I downloaded Bîtcoin Core on a laptop without knowing it takes up a lot of space and my laptop has only 128 GB disk space. It keeps saying "low disk space" so it won't sync. I sent lots of bitcoins there a while ago and was wondering if there's a way to retrieve them.

2 Answers 2


I would suggest running bitcoin core in pruned mode if you don't have enough space to for the entire blockchain.

You can start bitcoin with the -prune=X command line argument or put prune=X in your conf file, to limit the amount of space used by the blockchain to only X megabytes. It will delete the old blocks and keep only the most recent blocks on your computer.

Related answer: How to free up the space taken by bitcoind?

Alternatively, if you just want to recover your coins, you can backup your wallet file and move it to another computer that has more space for example.

  • how do you put the backup wallet on another pc, dropbox or physical storage?
    – Curtis M
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 0:04
  • X MB must be >= 550 according to the command line help.
    – Willtech
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 1:11
  • where do i put in the prune command, in the comf file i open it just goes to bitcoin core app, do you put it in properties or?
    – Curtis M
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 1:20
  • I overthought it, pruned it to 550, hopefully that works
    – Curtis M
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 2:04
  • @CurtisM I wouldn't recommend uploading your wallet to dropbox, a physical storage like a USB drive is probably safer, best if your wallet is encrypted for safety Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 8:22

i sent lots of bitcoins there a while ago and wondering if theres a way to retrieve them.

Retrieval isn't the right word. Bitcoin are in the public blockchain that every full node has a copy of. You never actually remove (retrieve) Bitcoin from the blockchain. You just move it from address to address using your private key to prove "ownership".

You can use one of the "blockchain explorer" websites to check the amount of Bitcoin associated with an address for which you (and only you) know the corresponding private key..

If you need to spend the Bitcoin before your Bitcon core has synced, you can stop the Bitcoin core process and install a lightweight wallet instead.

Longer term storage should be in a paper wallet or hardware wallet (or rather at an address associated with a private key that is only in one of those types of wallets.

Useful references:

  • can i transfer the bitcoins to a lighter wallet before it is synced
    – Curtis M
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 23:58
  • @Curtis: You don't need to. The Bitcoins can be viewed and used from multiple wallets at the same time. You can extract the private-key from Bitcoin-core and then import that private-key into a lightweight wallet. See link at end of amended answer above. Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 11:16

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