I have created geth account. I know the password and trying to access my wallet through below command:

geth account update *ethereum_address*

I entered correct password but still I am getting below error:

Fatal: Failed to unlock account ethereum_address (no key for given address or file)

I don't have private key. How can I use this wallet now?

  • your question is ambiguous. provide more details is it your coinbase account? are you on mainnet or testnet did you migrate your wallet or what exactly?
    – Badr Bellaj
    Dec 6, 2016 at 20:54
  • I started mining from this guide: github.com/angelomilan/ethereum-guides/blob/master/… but, I can't access the account as I changed my VM. I don't have private key or wallet.json file Dec 6, 2016 at 20:57
  • if you don't have the private key so you ve lost your account. try to retrive your keystor folder from your previous VM
    – Badr Bellaj
    Dec 6, 2016 at 21:46
  • @BadrBellaj : Unfortunately, VM is gone. :( (This is the ethereum account: 2bef01aa682e498d5c9d28da4ff28c9eee6f1608) Dec 6, 2016 at 22:09
  • 1
    The private key is your account. The password is just used to decrypt it. If you lost the private key, the account is gone, sorry... Dec 7, 2016 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


You cannot use the account now.

The private key is your account and your password is used to decrypt it.

No private key = no account

An address & password without a private key to use against has no use.


If you can get ahold of the private key then you're all set. Hopefully you can find it somewhere written down. B/c the password is your decryption key and the private key is your actual account.

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