How to Backup your Bitcoin wallet (blockchain.info, Bitcoin QT, MultiBit)

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When we published our 4 Steps to keeping your Bitcoins safe guide about a month ago we said it’s important to back up your Bitcoin wallet. A Bitcoin wallet backup is basically a file that hold all of your private keys for your public addresses, so in case your Bitcoin wallet gets lost or stolen you can always get back your Bitcoin. Let me give you an example:

This guy accidentally threw away his hard drive which had a Bitcoin wallet installed on it with 7,500 Bitcoins….ouch. If he had created a back up he would be able to get them back again. Here is how the process looks like.

Step 1 – Open the wallet you want to back up

Whether it’s Blockchain.info, Bitcoin QT, MultiBit or any other wallet.

Step 2 – Look for “Backup wallet” or “Export private keys”

Search inside the wallet’s menu until you find one of these options. Here is Blockchain.info:

blockchain.info backupAnd this is Bitcoin-QT:

Bitcoin qt backup

And this is MultiBit:

mulibit backup

Step 3 – Save your backup to a flash drive

Save your exported backup on to a flash drive and keep it in a secure place. Some wallets will allow you to password protect your backup so that if someone gets a hold of the file he won’t be able to use it.

Now if for some reason you end up losing your Bitcoin wallet – for example, someone steals your mobile device. You can just open a new client, import this backup and move the Bitcoins out of that wallet to a new wallet. Blockchain.info even has a very handy option of automatically sending you backups to your dropbox or Google drive which you may want to consider.

Remember, all the backup is, is a list of your private keys. Whoever has your private key owns your Bitcoins. If you have any more questions about backing up your Bitcoin wallet feel free to post them in the comment section below.

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Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

22 Comments

  1. Thank you about your clear lessons. I read above (Larry M) there are users face the same problem like me with their blockchain wallet. Where is the feature to back up wallet?

  2. thanks Ofir of the free tutorials and giving me a better perspective on how bitcoins work also , amazing pointer on the back-up and easy comprehensive, educative course.

  3. Thanks Ofir,
    Unfortunately, i did my best to locate the backup feature on blockchain.info but couldnt. I guess i will try again tomorrow. This crash course was eye opening and I truly appreciate it. I also thank you for offering me the bitcoin stipend. All the best.

    I hope to here from you again. My email is open to 99bitcoins. God bless your team

  4. Matthew Dikwidi, South Africa

    Great O Fir, since i started Bitcoin lessons with you, i can tell it is not an easy as i thought, but now i know the good and the bad of storing bitcoins in your bitcoins wallet, thank you so much. i am relly interested in trading bitcoins but i can just get it right.

  5. Great tip, losing 7500 Bitcoins would be awful. I think backups are vital to the safety of the money. But instead of using the built in encryption, I’d suggest using a one-time pad by XOR-ing an unencrypted backup with pure randomness. This would be 100% unbreakable. Then just keep the encrypted backup and key separate, like maybe one on OneDrive and the other on Google Drive. Better yet, keep them on 2 separate flash drives in case your cloud accounts get hacked.

  6. Joshua Anderson on

    Thanks for posting this! I want to buy some Bitcoins this month and I have been scouring your website looking for the steps I should take and now I’m a bit freaked out after reading that your wallet could be hacked or simply disappear due to some hardware error. How can I prevent this?

  7. Elijah Thomas on

    I don’t know about you, but I use Bitcoins every singleday for most of my transactions and donations. I like to know that my money is safe and secure so I am strongly considering using Trezor. Do you have any experience with it? I am curious if you heard some bad reviews from people that actually used them, not from their competition.

  8. Tamita Stevens on

    Most likely you don’t use Bitcoin for every single transaction you make so it would be ideal if you could back up your wallet every time you receive a new private key. It doesn’t take that long and you know all your Bitcoins are safe. I keep mine on two USBs; one stores the most recent version and one the previous backup just in case I might need it.

  9. Matthew Taylor on

    Choose extremely strong passwords if you want to reduce the risks of being hacked. If some of your friends know where you keep your Bitcoin backup and want to harm you they can steal it and your Bitcoins will be lost. I don’t speak from personal experience, but this sure as hell can happen; the worst for me was to misplace my USB but luckily I have backed up on two USB flash drives.

  10. Anthony Wilson on

    Do you recommend Strongcoin? I read that their hybrid wallet could be the most secure option at this moment but I highly doubt it. Right now I’m using Blockchain and I never had any problems.

  11. Hellena Tisdale on

    The most important step is to always password protect your wallet so whoever gets a hold of your flash drive can’t use your Bitcoins. Also, don’t make just one copy as any digital gizmo is bound to give errors at any given time, so save your wallet on more than one flash device. Hope this helps!

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