I have a paper backup, a digital wallet backup and all the passwords: how do I retrieve the private key for a watch-only wallet so I can send some coins out of it (created in armory and imported into, for example, blockchain.info)?

If that's not possible, is using passphrase from within armory the only way to send coins out of an armory watch-only wallet?

5 Answers 5


This is how you obtain the private key for an Armory wallet:

In Armory-Qt, click on Wallet Properties (or in the newer versions, double click on your wallet to open your Wallet Properties), then click Backup this wallet>See other backup options>Export Key Lists then click the button Export Key Lists. Enter your passphrase and Armory will show your wallet's list of public addresses and private keys. If you are --offline or didn't download the blockchain, the list may be empty (Armory thinks no addresses were used), but checking "include unused" will allow you to see the entire list. Note that a watch-only copy of a wallet uses the same private key as the original wallet it was created from.

This is useful if you want to send coins from an Armory wallet without using Armory, for example from an armory wallet address you imported into blockchain.info. In order to do so, you need to enter into the chosen service the private keys to the wallet you want to send from. In the case of BlockChain.info, the key it accepts is the one in PrivHexBE format, after you remove the spaces.

Word of caution: after you enter a wallet's private key into any online service that wallet is no longer secure. You should considering transferring all the coins it holds out - do not use that wallet again.

  • That option doesn't seem to exist in the latest version : /
    – B T
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 0:48
  • 1
    NM, figured it out and updated the answer to be a little clearer
    – B T
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 0:59
  • Used this to move keys into Electrum. Some addresses i had to use "include unused" to find some keys even though was up to update on client.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 10:22

You will need to import the paper backup if you wish to spend from it. Click "import" in the upper right of the window and type in the contents of your paper wallet's root key and chain code (if it has one). You'll have to wait for Armory to rescan if you're not at the lastest beta version.

  • seems to me that if compared to getting a new regular wallet address every time it's used, watch-only wallets add an extra layer of inconvenience with no extra safety.
    – Gaia
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 1:34
  • Do both the root key and the chain code look the same (about a dozen four letter words each)?
    – Gaia
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 1:35
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    The intention of Armory is that you have a completely separate computer that never touches the internet containing the non-watchonly wallet, and you ferry transactions between the two using a USB drive. It's extremely high security if done properly, but incredibly inconvenient.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 1:36
  • Yes, the root key and chain code are two lines of 4 character keys. Armory will try and correct any typos you make, but try to have them as correct as possible, and verify that the wallet ID matches that of your paper backup.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 1:37

Unfortunately, (it seems to me) neither the Armory paper backup nor the Export Keys does not contain the private key (only the Root key is shown)


I had to use this option right now, because I couldn't handle my armory wallet. With my blockchain.info wallet, in order to send BTCs from my 'watch only' armory wallet to my blockchain.info wallet I had to use as private key the string for the PrivBase58 without spaces instead the PrivHexBE. Hope that helps BR P


worked for me in Armory 0.93.3 on a Mac:

Backup this wallet >

See other backup options >

Export Key Lists

  • 1
    While this sounds like a valid answer, it would be helpful if you clarified whether this worked for watch-only addresses and added a little more explanation in general.
    – Murch
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 8:33
  • I was using a regular address, not watch-only Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 22:19

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