Have you ever thought what would happen if you accidentally lose your Bitcoin? In case you haven’t then think of it now. As scary as this thought seems to be, it happens most of the times. We will tell you about some best methods to restore Bitcoin wallet.
A research conducted by Chainalysis stated that approximately 2.78 to 3.79 million Bitcoins are lost forever and become inaccessible. This means that about 1 out of every 5 existing Bitcoins are considered as good as gone.
Keeping your Bitcoin safe is your responsibility and you need to be aware of the methods that can help you keep the Bitcoin wallet safe. Moreover, you should also know how to create a backup in case it is required.
Therefore, as soon as you buy Bitcoin and get it stored, it is important that you also know how to restore Bitcoin wallet.
How to Keep your Bitcoin Wallet Safe
There are a few important tips that you need to remember in order to ensure your Bitcoins remain safe in your wallet. Let’s go through them:
- Make sure to encrypt your Bitcoin wallet with a strong password.
- Do not forget to create a backup for your Bitcoin wallet.
- Keep in mind that creating backups for Bitcoin wallets is vital in case there is any hardware or software failure or if you have a wallet with lost/stolen Bitcoin.
- Be sure to store the wallet backups on several locations such as paper wallets, USBs, CDs, pen drives, etc.
- Whenever you create a backup for your data, such as a wallet.dat file, you need to back up your wallet as well.
Backing up your wallet is not a difficult task as some of you might think. In fact, it is easy and can be done using one of the following methods:
- BIP32 Master Private Key
- BIP39 Mnemonic Seed Phrase
- Wallet.dat file backup
It is noteworthy that you will need to choose the backup method based on the Bitcoin wallet you are currently using. The majority of the current Bitcoin wallets use the second and third method to restore the Bitcoin.
Restore Bitcoin Wallet Using a Mnemonic Seed
The majority of Bitcoin wallets have the ability to backup and restore access to your funds with the help of a mnemonic seed. A mnemonic seed is basically a sequence comprising 12, 18, or 24 words.
Hardware wallets such as a Trezor or a Ledger, which are considered the most popular options to store your Bitcoins, will create a random mnemonic seed phrase as a recovery option to back up your wallet when you set them up in the beginning.
These phrases are randomly created, formed by a certain amount of words. It is recommended that you write down these words on more than one pieces of paper and keep them safe somewhere. Always avoid storing the words in devices connected to the internet.
For the same reason, the majority of people choose to laminate the paper on which the words have been written down or even store the words on metallic substitutes to make sure they remain readable for people for many years to come.
As soon as you write down the phrase, it becomes your only backup to restore lost, stolen or destroyed hardware wallets. In case of Trezor devices, all you need to do is click on Recover wallet and type your mnemonic seed phrase.
BIP39 is the sequence of words created by Trezor or Ledger devices. This means the sequence can be used with any BIP39 supported wallet to recover access to your Bitcoin.
Remember that online and desktop wallets are the same. The majority of wallets will give you a 12-word seed phrase which is required in case you lose access to your wallet. Therefore, if you ever happen to lose access to your wallet and funds, you can bring them back by using the phrase.
Restore Bitcoin Wallet Using a Wallet.dat File
You can also restore Bitcoin wallet using another method which is called the wallet.dat file method. In this method, the desktop wallets will use a file called wallet.dat to store your private keys and other significant information.
Depending on your computer operating system, here are the following locations where you will be able to access the wallet.dat file:
For Windows: %APPDATA%\NameOfWallet/
For Linus: ~/.NameOfWallet/
Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/NameOfWallet/
You just need to locate the file and the rest of the backup process is quite easy. All you have to do is copy the file to another device such as another computer or an external hard drive.
In order to restore the wallet, you need to copy and paste the backup over an already existing wallet.dat file which is present in the wallet’s installation folder. Remember that this method is going to wipe off all the data stored on the wallet.dat file that you are overwriting. Therefore, you need to be careful not to overwrite an existing wallet.
You need to have a plan B especially when it comes to keeping your hard-earned Bitcoins safe and sound. Since there is no proper insurance over your Bitcoins, you need to take important steps to ensure they remain safe.
The best way to keep them safe is by having a backup plan. All you need to do is write them a few words on a piece of paper or copy and waste a file. That’s it.
We would suggest you to not to waste any further time. Back up your Bitcoin wallet before it’s too late. With the security measures already set in place, you can prevent any future problems occurring with your Bitcoin wallet.