I am sure this has been asked before but I want to be absolutely sure before I start:

Using the Electrum Software I have created a basic default wallet on my desktop. I have a good deal of money stored in it and I plan to leave it there for a year, hoping the price of bitcoin will rise.

My question: If after a year, my computer hard drive fries, I forget the public and private key, I don't remember my Electrum password and I hardly even rememeber what Bitcoin is, will I be able to recover everything with only the 12 word seed I have?

I could even delete my wallet and unistall Electrum, move to Mars and if I had an internet connection and the seed gain all my bitcoin back correct?

EDIT: I just want to add, that I don't wan't to use a paper wallet just in case I decide to temporarily use some of the money although I don't plan on using it I want to have the option.

  • Or do I also need the Public Key and wallet.dat?
    – NULL
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can do all of that. To use your money, you need your private keys. Those are generated by Electrum using your seed. The password only protects the data stored on your computer by Electrum so not everyone who has access to your computer can spend your money. Spending your money without knowing your password is possible if one has your seed.

To sum it up:

Things you need to recover your wallet

  • Electrum (not even that much of a requirement itself but it's the easiest option)
  • your seed
  • some data (which can automatically be retrieved from the internet by Electrum (easiest way; Internet access on the computer you make the transaction on is not a requirement but nice to have.))

Things you don't need to recover your wallet*

  • the computer you generated the wallet on
  • any data Electrum stored on that computer
  • the same operating system you used before
  • the same version of Electrum you used before
  • the same kind of device you used before
  • your addresses
  • your public keys
  • your master public key
  • your private keys
  • your master private key
  • your wallet password
  • an imaginary wallet.dat (because there is no wallet.dat with Electrum ;-) )

     * Of course, some of those or a combination of some of them can be used to spend your money or to determine your wallet's seed, but that's not what you need to care about, here.

You probably still should write your seed onto a piece of paper. This – of course – doesn't mean you can't spend your money in the mean time or have to update the seed afterwards. Your wallet's seed doesn't change.


You should store your information on a USB drive or external hard drive just to be safe. I have my keystore file and pass (for ETH) on 2 different computers and a USB drive just to be safe.

  • But all I need to store in multiple places is the seed right? I don't need to know the address: public or private, the password or anything else right?
    – NULL
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 19:55
  • I agree with your advice but I don't think this answers my question.
    – NULL
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 19:57

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