Carbonite Support > Stuck Backup and Backup Errors

Stuck Backup and Backup Errors

Carbonite backups may become stuck if you have an unreliable connection, problematic files are selected, or selected file paths are too long for Windows. Please reference the instructions below for further guidance.

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Step 1: Reestablish a Connection with Carbonite

If restarting your computer does not resolve the issue, sign in at to reinstall Carbonite on the computer to update it to the latest version. Doing so reestablishes the connection with Carbonite and adds improvements to the software.

For a more in-depth walkthrough, please see Reinstalling Carbonite Safe or Reinstalling Carbonite Safe Backup Pro.

After Carbonite reinstalls successfully, your backup will resume automatically.

Restarting and reinstalling Carbonite may temporarily resolve stuck backups. However, please ensure you check your backup selections with the next steps if you continue to have problems.

Step 2: Deselect Unwanted Files from Your Backup

Selecting large system, program, or temporary files can cause stuck backups because the files are not always intended to be selected for backup by the Carbonite Safe computer backup.

Carbonite Safe backs up individual files and folders. Depending on your computer or server needs, you can upgrade to a Carbonite plan that best matches your situation.

File locations that should be removed from backup

By default, Carbonite Safe for computers automatically backs up files in C:/Users, which is the location that most if not all user created data exists. This location includes user created data within folders like the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos.

If any of the locations below were manually selected for backup with Carbonite Safe, please deselect the folders from your backup.

  • C:/Program Files
  • C:/Program Files (x86)
  • C:/Windows

Note: Carbonite does not back up placeholder files, such as those created by OneDrive's File On-Demand Feature. Any data being synced with OneDrive Files On-Demand should not be selected for backup with Carbonite.

File locations that should be re-selected for backup:

Peachtree and older versions of Quicken and QuickBooks (prior to 2015) store their data in Program Files location. If you have these programs please reselect the folders below.

  • C:\Program Files\Peachtree\Company
  • C:\Program Files\Sage Software\Peachtree\Company
  • C:\Program Files\PeachW\Company
  • C:\Program Files\Quicken
  • C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks

Within 72 hours of the deselecting the problematic files, Carbonite will remove the folders from the backup and hopefully resolve the stuck backup.

Step 3: Shorten Long Files Paths

Windows only allows Carbonite to select file locations which are 255 characters or less and have a folder depth of 50 folders or fewer. Files within these locations may cause Carbonite to become stuck and says that “some of your files could not be backed up due to errors”.

Below the limit (36 characters and a folder depth of 3)


Above the limit (295 characters)


Above the limit (folder depth of 51)



If you receive this alert or suspect that you have many folders within folders or long files names, you can shorten the source folder path to resolve the issue.

  1. Navigate through your file structure and identify any files or folders that exceed this limit.
  2. Copy or move the file into a folder that does not exceed 255 characters and that does not exceed a folder depth of 50.
  3. Delete the original folder that exceeded the limit.
If you need assistance renaming folders or moving files, please contact our partner at 1-866-314-1159.

After you have completed these steps, Carbonite will back up the new location (s) and hopefully resolve the stuck backup.

Step 4: Further Troubleshooting

In addition to the steps above, you can review other options to resolve a stuck backup.

Close Out of Large Files

Carbonite may be unable to back up large files that are open in use because the file is being used by the other program. In these instances, simply save and close out the file(s) and refrain from opening the files until the backup for the file completes.

Example: Microsoft Outlook’s .PST files can be large. Carbonite will attempt to make a copy of the file on Carbonite’s servers. However, if there is not enough space on your computer to allow it to do so, Carbonite will wait to back up the file when Outlook is no longer open. When Outlook closes, Carbonite will have the direct ability to back up the file and this will resolve the seemingly stuck backup problem with the large file.

Review the AppData Folder

AppData is a hidden folder located in C:\Users\User\AppData and contains application and temporary files needed by software to run properly. Files in this folder update quickly and your backup may become stuck or not complete as a result of this folder being selected for backup.

The following list contains known common programs that store their data in these locations.

Program File Location
Google Chrome C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
Mozilla Firefox C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
Incredimail C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Local\IM\Identities
Microsoft Outlook 2007 C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
Roboform C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Local\RoboForm\
Profiles\Default Profile
Microsoft Sticky Notes (Windows 7, 8, and 10) C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\
Sticky Notes\StickyNotes.snt
Microsoft Sticky Notes (Windows 10 Anniversary Edition) C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Local\Packages\
Mozilla Thunderbird C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\[Profile Name]
Windows Live Mail (Windows 7) C:\Users\[User_Name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail
Carbonite cautions against deselecting files and folders within this location, but you can remove this location from your backup if you are confident that it does not need to be selected.

After you deselect the problematic files or folders within the AppData folder, Carbonite will remove the files and folders from the backup within 72 hours and hopefully resolve the stuck backup.

Scan and Remove Viruses

Malware and viruses may interfere with Carbonite’s ability to back up your files. To resolve this issue, scan and remove unwanted programs and viruses with your preferred anti-virus software.

If you need assistance removing malware or viruses, please contact our partner at 1-866-314-1159.

Check for Hard Drive or Computer Issues

If you have exhausted all other steps, it may indicate that there are problems with your computer. These problems include, but are not limited to:

  • Bad drive sectors
  • File system errors
  • Volume Shadow Copy Services errors (VSS)
  • Mechanical failure

Running the Windows CHKDSK utility can help resolve minor issues, but temporarily prevents use of the computer and can take several hours to complete.

  1. Click the Window Start menu.
  2. Type cmd in the search bar.
  3. From the search results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as an Administrator.
  4. In the window that appears type chkdsk /f and press Enter.
    Windows checkdsk: Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the enxt time the system restarts? (Y/N)
  5. Type y and press Enter to perform the check disk the next time the computer restarts.
If you continue to have issues with your computer after the CHKDSK completes, please contact our partner at 1-866-314-1159 to diagnose the problem.

Backup Overdue Emails

Carbonite will send email notices if your backup has not taken place after 14 days. Typically, these notices are reminders to restart your computer so Carbonite can continue backing up if you have not turned on your computer recently.

If you have left your computer off for 14 days, you do not need to take any action. Simply ignore the notices and restart your computer when you are ready.

You can check your current backup status at any time and follow the instructions within this article if your backup doesn’t connect after restarting your computer.