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Wallet backups

What is a wallet backup ?

A wallet backup is a copy of your Bitcoin wallet (or your wallet's private keys) that you can use to recover your bitcoin if something bad happens to your original wallet file. "Something bad" can mean anything from someone stealing your computer, a hard disk failure or some other serious computer problem.

Do I have to enable it ?

No, MultiBit Classic does this automatically in the background using special files that are described in detail in the File descriptions article. These files can often be used to recover your wallet automatically should a problem occur.

MultiBit Classic will place the backup files in a sub-directory created in the same directory as wherever you created the wallet.

The backups are encrypted the same as the original wallet.

I want my bitcoin to be safe. What do you recommend ?

Backups only work if you have access to them. If you rely on the default location for wallet backups then you are at risk if your computer is stolen or damaged beyond recovery.

A good backup is a copy of your wallet file that you store off your computer. That way if something happens to your computer you still have access to the backups. IT professionals have a saying: "Data doesn't exist unless it is in two separate places".

At the very least you should have the following in place:

  • Encrypted wallets (to prevent others from accessing the data)
  • A new wallet created in a directory that is regularly backed up (SpiderOak, Dropbox, Carbonite, Time Machine etc)
  • A USB stick with additional copies of the private keys in case your machine is stolen and you forget your backup account password
  • Each time a new receiving address is generated a new private key is made which must be backed up.

You must use encrypted wallets if you are storing them off your computer.

My wallet was lost but I have a backup. How can I restore it ?

You can restore from a backup as follows:

  1. Start MultiBit Classic as normal (install if your computer is has been wiped/replaced)
  2. Use 'File | Open Wallet' to locate your wallet backup
  3. Wait for synchronization to complete

All I have is a private key export. How can I restore it ?

You can restore from a private key export using these instructions.

My wallet is encrypted but it's on my machine. How can I move it ?

Please refer to the moving a wallet article.

Is there a better way to handle backups ?

Yes. You should try MultiBit HD so that you can take advantage of greatly improved backups and other features.

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