How to Backup and Restore a Bitcoin Wallet -

Bitcoin wallet backup restore

Bitcoin Wallet / October 3, 2017

I do not fully understand how to create a paper wallet backup despite reading several FAQs and forum threads on the subject.

MY SETUP: I have a Bitcoin-Qt wallet with Bitcoins in it running on a Windows computer of mine. I have several USB-backups stored elsewhere as well as a strong wallet password configured in Bitcoin-QT.

WHAT I WANT TO ACHIEVE: A lot of numbers (no QR-code) on a paper that I store safely and if my computer and my backups are both destroyed I could start over completely and access all my Bitcoins with the long line of numbers I have stored on a paper.

So, FAQs and forum threads tells me to do the following actions as a "backup of wallet to paper" procedure:

  1. launch your bitcoin client as usual and wait for it to load the blockchain and start up
  2. click on 'help' in the menu bar (top right)
  3. click on 'debug window'
  4. select the 'console' tab
  5. type: walletpassphrase "your walletpassphrase here" 600
  6. type: dumpprivkey [your public key here] this will return the private key, you can copy it now; ensure you clear your clipboard/history afterwards
  7. type: walletlock

My questions:


For action number 6, I am told to enter "listaddressgroupings" to get my public adress. Doing so will give me a long list of all addresses I have previously used for transactions. Am I correct in assuming that using any of these addresses (and only that one) in action number 6 will give me the private key I need to have a paper wallet (and reach my goal of what I want to achieve (mentioned at the top) ? Or do I need to repeat action 6 for every Bitcoin address I have received Bitcoins to (even if all Bitcoins are in the same Bitcoin-QT wallet) ?


What is the corresponding actions that I need to take to "start over" if my computer and all USB-backups are destroyed? This is my guess:

  • Download and install Bitcoin-QT to a new computer
  • Action 1-5 above
  • importprivkey [my private key from my paper wallet] (any parameters?)
  • Anything else?