I have an old Electrum wallet.dat that is password protected.

I know the password, but the seed is lost.

Can this be recovered?

When trying to open the wallet in Electrum, there is an error:

Error message: Cannot load wallet (1), WalletFileException('Cannot read wallet file. (parsing failed)')

  • 2
    wallet.dat is not an Electrum wallet, it is a Bitcoin Core wallet.
    – Claris
    Nov 8, 2021 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


According to https://electrum.readthedocs.io/en/latest/faq.html

The default wallet file is called default_wallet, which is created when you first run the application and is located in the /wallets folder, inside the datadir.

So, as Claris commented, wallet.dat is a name used by Bitcoin-core and you can't expect Electrum to read a file created by different software for its own purposes.

See How can I transfer a Bitcoin-qt wallet to Electrum? but take care to understand the implications of importing private keys into a HD wallet which has a recovery phrase. There is a danger that any future recovery process will lose your money.

You could instead download bitcoin core, run it and stop it, then replace its wallet.dat with a copy of your old wallet.dat then rrestart bitcoin core to see if it loads that file.

  • Ok, i never realised about core. So is electrum redundant, i can just open the wallet.dat another way? The wallet was created in electrum about 6 or 7 years ago.
    – Derple
    Nov 8, 2021 at 16:56
  • 1
    @Derple: Could you have experimented with Bitcoin core 6 or 7 years ago and then decided to use Electrum instead? As far as I know, Electrum never creates a file named wallet.dat. Also see updates answer. Nov 8, 2021 at 16:59
  • There is nothing redundant about Electrum, it's just a separate project, unrelated to Bitcoin Core. Bitcoin Core uses wallet.dat files; Electrum does not. Nov 8, 2021 at 21:01
  • Electrum wallets used to be named wallet.dat
    – Abdussamad
    Dec 6, 2021 at 9:53

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