Michael Kearns's picture

CrashPlan Pro is a software application used as UCSF’s enterprise backup solution for Windows and Mac OS X that performs a complete and continuous backup of your computer's local user profile. CrashPlan backups are unattended, secure, and automatic from anywhere your computer has an Internet connection. Additionally, CrashPlan backups are silent and utilizes very little overhead in computer resources. CrashPlan utilizes flexible backups, if your backup is interrupted or you put your computer to sleep, CrashPlan will automatically resume when your computer becomes available and online again. If you ever need to restore a file, you can do so directly from the CrashPlan application on your computer or through the UCSF CrashPlan Website. When restoring files, you also have the option to choose a specific version of that file/folder from a specific point of time.

All data that is backed-up by CrashPlan is encrypted, so it will securely backup your files even when you are NOT connected to the UCSF network or UCSF VPN. This also means this solution is HIPAA-compliant.

CrashPlan Pro is offered, at no additional charge, to all ITFS supported desktops and laptops as part of the ITFS Basic Support, and to UCSF Medical Center supported laptops.

Additional Information:

How to get CrashPlan?

  • CrashPlan Pro is provided for UCSF issued computers to ITFS (Basic and Premium) and Medical Center IT (laptops only) customers at no additional charge. Please contact the Service Desk with your request for CrashPlan installation and setup. Check if your system meets the Operating System requirements 

  • For non-ITFS supported users and departments, CrashPlan is is not available. Please refer to #PersonalCrashPlan.

How to setup CrashPlan to backup?

  • NOTE: You will need the following:
    • CrashPlan Pro Software
    • Your UCSF Email UserID and Password


  • Enter your information, e.g., JDoe and Password (this is your UCSF Email UserID and Password).
  • Then, click "Continue"

How much time will it take CrashPlan to have an initial backup completed?

  • An initial backup process time varies for each computer system depending on a few variables: speed of the computer, the total amount of data being backed-up, network connection speed being utilized, and how often your computer is left turned-on, connected to the Internet. Typically, with a new computer system directly connected to the campus network will take about 24hrs. While computer systems that connected to a Wireless or Home Internet network, an initial backup will take longer to complete. 
  • Shutting down or sleeping your computer will interrupt the initial backup process. However, the next time your computer system is on and connected to the Internet, the CrashPlan backup service is flexible and smart enough to pickup exactly where the initial backup process had previously left off.

How to check if CrashPlan backups are working?

  • Double-click the CrashPlan icon in your computer's System Tray (Windows) or Menu Bar (Mac OS X) to open the CrashPlan dashboard CrashPlan dashboard, on the main screen under "Files"
    • ​on Windows: 
    • on Mac OS X: 
  • You will see when the last backup was completed and how many files (measured in GBs) are included in your total backup
  • If you want more detail, click on the "History" at the left
  • For a more in-depth guide, please visit: How to verify your computer has Crashplan installed and has a recent backup
  • If you encounter any errors or have any questions about your backup status, contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100

What does CrashPlan actually backup?

  • CrashPlan backups your computer's local user profile. e.g. /Users/*your_username* on Mac OS X and C:/Users/*your_username* on Windows. If there are additional directories that also require backups, but are outside of the initial local user profile, the Crashplan client can be configured to select those additional directories using the CrashPlan Pro application. Please Note: CrashPlan is NOT designed to backup external devices (e.g. USB drives) or network drives. CrashPlan backups are intended to backup computer's user created files stored locally on that computer.

  • Additionally, CrashPlan continuously backs-up new or modified files/folders every 60 mins. Backup transmissions are encrypted as well as the backed-up files on the UCSF Server. 

How to restore files?

  • Double-click the CrashPlan icon in your computer's System Tray (Windows) or Menu Bar (Mac OS X) to open the CrashPlan dashboard CrashPlan dashboard
  • Click on "Get Files" on the left for your current system
  • If you have multiple computers enrolled into CrashPlan, select computer that you want to restore files from
  • Restore by:
    1. Searching for the file or folder
    2. Selecting targeted files/folders
    3. Selecting a date and time to restore from


  • Data retention is for six (6) months, so if a file or folder is deleted from your computer the expected length of time that you will be able to perform a restore from CrashPlan is six (6) months after that file/folder was deleted.

Does CrashPlan change my computer's performance?

  • CrashPlan backups respect your computer's running tasks and while you are actively working on your computer, CrashPlan can use less that 20% of the system's CPU. During the times when you are not working on your computer, CrashPlan can use up-to 80% of the system's CPU.

Is there a version of CrashPlan for personally owned computers?

Other Resources:


Migration Status