CrashPlan Backup Sets: Organization for the Virtual Hoarder

CrashPlan Backup SetsIn the modern age, everyone is a virtual hoarder. We download music, snap photos, record video, and create documents. Our entire lives – work and play – are saved in these collections. Naturally, we need an efficient backup system for proper safekeeping of all our precious files.

Backup Sets, such as the ones offered through CrashPlan PROe, are a perfect solution. Backup sets give you even more choices about where and how backups take place, allowing you to manage your backup down to individual files.Categorize and organize your files in a logical structure, and avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket by utilizing CrashPlan’s multi-destination backups. The result is a meticulously categorized library of virtual stuff that is here to stay.


What Is a Backup Set?

A backup set is a group of files that is backed up to a specific location with specific settings. This allows you to control where and when different groups of files are backed up according to priority and type. Backup sets efficiently use your bandwidth by backing up high-priority files more often than other files. You can also send files to different backup locations, including an external drive, computer, or cloud-based storage.


Confused? Meet Stan, a wedding photographer. He is very busy snapping pictures of nuptials, editing the photos, and sending them off to dozens of happy couples. Stan decides to create backup sets to protect his data.


Stan’s work files are high-priority, and he edits photos on a daily basis. If anything happened to them, he would have a herd of newlyweds after him with pitchforks. Accordingly, he sets his work files in one backup set, which he names “Wedding Photos.” He sets Wedding Photos to backed up to the cloud and to an external hard drive continuously.


His relatively static system files are of lower priority. Stan names this file “System Files” and sets it to back up just once a week.


Setup is Easy


The initial CrashPlan default setting creates a single, default backup set for all of your data. Enable Backup Sets through the settings wizard, which allows you to create a unique name for a backup set, set the priority level, select the files you want to include/exclude, and specify the backup location, e.g., external hard drive, computer, or cloud, and when you want the backup to run. When creating backup sets, remember that files you change the most should get priority.


Advanced settings let you specify bandwidth and throttling settings for the backup set.  Backup sets can back up to separate destinations or to a single destination, but specific file rules apply.



Backup Sets are a useful and practical enhancement to CrashPlan’s services. This logical and orderly system of file storage honors the fact that some files are more important than others. Using multiple storage locations and devices mitigates the concentration risk that occurs from using only one backup location. Whether you are a wedding photographer or just want to keep every essay you wrote in middle school, backup sets can help you organize your data.

Lynn is the founder and chief editor at She is responsible for strategy and business development. Her background is in software development, marketing, and project management. She loves camping, traveling, and all things soccer related. She has been married for over 30 years to one great guy and has two adult children. Lynn is also the human companion to two cats - Jynx and Spanky. She is based in Minnesota, USA.

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