Crashplan crashing? Here is the fix

I use Crashplan for backup. It is my current favorite for online could backup. More about that in my recent blog post about backups.

As much as I love crashplan it has been hanging with an error “Unable to connect to backup destination” lately. I poked around with google and it seemed to suggest an issue with Java not being able to access enough memory. Because I could not find the fix for a Mac I created a tech support ticket with Crashplan . They did get back to me and walked me though the following solution. Hopefully this can help others.


  1. Launch a terminal window

  2. Shutdown the crash plan daemon. You will be asked for your admin password. Go ahead and enter it here.

    sudo launchctl unload /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  3. Now edit the plist file using the Unix Nano editor

    sudo nano /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  4. Find Xmx512m and change it to Xmx1024m. This will allocate 1024mb of memory instead of the default 512mb

  5. Save the file by Ctrl-O

  6. Exit Nano by using Ctrl-X

  7. Relaunch the Crashplan daemon (corrected Apr 19th 2012)

    sudo launchctl load /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

This should fix the problem.

40 thoughts on “Crashplan crashing? Here is the fix

  1. Brian

    Thanks again for this tip. It really helped me: my crashplan has been crashing for about a week now, but this fixed it (though I bumped max memory to 2048 MB, as I have 16 GB of RAM and didn’t want to have to deal with this again).

  2. Joe Ciccio

    Thanks for the tip. I have been having the same problem for about a week (since the last Lion Java update). My unix nano uses the control key, not the command key for editing. I tried your tip out and will see if Crashplan continues to work.

  3. Joe Ciccio

    So far 24 hours of Crashplan running without a Crash! Thanks, you saved me from more days of aggravation! Problem solved before crashplan support even responded! You may want to modify your editing instructions to use Ctl-O and Ctl-X.

  4. Adria

    I just had the same problem, and support emailed back with the same solution. I’m trying it right now, lets hope that it works!

    Mine also stopped working with some Apple’s Java update I think.

  5. david

    Having the same problem – just tried the file mod fix – keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. Mark

    Thanks from me too. CrashPlan has worked fine for years and then all of a sudden it started crashing. Fixed!

  7. Swack

    Thanks for this tip! I was able to fix this on Windows by finding the CrashPlanService.ini file under c:\program files\crashplan and updating the Xmx512m to Xmx1024m.

  8. HC

    I’m running CrashPlan on a Computer (Linux) with just 512 MB of RAM. Do you think this fix will work for me, too?
    Thanks! :)

  9. bart

    crashplan has been working fine until a few days ago now crashes constantly. Have raised ticket with support at Crashplan. Interesting that this is such a simple fix and wonder why this is posted more prominently on the Crashplan Support pages!
    Will try what you suggest…

  10. Jake

    Search terms which got me here via Google were: “crashplan unable to connect to the backup engine”. This should be the top hit, hopefully this will help.

    The Code42 kb is missing this info and lots of other fixes as well. It’s unfortunate, it would save everyone involved so much time. Their kb has always been pitiful.

    Thanks for posting this!

  11. Joshua Pinter

    Just a caveat, my configuration file had “Xmx150m” originally so it might be worth a note to say that you’re looking for “Xmx” and then bump up the suffixed number to whatever you want the memory limit to be.

    Cheers and Thanks!


  12. Brad Daly

    I’m afraid this fix doesn’t work for me. If it tells you anything, there’s a tiny padlock next to the CrashPlan icon in my doc.

  13. Irfan Hafiz Post author

    Press the space bar while holding down the command key (looks like a flower next to the space bar), this will activate spotlight. Now type “terminal”. You should see the terminal app, click to activate it.
    Hope that helps.

  14. Matt

    Thank you so much, I’ve been having this problem for so long now procrastinating. This fixed worked like a charm!

  15. Will

    Me too. Very scary, since I have never dug deep into the bowels of my Mac until now, but it worked! Many thanks.

  16. Oliver

    Your fix addressed a problem where Crashplan crashed shortly after launch. Thanks for the recommendation. Worked like a charm!


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