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 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”. Remember this does not change how much bitcoin someone can send you and is only for your own reference.
  • Set Expiry to never. This option doesn’t do anything meaningful for on-chain transactions (i.e. not Lightning). People can always send you bitcoin and addresses don’t expire.
  • Click on “Create Request”
  • An address should show up in the right part of the tab. Click on it to copy it to the clipboard. Click on the QR code button in the top right of the tab to display a QR code. Communicate the address to the sender.
  • At the bottom of the screen under “Receive Queue” you can see past saved requests. You can right click a request to copy other things like the description.
  • When you receive money it’ll show up on the history tab.

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.

107 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.

      1. The same thing has happened to me i sent 100$ btc to my first electrum wallet and it was set on “expires 1 day” now i cant access the BTC and there is no history? please help!!

        1. the expiry date you select there doesn’t actually do anything to stop people sending you money. you should work through this faq:

    2. Hi
      I sent coins to the address on the receive tab, but I stupid forgot to set up the request (save it) first.
      The coins were sent successfully, so the address must have been valid. Can I still expect to receive these coins?

  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. Pls am new in electrum

        Does electrum has a specific address to receive big transaction

        As a new member on electrum if you receive huge transaction like $4m with no history at all, will it affect the wallet?

        1. you can grab an address from the receive tab. any address will do. there is no special address for large amounts and receiving a large amount will not negatively affect your wallet. electrum is not a custodial wallet. you alone are responsible for your bitcoins and you get complete control.

    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.

        2. “I suppose as long as my internet is connected at home the blockchain confirmations should still go thru ”

          You don’t need to be online to receive bitcoin. Your computer/phone doesn’t need to be powered on either. The bitcoin blockchain (not to be confused with the site or their wallet) records transactions and your wallet app just catches up when you do go online.

  12. I cant quite seem to figure this out, hopefully you might can help.
    I have a wallet (electrum) and when I use the “summary” option, it says income to be 22 BTC. However, when i view just one of the addresses on the wallet on Blockcypher it shows to have received and sent 25 BTC. When viewing the address on it shows the same address to have received and sent 31 BTC.
    Just not understanding how im seeing these numbers.
    Thanks for your time.

  13. Sorry I went to use bitcoin Atm to fund my bitcoin wallet address, when I get there the machine Couldn’t scanned my phone so I client on new address.. the machine issue me a new address but didn’t find the bitcoin in my old address. Pleas what will I do ?

    1. I don’t quite understand what you’re saying but if you’re worried about old addresses disappearing or expiring then rest assured that all receive addresses electrum hands out belong to your wallet, they never expire and coins sent to them in the past or future will show up in your wallet. In the android version you can view all the addresses by tapping receive and then requests. If the coins have been sent to any of these addresses your electrum balance will reflect that. Do make sure that the ATM actually sent the coins in the first place.

  14. I copied a receive address from this tab, then I sent coin to it, but I never saved it. THEN after the coin should have arrived ( the next day) the tab at the top with the receive address was backlit with red. NOW though, I clcikced something and THAT address refreshed to a new one and I don’t have my bitcoin. I did savce a copy of the address. How do I recover my bitcoin?

    1. you don’t have to click on save to receive coins. see the faq about this problem:

  15. here is my bat file, so i put the receiving address that i made into and and ran the file but it gives me error. then when i put address i use for nicehash it works. am i doing something wrong or is it certain address you have to use just for ether?

    etx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0
    setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100
    PhoenixMiner.exe -coin eth -pool -wal my electrum address.FLORIG_ID

    1. see the following faq:

      this software you are using may not support bech32 addresses.

  16. I have bitcoins in my stored in coinbase. How would I set up Electrum so that I could move those bitcoinds from Coinbase to Electrum? Should I do a standard wallet or something else? And what else would I need to do?

    1. yeah a standard wallet, then grab a receive address using the receive tab and initiate a withdrawal to that address in coinbase. then wait a couple of hours for coinbase to send the coins because they do it in batches.

  17. Hi, I have my electrum wallet for a while now but got a new laptop. Now I logged in in my previously made wallet using my seeds but I can’t see my receiving address anymore in the tab ‘receive’. What could be the cause of that? I am supposed to have the latest version.

    1. if the balance is correct then you shouldn’t worry about it. as i’ve mentioned in the article above electrum will hand out a different address everytime.

      there’s more info here if you’re interested:

  18. When I copy the receive address in Electrum, it preceeds the address with bitcoin: and follows it with a time limitation. When I tried to pate this into coinbase, It made me edit these characters out. Is this normal? Is this optimal?

    1. what version of electrum do you have and what operating system are you using? if you copy it via the small blue button on the address field in the PC/Mac version then you won’t have this problem. if you scan the QR code then you may.

  19. I really want to make my seed better. I want to randomly select my own words with dice/dictionary. Electrum lets me add words to the end but only on their Segwit technology, which I was warned NOT to use for compatibility reasons.

    1. You can always extend the seed by clicking on the options button and choosing to extend the seed.

      It’s not safe to make your own seed.

      1. Why is it not safe? Would it be because users may use words ‘familiar’ to them like a holiday destination or a pets name or something similar or what is the reasoning behind your response? Adding random words and making the seed longer should only improve security. Or not?

        1. people aren’t good at coming up with random phrases. making your own seed is not safe. extending a seed with custom words/characters is ok since you are not relying solely on human generated phrases.

  20. I transferred bitcoin funds from a bitpay iphone wallet app which I have used lots with no problems to an electrum wallet on a computer using the QR code used to receive funds. I took a picture of the QR code using the iphone camera and bitpay mobile app and sent the funds and waited. I waited and waited… I checked again the next day to find that the mobile app wallet had sent the funds to the receive address and it was confirmed on the blockchain multiple times. I checked my electrum wallet and I did not receive anything. I closed the Electrum app and restarted it and restarted my computer too and even my internet connection and even tried a different internet connection and waited a few more days and still nothing. It’s like my money disappeared into a blackhole or something. I reached out to the mobile app wallet support team and they said that it was confirmed on the blockchain so case closed but I still don’t have my money! Where could it be??? What did I do wrong? I’m using Linux and can get Electrum through the repository and I always do a key verification if downloading from the web. What should I investigate to explore possible explainations?

    1. Sorry I missed this comment. To anyone else in the same position you can try the things listed here

  21. I would also like to clarify what could go wrong if I took a pic of the electrum QR code in request section to use that address to send bitcoin to. I’m at a loss of what exactly I should research to remedy my situation?

    1. see

  22. Hello, I am late to this game, but, wouldn’t using a dictionary to create a random seed work just fine? Flip open a dictionary and point at a word! Seems pretty random to me. It would also reduce the possibility of malware predicting/reading your seed.

    1. i don’t know. perhaps there’s a pattern to where on the page you are likely to point? you could ask on bitcointalk forums or the site.

  23. Hi, does electrum has some max amount limit of received addressed?

    What there difference btw wallet and btc payment proccessor? For what purpuse does btc payment processor exist? if I can create payment request just from my ellectrum wallet? Also there is a guide in the documentation

    1. “Hi, does electrum has some max amount limit of received addressed? ”

      yes it can’t handle very large wallets

      “What there difference btw wallet and btc payment proccessor? For what purpuse does btc payment processor exist? if I can create payment request just from my ellectrum wallet?”

      wallet is used to hold your bitcoins.

      payment processors let people integrate bitcoin payments with their websites. they have plugins for various content management systems (shopping carts) so that you can automate the business of letting people pay you in bitcoin. they also do conversion to fiat for you so that you are unaffected by the volatility of the bitcoin price.

      if you like you can create your own payment processor solution using electrum but then you’ll have to code and maintain it.

      there’s also btcpayserver if you want an existing open source solution. no automatic conversion to fiat though.

      1. Thank You!
        So Is it possibe to use electrum command line api for payment processing? As I understand I can make some script that will be launch after each user requesting for payment “electrum add_request 0.5 -m “test”, and I can not only receive coins, but spend in with command “electrum payto…”. Does such solution have some weakness?

        1. probably better to use the json rpc interface:

          another option is to use btcpayserver which is a ready made solution for automating bitcoin payments.

  24. Does some paytomany addresses amount limit exist? For example, can I send btc to 10000 address as one transaction by “paytomany” option?

    1. there’s a max transaction size limit in bitcoin core: . So lots of outputs (addresses) will lead to a large transaction and it won’t be accepted by the server you are connected to.

      btw if you do put lots of addresses then it’s probably better to make a text file of addresses and amounts and then load that via tools > paytomany and then clicking the folder icon.

  25. How do i raise the reieve timer? I bought few btc and now timer is gone, the website havent sent it yet. i only took 1 hour..

    So now i will not reieve anything?

  26. In my previous electrum wallet…….i use to see both paid and newly created unpaid bitcoin receiving address: and when i creat a new receiving address on i receive bitcoin on that address it just disappear from receiving tab or electrum, i dont see previous paid bitcoin address….i recently have updated my electrum since than m facing this. could u please tell me how to fix that

    1. this is normal. if you want to see old used addresses you can go to view menu > show addresses and switch to the addresses tab.

    1. it should be instantaneous. the sender has probably not sent the money. See the faq:

  27. Using the btcpayjungle as an intermediate for ecommerce, paying to electrum wallet. The first transaction did not automatically flow through to the wallet, so according to devs we had to ‘adjust’ the wallet to p2wpkh type. Somewhere along the way the coins transferred, but are not showing in the wallet.

    Subsequent transactions have gone smoothly, with no issues.

    We can see from btcpayjungle console where the coins went, but the destination address does not show in the wallet (even though the first several characters of the address are in line with the list of addresses for the wallet, it is not on the list). We’ve tried to sweep, but so far no luck there either.

    Any suggestion on how to recover this first transaction?

  28. Deposited money from Coinbase to Electrum. The money was withdrawn from Coinbase about 2 hours ago but no BTC in my Electrum Wallet. How long does it take to get your BTC on Electrum Wallet? This is the first time I use Electrum.

    1. See here:

    2. See here:

      Most likely coinbase hasn’t sent it yet. It should be reflected instantly in your wallet if they had sent it.

  29. Hi , do I need send any procent of the bt coins amount to receive them on any wallet to activate ?
    Please any advice.

  30. Good Day Abdussamad, i’m an italian user for Electrum Client, i want to ask “gently”, if you know how can is possible to clean the tab of addresses from to see the reception (in color green), and change (in color yellow).

    1. what means “change” or “reception” of the addresses ?
      and who are those addresses as people with a client ?

        1. if you’re asking about freezing addresses then coins sent to a frozen address will not be spent until you unfreeze the address.

      1. change addresses are for internal wallet use. they are for sending change back to your wallet. you should only hand out receiving addresses. for more about change see the coin analogy:

    2. not sure what you mean by clean the tab. the addresses tab already shows receiving addresses as green and change addresses as yellow.

  31. Used electrum for the first time. Have made one test transaction and still waiting to see something in the receive or history tab. I show a transaction of 100, sats i guess, that is marked as paid in the receive tab and shows in the history tab. This is not the test transaction i made, what is it? and thanks for supporting us

    1. i don’t have access to your wallet so can’t tell. post the transaction id from history tab > right click on transaction > view transaction > large hexadecimal number up top in the window that shows up. with the transaction id i can lookup the transaction on a block explorer and may be guide you further.

      1. ca59d83b99fe72b248940183ccd7215413540d50500c0fe996eaa1ec2d6c8e68

        this is the tx for the mysterious 100 sats in my history. My test transaction still has not appeared, the 24 hours has expired, but as i understand, the wallet can still receive funds. interested to see what you find

        1. one can see the transaction details on a block explorer:

          All the outputs of this transaction are larger than 100 satoshis. What address did you try to receive money to?

          ” My test transaction still has not appeared, the 24 hours has expired, but as i understand, the wallet can still receive funds. interested to see what you find”

          Addresses don’t expire so you can always receive funds to an address in electrum.

  32. bc1q4df85hw3axsp99lwuwsynrugxt6hkgy025j7gt

    the address i sent the test to. The amount on the tx we are looking at is more than i sent. It says +100 amount and 100 balance on my history. 100 what? On the send tab the amount of mBTC is 0. What is mBTC? History says amount is 100, send says 0, this is a discrepancy. The wallet I sent the test from says the tx is completed, has the same tx id as electrum and i can see my amount and wallet address inside the list. All seems in order except there is not a balance on my wallet in elecrum, while there is a balance in that wallet on the block explorer.


    the same address is still showing in my receive on electrum

    1. 100mbtc is 0.1 btc so you received the coins alright. you can change the display unit to btc via tools menu > preferences > general tab > base unit option.

  33. I am just trying to get some BTC off an exchange, mix it for privacy and put on my Ledger. I have been at it a week now testing Electrum so I could send it to Blender and Sparrow for mixing there. Do you have any good suggestions on a way to do this? It has not been easy so far.

  34. lower left i have a balance of 100mbtc, lightning 0. I still do not know the significance of mbtc. lower right i have a green orb. send tab amount area is greyed out and not enterable,

    1. 100mbtc is 0.1btc. you can change the display unit to btc via tools menu > preferences > general tab > base unit option. this should clear things up.

      idk why the amount field on the send tab is greyed out. If you’re still having trouble i suggest making a thread on

      1. Thanks for all your help, everything working now. The greyed out disapeared. Keep doing what you are doing.

  35. I had a small amount paper wallet created in early 2012. I believe it was electrum. Apparently I need to sync my compressed priv key to electrum to get the balance into an account. I have created a new wallet on electrum and apparently.. I sweep the xpriv key that begins with a Kz to the new wallet for the balance to be realized. I remember noting that it will show zero until electrum syncs the key with its deterministic? pair.. sorry I’m not proficient with this
    I have paper wallet Identifier from xpub and xpriv I can access the zero balance wallet . how do I sync with electrum to show balance

    1. xprivs begin with xpriv. what you swept was a regular private key not an xpriv. it takes just minutes for electrum to sync with the blockchain. if you’re seeing a green orb in the bottom right and a balance in the bottom left then it has synced. if that’s not what you are seeing then try the things listed in the faq below:

  36. I have been using the Electrum wallet recently and I encountered a situation that I would like to clarify. By mistake, I created a payment request with an expiration period of 1 day and sent it to my friend. Unfortunately, I am currently unable to reach my friend, and I am concerned about what would happen if they were to send Bitcoin to the expired address.

    During my research, I came across information stating that addresses in Electrum can be reused and do not actually expire. However, I want to ensure that I do not lose any funds in this situation. Is there a mechanism in Electrum that allows me to recover the expired address and link it back to my wallet? I would greatly appreciate any guidance or assistance you can provide.

    1. addresses don’t expire. electrum keeps track of all your addresses and you don’t have to do anything special. you can see all your addresses on the addresses tab (view menu > addresses if it’s not visible).

        1. No addresses are never deleted. The expiry time option does nothing worthwhile for onchain bitcoin transactions. You can set it to anything you like. People can still send you bitcoin after expiry time has lapsed.

  37. Hey

    I created a receiving address for never expire, can I receive multiple amt. from multiple persons.

    Please confirm I am confused.

    Thank you

    1. yes you can but it will be hard to track who sent you how much if you share the address with multiple persons. better to use a different address per person.

  38. In principle, you can do that, but it will be difficult for you to track who sent you the amount if you share the currency address with multiple people. It’s better to use a different address for each transaction and with each person.

  39. Hello, I am currently trying to send some BTC from an app to electrum with lightning but when creating a receiving address, the lightning address can’t be created? What can I do to make lightning work?

    P.S. I am an Android user, downloaded from Play Store.

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