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What Do I Do If I Can't Find My Old Bitcoin Wallet?by@nischalshetty
31,348 reads
31,348 reads

What Do I Do If I Can't Find My Old Bitcoin Wallet?

by Nischal ShettyApril 17th, 2021
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Nischal Shetty is the Founder, CEO of WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Here are the various kinds of crypto wallets and how you can go about reclaiming them: web wallets, mobile wallets, paper wallets, desktop wallets, and paper wallets. There are tools available that can refurbish corrupted data, or you can always hire a professional to recover your data. If you owe the loss of your wallet to a hardware or software fault, there's a slim chance that you can still redeem your crypto wallet.

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Be it your car keys, your mobile phone, or your purse, losing or misplacing things precious to you can be definitely infuriating. What's worse is the notion that you might never see them again.

Coming to the crypto sphere, misplacing your old Bitcoin wallet can be a total misery. Because you'd hate not seeing your funds ever again - wouldn't you?

A hardware issue, mislaying your device, being hacked, or simply forgetting - myriad reasons can set you and your BTC wallet apart.

Now before you get all frantic to try everything under the sun to recover your lost currency (and the wallet), here's what we warn you never to do.

  • Get someone to hack the BTC Vault.
  • Accidentally toss your hard drive.
  • Resort to hypnotherapy.

Incredible, isn't it? The lengths people would go to just to regain their lost wallets.

Here are the right ways to recover your lost BTC wallet

Make some brisk trips to the past, try to recall the information you require. Ponder over the Bitcoin wallet you've employed, email addresses or other elements of your BTC account, a list of probable passwords, PINs, etc.

Below are the various kinds of crypto wallets and how you can go about reclaiming them:

  • Web wallets – Quite evidently, they need Internet access; therefore, going through your browsing history seeking traces of your web wallet provider's website is a good call.
  • Mobile wallets – If you accidentally deleted the app or reset your phone, we propose searching for it on App Store or Play Store and re-download it. 
  • Hardware wallets – To locate these physical instruments, start by surveying every room of your house, your cupboards, bags, secret hoards, and any place where you commonly save your essential belongings. 
  • Desktop wallets – Scour all the folders on your computer. Check the barely visited locations too.
  • Paper wallets – the trickiest of them all, hunt their access keys in a pad or a folder. Rummage storage bins, old folders, purses, drawers, etc.

Check available recovery tools.

If you owe the loss of your Bitcoin wallet to a hardware or software fault, there's a slim chance that you can still redeem your crypto wallet. 

There are tools available that can refurbish corrupted data, or you can always hire a professional to recover your data.

Ask for help

Not all of us are techies or are well-versed with the elaborateness of the crypto world. Hence, you can turn to your friends in the fintech world and ask them if they can help you recollect your forgotten private key.

Access your old wallet once it's found

After being reunited with your lost wallet, make several copies of it right away for backup so that you don't corrupt the file. 

You can then try and use Bitcoin Core to see if there's any balance left.

If you find out that there are bitcoins left in the wallet, you can download the whole blockchain to attain them. Since the blockchain is over 150 gigabytes of data, you can rather go to blockchain.info

Sign up, log in, go to settings, then you'll see the option "addresses". Click on "addresses" and import bitcoin addresses. Once you add your private key, you can reuse your account.

If you have your 12-word recovery phrase written, which was reflected when you first opened the Bitcoin.com Wallet app, you would always be able to restore your old/lost wallets by using that phrase. 

You would need to restore your BTC and BCH wallets separately unless you created both from the one backup phrase.

Unfortunately, if you do not have the 12-word backup phrase, there is no way to recover your wallet or the funds.

To restore your wallet from the backup phrase, please follow the steps below:

  1. When you have downloaded the Bitcoin.com wallet, tap on the "+" symbol to the right of your bitcoin wallets.
  2. Tap on "Import wallet.”
  3. Enter your 12-word backup phrase and select the coin, BTC or BCH, for the wallet you want to import.
  4. Once you have entered all 12 words correctly, tap "Import.”
  5. If you follow all the above steps, your Bitcoin.com wallet will be restored. (repeat the above steps to recover any sub-wallets)

All words must be lowercase when entering your phrase with a single space between them and no space after the final word.

Some older versions of the wallet may not support recovering your wallet using the "Import" feature. If using "Import" returns an error, try these:

  1. Select your BCH wallet
  2. Tap on the Setting Cog
  3. Tap More Options
  4. Tap Wallet Addresses
  5. Tap 'Unused Addresses' 20 times until you see the message "Empty addresses limit reached.”
  6. Tap' Scan addresses for funds'
  7. The funds should now show up on your wallet homepage.

Restoring via cloud backup:

Log in to the Google account and input the password you used to set up your cloud backup. 

You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account once you open the app, or you can tap the "Settings" cog in the bottom right corner of your "Home" screen and hit "Security center.”

The secret to avoiding this all

It's not an uphill struggle to avoid losing it in the first place. Try to Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) as an additional verification method before accessing the exchange platform.

Armory offers multi-signature transactions – it requires another user's permission before a trade can be made through the wallet. 

Having proper crypto storage can save you from a lot of hassle.

Hardware wallet: A hardware wallet is a device similar to a USB stick that allows you to store your keys offline.

Hot wallet: A hot wallet is an online wallet and can be a software wallet on your own devices or a wallet hosted on an exchange or elsewhere in the cloud.

Cold Wallet: A cold wallet is an offline wallet that implies either keeping your keys in a hardware wallet or printed on a piece of paper, stored in a safety deposit box or hidden somewhere.

Backup: A backup is a file containing your private and public keys, which will allow you to restore your wallet if you lose a device or if your hard drive is damaged.

If you're among the fortunate ones with your wallets on you, we advise you to indulge in the best practices in securing your account.

Remember to always keep your wallet and private keys in a safe place—just be sure to remember the place!