How to Recover your Lost Bitcoin

A number of events and factors have accounted for Bitcoin users to misplace or lose their coins. From forgetting private keys or passwords to misplacing hardware wallet et al.

With the deletion of a regular computer or software file, one might be able to recover it by either just going to the ‘Recycle Bin’ to restore (for temporary deletion) or run a drive-data-recovery if a permanent delete order was given. With Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, this could be trickier and more complex.

With improvements and advancements in the space, it is becoming increasingly easier for accidently deleted or lost (not hacked) coins to be recovered.


Bitcoin Core Wallet Recovery

For starters, the file needed to recover accidentally deleted Bitcoin from the Bitcoin Core wallet is ‘wallet.dat’. It is also important to back-up your private keys as that will be required for coin recovery.

For Linux users, you can find wallet.dat under the ‘.bitcoin/wallet’ directory. You should make sure that your file browser is set to ‘show hidden files’ since the ‘.bitcoin’ directory is usually hidden – it is easy to find this by going to ‘/home/username/.bitcoin/wallets’.

You should install Bitcoin Core on your computer and then copy the ‘wallet.dat’ file back into the ‘.bitcoin’ directory which can be found under the home directory for Linux users and for Windows users, you are likely to find it under the ‘AppData’  directory.

It is advisable to back-up your Bitcoin Core wallet by going to the file menu and select ‘back up wallet’ and then save to a secure location on your computer or external hard drive (depending on your preference).


Recovering Ledger Hardware Wallet

If you lost your Ledger Hardware wallet, chances are high that you will be able to recover your coins provided you wrote down your recovery phrase/seed and kept it in a secure place you can remember. You can use the recovery seed to import your lost Bitcoin address holding your cons onto a new Ledger wallet using the recommended Ledger recovery procedure.

It is important to note that your Bitcoin is not stored on a physical hardware wallet, it is stored on Bitcoin Blockchain and with the private keys to your wallet or the recovery phrase, you can get your Bitcoin back – in order words, your private keys and recovery phrase are more important than the physical wallet you can touch.