Since bitcoin core is HD wallet, it should be possible to make "seed" like backup for it and there should be way to restore the wallet from it as well. I know there is dumpprivkey, but it needs to be done after every transaction to be safe. Other wallets have nice seed backup and restore methods, I suppose core should have one as well.

There is xprv method mentioned in comments, but I'm still missing restore method. Also I would like to do it from console only, since my wallet is on remote server without graphics.

I'm interested in "string" backup mainly because I want to store it in trezor hardware password manager, which does not support files

  • 2
    Core doesn't create seed mnemonics. Best you can do is backup the xprv. See here: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/a/56428/5273
    – Abdussamad
    Sep 19, 2017 at 16:20
  • xprv method could be good enough, but the answer does not tell how to restore hd wallet from it, I'm changing the question Sep 20, 2017 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


Bitcoin Core does not allow you to restore from a given seed or master private key (xprv). There is currently no mechanism for importing seeds or master private keys and no mechanism for exporting seeds (and a convoluted workaround for exporting master private keys).

Note that you can import individual private keys, not just seeds, mnemonics, or master private keys. These can be imported with importmulti or importprivkey and can be exported with dumpprivkey.

  • that's too bad to hear, anyway seems as correct answer so far Sep 25, 2017 at 11:19
  • Has there been any recent changes to Bitcoin Core that enable backing up to paper wallet or is it still the same?
    – M.K. Safi
    Jun 2, 2019 at 1:04
  • @M.K.Safi No, there has not.
    – Ava Chow
    Jun 2, 2019 at 1:34
  • @AndrewChow What if I start a new wallet and use sethdseed with a fresh keypool. Then to restore the wallet, I would set the same HD seed again, and do a blockchain rescan. Would that not be sufficient?
    – M.K. Safi
    Jun 12, 2020 at 23:45
  • @M.K.Safi Yes, I believe that would be sufficient to recover your private keys. However you need to be careful that the wallet you restore to is blank so that there is not already an existing seed and keypool. Otherwise you may be using keys that you did not backup.
    – Ava Chow
    Jun 12, 2020 at 23:47

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