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Our product offerings have been renamed. Carbonite Home Backup is now Carbonite Safe Backup, and Carbonite Office Backup is now Carbonite Safe Backup Pro.

Restoring Previous File Versions

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Carbonite keeps old versions of your changed files for up to three months. It keeps one daily version of the file for each day of the past week, one weekly version for each of the previous three weeks, and one monthly version for each of the previous two months that the file has been backed up. Carbonite will also keep at least the three most recent versions of a file regardless of age.

This image and the text below reflect versioning on a file that has been changed and backed up every day.

Versioning

You can restore a previous version of a file using various methods.

  • If these instructions do not match what you are seeing within your Carbonite application, please update to the latest version. Instructions for the Windows XP, Vista and Server 2003 version of Carbonite can be found at the appropriate link below:
    Click here for Carbonite Safe 
    Click here for Carbonite Safe Pro

The sections below are collapsed. Please click a section title to open / close the appropriate section.

Navigating to the file on your computer

How to Restore a Previous Version of a File Through Windows Explorer

You can restore a previous version of a file through the Carbonite context menu or through the Carbonite Backup Drive.

Right-click the Carbonite icon in your Windows notification area and select Enter Recover Mode. Pausing your backup for safekeeping prevents Carbonite from making changes to it so you can perform a restore.

If your Carbonite icon looks like the icon next to Enter Recover Mode in the screenshot below, your backup is already paused for safekeeping. In this case, double-click the Carbonite icon.

Icon: Recover Mode

Note: If the icon isn't visible, click the show hidden icons button ( < ) next to the Windows notification area to display hidden icons. In Windows 7, click the Show hidden icons button ( ^ ) next to the Windows notification area to display the Carbonite icon. To view the desktop and notification area in Windows 8 and Windows 10, press the Windows Key + D on your keyboard.

A pop-up notification will indicate that your backup has been paused for safekeeping. While in recover mode, no files will be removed from your backup and nothing will be uploaded to the Carbonite servers.

Carbonite application: Your Backup is Paused for safekeeping

Close the Carbonite application and locate the file you wish to restore. If you have deleted the file, or cannot locate the file on your computer, click here for instructions on using the Carbonite Backup Drive.

Right-click the file and select Carbonite; Restore previous versions.

Carbonite Context Menu: Restore Previous Version
  • This menu option will only be displayed if your backup contains a previous version of the file.

A Restore a Previous Version window will be displayed. This window lists all the versions of a file available for restoreTo download files from Carbonite’s servers to your computer. in chronological order with the most recent version of the file listed at the top.

Select the desired version of the file from the list.

Once selected, specify the name and location for the file and click the OK button.

Restore Previous Version Dialog Box

The Restore to location: field will be automatically populated with the path to the existing file. The word "(Restored)" will be added to the existing filename with the date and time it was backed up. Alternatively, you can enter a different filename and/or save the file to a different location on your computer by clicking the Browse... button and selecting a new location.

Using the Carbonite Backup Drive

How to Restore a Previous Version with the Carbonite Backup Drive

You can open the Carbonite Backup Drive through the File Explorer window (alternatively called Windows Explorer in older Windows operating systems). Within this window, double-click the Carbonite Backup Drive icon.

Carbonite Backup Drive Icon

The Carbonite Backup Drive window will be displayed. To view files and folders in your backup, double-click the Backed Up Files icon. This window will show you the files in your backup, organized just as they are on your computer.

Backed Up Files Icon

Locate the file you wish to restore. Once located, right-click it and select Restore previous versions....

Carbonite Backup Drive: Restore Previous Version

Select the desired version of the file from the list.

Once selected, specify the name and location of the file and click the OK button to restore it.

Restore Previous Version Dialog Box

The Restore to Location: will be automatically populated with the path to the existing file. The word "(Restored)" will be added to the existing filename with the date and time it was backed up. Alternatively, you can enter a different filename and/or save the file to a different location on your computer by clicking the Browse... button and selecting a new location.

Using the Restore Search feature

Carbonite's Restore Search feature lets you access previous versions of a file and restore them.

Right-click the Carbonite icon in your Windows notification area and select Enter Recover Mode.

If your Carbonite icon looks like the icon next to Enter Recover Mode in the screenshots below, your backup is already paused for safekeeping. In this case, double-click the Carbonite icon.

Icon: Recover Mode

Note: If the icon isn't visible, click the show hidden icons button ( < ) next to the Windows notification area to display hidden icons. In Windows 7, click the Show hidden icons button ( ^ ) next to the Windows notification area to display the Carbonite icon. To view the desktop and notification area in Windows 8 and Windows 10, press the Windows Key + D on your keyboard.

Once your backup is paused for safekeeping, right-click the Carbonite icon and select Search and Restore.

Search and Restore

A Restore Search window will be displayed. Enter your search criteria within the fields provided and click the Search button. You can search by folder name, file name or file extension (e.g. .docx, .doc, .jpg).

Search for the file

To search for files by filename, begin typing in the Search field. The search is performed automatically as you type and will return files with names that contain the characters you type, no matter where they appear in the filename. For example, if you type "res", the search will return the following files: "Resume.doc" and "JohnResume2009.doc." If you want to search for all files of a certain type (images or movies, for example), you can type the file extension ("jpg" or "avi") and all files of that type will be returned.

Select the file(s) you wish to restore by checking the box in front of the filename in the Results list and click the Actions; Previous Version for the file you wish to restore.

Select Previous Version

Select one of the previous versions of the file and click Restore Selected Versions.

Restore your files

Once the restore has started, a progress bar will appear in the Restore List panel.

Restore your files

After your files have finished restoring, you can access them by their new name on your computer.

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