When you start MultiBit for the first time you will be shown the Welcome Wizard which will guide you through the process of creating a new wallet. If you already have an existing wallet created and you want to create more, see the creating More Wallets section.
We have created a YouTube tutorial that will show you what to expect.
MultiBit benefits from a large number of translators who have generously given of their time and expertise to make your use of the application as natural as possible. If you would like to contribute to this translation effort please visit our translation site.
After selecting your language the screen will immediately refresh to use it.
At this point you can choose to switch to a pre-existing wallet or restore one from your wallet words (seed phrase). In this article we are creating a wallet for the first time so the appropriate option is "Create Wallet" as shown.
Creating a Bitcoin wallet is a serious business and we strongly recommend that you give yourself some time to familiarise yourself with the steps involved before proceeding.
In short, the process is:
Each step is necessary in order to ensure that you can benefit from as much security for your bitcoins as possible and is explained in more detail for each screen.
Security is hard, but making a backup of your work is the easiest way to ensure that you can recover from a serious problem that may occur in the future. By signing up with a reputable backup service like SpiderOak or Dropbox you can be sure that your data is continuously pushed to the cloud. Then, if your computer is lost, stolen or damaged you can replace it, reinstall MultiBit and recover your bitcoins simply by accessing your online backups.
MultiBit always saves your data encrypted and this can only be recovered using your wallet words which offers a very high level of protection.
If you don't have a backup solution in place you can skip this step and add it in later. We strongly recommend that you use one to avoid potential data loss in the future.
Your wallet words are a collection of 12, 18 or 24 words that protect all of your bitcoins. If someone else gains possession of your wallet words they can spend all of your bitcoins so keep it secret, keep it safe. You don't need to access your wallet words for day to day use of MultiBit but you will need it in emergencies where your computer is lost, stolen or damaged.
You can use the Refresh button to choose different wallet words and you can choose to have more words as necessary. The more words you have the less likely it is that someone can guess your wallet words. The default of 12 words is considered secure enough for a lifetime's use with Bitcoin, 24 words is the equivalent of a Bitcoin private key itself.
We strongly recommend that you write your wallet words down using pen and paper, seal it in an envelope and put it into a fireproof box alongside your other valuable papers.
If you want to make a copy, perhaps for safe keeping with a legal firm, then only use a pen and paper. Any kind of digital copying (digital camera, mobile phone, scanner, photocopier etc) will leave a record of the wallet words in its internal memory and thus the wallet words might be compromised. By only using a pen and paper and a sealed envelope you are ensuring maximum safety.
In order to be sure that you have written down your wallet words correctly you must enter it here. Be sure to include the timestamp as well.
When you have correctly typed in all your wallet words a "verified" message will appear and you will be able to proceed to the next step. If you don't see this message, make sure you verify that:
If you are stuck, use the "Previous" button to go back. This will cause a fresh set of wallet words to be generated so that you can try again.
The password is for day to day protection of your wallet. Each time you start MultiBit, or perform a privileged operation (spending, signing etc) you will need this password. It can be recovered using your wallet words and a wallet backup file if you forget it.
In order to be sure that you have entered the password correctly you need to enter it twice at which point a "verified" message will be shown.
As your wallet is created you can view its progress here. Each stage is accompanied with a checkmark or cross to indicate success or failure.
This is the first screen that you will see each time you start MultiBit. Simply enter your password and click the "Unlock" button (or press ENTER) to begin using your wallet. You can use the "Create" button to create a new wallet. You can use the "Restore" button if you forget your password or need to restore a wallet.
MultiBit allows you to create many wallets and to easily switch between them. Each wallet is completely independent of the others, including its synchronization and backups. You cannot spend the funds in one wallet from another.
To create an additional wallet simply wait for the Unlock screen to show, then click the Create button. This will take you to the Create Wallet screen and you should follow the same procedure as detailed earlier.