Carbonite: A Complete Tour

01
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Back Up Tab

Screenshot of the Carbonite Back Up tab
Carbonite Back Up Tab.

The "Back Up" tab is the first screen you'll see when you open Carbonite.

The most valuable piece of data you'll see here is the current overall progress of the backup to Carbonite's servers. You can stop the backup at any time by tapping or clicking the word OFF.

To see what files are pending a backup, tap or click the blue link, like the one in the screenshot above that says 55,415 files pending (16.0 GB). This will open a folder that you can browse through to see which files still need backed up.

02
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Restore Tab: Restore Search

Screenshot of the Carbonite Restore Search screen
Carbonite Restore Search Screen.

Carbonite's "Restore" tab has an option called Search and restore, which, as the name suggests, lets you search for, and restore back to your computer, files from a Carbonite backup.

Search for files from the "Find files or folders in your backup" search area. You can search by the name of the file, of course, but also by file extension, like img or *.jpg.

Selecting the See recently deleted files button will give you a list of all the files you've deleted within the past 30 days, and give you the ability to restore them.

Important: Remember, Carbonite's file versioning is limited and set at 30 days, so anything deleted needs to be restored within 30 days of that deletion or it's gone for good!

03
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Restore Tab: Browse Your Backup

Screenshot of the Carbonite Browse Your Backup option
Carbonite Browse Your Backup Restore Option.

The second restore option in Carbonite can be accessed from the Browse your backup button in the "Restore" tab.

A regular Windows Explorer window will open where you can browse and search through all the files you've backed up, in that familiar interface you're already used to.

Right-click one or more folders or files for the restore options. You can restore them to the same folder they were in, or to a custom folder.

Tip: I recommend restoring to a custom folder if you can... and there are few reasons why you wouldn't be able to. Restoring files back to their original locations overwrites what's there, which may be fine but may not be. Having the backed-up copy somewhere separate gives you the most control.

Also here, you can choose to remove folders or files from being backed up going forward. This is done by choosing Do not back up from the right-click menu.

04
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Restore Tab: Restore All Files

Screenshot of Restore Manager in Carbonite
Carbonite Restore Manager Screen.

The last restore option Carbonite offers from the "Restore" tab is through the Restore all your files button. This will open "Restore Manager" - what you're seeing here in the screenshot.

This is actually the first part of a restore wizard and will walk you through restoring every single file and folder you've backed up. You can have the restored files saved to their original locations or to a desktop folder.

As you can see in the screenshot here, the first step is choosing which hard drive to restore the files to. Carbonite will show what drive letter they were originally at, like C: in this example, and you can choose which drive to restore them to.

Tip: If this is the same computer you used to backup the files, and you don't have a problem with overwriting any of the same files that you still have, you're probably safe restoring them to the same driver letter. Otherwise, or if you're not sure, restore the files elsewhere and then replace them manually as needed.

05
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Restore Manager: Priority Restore

Screenshot of the Carbonite Priority Restore screen
Carbonite Priority Restore Screen.

During Carbonite's Restore Manager wizard, which is accessible from the Restore all your files button from the "Restore" tab, you're given the option of restoring your files in a specific order instead of restoring everything at once. 

Select Choose some files to restore first to open "Priority Restore," as seen in this screenshot. This lets you restore some of your files before restoring all the rest, which is helpful if you need access to specific files first and don't want to first wait for everything else to restore before being able to get to them.

You can search for your files and add the ones you want restored first to the "Restore List," which will force Carbonite to restore those listed files first before restoring anything else.

Note: Files can be used immediately after they've been restored. There's no need to wait for the whole restore process to complete before opening/working with restored files.

06
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Settings Tab

Screenshot of the Carbonite Settings tab
Carbonite Settings Tab.

The options in the "Settings" tab in Carbonite can be edited by clicking or tapping the blue Edit settings link.

In the "Online Backup Schedule" section, you can choose three backup options. The first and default option is Back up continuously, which will make automatic backups for you when files have been detected as having been changed.

The second option is Back up once a day, and if chosen will have you define a time of day to start the backups.

Do not back up during certain hours is a scheduling option that will prevent the backup process from running during the two times you choose. This means all backing up will be paused during those times, which might be helpful if you like to have backing up occur during an off-time, like during the night. In that example, you'd want to exclude daytime hours.

Also in the "Settings" tab are some miscellaneous preferences in the "Options" section.

Uncheck Display colored dots on files and folders if you'd rather not see your backed up files and folders with this notation when you're using your computer normally.

If the Include Carbonite's recommended backup selections in my backup option is selected, files located in "C:\Users" (or "C:\Documents and Settings" in Windows XP) will be backed up.

The final setting is called Reduce Carbonite's internet usage. If this is selected, the program will not consume as much network bandwidth while uploading your files. The trade-off to this is, of course, slower backups.

07
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Account Tab

Screenshot of the Account tab in Carbonite
Carbonite Account Tab.

The "Account" tab in used to view or change your Carbonite account information.

You'll find the version number of the software you're using, a unique serial number, and an activation code if you've taken the plunge and subscribed to one of Carbonite's backup plans.

Tapping or clicking edit in the "Personal Information" section lets you change how your computer is identified by Carbonite.

Choosing the Edit your personal information link will open your Carbonite account page in your web browser, where you can make changes to your personal information.

Note: For privacy reasons, I've removed some of my information from the screenshot but you will see your specific information in the areas I mentioned.

08
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Sign Up for Carbonite

A screenshot of the Carbonite logo
© Carbonite

There are certainly some services I like more than Carbonite but they have a huge, satisfied customer base. If Carbonite seems like the right pick for you, go for it. They offer some of the most successful cloud backup plans ever sold.

Sign Up for Carbonite

Be sure to read through my review of Carbonite for everything you need to know, like accurate pricing data, the features you can expect to find in each of their plans, and what I like and don't about their service.

Here are some other cloud backup related pieces on my site that you might find helpful:

Have questions about Carbonite or cloud backup in general? Here's how to get a hold of me.