The issue of Bitcoin wallet recovery can arise entirely unexpectedly. And the panic that occurs amid the risk of losing accumulated funds forever also prevents a solution to the problem. But do not despair; in fact, Bitcoin wallet recovery is possible, and there are several ways to do it.
In this article, our blockchain expert Alex detailed all the nuances of Bitcoin wallets, options on how to restore a Bitcoin wallet, and a bonus tells what to do if the password is lost or forgotten.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Before proceeding with the recovery, it is essential to pay attention to the type of storage used. Further actions of the user depend on it. Today there are the following Bitcoin wallets:
- Online. The peculiarity of wallets is that they do not need to be installed. Registration and application of the wallet take place online. Cryptocurrency is stored on one of the many services.
- Hardware. Such vaults are separate devices that can be carried around and connected to a computer for transactions. Users note the reliability of such devices and several ways to restore access to the money. Examples of hardware vaults are Ledger Nano S, KeepKey, Trezor.
- Desktop Lites. This category includes Bitcoin wallets that do not require downloading the blockchain to a computer. The user installs the software on the PC and gets everything they need to work – a wallet file, transaction addresses, and an access key. Examples are MultiBit or Electrum wallets.
- Software heavy. Unlike the light wallets discussed above, here the wallet downloads the entire transaction history since 2009. As a result, the information takes up more than 100 GB of space on the HDD. Despite this drawback, heavy wallets are considered one of the most reliable. An example is Bitcoin Core.
Restore Bitcoin Wallet Using Wallet.dat
This contains the most critical data about the BTC wallet: address, number of coins, etc. If heavy storage is installed on the PC, the software can access the entire database with transactions in the crypto network. It is essential to treat this file with special attention. It should be under the user’s control because falling into the wrong hands can lead to the loss of funds.
The file is stored in a particular folder, the path to which depends on the Bitcoin storage installed on the PC. To export private keys for further Bitcoin wallet recovery, do the following:
- Go to the Tools section and select the appropriate item.
- In the window that appears, specify where to move the files.
- Activate the protection of exported keys with a password (set a complex security code).
- Confirm operation.
- Enter the tools menu and go to the private key import section.
- Show the path to the corresponding files, type in the password and confirm the operation.
- After performing the mentioned actions, the vault number changes, but access to the money is open.
Restore Bitcoin Wallet Through the Console
Bitcoin wallet recovery is also available through the console. This option is suitable for users who have the wallet installed on their computers. The algorithm of actions is as follows:
- Save the wallet.dat file to a safe place.
- Log into the vault, then go to the console and type the following phrase – dumpprivkey<#wallet>.
- Get a unique code; this is the private key of the wallet.
- Save the information and do whatever is necessary to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. The best solution is to copy the obtained symbols to a separate file, print them out, and put them in the safe.
How can you restore access to your Bitcoin wallet having this information at hand? Let’s proceed as follows:
- Install the wallet (an empty wallet.dat file is generated automatically).
- Log into the console and enter the following phrase – importprivkey.
- Wait for a while, and then get a wallet with coins on the account.
Restore Bitcoin Online Wallet
In most cases, it is not difficult to gain access to the money stored in an online wallet. During the registration process, the system identifies the user, which allows future access to the cryptocurrency. Let’s look at how to restore Bitcoin wallet by mail:
- In the window for the sid-phrase, there is a window where the email address is entered.
- Enter the information in the specified section.
- Specify the captcha and get information about the successful sending of the email.
- Go to the email and read the letter. It will contain the key to verify and the link to which you want to go.
- Click on the link, and you will get an identifier.
If the user has lost all the data for logging into the wallet, you can write to the service administrators. In this case, you should give them the maximum amount of information about the wallet and the recent transactions. To further protect your online wallet, it is recommended that you keep your login information and passwords in several variants and safe places.
Restore Bitcoin Wallet in Case of Deleting Wallet.dat
As noted, this file is of key importance to the user because it stores information about the vault and the money. The loss of the document equates to the loss of a Bitcoin wallet. It is important not to panic here and remember a simple thing – wallet.dat is recoverable under certain circumstances, just like any other file.
In the case of SSDs, the situation is simply because such disks warn the user about the presence of problems. This means that a person has enough time to save the information. If the flash drive fails, you can restore it with special utilities, for example, CardRecovery, File, Scavenger, and others.
The situation with the HDD is more complicated. For its recovery, it is better to involve professionals or use a particular program – Recuva, R-Studio, or several others. There are no difficulties in choosing such software because there are many options.
Experts recommend the program Recuva. Its principle is simple. Information on the HDD is represented as a chain of elements headed by an identifier. If something is deleted from the object, the identifier is removed, and the other information remains until the next overwrite. The task of the program is to find the damaged chains and to restore them.
Bonus: Recovering a Bitcoin Wallet Password
No less challenging is the situation when a person has forgotten his wallet password. If we are talking about Bitcoin Core, it is no longer possible to restore access to the money. In the case of other storage, you can try several options. Here are the instructions on how to recover the password from a Bitcoin wallet:
- Try to restore the password through the standard form (see above for how to do that). Here it is important to remember the information that was registered during the registration. Most often, e-mail, phone numbers, or other data. If the details are entered correctly, a letter arrives at the mailbox with the latest data for logging in or a link to create a new code.
- Let’s write to technical support. Password, of course, experts do not know but can advise on the algorithm of future manipulations.
- Remember the sid-phrase generated during the creation of many wallets and stored in a different place. As a rule, with the help of this set of words, it is possible to restore the wallet’s access (in case of password loss).
- Let’s try to use a unique password recovery software. Before using it, you need to study the conditions of use because the fee may be too high. If a person is good at programming, he can write password recovery software by himself.
Of course, the world of cryptocurrency is associated with many risks and surprises, but it is worth exploring. Artex Global will help you to do it. Our materials on blockchain fundamentals and basic processes, like Smart Contracts, will give you the necessary background and insight. Our comparative analyses of cryptocurrency exchanges, for example, LocalBitcoins cryptocurrency exchange or CEX.io cryptocurrency exchange, will prepare you for active interaction with other miners.
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