HOWTO: Migrate to a new computer with Crashplan


  •  Instructions to how to migrate existing computer backed up by Crashplan to a new computer


  • Platform: MacOS X, Windows, Linux
  • Software: Crashplan
  • Must be same operating system or File System

Adopting A Computer

When you adopt a computer, you are telling the desktop to assume the computer ID of another other desktop installation. As a result, the desktop takes on the settings, backup file selection and backup archive(s) of the computer that is adopted.

Adopt when you've done either of the following and you do not want to re-start your backup from the beginning:

  • Reformatted or replaced your computer's hard drive
  • Moved to a new computer


The desktop stores your computer's ID (GUID) in a text file named .identity. The .identity file containing the computer ID is preserved when you uninstall and reinstall the desktop.

In order to use the Adopt a Computer feature, the following must all be true:

  • There is no .identity file existing on the system when PROe Client is installed
  • Following installation, you sign in using Existing Account as a user with one or more devices AND
  • There is no backup archive for the device performing the adoption (the new PROe Client install)

If the all three conditions are not met, the Adopt a Computer feature is not available:

  • Generally, when you upgrade your operating system without reformatting your hard drive, the .identity file remains intact. You will not see the Adopt A Computer dialog when you sign into the CrashPlan PROe desktop. Adoption is not required.
  • If you've moved your entire user account with Mac's Migration Assistant or have cloned your system, the old computer's ID may be brought over to the new computer. You are not presented with the *Adopt A Computer dialog if the .identity file is transferred.
  • BEFORE YOU ADOPT make sure that you first move or restore your files to the computer.
  • If files are not moved to the computer or restored to the computer before adopting, the PROe Client may mark the files as deleted. You then need to enable Display Deleted Files in order to restore files.

New computer setup recommendations

When replacing a computer, we recommend setting up the new computer with the same user name and drive letter that you used on your previous computer. If the user name or drive letter on your new computer is different than on your old computer, you may need to update your file selection to include the new location of your files. CrashPlan can then synchronize with the destination and continue backing up files that now reside in a new location and have a different file path.

Step 1: Download and install CrashPlan

  1. Download and install the latest version of the CrashPlan app available at
  2. Sign in to your existing CrashPlan account

Step 2: Replace your files

Before you adopt a computer, it is important to replace all of the files you backed up previously onto the new computer. Any files you don't restore from your existing backup will be retained as deleted files and are less visible, which could lead to unintentional data loss. Additionally, if the previously backed up files are not restored to the computer before adopting it, you may have an extended wait to restore your files while CrashPlan synchronizes your device with the backup destination.

Before adopting, you can use any of the following methods to add your original files onto your new or re-built computer:

  • Restore files from the CrashPlan app.
  • Copy or transfer files from the old computer to the new computer. Some example methods:
    • Copy files with your operating system’s standard tools such as the Finder, Windows Explorer, cp command, or rsync command.
    • Restore files from a Time Machine backup.
    • Transfer files using Windows Easy Transfer.

Restore files to original location

To resume your previous backup as fast as possible, restore your files to a new computer or drive.

Step 3: Adopt previous computer

Now it's time to adopt your previous computer so that CrashPlan sees your new computer as a continuation of your previous computer. When you adopt:

  • Your new computer is immediately linked to your existing backup archive, file selection, version history, and backup settings
  • Your new computer inherits your previous backup archive and attempts to resume backup

Go to KB0018642 in the IS Service Desk

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