How Do I Recover My Lost Bitcoin Wallet?

By Prashant Jha

Bitcoin, the digital currency requires a wallet just like your real-money, but since the Bitcoin is a digital form of currency and it’s basically a bunch of computer codes, you need a specialized form of wallet to keep it safe against the hackers and theft.

Bitcoin wallets come in many shapes and forms and some of the prominent types preferred by majority include,

Different people use different wallets as per their convenience, this article would help you to recover your lost Bitcoin wallet through various recovery options available within a wallet for customer’s safety and privacy.

Despite the number of security features and technology available to help the users to keep their Bitcoin safe, a study suggests that 3.78 million or a whopping 23% of all the wallets have already been lost.

Let us find out various recovery methods to ensure you can recover your Bitcoin fortune in time.

You May Also Read: 5 Best Bitcoin Wallets for iPhone in 2019

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Despite the array of security features available within the wallet to safeguard your Bitcoin fortune in case you misplace your private key, it’s always better to take extra precautions early rather than tiring yourself after you lose it. Some of the early precaution measures that one can take to ensure easy recovery even in case of theft have been listed below,

  • Always backup your wallet.
  • Encrypt your wallet with a strong password.
  • Store wallet backups in multiple locations (USB drive, CD, paper wallet, private cloud, etc.).
  • Backup regularly when backing up a data file (such as wallet.dat).

Backing up your wallet can prove miraculous in case the hardware or the software functionality takes a hit or even when you lose the actual wallet. Creating an encrypted backup can do wonders for you.

Now that you know how backing up as an early precautionary measure is as necessary as recovering your wallet, let us look at various recovery methods.

You May Also Read: Best Anonymous Bitcoin Wallets For 2019

Hardware Wallet Recovery

Ledger Nano S and Trezor are some of the most popular and widely used hardware wallets. At the time of setting it up, the wallet would generate a seed-key, which might be a random number consisting of 12, 18 or 24 words. You need to note it down and keep it in a safe and accessible place.

This seed key can help you recover your old, stolen or lost wallet easily on a new device, all you need to do is click on the “recover wallet” option and enter the generated seed key into it and your wallet will be restored.

However, while storing the seed key make sure it is not saved on any of the devices which have internet accessibility. It is to ensure that there are no chance for a hacker to get access to it and the same point has been highlighted in Trevor’s blog as well.

Similarly, various software wallers also provide the seed-key or a similar feature to help you recover our Bitcoin wallet in case of any theft or loss of private keys.

You May Also Read: Top Bitcoin Wallets of 2019

Core Wallet Recovery

Core wallets are the ones which are made available on the core network, the bitcoin core wallet make uses a file extension called, “wallet.dat” to store your private keys, and it uses the data to match with the Bitcoin stored in the wallet. Different PC OS saves the “wallet.dat” file at a different location, you can find the file information below,

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Bitcoin
  • Linux: ~/.bitcoin/
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/

Once you are able to locate the file system in your computer, you can easily copy and save it in an external device like a USB stick, external hard-drive, and even a CD. However, it is recommendable not to save the data on any cloud-based devices as it is not secure.

The backed up wallet.dat file can be used by the owner if they lose their existing core wallet or forget their private key. Mind you whenever you decide to use the backup to overwrite the wallet.dat file, the previous data will be erased, as the core wallet has been designed in a way to only work on one wallet.dat file at a time.

Conclusion

As you can see, if you have the knowledge about the working process of the Hardware, software or core wallet, and you have followed the measures put in place correctly then, it might not be all that hard to recover our Bitcoin fortune. But you must remember to follow those steps of noting down the seed-key and keeping it safe.

Among the number of wallet options available for the users, the hardware wallets are considered to be the safest with better recovery options available.

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Prashant Jha

As a content writer Prashant believes in presenting complex topics in simple laymen terms. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader.

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