I'd like to put all my Bitcoin data on an external drive instead of having it on my hard drive, as it's taking too much space on my laptop.

I did find an answer on this page regarding how to create a standalone application out of Bitcoin-Qt, but somehow that doesn't work for me. It doesn't seem to do anything different.

How can I move my Bitcoin data?


3 Answers 3



  • Your current folder for your bitcoin data is here: "~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin" or here "/Users//Library/Application Support/Bitcoin"

  • Your current folder for your bitcoin-qt application is here: /Applications/Bitcoin-qt.app

  • You have an external drive named "My Passport" and your Finder, Preferences setting are set to display Devices. Select Finder, Preferences and tick the box to the left of External disks.

To do this on a MAC running OSX 10.9 follow these instructions:

  1. Open Finder.

  2. In Finder, using the Finder menu bar, select: Go, Go To Folder... , and type ~/Library and press the RETURN key.

  3. In Finder, navigate to the "Application Support" folder. You will see the Bitcoin directory.

  4. In Finder, select, or highlight, this folder, then select: Edit, Copy "Bitcoin" from menu bar.

  5. In Finder, navigate to your external drive "My Passport".

  6. In Finder, create a folder called "Applications" on your "My Passport" external drive (see step "3" above after connecting external drive, if necessary).

  7. In Finder, navigate to the newly created "Applications" directory.

  8. In Finder, select edit and paste item to start copying the "Bitcoin" directory to your external drive's "/Volumes/My Passport/Applications/" folder.

  9. Once this completes and both the "~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin" and "/Volumes/My Passport/Applications/Bitcoin" folders are identical. Rename the Bitcoin directory in "~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin" to "~/Library/Application Support/BitcoinOLD".

  10. Launch Terminal from LaunchPad, Utilities or from Applications in Finder.

  11. At the Terminal prompt type: cd ~/Library/Application\ Support Yes, that "\" slash is necessary.

  12. Type: ls -laf, and insure that the Bitcoin directory is now called BitcoinOLD.

  13. Type: ln -s /Volumes/My\ Passport/Applications/Bitcoin/ ./Bitcoin. this command actually creates a symbolic link to your external drive. Yes, that slash "\" just after the "My" is necessary to account for the space in "My Passport".

  14. Launch Bitcoin-qt from Applications in Finder and let the "Reindexing blocks on disk.." process complete. It should not be downloading anything until this completes and then will download only those blocks since your last synchronize to the Bitcoin network.

  15. Once this completes, delete the BitcoinOLD folder using finder. "~/Library/Application Support/BitcoinOLD".


You could set datadir in your bitcoin.conf to a location on an external drive. You'll still need to keep the Application Support folder there to have bitcoin.conf in it.

N.b. I have not tried this.

  • Thanks to your link, I finally found out why this: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/8837/… didn't work for me...After I copied and renamed my original bit coin-qt app, it worked exactly it was intended to.
    – thomin
    May 30, 2013 at 22:33
  • "All command-line options (except for -datadir and -conf) may be specified in a configuration file, and all configuration file options may also be specified on the command line. Command-line options override values set in the configuration file." en.bitcoin.it/wiki/…
    – Mitar
    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:07
  • 1
    @Colin, Why do you say "N.B." instead of "Note:"?
    – Pacerier
    May 24, 2014 at 16:17
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nota_bene
    – Colin Dean
    May 26, 2014 at 17:11

As of version 0.9 (not yet released, but a release candidate exists), you'll be able to choose the data location on first startup.

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