Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Code42 Backup System

What is Code42?

Code42, formerly known as CrashPlan, is backup software that allows Windows, Mac, and Linux computers to automatically back up their data to a secure contracted data-center. Data is encrypted before it leaves the user's computer, travels over a secure network connection, and is stored encrypted.

Reed offers Code42 as a backup solution for current Faculty and Staff members on their Reed-allocated machines for no charge.

When installed on your Reed computer, you may see a little "C" icon in the menu bar (in a previous version the icon looked like a house):
Crashplan menu bar icon

Click on the menu bar icon to quickly see the status of your backup (currently running, will run in X minutes, etc.):
Crashplan menubar expanding

What Data Does Code42 Back Up?

Code42 backs up important data stored in your home directory on your computer (e.g., on Macs: /Users/<username>; on Windows: C:\Users\<username> or C:\Documents and Settings\<username>).

Code42 does not back up multimedia files (movies, music, video) by default. Talk to CUS if these files are important for your work.

Click here for a full (and detailed!) list of excluded file extensions ...not for the faint of heart!

How Often Does Code42 Back Up?

Code42 will back up your data as long as your computer has an Internet connection no matter where you are--on campus, at home, or abroad. Code42 automatically runs in the background without user intervention and is constantly monitoring the system for new and changed files. Versions of files are backed up and remain on the server for one year, making it easy to retrieve a file that was accidentally deleted or modified.

If your computer is out of touch with the Code42 backup server for 7 days, you'll receive an automated "Warning" email notification. If your computer is out of touch for 14 days, you'll receive an automated "Critical" email notification. If you receive such a notice, please contact CUS immediately, and we'll help ensure that your backups are in good shape.

Installing Code42 

If you are a Reed College faculty or staff member, Code42 is available for you to use on your primary machine. Contact CUS at to arrange installation.

The Initial Code42 Backup

The initial backup Code42 performs on your machine may take days to complete, depending on the amount of data on your machine. Your computer can be used normally during this time - including putting the computer to sleep, shutting it down, and working on important documents. 

Subsequent Code42 Backups

Once the initial backup is complete, Code42 will constantly monitor the system to backup new and changed files - you won't have to schedule specific times to back up your data. CIS staff will monitor the backups and contact you if your computer doesn't check in for more than one week.

Excluding Folders or File Types from Code42

If there are certain folders or file types that you want excluded from Code42 backups, follow the instructions below.

  • Begin by opening the Code42 application (found in your Applications folder)
  • Click the "Details" button next to the device, then the "Settings" icon on the right. 
  • Click the Change button next to "File Exclusion".
  • Add the foldername or the extension type you want to exclude (e.g., for a folder titled My Stuff, enter /My Stuff. To exclude all .jpg files, enter *.jpg).
  • Then click Add.
  • Click Save when done.

Want to exclude email from Code42 backups? Thunderbird typically stores its files in the following location: ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/XXXXX.default (where XXXXX are random characters). Apple Mail stores its files in ~/Library/Mail.

Restoring Data From a Code42 Backup

If your computer fails in some way and you need to use your Code42 backup to restore your machine, these are the steps to get your machine up and running again.

From Your Computer

  • Begin by opening the Code42 application (found in your Applications folder). Sign in using your full email address ( You will be redirected to Reed's login window and will also need to complete two-step authentication.

  • Click "Restore Files" button in the upper right.
    Crashplan restore
  • To restore from a particular date, select that from the calendar icon near the upper right.
  • Select the files/folders that you’d like to restore.
    Crashplan restore options
  • Click "Restore Files"
  • Decide where you want the files to be saved (i.e., Downloads folder), and what to do if the file already exists in that location (i.e., Rename or Overwrite)
    Crashplan restore file options
  • Select “Go”, and you’re done!

If Your Computer is Lost or Stolen

If your computer is lost or stolen, please contact CIS staff immediately! We'll help you get your data out of Code42 and onto a new computer.

Faculty and staff should contact CUS at or x7525.