So, MultiBit is not updating the transactions in my wallet, I can see the transactions in the blockchain etc, so the money is there but its just not quite working...

I'm hoping to load that wallet with another client, and have been looking at Electrum.

I read another post on here but it seems to be for an older version and while it tells you how to export keys, which I've done, I can't work out how to import it in to Electrum properly.

Can anyone help me out?

6 Answers 6


Multibit creates addresses using compressed private key, while Electrum uses uncompressed private keys. You can't decompress key - it will change public address, not allowing you to use your coins.

Check first letter of your exported private key from Electrum. If first letter is K or L, it's compressed. If it's 5, you have uncompressed private key.

Easiest way to change programs is to create new wallet in Electrum and send your coins to new address.

If you can't send it from Multibit, because it's broken, install bitcoin-qt (it supports compressed private keys).

To import private key with bitcoin-qt:

  1. Close bitcoin-qt
  2. Open console (press start > type "cmd")
  3. cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Bitcoin\daemon
  4. bitcoind.exe --deamon
  5. Open another console
  6. cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Bitcoin\daemon
  7. bitcoind importprivkey 5Jvhv9N8BHYAp9Uowvz28fvaqjeiHC3FcEb9p6X2SncnhnHUVyQ test3 false
  8. if there is no error, close both consoles and open bitcoin-qt and synchronize

There are probably more/better tutorials how to import private key to bitcoin-qt. Important thing is - you can't import compressed private key to program that doesn't support compressed private keys (like Electrum).

  • This is the correct answer to the question I asked, but I actually did what Joel Martinez said Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 16:37
  • The question was about Multibit => Electrum, not from Electrum, and not to BitcoinQT.
    – Chloe
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 5:01
  • For anyone looking, Bitcoin-QT is not available for download anymore.
    – spuder
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 17:31

In the current version 2.8.3 of Electrum it's very easy to import Multibit wallets (meaning, migrating from Multibit to Electrum). An important reason to migrate is because Multibit (not HD but the classic one) does not allow to change network fees, which makes it very hard or even unreliable to move funds.

  1. Select wallet in Multibit and choose Tools > Export Private Keys and export without password to a .key file.
  2. Open the .key file with a text editor (e.g. Sublime Text) and copy the private key(s) from the text file.
  3. Create a new wallet in Electrum from menu File > New/Restore, give it a name, a location to save and create as Standard Wallet (other options may also work but haven't tried).
  4. When asked for Keystore, choose Use public or private keys. In the next screen, you can paste your private key(s) from step 2.
  5. You now have a Electrum Wallet with the addresses previously used in Multibit and you can send/receive BTC from this wallet.

Note: The addresses will still be accessible from Multibit, since you can use the same wallet (private keys) from various apps/wallets. I use Multibit now as 'watch only' and not transfer anymore from it.

  • Multibit HD wallets can be imported by following these instructions to get the keys. Hopefully you don't have too many transactions or you'll be copying+pasting keys for a while... Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:53
  • 2
    When I copy the private key from step 2 into electrum 2.8.3, the gui still has the 'next' button greyed out. My key is 132 characters long.
    – spuder
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 4:16
  • @spuder That must be something else than the private key, as 132 chars is too long. If you use the (Base58) Wallet Import Format (WIF) the private key should be 52 chars long, see en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Private_key#Base58_Wallet_Import_format
    – Dr.Bob
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 9:27
  • Indeed. I re-exported the private key from multibit and I'm now able to import into electrum properly.
    – spuder
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 5:30
  • Also works in more recent versions of Electrum (did it on 4.0.5).
    – simlmx
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 20:21

Checkout read-multibit-wallet-file, a standalone utilitiy written in Node. Useful in case multibit UI won't let you export it (it waits for the entire blockchain to download which can get stuck)


You can try to get Multibit back up and running again by resetting the blockchain/transactions:

  1. Open MultiBit and make sure the wallet you are interested in is selected in the 'Wallets Wallets' side panel.
  2. Go the 'Tools | Reset Reset Blockchain and Transactions' menu option.
  3. This brings up a new screen. To reset the selected wallet click the 'Reset Reset blockchain and transactions' button.
  4. MultiBit will start reloading the blockchain. This can take some time. Just let it run and download the blockchain. When it is finished, your wallet should reflect what is on the blockchain.

I started using multibit and had some problems unfortunately ... was able to get my coins out using this method (had to reset it several times, truth be told).

  • Thank you, thats exactly what I wanted :) Sorry I didn't accept this, but the other answer was the best answer to the question I asked. Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 16:38
  • ok, I understand. Best of luck :) Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 5:10

If anyone still has an old Classic Multibit Wallet and they are having trouble transferring them to Electrum, uninstall the latest version if you have installed it and go to there web site and click on the "older versions link". From there find Version 2.8.3

  • 2.8.3 was the only version that would open my wallet.
    – spuder
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 17:28

Sorry to answer an old question but just in case someone needs a really easy explaination like me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-KcY6KUVnY

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