How To Migrate Your CrashPlan Backups

How To Migrate Your CrashPlan Backups

You back up your computer, right? (If you’re not, you should be — you can get started here.) So you know that the most painful part of off-site backup is the initial backup, which takes forever, requiring you to upload gigabyte after gigabyte of data to your service’s servers. If you’ve bought a new computer or upgraded your operating system, but have transferred all the same data to your new machine, you don’t want to do your initial back up all over again. And with our favourite backup service, CrashPlan, you don’t have to.

Yesterday I set up a new computer for my wife. Attached to her computer is a 2TB storage drive, and the last thing I wanted to do is another full upload of all of that data to CrashPlan. Luckily, Crashplan has a feature — called “Adopting another computer” — that lets you do just this. Using the external hard drive as ane example, here’s how it works:

  1. Install CrashPlan on your new computer, then log into your account.
  2. Once you’re logged in, you should see a New Computer message at the top of the CrashPlan window. Click the Adopt link.
  3. Now choose the computer you want to adopt. This should be the computer your drive and data were previously backed up with.
  4. The Files section of the Backup tab will now display the same sources as the computer you adopted, including your storage drive. Make sure everything looks right (e.g., the source exists in the same path on your new computer as it did on your old one) and you’re ready to back up, no painful initial upload required.

That’s all there is to it. It’s relatively simple, and you might want to check out CrashPlan’s documentation for more details, but the simple feature saved me a couple weeks of uploading. I do love my CrashPlan.


  • I use Crashplan & I recently migrated to a new Mac (MacBook->MacMini) which also involved a jump to the latest OSX. I used migration assistant to help transfer most of my files but set up exactly the same partition/folder structure etc. When I started crashplan for the first time on the new machine it was seamless and didn’t give any indication that I had moved machines, continuing to back up files from where I had left off on the old machine. I was a little surprised.

  • i didnt have such luck…. I set up the new PC with different partitions and folders. Upon installing and loggin in there was no ADOPT function. SO here I am re uploading 200G+

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!