One of my wallets got corrupted for some reason and Bitcoin Core version v0.21.1 (on MacOS) fails to start, suggesting I use the salvage wallet method.

I've been searching online to see what that means, and most info suggests I start the Bitcoin Core app from the terminal, using the -salvagewallet option. However, this gives me an invalid argument error and the app still fails to start.

Later I've read that the salvage wallet was moved to the bitcoin-wallet tool. I'm assuming that's referring to the Console and it assumes I can start the application. To do that, I've moved the corrupt wallet folder outside the app, so I can start it, at least. I've then tried to import the corrupt wallet, but this also fails.

I have 2 questions:

  1. Is there an updated method of salvaging the corrupted wallet?

  2. If not, or the salvaging fails, does a much older version of the wallet help? This older version will, for sure, not include most (if any) of the new addresses that had money on them, but maybe Bitcoin Core has a way of deterministically finding those addresses from its seed when reindexing? (if that makes any sense)


1 Answer 1


bitcoin-wallet is a separate tool that Bitcoin Core ships. If you open the terminal, the bitcoin-wallet command should be available to you to use. It read wallets from the data directory, so you provide it the name of the wallet, not the path to the wallet file. Your command would look something like:

bitcoin-wallet -wallet=mywallet salvage
  • Hi! I'm jumping in as I have the same problem. Running that command I unfortunately get this: "Salvage: Database salvage found errors, all data may not be recoverable." "Salvage: WARNING: Unexpected end of file while reading salvage output." "Salvage(aggressive) found no records in D:\...." does it mean there is no hope? By the way, I'm pretty sure the wallet itself not corrupted, it's just a very old file (>10 years), does that change things?
    – Pronte
    Mar 19 at 21:51
  • @Pronte If you don't think your wallet is corrupted, don't use salvage, it'll only make it worse (i.e. corrupting it).
    – Ava Chow
    Mar 20 at 1:31

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