Using Code42 on your University-managed computer

Code42 (also known as CrashPlan) is a backup solution for Northwestern-owned computers. It helps prevent data loss due to hardware failures, virus attacks, and power failures by encrypting and saving files to a University-hosted server. Many University departments use Code42 to back up computers of their faculty and staff.

The first time you run Code42 it may take a while as it backs up all the files on your computer. After that initial backup, whenever your computer is connected to the Internet, Code42 runs continuously in the background. In 15-minute intervals it backs up all files that have been modified within those last 15 minutes. It saves all these files for 90 days. After 90 days, older versions of files are deleted from the backup files.

Note that certain file types, such as music files and disk images, are excluded from being backed up; for a complete list of these file types see

There are various reasons you may need to restore a file from backup:

  • You accidentally deleted a file you thought you no longer needed, and emptied the Trash/Recycle Bin.
  • The file you're trying to open is corrupted.
  • You need an earlier version of a file.
  • You're on-the-go and using a computer other than your work computer and need access to a file that resides on that work computer.

Restoring files to your computer

Follow these steps if you're using your Northwestern-owned computer and need to restore a file. Note that Code42 backups go back 90 days. This means that any file that you may have deleted more than 90 days ago will no longer be available.

  1. Find Code42 in your applications or programs folder, and double-click to launch it.  
  2. As the username, enter your NetID; when prompted, enter your NetID password.
  3. In the upper right, click Restore Files.
    Code42 Restore Files button
  4. By default the most recent versions of the files and directories will be available for restoration. To restore an older version of a file or directory, click As of Today to display a calendar so you can choose a historical backup date/time from which to restore your file(s).
  5. Browse and select the file(s) you want to restore, then in the lower right, click Restore Files.
    Code42 Restore Files
  6. Modify any options, then click Go.
    Code42 Restore Options
  7. Once the Download Activity shows that the file restoration is complete, exit/quit Code42. Code42 will continue to backup your files in the background.
    Code42 Download Activity


Restoring files to another computer using a web browser

Follow these steps if you're using a computer other than your Northwestern-owned computer, and you want to access a file from that work computer.

  1. Using your preferred web browser, go to
  2. As the username, enter [yourNetID]; when prompted, enter your NetID password.
  3. From the left panel, click Devices > Active.
  4. Depending on your situation, you may have one device or multiple devices listed. On the far right of the row listing the device you want to restore from, click the Restore button.
    Code42 web restore button
  5. Select the file(s) and/or directories you want to restore. 
    • Choose a specific calendar date if you want an older version of a file.
    • To restore deleted files, click the Display deleted files checkbox.
  6. After you've selected all the files you want to restore, in the lower right click Restore.
  7. As Code42 prepares to restore your file(s), a box will appear in the lower left. Once it's finished preparing your download, click the link in the box to download it. It will either appear as a ZIP file (Windows) or a Web-Restore folder (macOS) your computer's Downloads folder.
    Code42 web restore download box
  8. When you're done, in the upper right click Accounts > Sign Out.


For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) option 7, or

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Article ID: 1611
Thu 5/12/22 12:39 PM
Wed 1/18/23 11:17 AM