How to use the Electrum receive tab

To receive bitcoin all you need to do is share one of the addresses in your wallet with the person who wants to pay you. With the receive tab Electrum tries to create a workflow for receiving bitcoin that incorporates adding a label to your address, an expected amount and saving all this in the wallet as a receive request. The fact of the matter is non of this is strictly necessary. As mentioned before, all you need to do is share any one of the addresses in your wallet with the sender. But it does help you organize things if you also label your address etc. and save the whole request in your wallet.

The label and amount you set in the receive tab are only for your own reference. They are not shared with anyone and they don’t restrict how much bitcoin someone can send you.

So here’s how to use the receive tab in electrum:

  • Switch to the “Receive” tab
  • Enter a description in the “Description” field.  This is not shared with anyone and is only for your own reference. When you receive money this description will show up on the history tab.
  • Enter an amount, if you like, in the “Requested Amount field”. Remember this does not change how much bitcoin someone can send you and is only for your own reference.
  • You can safely ignore the request expires option. It doesn’t do anything meaningful.
  • Click on the little blue icon on the “Receiving Address” field to copy the address to the clipboard or scan the QR code. Communicate this address to the sender.
  • Click on the “Save” button to save the request to your wallet file.
  • Once you save the receive request the “New” button becomes enabled and you can click on that to begin the process again with a new address.
  • At the bottom of the screen under “Requests” you can see past saved requests. Clicking on one should populate the fields above with the request details including the address.

So that’s the Electrum Receive tab. As you can see it’s designed to hand out new addresses each time you need one. This is because address re-use is a bad idea. That is not to say you can’t do it. It’s just not recommended.

26 thoughts on “How to use the Electrum receive tab”

  1. Hey, thank you for this article. I use electrum for my Verge. However, my last request to receive coins has not come in for about week a now. I made a mistake and set the expires query to one day. Shall i go to the address area and “request payment?” Thank you.

    1. Addresses don’t expire and money can be sent to them at any time. Just leave that request be and create a new one if you need more addresses.

  2. Hi, is this still the current method for Electrum wallet creation?
    The address shown in the above pic is self generated when you enter “receive” tab?
    Does this address change every time for requests?
    Does the number of addresses created over time matter and are they all linked to the account at Electrum for the life of that account?


    1. Regarding your first question the guide above is for getting addresses in your wallet not creating a wallet. Addresses are not wallets. Wallets have many addresses, the private keys behind them and related meta data.

      Yes to your next 2 questions

      Regarding your last question Electrum doesn’t have accounts. We call them wallets. All the addresses in a wallet are generated deterministically from your seed so they all lead to your wallet.

  3. Hello friends. I just jumped onto the bitcoin bandwagon and set up Airbitz on my iPhone and Electrum on my Mac desktop. I was able to get bitcoins into my Airbitz wallet on my phone after a few tries with a bitcoin ATM, but when I try to transfer them to my Electrum wallet on my Mac, I keep getting “invalid QR code” messages, whether I try using the QR code or a copy and paste of the address. Is there a bug in one of the two apps, or am I doin it wrong? I followed the instructions on this page for the receive on Electrum, and hit the Send icon in Airbitz, where it asks for the scan or address of the QR code/wallet for my Electrum wallet, but never works. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. BTW, I built the Electrum app from python3 sources which were latest as of yesterday, Jan 27, 2018, and used the latest Airbitz app for iPhone as of Jan 26th.

    2. Do the addresses in your wallet begin with ‘bc1’? If yes then you created a segwit wallet and most other wallets have trouble sending to that. Create another wallet and this time choose standard instead of segwit. Instructions for creating a wallet are here:

  4. I don’t think so, but I couldn’t tell for sure (not sure if I looked at the right thing). Both Airbitz and Electrum wallet addresses looked OK to me. Switched to Jaxx and it worked, so I guess I’ll be using Jaxx instead of Electrum. Thanks for the reply.

  5. So if I wanted to transfer my mining profits to electrum then all I need to do is generate one address and use it for as long as I like?

    1. It’s better to use a different address for every transaction:

    1. You will still get the money. The payment request will not be saved in your wallet file so when you receive the money it won’t have a label attached to it on the history tab. You can set one at that point in time if you like by right clicking on the entry on the history tab and choosing edit description.

  6. I don’t understand.

    I’m expecting bitcoins from several sources. I don’t no their names, I don’t know their address and the amounts will vary.

    Here’s one example:

    2017-10-22 19:54:29 0.00025385 BTC (0.25385 mBTC)

    Where’s that money? It’s now June and I’m still waiting.

    1. Bitcoin is not a bank and neither is electrum. You alone are responsible for your wallet.

      Having said that you need to provide more details like the address where the coins were supposed to be sent, the version of electrum you are using and your operating system.

  7. I’ve got Electrum 3.0.2 and 21 addresses. And a desktop Mac.

    None of those addresses has received any money since october 2017 when I installed the wallet.

    Should I generate more addresses? 20 or 200?

    1. Sorry to ask the obvious but you did give the senders your addresses right? That is each sender got one of the addresses? It might sound silly but some users don’t communicate the address to the sender.

      Do you have your seed words written down? If you don’t then on most wallet types you can get at them via wallet menu > seed. I also recommend making a backup of your wallet file via file menu > save copy. Once you’ve done these things update to the latest version of electrum because that version is too old. To update install the latest version just like you did 3.0.2. The official site is at

      Once you’ve updated hopefully the funds will show up in your wallet. If they don’t then let me know what color circle icon you see in the bottom right and what message is displayed in the status bar at the bottom left.

  8. Inquiries about wallet service

    I am writing to make some inquiries about the wallet service of your company. We are planning to start a cryptocurrency exchange business. So, we would like to know whether your company provides an enterprise level wallet service or not. Also, we are interested in knowing the price of the transactions (money transfer).

    Thank you for your help.

    1. This site is not the official electrum site. It is just an enthusiast’s site. You should probably contact ThomasV if you want to hire his company for consultation services. See the official site at or email him thomasv at electrum dot org.

  9. I’m unable to send bitcoins from Coinbase into my electrum account. It’s says invalid address on the Coinbase website. I’ve created both legacy and segwit wallets. (There’s no “standard”). And I still can’t get it to work. Please help.

  10. hi. i copy-pasted a new receiving adress of mine and gave it to somebody before i clicked “save”. will i still get the money? it doesnt seem to receive anything.

    1. Yes. The transaction will show up on the history tab when the sender sends the money and the balance will be updated there and in the bottom left as well. Are you seeing a balance in the bottom left of the electrum window?

  11. I have a question can I recieve coins from a btm machine in my electrum wallet if I snap a pic of the QR code on my phone and scan it at the btm will I recieve the funds in my electrum wallet on my desktop

    1. That might work if you go to view menu > show addresses, switch to addresses tab, right click on an address and choose to view details and then up top in the window that appears you click on the little qr code icon on the field where the address is shown. The QR code that now appears contains just the address while the one on the receive tab has a “bitcoin:” prefix which btms might not grok.

      Alternatively you can install electrum on your phone. It has an android version available on play store. You can then call up QR codes for receive addresses on the spot.

      1. Ok so your saying it might work if I scan the qr code but if the machine says error or something I should just type the address without the btc prefix and it should send it because I suppose as long as my internet is connected at home the blockchain confirmations should still go thru and it should recieve the btc on my electrum because I have iPhone so electrum doesn’t have a app I also have one last question I have a blockchain wallet can I send and recieve btc without verifying my id or the id verification is only the buy btc using there site can I just it as a wallet because I guess that would be simpler because ios has a blockchain wallet ? Thanks for your time

        1. Yes you can use the wallet without verifying ID. Mycelium is also another popular wallet for ios.

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