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As I understand it, using dumpwallet for a non-descriptor wallet in Core will give you the wallet seed in WIF format. This seed can then be used with sethdseed in a new wallet, thereby recovering the original wallet. So in effect, one can make a paper backup of a Core wallet.

But with descriptor wallets, dumpwallet does not work.

Is there a way to make a paper backup of a Bitcoin Core descriptor wallet?

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There is currently no way to make such a backup of a Bitcoin Core descriptor wallet. There are open PRs that will allow you to export the descriptors stored in the wallet, however these have not been merged yet.

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  • thanks. Am I right in thinking that backing up just the descriptors is not sufficient to recover a wallet? Or will the PRs you mentioned allow Core users to make paper backups? – jimmy Feb 16 at 2:01
  • Descriptors that contain private keys will be sufficient to recover the entire wallet. – Andrew Chow Feb 16 at 7:20
  • Where are these PRs? I searched but apparently I'm bad at finding them. – maletor Mar 3 at 18:23
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when you create the wallet, you will be shown the seed used. that is when you write the seed down.

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    I downvoted. This answer is not correct for Bitcoin Core's wallet, but may be true for others. – Pieter Wuille Feb 14 at 8:52
  • yeah im used to electrum and similar so I just assumed that btc core would work the same, my bad – 5ynt4x_3rr0r_ Mar 7 at 20:23

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