How to send bitcoins using Electrum

The Send tab is how you send money using Electrum. The screenshot below shows the Send tab:

Let’s look at what the various fields are for:

Pay To: In order to pay someone with bitcoin you need their address. The address looks like a random string of characters beginning with 1, 3 or bc1. For example:

1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf55kuE
3MeJVJ4C8rs5xTMy634cF11mdgxhzTpUnd
bc1qqjupx9ak8pey7vav38r96tkkw2t9jlu3qcnuv

Ask the recipient for their bitcoin address, copy it to the clipboard and paste it into the Pay To field on the send tab.

Addresses are supposed to be single use only so please don’t assume the recipient controls old addresses. Get a fresh address from them for every transaction unless they tell you otherwise.

In some cases when paying merchants on the web you don’t use an address. Instead you click on a link and set that link to open with Electrum. Such links begin with “bitcoin:”. In such cases the Pay To field is automatically populated with the merchant’s name and the amount field is populated with the amount you need to pay the merchant.

The Pay To field is a required field.

Description: You can enter a description here for your own reference. It’ll be displayed on the history tab entry for this transaction. The description is stored in your wallet file only and is not shared with anyone. It is optional.

Amount: The exact amount the recipient should get. This is required too.

Fee: Bitcoin transactions require a fee that is paid to miners. The fee slider lets you set a fee based on fee market conditions. You can move the fee slider to the left to reduce the fee and to the right to increase the fee. The higher the fee you pay the quicker your transaction will confirm. If you pause your mouse cursor over the fee slider it’ll give you some useful information about the fee rate.

The fee is deducted from the wallet balance so the total amount that is spent is the value you put in the amount field plus the fee. More information about fees is given here.

After you’ve filled out the details please double check them to make sure they are right. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible so if you make a mistake you can’t get your bitcoins back.

Once you are sure everything is correct click on the Send button to send the bitcoin. You may be asked to confirm the fee and amount you want to send. If you’ve set a password on your wallet you’ll be asked to enter that. Once it has sent the bitcoins Electrum will display the transaction ID of the payment. You can also find the transaction ID on the history tab by right clicking on the relevant transaction and selecting details.