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:
And this is MultiBit:
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.