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I know I can backup the keystore files from my running ethereum client which holds my accounts.

But how can I backup wallets created with mist? Is it enough to write down the public address where the wallet contract is stored?

  • There are no json files in keystore folder for my wallet contracts. So there must be another way to backup contract wallets. I also don't understand this comment above: 'You could also manually add the wallet contracts back at any time." – user900 Apr 30 '16 at 22:35
  • They do not have the .json extension, they are still JSON files. Every file inside your keystore folder is a keystore file. They should all start with UTC-2016-4-5--<address> – tayvano May 1 '16 at 1:43
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+100

How to Access the Files to Back Up

Using Mist - Backup Accounts

Go to the top bar and select ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP -> ACCOUNTS.

This will open a folder. Inside this folder there are keystrore files that have long names starting with UTC--2016-04-14....... Each of these files represent an account. Back up these up.

Using Mist - Backup Wallet Contracts

Go to the top bar and go ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP -> APPLICATION DATA. This will open a folder. As far as I can tell, just back up this entire folder.

You could also manually add the wallet contracts back at any time, obviously, but this is easier and more convenient.


How to actually back up

You want to store the keystore files in multiple locations & multiple physical locations. Keep in mind, you must prevent loss of both the keystore file and password due to loss or failure of you hard drive, USB drive, or whatever method you are using to back up. You also must keep in mind physical loss / damage of an entire area (think fire or flood).

For example, consider the add'l security of storing things in 3 places, over 1: - On computer

  • On a USB drive in apartment.

  • On a USB or paper at a trusted family member's house (e.g. with things like your birth certificate)

This way if your house burns down, you still have access to your funds. If your HDD crashes, your still access.

If you do want a paper option, you can import your Mist keystore file into MyEtherWallet (running offline/locally, see #5 here). Follow those instructions and use the View Wallet Info tab in order to access your Mist wallet and then print a paper version.


Using old Mist without the ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP available.

On some versions, (0.3.9) there may just be a BACKUP option in the top bar, not under accounts. For old versions (0.3.7 or lower) the backup option is simply not there.

Depending on what OS you have, you need to navigate to the right folder (below) and back these keystore files / the entire keystore folder up.

Accounts

  • Mac: ~/Library/Ethereum/keystore

  • Linux: ~/.ethereum/keystore

  • Windows: %APPDATA%/Ethereum/keystore

Wallet Contracts

The above will only back up your normal accounts. Wallet Contracts can be manually re-added, or you can back up the data folder. As far as I can tell:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Mist/

  • Linux: ~/.config/Mist or, in earlier versions: ~/.config/Chromium/Mist (folder is hidden)

  • Windows: C:\Users\< Your Username >\AppData\Roaming -or- ~\AppData\Roaming\Ethereum\keystore

The folders I see online tend to be all over the place. I can confirm that the above certainly hold true to my Mac.


And once again: Back up your KEYSTORE FILES (aka your private key) and your PASSWORDS. Both items are necessary to access your account. Your address (public key) is not actually needed to restore access. 👍

--

Edit: I found this (possibly out of date) list for go (geth) and c++ (eth) clients which may be helpful for some.

  • 1
    This answer has already bolded the need to backup passwords too, but emphasizing it again for safety. – eth Jun 26 '16 at 22:15
  • ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP -> ACCOUNTS doesn't do anything for me. Any thoughts? Windows 10, Ethereum Wallet v0.8.10 – D. A. Jun 19 '17 at 5:43
  • Then just check up %APPDATA%/Ethereum/keystore directory. – TranslucentCloud Jun 20 '17 at 19:00
  • Out of curiosity, the answer from Andreas below mentions backing up Application Data - is this necessary? Is the keystore + password alone enough to recover a wallet, for example were my HDD to fail? – waffl Jul 20 '17 at 7:29
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If you use the latest version of the Mist wallet 0.3.9, then you can backup your wallet with saving the AppData. You can do that by clicking on Backup in the Menu bar and click "Backup App Data" which points you to the installation directory where your wallet is saved. In my case it is located here "C:\Users\Andreas\AppData\Roaming" on Windows 10 - 64 Bit.

Mist Wallet Scrrenshot

Just copy the whole "Mist" Folder to a secure location to have a backup. In my case it has just about 6.4MB.

Now you have a backup. I cannot say if the same is true for Mac and Linux.

Greetings from Austria

Andreas

  • That's enough to secure my funds? I can't see any private keys in that directory. – Afr Feb 3 '16 at 13:29
  • In my case it worked. I just renamed the Mist folder for test. Then started again the wallet. Then you dont see your wallets. and a new Mist folder gets generated. If you then delete the new Mist folder and rename the first folder back to "Mist" then everything is displayed again. Your wallet and the amount. I´m not sure in which exact file or files these informations are stored. So i simply copy and backup the whole folder. But it would be interesting in which files it is saved. – Andreas Feb 3 '16 at 13:55
  • Because it is a contract wallet i guess the amount of ether is just stored in the contract and not in a file. You can import the wallet later by just typing in your wallet adress. So you should also backup this adress. – Andreas Feb 3 '16 at 14:09
  • That's maybe because mist does require a client in the back who handles the private keys. – Afr Feb 3 '16 at 16:35
  • in Linux it's ~/.config/Mist right? – knocte Feb 13 '16 at 10:37
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Backup

To backup your accounts from Ethereum Wallet, see How to backup mist wallets?.

The files that you need to backup will have names like the following:

user@Kumquat:~/.ethereum/keystore$ ls
UTC--2016-04-17T01-23-45.279405976Z--aaaaab3ad17cd9aca6fd5343a53a513685c7aaaa
UTC--2016-04-17T02-34-56.029466208Z--bbbb8622d70f62f212aef64e7e26e4746dc8bbbb
UTC--2016-04-22T03-45-01.402684763Z--cccc5fc7979143c593c6c01eae6d22b7d6eecccc


Restore

To restore these accounts, copy these files back to your Ethereum keystore directory. The location of your keystore directory depends on your operating system - here are the directories:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Ethereum/keystore
  • Linux: ~/.ethereum/keystore
  • Windows: %APPDATA%/Ethereum/keystore
  • Please note, I moved this answer. – Afr Jun 7 '16 at 18:23
  • 2
    Seems to be out of date – D. A. Jun 19 '17 at 5:45

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