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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.

Getting Started with Carbonite Safe Backup Pro

This topic is for Windows -- View the Mac topic

Thank you for trying and using Carbonite! Carbonite is an online backup program that backs up your data files to our secure servers and helps you download the files back to your computer at any time. This guide will help you get started with Carbonite. If you haven't already created an account, please visit the Carbonite website to sign up for a trial.

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

Part 1: Adding users and computers

After creating an account, you'll be logged in as an administrator. From here you can install Carbonite or add users and computers to your account so that others can join and back up their computers as well.

Part 2: Installing Carbonite and backup selections

Next, you can install Carbonite and select the backup settings. For step by step installation instructions, start here. During the install, you'll decide your initial backup selections setting:

  • Automatic (recommended) - Allows Carbonite to select which files and folders to back up for you. It selects your C:\Users folder (C:\Documents and Settings in Windows XP), which is the default location for documents, pictures, music, and other important files that you create and store on your computer. (learn more about what's included in your backup)
  • Advanced - Gives you more control over what gets selected for back up. Selecting this leads to a few more options:
    • Select what gets backed up - Allows you to include Carbonite's recommended default backup selections or start with nothing selected for back up. Even if you choose to start with nothing selected to back up, you can add the recommended default selections at any time after Carbonite is installed.
    • Schedule your online backup - Allows you to choose between automatic continuous backup (default), or scheduled backup.
    • Manage your private encryption key - Carbonite allows you to download and manage the encryption key to your backup. This gives you even stronger security over your backed up files. If you are not used to managing encryption keys, it is recommended that you allow Carbonite to retain your encryption key. If you decide to manage your own encryption key and lose it, there will be no way to restore your backed up data.
Part 3: About backing up

Once Carbonite is operating on your computer, you have a few ways to make sure everything you need is backed up and protected. "Backing up" is the process of uploading copies of your selected files from your computer to the Carbonite servers.

  • How do I tell what's backed up? - Carbonite places color-coded status dots on files and folders to indicate their backup status. A green dot means that the file or folder is backed up and up-to-date. A yellow dot means that a file is selected for backup and is pending backup to our servers. You can check check your backup status through the Carbonite software.
  • How do I add files to my backup? - You can add files and folders to your backup by right-clicking them and selecting Carbonite; Back this up.
  • How do I remove files from my backup? - You can remove backed up files by right-clicking them and selecting Carbonite; Don't back this up. They'll be removed from your backup within 72 hours. For a full guide on removing files, please view this article.
  • How do I manage my backup policies? - As a Carbonite Safe Pro administrator, you are able to create and manage backup policies through your account. Backup policies help you determine what is automatically included in a backup for an individual, group of individuals or all end users on the account.
Part 4: Testing a restore

After backing up some files, you are ready to test restoring them. "Restoring" is the process of downloading copies of any backed up files from our servers to your computer.

Part 5: Your Carbonite settings

The Carbonite InfoCenter / application displays your backup progress, allows you to change settings, and helps you restore your files. You can open the InfoCenter / application by double-clicking the Carbonite icon on your desktop.

More info