Resuming access to a crypto wallet when you've lost or forgotten your password is possible. There are several ways to do this.
What to do to restore your bitcoin wallet
The first way is to access it through a backup. But in order to do that, a copy of the wallet.dat file, which contains the backup keys, must have been made beforehand. Lightweight crypto wallets have an option whereby you can periodically copy your data to cloud storage. Those with heavy desktop programs can make backups on their PC and transfer data to the cloud or to a removable storage device such as an external hard drive.
How can I restore my bitcoin wallet to my wallet address: can I do it?
Restoring a cryptocurrency wallet by address is impossible. The address is public data, and everyone involved in the transaction can see it.
The only thing the owner can try with an address is to contact the support team of the program they used to sign up and manage the wallet. It's possible that they have the access credentials (most likely on heavy cryptocurrencies). The owner needs to prove that he is the owner of the BTC wallet at the specified address, otherwise the recovery will be denied.
How to restore bitcoin wallet: ways to restore light and heavy cryptocurrencies
How to restore bitcoin wallet with wallet.dat
Information about cryptocurrency wallets and transactions are stored in a special document. The bitcoin wallet file is usually called «wallet.dat». Its name can be different, for example, in Electrum it is called default_wallet. This is the main file where program records all information about transactions, private keys for all addresses that were created, and any transactions go through it. It is worth to make copies of this file periodically, and protect it with a password. You can copy wallet.dat and save it on multiple thumb drives.
How to restore a bitcoin wallet via a private key
Most cryptocurrency wallets have a console, which is similar to the command line used in operating systems. The console allows you to retrieve a private key, and if necessary can be used to recreate a lost cryptocurrency password.
- launches the console;
- enters command «Dumpprivkey and crypto wallet number;
- presses the «Enter» button.
The combination of numbers you get is the user's private key. This second password should be stored in a safe place. Next, the wallet program is installed again. The command «importprivkey &key number» is entered. It is necessary to wait for the update of the data in the blockchain system, if everything is done correctly - access to the storage will be restored.
How to restore bitcoin wallet using seed phrases
Many crypto wallets support hierarchical deterministic technology, which means that they can be accessed using a mnemonic phrase, or seed key. The phrase consists of a random sequence of twelve English words (18 or 24 words).
Seed-phrase is usually given at the start. It can then be used to easily rebuild the crypto store. The following platforms support this technology: Coinomi, Electrum, Exodus, Jaxx, Ledger, MultiBit, Mycelium, Trezor.
How to restore a bitcoin wallet with R-Studio
If the private key file has been deleted and there is no backup copy, and all the data was only stored on the PC hard drive, then you can try data recovery utilities. For example, R-Studio. R-Studio can be used to recover the entire hard drive or individual files, depending on the extent of hard drive damage. After installing R-Studio (free trial version is available, but restricting the amount of data that can be recovered), select the drive and start scanning.
At the end of the scan, the found data structures will be shown. Good, if the structures are shown in green, that means all the files can be recovered.
The orange sectors show that part of the information can be recovered. Click twice on a sector and the recovery process starts. In addition to R-Studio, other programs like HDD Regenerator and Recuva are available. You have to be careful when using them, because incorrect actions can do a lot of damage to your system. Also, make sure you back up your system before using them, just in case they fail.
How to recover bitcoin wallet by alternative method
In the relationship between the user of an online storage for digital coins and the blockchain, there is an intermediary in the form of the administration of the project. If you lose your password, services offer several ways to restore your cryptocurrency wallet by email address.
Bitcoin core: how to restore the wallet on a concrete example
This wallet needs no introduction, so let's go straight to the questions we are interested in. You can recover Bitcoin Core by extracting the private keys and / or copying the wallet.dat file.
Previous copy of Bitcoin Core private keys:
- We need to go into the crypto wallet console. To do so, click «Help» -«Debug Window» - click the «Console» tab.
- In the console, run the command: dumpprivkey #wallet (that is, your address or public key). In the console we get an answer in the form Rj23flJ1hjBIB57bHbj09HV3JbKJbh5Nq68nyUn, that is, it will be an incoherent set of letters and numbers.
Congratulations, you have just retrieved your private key. Please take a copy of it and print it on paper so you don't lose it. Do this with all your addresses so you will always have access to them. IMPORTANT! Your private key is your direct access to your money. Keep it as the apple of your eye and don't let anyone see it.
How to recover your Bitcoin account via private key:
- If for some reason your crypto wallet is wiped and all files are gone. Reinstall Bitcoin Core or any other wallet.
- Start the wallet.
- Go to the console. To do this, select the top bar as «Help;«Debug Window» - select the «Console» tab.
- In the console, run the command: importprivkey your_private_key (enter the saved key).
- Wait for the blockchain to download and eventually have all your coins again!
- If necessary, repeat this operation for all addresses.
Backup with wallet.dat:
- In the top control panel, click «File» «Backup wallet». This brings up a window where you need to choose a file name and save location.
- Name file wallet.dat and choose a save location.
- Create at least three copies on different media.
Now you have a copy of your crypto wallet. Restore Bitcoin Core with wallet.dat:
- Install the Bitcoin Core wallet again. IMPORTANT! If you can restore your funds in any wallet with the help of private keys. Then wallet.dat file will be relevant only for the wallet from which you made a copy.
- Closing crypto-purse.
- Replace the original wallet.dat file with our saved copy, by default it will be in C:\users\PCName\appdata\roaming\Coin Name.
- Open the wallet and wait for synchronization of all blocks. When synchronization is complete you will see all your coins and transactions.
General tips to help faster restore bitcoin wallet.
- The sooner you start scanning your hard drive, the better your chances of recovering the key.
- Do not install the system on the hard drive you want to recover files from
- If you happen to have the system installed, remove the HDD, put another HDD in, and install it.
- Set up the drive you want to reanimate as removable or second drive in the system, trying to touch it as little as possible before scanning with the utility.
- The more data you have on it, the less chance you have of recovering the keys, but if you already have them, don't delete them, just scan them.
Bitcoin is about decentralization, anonymity and independence. But the security of the keys is left up to the users themselves. The procedure for restoring access in cryptocurrencies is more complicated than in classic payment systems, but it is still possible under certain conditions.