How backups work

SECURITY  Users with Allow Backup enabled in Edit a user

NAVIGATION  v10: Taskbar/menu bar > > > Settings... > Backups tab > Manage Backups

NAVIGATION  v8: Taskbar/menu bar > > Preferences... > Backup tab > Manage Backups

NOTE  Backup functionality is only available for teams with metered Workplace plans.

When you initiate a backup, the backup commences shortly thereafter and all files within the location are backed up. If a file is added to a location that has been specified for backup, the Workplace app will automatically recognize this and begin backing up the file in its entirety.

Full backup will not commence immediately, however, if you are backing up a network-mounted volume that does not support alerting the app to changes (e.g. SAMBA). In this case, the drive will be scanned every three hours and if changes are detected, backup will commence.

If any changes are made to a file after the initial backup, the subsequent backups of that file will be limited to 500MB per file per day.

EXAMPLE  If a 1.75GB file is changed on a daily basis, the file will only be backed up every fourth day. Or, if a file is 100 MB and changes frequently, only five versions will be backed up per day.

When the Workplace app attempts to back up the file and fails because the file is busy, it waits to see if the file becomes available. After a few attempts, the file will then go into “push” mode, which means that the Workplace service will no longer request the file; the agent will send the file as soon as it is able to access it. When in "push" mode, every second attempt will try utilize the Windows VSS (shadow copy) mechanism, should the application that has the file open support VSS. For more information, refer to What is VSS?

Delta backup support

The following file extensions support delta backup:

  • OS X : .pst, .xml, .database
  • Windows : .pst, .ost, .xml

Files that support delta backup will be backed up as follows:

TOTAL file size Delta Backup Frequency

< 1GB

Every 24 hours


Every 2 days

10 - 25GB

Every 4 days

25 -100GB

Every week

> 100GB

Every 2 weeks

Backing up low-availability files

Certain files types have low availability due to the nature of the file; in particular, databases and accounting software. As these files types are constantly being changed by multiple users, they can often fail to backup successfully even if they support the VSS mechanism. For these files types, we recommend setting a scheduled, automated snapshot (backup) within the software itself, then use Workplace Desktop to backup the snapshot.

About backup versions

In Workplace, backups work in the same manner as versioning. Every time a file is synced or backed up via Workplace, a version is created and any changes are saved. The mechanism works as follows:

  • A new version is created each time a file is saved.
  • All versions for the last hour are retained.
  • The last version from each hour for the last day is saved.
  • The last version from each day for the last week is saved.
  • The last version from each week for the last month is saved.
  • The last version from each month is saved for the last 6 months.
  • After 6 months, the version is permanently deleted.

NOTE  Deleted items will always be retained for 6 months. Only the versions of the deleted items will be lost through the mechanism described above.

More backup information:

  • We do not support backup of files with a "system" attribute or hidden files (with the exception of Windows AppData folder).
  • We support backup of one million files per Windows device. Workplace doesn't restrict the number of files you back up (and you may find it functions properly beyond that), but we don’t offer support for backup issues if the file count is over one million.

  • There will be a 30 - 60 second delay, after you have added a file to a folder designated for backup, before backup begins.