I am installing Bitcoin-Qt and have been reading about Bitcoin basics, but I found very little information on the client. I have a few questions about the Bitcoin-Qt program (v0.8.1-beta under Windows 7),

  1. Where is the complete Bitcoin-Qt documentation? I can not find it.
  2. How do I change the file locations for the block-chain storage?
    • Block chain is ~6 GB
    • The default appears to be MyDocuments\AppData\Roaming\
    • My C: system drive is small, and I have a second drive for such data.
  3. Is the "Wallet" a separate file/entity from the block-chain?
    • How do I define the wallet's location?
    • Can I backup the wallet by simple copy/paste/tar.gz without carrying the entire block-chain?
  4. Does the Bitcoin-Qt client currently have built-in mining/transaction-processing? I do not see the dialog-box to configure. I have a graphics card and ample wasted CPU-cycles.

Thanks for clarification. Links to proper documentation are welcome!

  • Where is the folder in Windows 8.1? He is not under AppData \ Roaming
    – user17072
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 9:31
  • If you are under Windows 10 and ~0.21, go to regedit: "Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Bitcoin\Bitcoin-Qt" and change "strDataDir" Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 0:27

5 Answers 5

  1. Here:

  2. Use the -datadir option.
    Right-click on your bitcoin-qt shortcut, press properties, and add -datadir=D:\Bitcoin
    Go make that directory, then run bitcoin. If a bunch of files show up in there, you've done it correctly.

  3. Yep.

    • -datadir
    • File > Backup Wallet
  4. Yes, but not GPU mining. GUI miner is a nice option though.

  • Did the same. Unless I did something wrong, it doesn't seem to work.
    – Chiffa
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 0:45
  • What is the full datadir syntax, windows returns the error of: "The name of C:\[Path To]\Bitcoin-qt.exe-datadir=E:\Bitcoin_Wallet specified in the Target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct"? Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 16:58
  • 1
    @GiantCowFilms There's supposed to be a space between exe and -datadir.
    – Nick ODell
    Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 17:01
  • Fixied!(Thanks @NickODell) for any one who is curious, here is the full syntax:C:\Program Files (x86)\Bitcoin\bitcoin-qt.exe" -datadir=e:\Bitcoin_Wallet Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 17:03
  • How do I do this on a mac?
    – t q
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 15:21

How do I move my Bitcoin Core data file

  1. Safely exit Bitcoin Core (bitcoin-qt|bitcoind).
  2. Make a new secure backup copy of your wallet.dat.
  3. Move you entire .bitcoin folder to the new location, except for bitcoin.conf which you must leave where it is in the existing .bitcoin folder.
  4. Edit bitcoin.conf to add datadir={full path to new .bitcoin folder}.
  5. Start Bitcoin Core and check properly that everything is alright, your wallet is accessible and, balances correct, etc.
  6. Protect your USB disk and make regular secure backup copies of your wallet.dat.

The alternative if you also move your bitcoin.conf file is to find and edit every shortcut that starts any Bitcoin Core process wherever they may be (and any new ones you make) and add the following including every time you type it at the command line -datadir={full path to new .bitcoin folder}.

Note: If storage space is an issue you can also enable the prune option; enter prune={number=>551} in your bitcoin.conf. The number is in MB.

Appendix: If you have to also move bitcoin.conf move the entire .bitcoin folder and create a symlink from ~/.bitcoin to /mnt/server/newlocation for example ln -s /mnt/server/newlocation/.bitcoin ~/.bitcoin - or start the bitcoin client/daemon with the -conf=<file> option every time e.g. bitcoin-qt|bitcoind -conf=<file> pointing to the new bitcoin.conf file location.

  • 1
    @Wilitech Could you please elaborate the way to move bitcoin.conf, too? Commented May 22 at 20:13

Just FYI, you can use Windows based solution, create reparse point that point to another directory, just like symlink in Linux


It seems several people are interested in how to create symbolic links in Windows. I know I was. This allows you to move your data directory to another hard drive without having to add the datadir flag.

It's actually not that much different.

To create a symbolic link (called a junction in Windows land) in Vista or later:

mklink /J <Link> <Target> 

Make sure the folder path that you use for the <Link> doesn't exist before creating.

(c:\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin by default.)

Reference: Wikipedia


That didn't quite work at first for me because some linux distros don't seem to like creating a symbolic link named “.bitcoin”.

I created a symbolic link named “test” in my home directory and then renamed that to “.bitcoin”

Using bitcoin-qt in Xubuntu12.04, this did not work:

ln -s /new/path/to/.bitcoin .bitcoin 

Did work:

  • exited bitcoin-qt
  • moved “.bitcoin” to another partition
  • created a valid symbolic link to there named “test”

    ln -s /new/path/to/.bitcoin test
  • renamed “test” to “.bitcoin”

  • 1
    Could you please add some formatting and elaborate what you are referring to with "that"?
    – Murch
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 21:02
  • 2
    It's not the distribution that prevents symlinks from working, usually it relates to the filesystem or the expectation of the bitcoin software that directories, paths and other URI data operates as expected. There are better solutions than symlinks, especially across multiple filesystem types.
    – Ben
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 10:01
  • 1
    Also, providing an answer for Linux when the OP clearly stated they were using Windows is pointless.
    – Ben
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 10:02
  • 1
    @Murch +1 That is constructive.
    – Garrick
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 19:08
  • 2
    @Ben To be fair, having received the answer I was looking for, I'm not opposed to someone adding "I had the same problem on [linux] and here is how I solved it". That will add future value to someone. Unfortunately these instructions are barely coherent and lamenting "the instructions for [Windows] didn't work on my [Commodore 64]", no kidding.
    – Garrick
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 19:09

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