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

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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Zsofia - 99Bitcoins supportWaltOfir BeigelDaveMilos Radojkovic Recent comment authors
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Walt
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Walt

You say “backup every wallet”. I assume this isn’t necessary if using something like the Ledger Nano S. Wouldn’t have a clue of how to back it up anyway.

Dave
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Dave

Your one-week course via email provided extremely helpful information, thank you!

(Please speak more slowly, no need to rush. I was able to understand from the written transcript…)

Milos Radojkovic
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Milos Radojkovic

Hello Offir! Great video again, thanks a lot for your education.
I have only question about Blockchain.info, are they a real wallet and they do not have our private keys? I see that you mentioned that we can do backup, so it looks they are secure for us. I am little confused, because there is to much different services which says they are wallets but they not. Thanks again!

Miriam
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Miriam

Where is the best place to earn bitcoins from?

Rob D
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Rob D

Thanks for the great videos, I was wondering about the 7500 bitcoins in the hard drive that the guy threw away, so they gone forever? Not just for him but never to be in circulation again? I wonder what percentage of bitcoins will never be seen again like that!

Atul
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Atul

Hi
Which broker is safe to keep large numbers of cryptocurenices , like Bitcoin etc

asif
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asif

hello ofir :- how to backup from coinbase

Ray Niblock
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Ray Niblock

Hi Ofir
Thanks for all the tutorials; it’s helping to get my head around bitcoin and how to keep them safe.

These are probably stupid questions, so I apologies in advance.

I too use Blockchain.info. How secure do you think this is and how robust a company are they?

I’ve backed-up as you suggested, but if Blockchain.info got hacked, that would mean my back up is useless if the hacker/s has already moved them from my wallet to their’s, or am I missing something?

Many thanks
Ray

Fabiano
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Fabiano

Hi, Ofir! I really appreciated the course and will be waiting for new chapters in the future ;) I didn’t understand some points about the Private key and no one can answer in the internet: 1) What determines the quantity of private keys, do I have one per address use, per transsaction done or per wallet? I’m very confused here. 2) Considering the response above, how often should I backup the Private keys? Every time that I do a new transaction (send and receive)? 3) When I transfer bitcoins to someone, some new wallet or to a hardware wallet (Trezor,… Read more »

Bedo
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Bedo

Does not it more than enough to REMEMBER the Private key seed? Why to have a back-up? (For example, we use Electrum Wallet – As long as we REMEMBER the 12 word seed, we are all “ok” , I think, right?)