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I just purchased a new laptop and I want to decommission my old one. I have a back-up of my wallet.dat file copied to my new PC. What do I need to do to restore it to my Bitcoin (Windows) client? Please note, this is a wallet.dat file that is about 6 months old and I haven't loaded it in at least four months. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not, contingent on the original version of the client that created the file.

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You need to put the old wallet.dat in your bitcoin data directory.

The default for Windows is:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application data\Bitcoin (XP)

C:\Users\YourUserName\Appdata\Roaming\Bitcoin (Vista and 7)

Then run the bitcoin client with the -rescan option.

Alternatively you can run the bitcoin client with the -datadir=<location of backup wallet.dat> as well as the -rescan option if you do not want to move/backup the new wallet.dat.

The default for Mac OS X is:

~/Library/Application\Support\Bitcoin


The default for Linux is:

~/.bitcoin
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  • 4
    It worked on Ubuntu too, but the wallet file was located at ~/.bitcoin
    – Jader Dias
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 18:34
  • 4
    And on OS X in ~/Library/Application\ Support/Bitcoin/ Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 0:47
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    Note that since 0.3.21 it is not necessary anymore to specify -rescan when moving a wallet file to a new installation. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 13:13
  • That requires that you wipe out the other wallet. How can you merge the two? Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 3:02

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