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How Carbonite Online Backup Works

  • This article is for Windows and Mac

Carbonite installs a small program on your computer that effortlessly backs up your user-created data to Carbonite's secure servers. During the installation, you'll have two options for how you'd like your data to be backed up:

  • Having Carbonite automatically back up your user folders - This option backs up your user folders (C:\Users on computers running the Windows operating system and /Volumes/Users/ on computers running the Mac operating system). These folders usually contain your documents, pictures, user settings, desktop files, music, etc.
  • Having Carbonite include nothing in your backup - This option does not back up anything on your system automatically but instead lets you manually select files for backup.
Regardless of which option you choose when installing, you can add files and folders to your backupA set of copies of your files on our servers. at any time after the installation completes.

Once installed, Carbonite runs quietly in the background to upload your files to the Carbonite servers without interfering with your normal computer use. Carbonite uses VSS (Volume Shadowcopy Service) to make copies of open files so that your backup doesn't interrupt your normal tasks. This means that you can use the computer normally while Carbonite runs its restoreTo download files from Carbonite’s servers to your computer. and backup operations. If Carbonite is interrupted, it will resume at the file it left off on when it was last powered on and connected to the Internet.

Before your files are sent to our servers, they are encrypted on your computer. Once encrypted, they are sent via a secure connection to the Carbonite servers. Carbonite does not make duplicates of files on your system and does not store any information on your computer. The only files Carbonite keeps on your computer are the files that run the backup program.

Carbonite backs up entire files one time. After the first full backup of a file, only the changes to that file will be uploaded. When a file is changed, Carbonite backs up the change within 24 hours. If a name or path is changed on the same drive, Carbonite will continue backing it up without the need to start the backup process over. However, if the file was deleted, it would be considered missing from the original drive and be removed from your backup within 30 days.

Your files can be restored with just a few clicks. To restore all of your files to a new or repaired computer, Carbonite must be installed first. After installing Carbonite, you will be guided through a series of prompts that will help you restore your files. If you just need access to individual files, you can make use of Carbonite's Anytime Anywhere Access feature to access your backup.