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How to Backup your Bitcoin wallet (, 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, 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 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. 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.

Having delved into futures trading in the past, my intrigue in financial, economic, and political affairs eventually led me to a striking realization: the current debt-based fiat system is fundamentally flawed. This revelation prompted me to explore alternative avenues, including investments in gold and, since early 2013, Bitcoin. While not extensively tech-savvy, I've immersed myself in Bitcoin through dedicated study, persistent questioning, hands-on experience with ecommerce and marketing ventures, and my stint as a journalist. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and presently, I'm focused on crafting informative guides to shed light on the myriad advantages of Bitcoin, aiming to empower others to navigate the dynamic realm of digital currencies.

View all Posts by Alexander Reed

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64 comments on “How to Backup your Bitcoin wallet (, Bitcoin QT, MultiBit)”

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  1. 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.

    1. Zsofia - 99Bitcoins support

      Hi Walt, in case of hardware wallets, you are given a seed phrase, with the help of that you can recover your wallet in case you Ledger is damaged or disappeared. Just make sure your seed phrase is in safe.

  2. 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…)

  3. Milos Radojkovic

    Hello Offir! Great video again, thanks a lot for your education.
    I have only question about, 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!

    1. Alexander Reed

      Zsofia is right. Blockchain changed how they work about 6 months ago. This method won’t work with them now. When you set up a wallet you’ll get a phrase of 12 words which you need to write down in a safe place.
      Thanks for the feedback! Really appreciate it.

      1. Milos Radojkovic

        Thanks Zsofia and Alexander, very quick answer. 🙂 I done this, wrote my words and keep them safe. People are just concerned if BTC split in 2 chains, where is the best place to keep bitcoins. I already order a Ledger wallet, but I should wait until september. 🙁 Do you recommend to create a paper wallet as offline safe option? Thanks! No more questions. 🙂

        1. Zsofia - 99Bitcoins support

          Hi Milos, indeed, creating a paper wallet in the meantime will be a safe solution.

  4. 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!

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