Backing Up Unencrypted Vaults

I use Macrium reflect for backing up. In order to set up scheduled backups, it needs to be able to map (see) a vault in it’s unencrypted state in order to work. It appears if I set up my vaults to automatically pick a location OR use a specific drive letter, that the vault appears in Windows Explorer as a virtual drive and therefore cannot be seen" by Macrium. However, if I set it up to use a directory (a folder I create for each separate vault) , Macrium can “see” and therefore map to that folder and back it up. Am I interpreting this correctly and is there anything I give up in terms of functionality by doing it this way?

I’ve had the same issue with CrashPlan backups. As far as I can tell, no functional loss… Seems to work as expected once placed into a folder.

@Blue_Sky @MaxSverdlove,

Would one of you be kind enough to explain how one sets Cryptomator up to use a directory (folder created for each separate vault)? I understand how to assign a permanent drive letter but do not understand how to assign a directory. I was about to abandon Cryptomator for the very reason of being unable to back up my data in an unencrypted form when I saw this post!

And I am sure others would appreciate knowing how to do this too.

I had been using AOMEI Backupper (Paid) but have just switched to Marcium because the latter makes it easy to avoid the permissions issues when mounting the back up image and also the ransomware protection.

Thank you!!

Lock your vault.
Go to vault settings.
Select tab „virtual drive“
Change volume type. It’s described there which of the options allow mounting as folder instead of virtual drive.

Thanks, but this does not seem enough : as stated in Using Backup tools with unencrypted vaults I succeeded in mounting vault into folder (with Winfsp(local)) but backups tools still do not work.

Here are the steps I used:

Create a new vault

Choose a custom location to store the encrypted files of the vault. I chose C:\Users\Will\filename

Finish the process by assigning password and unlock the vault to confirm it is working.

Then, lock the vault and select “Vault Options”. Choose Mounting and select “Use chosen directory”

When the “Pick a Directory window” opens, you need to create a new empty folder ( I gave mine the same filename as the vault, but add “mount point” to the the file name). When done, that window closes and you’re back to Unlocking it. Do that to confirm its working and has the Welcome file in it.

Once done, I went into Macrium, chose “create a new file/folder backup” and selected that folder (“filename mount point”). Put it on a schedule if you like it to run automatically. Done.

One more way to check it - after you re-lock that vault, go back to the folder “filename mount point” and it should now show it as empty. Remember - to back up, the vault needs to be unlocked first so the unencrypted contents are made visible (If not unlocked, I suspect you’re just backing up an empty folder). This is also important because if you set up the backup to run automatically on a specific time schedule, you’ll always need to remember to unlock it first, and I don’t think Cryptomator can automate the unlocking process.

If you use the directory method you will NOT see a drive appear in Windows Explorer like you would if you created it as a virtual drive.

If I’ve some how done it wrong or there is a better way I’ll defer to the experts like Michael to weigh in.

Thanks Blue_Sky, so I tried Macrium and it works ! Unfortunately Macrium is not one of the sync/backup tools I use by now (I noticed Macrium includes AES encrypting). SyncBack and Acronis are very common but no one seems to use them with CM. I go on investigating.

I concur on Blue_Sky’s methodolgy. CrashPlan works well with this method, but I do acknowledge that CrashPlan is quite expensive, but IMHO is the best at what it does. It also does End-to-End encryption of the unencrypted Cryptomator files. Though admittedly, in recent years, CrashPlan has become more restrictive in what it will back up. But certainly it backs up what is most important. I also use Arq Backup other items. Arq is just the software though, you have to have cloud backup storage (think Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.) It uses that storage space, but in its encrypted file formatted uploads (looks kinda like the encrypted Cryptomator files do).

has this stopped working at the beginning of November 2023? I just noticed that my files aren’t being backed up by CrashPlan any longer. When I go in and select the mounted folder, there are no contents in the folder indicated in CrashPlan interface… Not sure if this is change in CrashPlan or in Cryptomator… but it lists all backups as being “deleted files” in earlier November 2023…

Hi, I am using Blue_Sky’s method for my backup source file in Acronis and I get the error “Failed to back up file or folder xxx. It may be blocked by another application.” as I have described in this separate case Using a CM decrypted folder as backup source for Acronis gives access blocked error
Anyone else gets similar errors with Acronis or any other backup tool?
Any suggestions? Thanks!