How to backup mist wallets?

  • 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."

    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--

  • tayvano

    tayvano Correct answer

    5 years ago

    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.


    • 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.

    This answer has already bolded the need to backup **passwords** too, but emphasizing it again for safety.

    ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP -> ACCOUNTS doesn't do anything for me. Any thoughts? Windows 10, Ethereum Wallet v0.8.10

    Then just check up `%APPDATA%/Ethereum/keystore` directory.

    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?

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM