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I just purchased a new laptop and I want to decommission my old one. I have a back-up of my wallet.dat file copied to my new PC. What do I need to do to restore it to my Bitcoin (Windows) client? Please note, this is a wallet.dat file that is about 6 months old and I haven't loaded it in at least four months. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not, contingent on the original version of the client that created the file.

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

You need to put the old wallet.dat in your bitcoin data directory.

The default for Windows is:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application data\Bitcoin (XP)

C:\Users\YourUserName\Appdata\Roaming\Bitcoin (Vista and 7)

Then run the bitcoin client with the -rescan option.

Alternatively you can run the bitcoin client with the -datadir=<location of backup wallet.dat> as well as the -rescan option if you do not want to move/backup the new wallet.dat.

The default for Mac OS X is:


The default for Linux is:

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It worked on Ubuntu too, but the wallet file was located at ~/.bitcoin – Jader Dias Sep 2 '11 at 18:34
And on OS X in ~/Library/Application\ Support/Bitcoin/ – Joshua Kolden Sep 3 '11 at 0:47
Note that since 0.3.21 it is not necessary anymore to specify -rescan when moving a wallet file to a new installation. – Pieter Wuille Mar 26 '12 at 13:13
That requires that you wipe out the other wallet. How can you merge the two? – Andrew Arnott Jun 20 '14 at 3:02

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