Electrum wallet seed – Restoring wallet from seed and few basic tips

Electrum wallet for Bitcoin is one of the most reputable and secure wallet available for Desktop and Mobile. Not just secure, but compared to QT wallet Electrum is fast, simple and uses less resources. Due to its simplicity most users advise beginners to use Electrum wallet but they are not given much awareness about the wallet seed. This beginners guide is all about giving a basic understanding of wallet seed and explaining how important the seed word is. In addition to that let’s also see how to find your Electrum wallet seed word and how to restore wallet from seed.

Also read: Generating and using own custom mnemonic seed

Electrum wallet seed word:

Bitcoin electrumElectrum wallet creates a seed word for you when you initially setup your wallet. It is a 12 word mnemonic seed that is used to generate your wallet private keys. Example of seed word: “buyer category snap balcony letter banner rest pool cake boil owner plug“. Remember that seed is not a private key of your wallet address. It is a master key that helps to recover your Electrum wallet completely. This seed word is not saved anywhere on electrum servers. It is a client side functionality and is only available for you. Even if you forget to write down this seed initially you can find it later on in your wallet by entering your password but what if you forget your password.

We’ve seen users on forum asking questions like: “I lost my electrum wallet seed; are my Bitcoins gone?”. “I lost my wallet password but I have the seed; is it possible to recover wallet?”. Yes! If you lose your password then you can recover your wallet using seed but if you lose your seed word then all is gone. This is why everyone recommends you to store your wallet seed in a secure location.

Learn the difference between recovery phrase, passphrase and password

Okay! Here are some common scenarios that users of Electrum wallet face when they forget their password or didn’t save their wallet file or seed word.

Forget my Electrum password, but I have the wallet seed

When you setup Electrum wallet you’ll be asked to choose a wallet type, once it’s done the wallet will generate a seed for you, after which you’ll be asked to set a password. This password is mandatory step and it is an extra layer of protection to your electrum wallet. Whenever you wish to access wallet or send coins to another address or when exporting private keys you’ll be asked to enter the wallet password which you set during the installation process. So what happens if you forget this password? There is one option and that is setting up a new wallet from the seed word. Following is a step by step guide to restore your Bitcoin electrum wallet from seed.

Restoring Electrum wallet from seed

So while creating a new / restore wallet using old seed do I need to set the wallet file name and password same as old? No, it doesn’t matter what wallet name or password you choose for your new wallet. As long as you have your previous wallet seed right you can recover all your wallet addresses and its balance. Here are the steps to restore electrum wallet from seed

1. In your electrum wallet go to File and click on New/Restore which will open Installation wizard screen.

2. Choose a wallet find name and on next screen select a wallet type.

3. Now on Keystore screen, instead of “creating a new seed” select “I already have a seed” and proceed to next screen.

Restore wallet seed

4. Then on next screen you’ll be prompted to enter your wallet seed word. Just input your previous wallet seed phrase and click on next.

Enter wallet seed phrase

5. Now you’ll be asked to set a password for your new wallet which is a wallet encryption so make sure to set a strong password. Also remember to note down the password this time or else you’ll have to follow these steps and create a new wallet from seed again.

That’s it! Electrum will generate all your previous wallet address and restore its funds.

Related Guide: How to restore Monero wallet from mnemonic seed

Now here is another scenario: What happens if you lost your electrum seed but know your wallet password.

Lost my Electrum seed, are my Bitcoins gone?

Don’t lose hope until unless you have your password. Yes, if you know your wallet password then you can still access your funds and make transactions. But before it gets too late its time for you to find your wallet seed and store them in safe place. For those who didn’t write down the wallet seed during installation process; here is how you find out your wallet seed.

  1. Open electrum.exe, choose your wallet file, enter your password to open your wallet.
  2. Now in the top menu bar of your wallet click on wallet >> seed which will ask you to enter your password.

Finding seed in standard wallet

Enter your password, click on OK and the electrum wallet will display your wallet generation seed.

Electrum wallet seed word

Now do yourself a favor and write down this 12 words on paper (Note: order is important) and store it in a different locations where you find it to be safe and secure.

Things to note:

  • If you lose your wallet seed you’ll not be able to recover your wallet.
  • Do not disclose your seed word to someone or else your funds will get compromised.
  • Seed word won’t work if the order is incorrect.

For more detailed instructions check out this electrum wallet backup guide

Electrum wallet seed option is disabled

This is one of the worst case scenario which most users encounter at some point. In electrum wallet if you choose wallet type as standard wallet then anytime you can choose to view your seed phrase by entering your password.

Electrum standard wallet

However if you choose “wallet with two-factor authentication” or “Multi-signature wallet” you’ll not be able to view your seed word. This seed option will be disabled / hidden by default in watch only wallets, 2fa wallet and multi signature wallet. Most beginners are not aware of this and as a result some of them even losing access to their funds.

Well, if you know your wallet password and two factor authentication code then there is still hope. All you have to do is create a new electrum wallet and send all your funds to the new wallet. By creating a new wallet you’ll be give a new wallet seed, you can set a new password and even configure the 2fa again.

Hope it helps! More information about electrum wallet can be found here. Also check out the following guides if Electrum is your primary Bitcoin wallet.

How to verify Electrum signature? Check if your electrum wallet is legit

How to safely update your Bitcoin electrum wallet to the latest version

Importing and sweeping private keys of core and paper wallet into Electrum

If you have any other questions or have trouble recovering your wallet then please let us know in comments section. We’ll try our best to help you out.

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We are crypto enthusiasts and our main intention with Coin Guides is to educate people about Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. We regularly publish content about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins, wallet guides, mining tutorials and trading tips.

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  1. I wonder if I change notebook from the one I set up electrum wallet to new one and I lost the seed, it means I cannot recover my electrum wallet anymore?

  2. Hi I was using electrum 2018 version (which had no seed) – have just updated and seed function is there but greyed out. It’s not a 2fa or Multisig wallet so is it because you can only generate a seed when you set up the wallet? And if this is the case, where do I go from here? 🙏

    1. Electrum wallet seed function will be greyed out if the wallet is setup as watch only, or if it is 2fa enabled or multisig wallet. View wallet >> information to know the wallet type you are using.

      If you can’t access your seed but can still access your wallet then setup a new wallet and transfer all your coins to the new wallet. Make sure to backup your new seed phrase.

  3. Wallet information says wallet type is imported.

    I have set up another electrum wallet on a new laptop and was going to sweep keys from the old wallet but it says £100 fees so i hesitated as this seems a lot!

    Many thanks for your help 🙏

  4. 1. When I set up my Electrum wallet, I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I accidentally listed 2 litecoin addresses under “watch only” on the default_wallet. How can I un-do this. Can I simply delete this wallet? 2. since my Litecoin paper wallets are encrypted, I can’t sweep them onto Exodus, which is why I tried using Electrum/LTC wallet. Is there an EASY way to decrypt the private keys like another App or Mobile Wallet that is easy to use?

      1. Hello again, thanks for your quick reply. I don’t thing Electrum will work for me due to my paper wallets being encrypted. I was going to try “Litecoin core” but it says it can’t download it on My Mac Desktop, any idea why? Thanks, so much, Mike

      2. I sent btc to my electrum wallet and I don’t have the seed or I’m not able to find it. I wrote it down its somewhere but at same time the wallet is 2fa enabled and I switched phones didn’t transfer the google authenticator to my new phone. So I cant get the code but I can access my account and send money to it just cant send it. Is the money gone forever or can I somehow access it, Please help?

  5. Hello again and thanks for your help! I’ve tried downloading the Litecoin Core app onto my Mac Desktop (running Catalina) and It keeps getting blocked (circle w/ slash over the LTC symbol where it asks you to drag in to applications). It says “this operation can’t be completed, you don’t have permission to access some of the items” along with a simultaneous pop up from AVG anti virus saying “we safely blocked Litecoin-QT because it was infected with MacOS: Miner-AR (PUP)”. Any idea if it’s the AVG causing this download issue?

  6. Im confused. How can Electrum restore your wallet and its balance? I found this article because I was wondering what happens when you make a copy of your wallet… do your bitcoins double? Obviously not, but I was unsure of how this worked. The entire premise of the Electrum wallet is that your coins are STORED OFFLINE. Thats how you protect them from hackers that target the blockchain or online service providers like Coinbase, right? That is after all how Electrum is marketed to the consumer. But if copying your wallet doesnt double your bitcoin, if the entire wallet and its balance can be restored from a seed, then this implies that your coins are still stored online. Does it not? What then is the point of the offline wallet?

    1. First of all your Bitcoins are not stored in your wallet. They are in blockchain and your wallet only has the keys to access those coins.

      When you make a copy of your wallet you are only restoring the keys and the address associated with it. Your wallet contains the record of all your transactions. So when you spend coins from your backup wallet then the transaction will reflect on both the wallets.

      Also in Electrum the keys are not always stored offline. It depends on how it is configured. If the wallet is paired with hardware wallet then the keys will remain offline. If it is configured on your PC / Laptop then it is an online wallet.

  7. My wallet was working fine, for some reason I am now getting a “class decimal invalid operation” error and can no longer access it.
    Any idea’s? thanks

  8. I need help. I have my password, I just don’t have my seed phrase . My wallet was on a Virtual machine that failed once my transfer completed. Is there anyway to get my wallet back? Like if I have access to the wallet I can login. I know my account password. Is there anyway to get my money?

  9. PLEASE HELP. I have money/bitcoins in a wallet I created yesterday. The server was online when I did it.
    I have my address with all of my funds on it and the password to this account, please help me restore my wallet in electrum and be able to return access to my funds. I didn’t jot down my seed phrase, but I have all other information about the account. Please help. I don’t want to lose my money with Electrum

  10. I opened an Electrum wallet a couple years ago, deposited some Bitcoin and have not made any transactions since. I have not accesses the wallet for many months. I just went into the wallet to find there are no funds showing. There are no transactions showing. Basically, the wallet appears to be empty. I tried sending a small amount of coins but the Electrum wallet said “not enough funds available”. I tried to restore using my password and seed but still no funds. Any idea where my coins went?

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