Restoring your standard wallet from seed

  1. Begin by creating a new wallet file as per this guide.
  2. Click on next to see the wallet type selection window:

    As you can see Electrum supports different types of wallets. You need to select the same type of wallet that you are restoring which in this case is the “Standard wallet”
  3. In the next step electrum asks you to choose where the wallet secret will come from

    Choose “I already have a seed”
  4. Then enter your seed words:

    Once you’ve entered valid seed words the next button will become enabled and you’ll be able to proceed to the next step.

    Note: If the seed words are from another wallet, like the blockchain.info wallet, Bither or Mycelium, then you have to press options and check bip39. If the seed words are from Bither wallet then make sure you replace the hyphens in the seed phrase with spaces. It should display ‘BIP39 checksum OK” next to the options button when you’ve entered a valid bip39 seed mnemonic.

    If the originating wallet is MultibitHD, Bread Wallet or Bitcoin Wallet for Android by A. Schildbach then follow the guide here instead.

  5. If your seed words are from a bip39 wallet (i.e. not Electrum) you will be shown this window below. Choose the legacy p2pkh option if the addresses in the originating wallet begin with ‘1’, p2sh-segwit if they begin with ‘3’ and native segwit if they begin with ‘bc1’:

    Note that last digit in the derivation path denotes the HD account number. If the recovered wallet does not reflect all your funds repeat the restoration process with a new wallet file and increment the last number. Do this again and again until you have recovered all HD accounts. For example: m/44’/0’/1′ to restore the second HD account, m/44’/0’/2′ for the third HD acccount etc. Note also that the single quotes in the derivation path are not optional.

  6. Electrum now asks you to enter a password to protect your wallet file. This is optional but strongly recommended:
  7. Finally it generates your addresses and displays the electrum window:

101 thoughts on “Restoring your standard wallet from seed”

  1. Please add some text to let people know that the seed option does not work for other wallets like blockchain.info.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. It does work for bc.i wallets if you do one additional thing. In the window where you enter your seed words you have to press the options button and check “bip39”. I will mention that in the article proper too.

      1. Not working for me,it opens another instance of a wallet. example wallet2 enter my 12 seeds, and then nothing, but question is how would it recognize my btc address from blockchain.info

        1. you have to import blockchain.info seeds as bip39. see the note above on the seed entry step. also what version of electrum are you using?

          1. Version electrum-3.2.2
            I shall try again, i have another two wallets to do the same thing, can i import to the same wallet, if the first one is successful, thank you.

          2. ok did all that,nothing came on to the wallet, i even changed the path of the wallet to external drive.

          3. See here for some troubleshooting ideas: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#my-seed-is-not-restoring-my-wallet-what-can-i-do

  2. If the computer which holds my offline Electrum wallet completely fries and gives up the ghost, can I restore my wallet and its Bitcoin through the process you’ve described above?

    Thanks a lot!

      1. Its held on a USB not an offline computer – so simply copy the .dat file over to many usb’s as copies – you have the password and the watcher wallet to make transactions so its safe. You can recreate a new wallet with your passphrase – that’s all you really need to keep a safe copy of.

          1. His comment seems to be out of context. Not sure why he talks about USB drives.

            Anyway the seed words (12 random English words generated by electrum) are enough to restore a wallet from scratch but they will not restore your wallet labels and contacts. More details here: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/how-to-backup-your-electrum-wallet/

      2. Hi Abdussamad

        I see this was from back in 2017 so I hope your still available to help.

        My work computer has detected my wallet as malware and deleted it. Therefore to confirm to restore it and its bitcoin I only need my seed and wallet password.

        And I can go to electrum website and download on to a new computer.

        ie. I dont need a back up file of the wallet saved to a usb etc?

        Apologies in advance I am the most untech savvy person alive! I can barley downlowd apps so bitcoin is well above my level of comprehension. Feel free to explain to me in patronizingly dumbed down language.

        1. You can get access to your bitcoins with just the seed but meta data stored in the wallet file like labels you set for addresses will be lost.

          Note that many antivirus programs have bugs in them that lead to false positives for the electrum program. There is a warning about this on the electrum download page as well under “notes for windows users”. You should make sure to verify the electrum maintainer’s gpg sig and if it verifies then you can go ahead and whitelist it in your antivirus program.

          How to verify your download: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/how-to-verify-your-electrum-download/

    1. They are not saved on servers because that would mean the server operator could steal from you. Your seed is the key to your entire wallet so you never reveal it to anyone. The seed is displayed during wallet creation and you’re supposed to write it down as a form of wallet backup. In most wallet types you can also view the seed via wallet menu > seed.

      1. Hey abdussamad this is mohamed. Hope all is well. So i am not able to restore my bitcoins at all from ledgdrer. I have my pvt keys and used electrum snd inly able to see 1.1 bitcoin . I tried the segwit and the legacy and all. I kept changing the last no in the derivation address and i se zero..i am not really sure how to get any help..or obtain my btc funds?..

        1. just get another ledger and use that. you can’t rely on foolproof restoration across wallets. use the same wallet you used originally.

  3. I created a new Electrum wallet on my dekstop Windows 7 using my old seed because i had installed a new hard disk. But i could not see my old balance and transactions from old wallet.

    The circle icon in the bottom right is green. This means the Electrum has synchronized with the network.

    I don’t what to do to restore my old balance.

    1. read post 15 in your thread on bitcointalk forum again. in future when you ask for help try reading the answers that are given to you 🙂

      1. How long does it take for the wallet to be restored from seed? I’m seeing a zero balance and history. I’ve tried different servers as well and I don’t think I had a multibit wallet before. I’m on Mac OSX and using 3.1.2 (the downloaded .dmg says 3.1.2 but when you launch app, it says 3.1.1 – typo of sorts?)

        Yes, there is a chance that I am mistyping the seed or what I have written down is incorrect, but I really don’t think that’s the case.

        I really don’t know what else to do so than you in advance for the help!

        1. Where did you download it from? The one and only official site is electrum.org. Don’t download it from anywhere else. Check your browser history to confirm that you downloaded it from electrum.org.

          If you did download it from the official site then try the things listed here:

          https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

          1. It was on a different computer but am 100% positive that I had downloaded it from electrum.org. When I try restoring the wallet, I still don’t see anything in there but it matches the public key that I had written down as well. I tried the other steps in the post that you mentioned but it looks like I get the green circle pretty instantaneously after I try to restore. Is that expected? Is there anything that I’m missing? Thanks so much for you help!

          2. Everything you can try is covered in the link below:

            https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

            If you are sure you have tried everything there and the balance does not reflect what you expect then the seed you have is for a different wallet.

          1. See here: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

            If the seed you are using was generated in pre 2.0 electrum then there is no checksum in that seed which means you have to make sure you get the order of the words right. Electrum won’t be able to detect an incorrect word order.

  4. To ANYONE reading this that can help… when i created my original default wallet, i created a password. i saved the seed, but foolishly never saved the password, which has long been forgotten.

    everywhere i read – the solution should be simple – “just restore your wallet using the seed” – but unfortunately that does NOT allow you to bypass the fact that you have a password assigned to that wallet. the only way to get back to the first step, where you’re asked to set a password, is if you delete and uninstall electrum all together, reinstall it, and start over.

    however, since i’m using Tails, without rather in-depth knowledge of linux, you can’t just “uninstall and reinstall” a program… so i have had a significant chunk of money stuck in this wallet for almost a month now, with no way of getting it out, because i can’t reset the password (whenever i try “restoring” my wallet, it just creates a copy and skips over the step of choosing a password – leaving the old password intact), and i can’t SEND the bitcoin to another wallet, because sending requires that you type in your GD password!! someone please for the love of god help me!

    1. Are you married to tails? The reason I ask is because the version of electrum in tails is really old and you have to upgrade to the latest version first. Here’s a guide on how to do that:

      https://github.com/spesmilo/electrum-docs/blob/master/tails.rst#using-the-most-current-electrum-on-tails

      The second thing is when you restore a wallet you do so in a new wallet file as explained in step 1 of the guide above on this site. When you restore you get the option to set a new password of your choice. So I’m not sure what it is that you are doing where you are not getting that option. I suggest going through the guide above on this site once again.

      Oh and if you’re not married to Tails then install Electrum on your PC and use it there. Upgrading it on tails is a bit complicated as you can see.

  5. Hello< I downloaded new version of Qtum Electrum wallet for mac and set up the wallet. I have seed phrase written down. I set encrypted password and it was verified. I added Qtum tokens and closed wallet. Now when i try to open the wallet and input my password it says incorrect password. I have tried repeatedly to enter the password with no luck. If i try to create new electrum wallet i will be given a choice to replace or keep both wallets. I replaced old wallet with new one and it still brings me to the same encrypted password to open wallet. I was not able to get to where I can input my seed phrase to recover my Qtum tokens. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    1. This site is only for the bitcoin version of electrum. However if you just want to know how to create a new wallet file I suggest reading the link in step 1 above once again. This time enter a unique name for your new wallet file. Then you will be able to restore from seed.

  6. I have restored my paper Electrum wallet through my seed, but I get 0 funds/0 transactions. It was made with Electrum version 2.9.3. What should I do now?

    1. see here for things you can try: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

  7. How can I use your seeds form multi address wallet for blockchain?I got one by one private keys but they shows another address with empty btc

    1. this is a blockchain.info wallet? when was it created? do you have the seed mnemonic words?

  8. Im making a wallet through electrum and im altimitly use tails electrum so im asking in order to transfer bitcoin from coin block to electrum do i just send it to the qddress on my windows electrum then the electrum on tails should be a whole new wallet or do i use same address im confused please help

  9. I follow the instructions as explained on this page and enter the 12 words of the seed of an old Electrum wallet. At the end I see a wallet without movements and without Bitcoins. It’s like a new wallet. I do not know what else to do.

    Can you help me? Thank you.

    1. See here: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

      Also if the above doesn’t help then tell me what version you used to create the wallet in the first place? Number 2 here might help you figure out the version number: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-wont-electrum-accept-my-seed-when-i-attempt-to-restore-my-wallet-from-it . If it is a pre-2.0 seed then that doesn’t have a checksum in it. A lack of a checksum means that the order of the words can’t be validated by electrum. You yourself have to make sure the order of the words is correct.

    1. IDK since I don’t use Windows at all. I suggest asking in one of the community forums: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#my-question-is-not-answered-here-where-can-i-get-help

  10. Hello. I have restored my electrum wallet from the seeds. I do not see old labels and addresses. I understand that I can create new labels and new addresses. My question: will are receive my btw that is sent to the old electrum wallet ( the one I had before restoration?

    1. Labels are not restored when you restore from seed. However addresses, transactions and balance should be the same as in the old wallet. If they are not then try the things listed here:

      https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

      If non of the above helps create a thread on one of the community forums:

      https://electrum.org/#community

  11. After upgrading to version 3.3.6, the message “not connected” hangs all the time and there is a red circle. All that is recommended here: https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet – does not help. I can only connect to the network via Tor. But the problem with the connection in the usual Web remains …..

    1. to use tor you must have a proxy configured under tools > network > proxy tab? if tor proxy is not running that means you won’t be able to connect. so try removing the proxy settings configured there. if that doesn’t do it then you likely have a censored internet connection courtesy of your ISP. so take it up with them.

  12. if computer was stolen and i restore wallet with seed on a new computer with new password will that change the password for the wallet on the old computer as well?
    my old wallet password was very simple and im concerned it could be accessed.

    1. No it won’t because when you open electrum you are not logging into a remote system. There is no central repository of wallets that you are accessing or modifying.

      What you should do is move your coins to a new wallet. See the guide for creating a new wallet:

      https://bitcoinelectrum.com/creating-an-electrum-wallet/

      After you’ve created your new wallet just grab a receive address from the receive tab, use file > open to switch to the old wallet and use the send tab there to send coins to your new wallet’s address.

  13. When I’m restoring the wallet on another device, Electrum doesn’t ask me for a pass phrase the seed is enough. How come?

    1. because it’s a deterministic wallet and all private keys are derived from the seed. so that is enough to restore your wallet.

      the password you set is only used to encrypt the wallet file on your computer. this is a precaution in case someone gets access to your system.

  14. Once I have a seed, do I have to use it till the end of my life?

    What if someone finds out what my seed is, how would I regenerate it and yet keep all my bitcoins?

    1. you can create more than one wallet in electrum and move your coins between wallets. each wallet has a separate seed.

      see the guide to creating a wallet:

      https://bitcoinelectrum.com/creating-an-electrum-wallet/

      if someone gets the seed to a wallet with funds in it then they can steal your money.

  15. Hello Abdul

    I have successfully restored my electrum wallet from your method above but i had multiple wallets(3) with btc in the same wallet, but after restoring i could only see my default wallet, please how can i find my other two bitcoin wallet address attached to my electrum wallet?

    1. this is likely because you have more than one HD account. you will need to restore in a new wallet file for each account because electrum only supports one account per wallet file. see the note in step 5 above.

  16. How can I verify my seed correctly restore my wallet on an offline computer if Electrum can not sync? I have the master public key to create a watch-only wallet but I want to make sure the seed I have can restore a full wallet for me.

    1. just restore as per the guide above and compare the addresses on the addresses tab (view > show addresses). you can switch wallet files via file > open or recently open.

      you could also compare the mpks of the restored and original wallet.

      the seed actually has a checksum in it so an invalid seed won’t create a wallet. so just being able to restore is a good indicator that you have the right seed.

  17. Hi, I am lost.
    I have my pass phrase (12 words with I am sure there is no error).
    I have my BTC deposit addresses (starts with 3)
    Adressess in the wallet are different from deposit address.
    I tried each scenario and each path derivation; some wallets have addresses with 1 or 3..
    I have my Public master Key (match the seed)
    I already saw my BTC in previous electrum wallet.
    BTC is still unspent (found that in the blockchain explorer).

    My previous electrum wallet was an another computer (destroyed)

    But I can’t get to the BTC!!!
    Can someone help me please?

    Thank you

    1. I finally found what my problem was.
      I have created a mutli signature wallet in the past. Had 2 seeds but I thought i was for 2 different wallets. I just created a new multi signature wallet with the 2 seeds and ended up with a new wallet with the BTC! Oh yeah

      Solved

  18. I have a very old mnemonic (seed phrase) that I generated on Electrum in March 2011. It’s doesn’t load the wallet, the keys are empty and there is no history. Should I try recreating the wallet with an old version of Electrum and then porting it up?

    1. try the troubleshooting steps here:

      https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#my-seed-is-not-restoring-my-wallet-what-can-i-do

      if the above doesn’t help create a thread on reddit.com/r/electrum and share the link here. post there what you already tried.

  19. I haven’t used Electrum since 2017, so it’s on 2.9.2 standard wallet. I want to update Electrum, but I don’t have the seed so I’m scared to upgrade without it, so since I have a fraction of a bitcoin on Electrum wallet I tried to send the BTC out to another wallet but it said it was “waiting for fee estimates”. So after a long while, it still is “waiting for fee estimates”… I’m wondering if it’s so old (2.92 instead of the updated 4.0 or so) that it doesn’t work. The fee had a slider and I just left it where it was (in about the middle) as I imagine the default is OK.
    1. Which online block explorer do you recommend?
    2. What should the Max static fee be? Right now default is 0.003 BTC/kB.
    3. I left the “Propose Replace-By-Fee:” at “If the fee is low” … is that good?

    I just want to get my BTC and update electrum, but I’m scared about losing it.

    1. you should go to file > save copy or sae backup if the option is present. alternatively find the wallet file in the data dir and make a copy of it

      https://github.com/spesmilo/electrum-docs/blob/master/faq.rst#where-is-the-electrum-datadir-located

      make sure you have the seed written down. in most cases you can view it again via wallet > seed

      then download and install 4.0.9. 2.9.2 will not sync with electrum servers and is too old to be used. the backups you are creating above are a precaution in case the automatic wallet file update fails.

  20. I have an phrase from blockchain.info account and its in 18 words when I am entering its showing invalid can you give information what I have to do for this or how can I transfer my funds from this wallet to electrum.

    1. you will have to use blockchain.com to recover this wallet. then you can send to an address in a brand new electrum wallet. i suggest keeping things in that bitcointalk thread you created. there are some good suggestions there. i frequent that forum too.

  21. Hello. Thanks for all the great content. I tried following along but seem to be stuck. Here’s my situation:

    I was curious about BTC in 2015, so a friend encouraged me to download breadwallet and he sent me a small amount. I ignored the warning not to take a screenshot of my 12 word recovery phrase, so while it technically could be compromised, I know I don’t have a transcription error. I’m pretty sure I never did anything with the wallet after that.

    I recently downloaded BRD and typed in my recovery phrase, but after syncing with the blockchain (multiple times), the app still shows zero balance and zero transactions. Google landed me on this page, so I started making various electrum wallets with different variations of the BIP32 derivation path (I’ve tried m/0′, m/0’/0, m/0’/0/0), but no luck. My friend was able to find the transaction ID from 2015 and verify the funds have not moved since, but when I tried to load the transaction from the blockchain using the ID in electrum, it says “Transaction unrelated to your wallet.”

    Any help or next steps would be appreciated.

    1. why not use brd itself? then you won’t have to worry about getting the derivation path right since brd would know what the correct path is.

        1. then you have no money in that wallet. either you received money to a different wallet or you created more than one brd wallet. search for the seed of the correct brd wallet or look for clues as to whether you used some other software wallet

  22. Hello,

    I am trying to access an old Mulitbit create wallet. Here’s my situation: I do not have the wallet file or keys. I do have the 12 word seed phrase and the Bitcoin address. Am I out of luck? I can observe the wallet in Electrum and can see all the micro-deposits from faucets.

    Thanks.

      1. Hello, I have an old wallet from the old Dark Wallet Chrome plug-in. I can’t seem to find a wallet that will let me restore my seed. Electrum says “kill” is not a valid seed word. Is there a way around this? I copied and pasted that seed back in 2015 and it is definitely the in the seed

      2. I installed electrum on android due to malware I had to wipe my data .I have the seed phrase so can I restore my wallet using the seed phrase

  23. I have created an Electrum wallet on Windows 10, and I have copied the 12 seed words.
    Now I wanted to transfer it on Ubuntu, I installed electrum, but after I entered the words nothing happened… like it was waiting for other words or they were incorrect.

  24. I GOT HACKED A COUPLE MONTH A GO SO I UNINSTALLED MY ELECTRUM WALLET AS A PRECUTION I REINSTALLED ELECTRUM WALLET4.0.9 CLICK ON I RESTORE PUNCH IN SEED ZERO BALANCE, I INSTALLED REINSTALLED THE ELECTRUM 4.0.3 THE ORGINAL ELECTRUM WALLET ITS TO OLD

  25. I needed to get a new laptop because my old one broke, and I only had the seed for the wallet so I followed this guide, but the bitcoin don’t show up in my wallet. Do you know how to fix this?

    1. see here:

      https://bitcoinelectrum.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-does-restoring-my-wallet-from-seed-lead-to-a-different-wallet

  26. I have an old wallet that belongs to 2013 with the old words Eclectrum …

    Can I retrieve my wallet with the same words now?
    With the new electrum…

  27. Hi Abdussamad,

    I am trying to restore a wallet from mSigna. My wallet stopped syncing with the network and now I have read that it has big issues, the website has been taken down, and some reports is that went didgy towards the end.

    I have the seed phrase, I have checked the addresses and the coins are still there.

    I have tried many times to restore the wallet on electrum with no luck. It always results in 0 BTC.

    I chose a standard wallet
    I already have a seed
    Put the seed in
    Options BIP39, checksum ok
    chose p2sh-segwit
    then I tried many different derivation paths.

    Can you please help?

    1. it’s not p2sh segwit but rather 1 of 1 multisig addresses: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2144498.msg21524209#msg21524209

      you can’t recover this wallet in electrum. your best bet is to attempt to get msigna working again.

    1. if you have the wallet password then you can send to an address in a new wallet. create a new wallet via file >new/restore and grab a receiving address from the receive tab. then send from the send tab of the old wallet. you can switch wallet files via file >open.

      btw when you enter the password you are not login to a remote system. the password is simply used to decrypt the wallet file on your hard drive.

  28. Hi,
    I have some BTC in a Bither wallet that I can only look at, but can’t do anything with; that’s because I didn’t store my password anywhere. However, I do have the seed phrase and, as I mentioned, I can actually get in the wallet. I can get in because apparently I opted for using face recognition to open the app. I just can’t move my BTC as I would like to. I don’t have a clue as to how I ended up with Bither; I was completely new to crypto at the time. I just need to know if and how I can get my BTC, and if I would need to use something other than my iPhone to do it, etc. I’m not a coder or computer whiz, but I’m not completely incompetent and I can follow instructions. Thanks.

    1. Just install bither on a PC and restore using your seed words. Alternatively you can install electrum on a PC and use that to restore your wallet. Pay attention to the notes in step 4 and 5 above.

  29. Hi, i have created electrum wallet on version 2.8.3 long time ago.
    my address starts from 3
    my keys start from L,K

    I’ve tried to create new wallet and import private keys, was able to connect to wallet, but don’t see history and balance is 0

    I’ve also tried to create new wallet and sweep keys using private keys but get error no inputs found.

    Any solution ? I can’t find seed phrase

    1. Sounds like a 2fa or multisig wallet. You will need the seed to get access to the funds. importing/sweeping private keys will not do because there’s more than one private key behind each address and electrum doesn’t support importing multisig addresses.

    1. Make sure you enter the correct derivation path. It’s m/0′ with a mandatory trailing single quote. You can begin again via file > new/restore.

  30. HELLO
    I have a multibit core wallet with bitcoin on it. have been trying to sync it for days now still not done with that 70% now in 3days. the question is can i send to other wallet address or i have to import it to another wallet like Electrum? please advice!

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