So I'm trying to sync with the network in Bitcoin-Qt, but I just can't seem to make use of the bootstrap.dat file that I downloaded, which is annoying because it will be awfully slow to sync without it.

There was no folder in Application Support where the file was supposed to go, so I made one:

User/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin - and put the bootstrap.dat file in there.

Yet still when I launch Bitcoin-Qt it fails to use the bootstrap, and just tries to sync normally.

Does anyone know if I'm doing something wrong here? Or if there's a way around this problem?

I'm running OSX 10.9 Mavericks.


2 Answers 2


I can at least tell you what I did, on my iMac running OS X 10.9.1 (Mavericks).

  • I ran Bitcoin-Qt, which immediately started synching. I could see by the progress bar that if it's roughly linear, it would take 8 - 10 days to complete. The nice thing about it was that I could see the directories it needed by what it created for itself in ~/Library/Application Support
  • I downloaded the bootstrap.dat.torrent file from sourceforge.net
  • Installed the deluge torrent app (deluge-torrent.org), and ran that to expand the bootstrap.dat file (I had never used the BitTorrent protocol before -- was pretty straightforward.). It put the result in my home directory (14222116865 bytes).
  • Quit the still laboring Bitcoin-Qt ... then renamed its directory so I could see what directories it required, and in case I had to go back to pick up where I left off:

    cd ~/Library/Application\ Support; mv Bitcoin BC_save

  • Manually created the same directories so I'd have a place to put the bootstrap.dat file

    find BC_save -type d -print # See what dirs are needed

    mkdir -p Bitcoin/blocks/index; mkdir Bitcoin/blocks/chainstate

(Later Qt creates Bitcoin/blocks/database, but it wasn't there at this point.) I'm surprised that more than just "mkdir Bitcoin" is necessary, but apparently you already tried that, so...)

  • Started up Bitcoin-Qt again. It immediately "adopted" the directories I had created, and new files were appearing (e.g., wallet.dat). The lower-left edge had a message indicating it was reading a file from the disk -- so it appeared to be working.
  • An overnight run -- and it's already done.
  • 6
    Great answer, but to simplify a bit: you want to put bootstrap.dat in /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin. If that directory doesn't exist, start client qt client and then close it and it should be created. May 20, 2014 at 1:03

I am using Yosemite and have struggled a lot to make Bitcoin-qt accept the bootstrap.dat gotten through my bittorrent client.

Anyhow I finally got Bitcoin-qt to import the .dat-file, although this process also seems pretty slow...

  1. Make sure you are accessing the right folder - there are several Library folders on Macs (I have just recently realized). It's NOT the one for the local user that Bitcoin-qt is using but the one at the top level on your Mac. You can find it using the Finder - use the option-key to make the Library folder visible in the 'Go'-menu (http://support.apple.com/kb/PH18928?viewlocale=en_US).

  2. Have the tool generate the folder it is using itself by running it a short while to be sure you are changing file content in the correct location with naming etc.

  3. Unfortunately running the tool causes some data to be in the way of the importing process afterwards - I tried in multiple ways to trigger a replacement of data but ended up with uninstalling the tool and removing all data in Library/Application Support/Bitcoin. Be sure to keep the wallet.dat if you are not like me aiming of using Armory that only uses Bitcoin-qt for the coin base part. Move/copy your bootstrapper.dat file to this location.

  4. Install Bitcoin-qt again and run it. You will then finally see it start importing your file.

Hope you don't have to spend as much time solving this as I did.

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