

        BackBlaze B2, the cloud storage. I’ve been using it, it’s just shy of $6 .. ah! I see the issue. It’s per month, not year. I typed wrong above.

  • karl

    Considering CrashPlan has inconvenienced users they should be providing means to transfer their data. What about users who have uploaded data and are travelling, away, or unable to transfer it within the deadline period. As touched upon in this article, there may be deleted folders users have forgotten about, which will be lost. This is most inconvenient. Anyway, they should have teamed up with the likes of Backblaze, [insert good alternative cloud vendor here], etc. and offered a button to transfer data to Backblaze. I am sure they could have earned a small loyalty payment for the first year.

    • Jane Rivers

      AGREED! I mean DAMN our data might even be at the same data center, but were downloading it from CrashPlan and pushing it back up? I can’t believe they are not offering to keep it in the cloud and move accounts to a few vendors. I looked at the carbonate offer but the whole ‘video files require an upgraded account’ thing is silly, I thought I was paying for storage, guess I’m going to try backblaze. though it’s a bummer they are offering no discount of any kind.

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  • Majerus

    Have a linux client that doesnt require the use of b2.. and i would buy your service right now

    • karl

      I am utilizing B2 on a Linux machine. It is a lot cheaper to use B2 than their $5 pcm ‘Personal Backup; as a power user you are in a great place to save money on back-up.

      • Kai-Chieh Ku

        I have 3.7TB of data to backup and counting. A simple math indicates it’s not cheaper at all. The sweet spot of B2 vs. Backblaze Personal is around 1TB, which is a shame because some cloud storage services even give you 1TB of space for free.

        I will go for the offer provided by CrashPlan and hope there will be better solution appear in the next year.

        • Ticino

          Would love to know which services offer 1TB for free … 😮

          • Kai-Chieh Ku

            OK, to be honest they come with limits because they are not general purpose storage. Flickr and a Chinese DropBox-like service which I cannot remember the name, for example.

            But what I’d like to say is as an individual user the feature set of B2 is overkill and too pricey. The _Personal Backup_ service matches the demand well other than the OS limitation.

      • unifi mailer

        With a lot of storage not sure that the case. I know a few people with multi TB setups on b2 that would get expensive pretty quick.