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File Types Carbonite Backs Up

For WindowsWindowsWindows  (View Mac Article)


Article Summary
  • Carbonite is designed to back up all of the unique and irreplaceable files on your computer.
  • Included in your backup are your text documents, spreadsheets, financial documents, photos, etc.
  • During your free trial, music and video files will not be automatically added to your backup, however after purchasing a subscription, music files will be added to your backup.
  • If you are running Carbonite Personal Prime, video files are also added automatically to your backup.


If these instructions do not match your version of Carbonite, please upgrade by reinstalling.



What is Included in Your Backup

When you first install Carbonite, you are given two options for back up.

  • Automatic (Recommended) - This option selects the data files located in C:\Users (or C:\Documents and Settings for Windows XP). This includes files located in your Documents and Desktop folders.
  • Advanced - This option lets you decide what can be included in the backup, choose if you would like to manage your private encryption key, and set up a backup schedule.

By default Carbonite does not back upTo send a copy of your files from your computer to our servers for safe keeping. system files, executable files, or temporary files and folders. This is to avoid causing problems in the event you need to restore all your files to a new computer. These outdated files could overwrite the new files that are managing the operation of your computer.

While running Carbonite Personal Plus or Carbonite Personal Prime you may use Mirror Image to make a copy of your system, which will include your operating system, programs, settings, files and folders as they were saved to your system on a specific date.



You can easily back up most files you want by right-clicking on the file and selecting Carbonite; Back this up.

Carbonite Menu: Back this up



Technical Details

Your Carbonite subscription is associated with a backup policy, which determines whether a file is, by default, included or excluded from your backup.

During your free trial period, Carbonite backs up all files except for:

  • System files such as .EXE and .DLL files (these are usually programs and system files which can be reinstalled through an online installer or the CDs which were used to install. We have an exhaustive list of these extensions).
  • Temporary files and operating system files.
  • Files contained in hidden system folders (a.k.a. super-hidden folders).
  • Files located on external, network, and USB hard drives.
  • Music, video, and individual files that are over 4GB in size (you can individually add large files to your backup by right-clicking on them and selecting Back this up from the Carbonite menu).

After purchasing a subscription to Carbonite, there are additional features that you receive such as Carbonite automatically including music files. Click one of the links below for more details:

Carbonite Personal Basic Subscription
Carbonite Personal Plus Subscription
Carbonite Personal Prime Subscription


Carbonite excludes files and folders in the root of your C:\ drive by default, with the following exceptions:

  • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_AOL*\organize\*\
  • C:\Program Files\AOL*\download\
  • C:\QuickenW\
  • C:\Program Files\Quicken\
  • C:\Program Files\QuickenW\
  • C:\Program Files\Intuit\Quickbooks*\
  • C:\Program Files\PalmOne\*\
  • C:\Palm\
  • C:\1Actwin\Database\
  • C:\Actwin2\Database\
  • C:\Act\Database\
  • C:\My Documents\Act\Database\
  • C:\Program Files\Symantec\Act\Database\
  • C:\Program Files\Act\
  • C:\Program Files\Sage Software\Peachtree\Company\
  • C:\Program Files\Peachtree\Company\
  • C:\Program Files\PeachW\Company\
  • C:\Lotus\Work\

Note: If you have important files in the root of your C: drive that are not in this list, you will need to manually include them in your backup by right-clicking on them and selecting Carbonite; Back this up.

Some Carbonite products, such as Microsoft Money Backup (limited products), back up only certain file types and may not give you the option to select other file types for backup. These products also exclude files based on the policy described above. Carbonite also offers products that have limited storage. These products, due either to restrictions on files that can be backed up or to storage limitations, may not be able to back up all of your important files. For more information about what files and/or folders are backed up with these limited products, consult the specific product offer.

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