I have just installed an Electrum wallet on my Ubuntu machine, and transferred some funds into it. I wish to back up the wallet, so if my computer is dead or stolen, say, I will be able to install Electrum again and restore the wallet.

(In fact, it would be best to be able to restore the wallet from other software, not necessarily Electrum, if that's possible).

My wallet has a name (btc1) and a password. After opening it, in the wallet menu, I have the seed option grayed out. I am able to export private keys, however. If I understand correctly, the wallet itself is located in the file ~/.electrum/wallets/btc1. If I copy that file, say, to a different machine - then the wallet is also there?

I'm a bit confused about all of that.

1 Answer 1


There are 3 approaches to backup/restore your Electrum wallet with Bitcoin, depending on whether you use Electrum to manage a HD or non-HD wallet, you may or may not have a 'seed'.

If your wallet is a HD wallet, to restore/backup your wallet, simply use the 'seed' (12 words).

If your wallet is not HD, to restore/backup your wallet, simply restore/backup your wallet via private keys.

If you don't know/care whether your wallet is HD or not, simply backup (save a copy of) the whole Electrum wallet's data file to you USB drive and move it to another computer. You can use Electrum on other computers to open the data file.

I wrote this 3 Approaches to Backup Electrum for your reference with some screenshots in more details. Hope it helps.

  • Thanks. But how do I know if my wallet is HD or not? And what do you mean by use the seed?
    – Bach
    Dec 27, 2017 at 7:27
  • When Electrum detects an HD wallet, relevant function (e.g. Wallet > Seed) will be available for choice. Otherwise, it will simply not allow wallet to show its seed.
    – bitcoin-en
    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:21
  • I had edited the post of 3 Approaches to Backup Electrum with more screenshots to show you how to 'use the seed' you had written down somewhere to recover your wallet.
    – bitcoin-en
    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:23
  • Can I test it on a new computer without deleting the wallet on an old computer?
    – Bach
    Dec 30, 2017 at 17:11
  • @Bach Absolutely. You can even create more than one wallet using the same Electrum software on your existing computer.
    – bitcoin-en
    Jan 1, 2018 at 0:42

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