I forgot which software I created my wallet with. How can I recover from a 12 word seed phrase?


I purchased bitcoin through a bitcoin ATM, and I opened a new wallet on the spot.

On getting home my phone was mysteriously wiped, how can I find the wallet I created? I happened to write down the 12-word phrase.


Posted 2018-09-05T20:41:03.827

Reputation: 91

1DO NOT share the actual 'private key' you wrote down with anyone. That said, can you describe the format of it? Is it a string of random letters/numbers? Or a list of 12/24 words (this is called a 'seed phrase')? In either case, you will just need to find the appropriate software to import the key, and your bitcoin should be recoverable. – chytrik – 2018-09-05T21:26:48.180

I do not know the wallet which i opened it, I have only my bitcoin address and the key, how can i get the company i created the wallet from – Perry – 2018-09-05T22:43:14.247

As long as you used a wallet which gives you control of your keys, and you copied that key (or seed) down, then you do not need to find any company. You just need to find any compatible software that can import the key (or seed) you wrote down. – chytrik – 2018-09-05T22:44:22.290

How can i find one please? – Perry – 2018-09-05T22:45:37.700

You'll need a wallet that accepts the format of key you wrote down, if it is a standard format you should have no problem finding an option that works. Check out https://btcinformation.org/en/choose-your-wallet

– chytrik – 2018-09-05T22:53:52.897

Please explain the steps which i would take to go about it, to say it was a bitcoin core wallet how to i get it back, thanks – Perry – 2018-09-05T22:58:30.870

What is the format of the key or seed you wrote down? Do NOT tell me the specific seed, just describe the format of it (eg, a string of random-looking numbers and letters that starts with a 5, OR a list of 12-24 words, etc). Which wallet will work will depend on the format of the key/seed. – chytrik – 2018-09-05T23:01:01.917

Its a list of 12 words – Perry – 2018-09-05T23:04:15.727

It sounds like what you have is a mnemonic seed phrase, likely BIP39 formatted. So you'll need a wallet which accepts a 12-word BIP39 seed phrase. Many of the wallets listed on the page I linked above should be suitable. Your choice will depend on whether you'd like to use a desktop client, mobile client, etc. While running a full node (eg bitcoin-core) is important and a good idea, if you are mainly looking to recover your funds quickly, I would not necessarily recommend it as the best option (it will likely take a few days for the bitcoin-core node to sync to the network). – chytrik – 2018-09-05T23:36:00.827

If i choose a wallet then how can i import my wallet ? Thank you p.s and am i do this over the computer or phone? – Perry – 2018-09-05T23:44:45.400

When you open up the wallet, there should be an option to either 'start a new wallet' or 'recover a wallet from seed phrase', or something similar to that. Select the 'recover from seed phrase' sort of option, and follow the prompts to input your seed phrase. Note that 24 words is the usual standard, so some wallets might expect 24 instead of 12 words. In this case, you may just have to try another wallet. In general, once you start up the wallet software, it should be fairly self-explanatory to input your seed and recover the wallet. – chytrik – 2018-09-05T23:46:53.070

Please be sure to collect the information from the comments into the question and an answer respectively! :) @Perry: perhaps you should consider retitling the question to "I forgot which software I created my wallet with. How can I recover from a 12 word seed phrase?" for more attention by answerers. – Murch – 2018-09-06T00:26:42.617



I happened to write down the 12-word phrase.

You are in a very good situation. Much better than many new bitcoin owners who ask questions here. It is very likely that your bitcoin is safe and needs no urgent action.

how can I find the wallet I created?

You don't need to, wallets are not important so long as you have the 12-word seed-phrase. Wallets don't contain your bitcoin, they are just a way of using the private-key (derived from the seed-phrase) which gives you control over your bitcoin.

Wallets are completely disposable. Just keep backups of your seed-phrase (or the private key itself) and guard them very closely.

The key things to do are

  • Don't panic, there is no urgency here.
  • Don't rush into things, you have time to work out the options that suit you best.
  • Don't let anyone else see your 12-word seed-phrase
  • Spend some time to understand
    • the different types of wallet available
    • the basics of
      • how wallets work,
      • what a private-key is,
      • what an address is,
      • the difference between a private-key and a seed-phrase.
    • choose a wallet that suits your needs, chytrik's answer contains a list. I note that CoPay runs on Android and supports 12-word seed-phrases but there are many choices available, take your time to choose one.

How can I recover from a 12 word seed phrase?

Chytrik's answer give you some good advice. The exact steps depend on which wallet you decide is best for you.

If you want to hang on to your Bitcoin for five years, you need do nothing other than lock away in a very safe place your 12-word seed-phrase.

I understand you'll feel compelled to check the amount of bitcoin you control though, that involves at least using a wallet to derive the private key from the pass-phrase and to derive the receiving address from the private key. The wallet will do all this automatically when you import the seed-phrase into it. Once you have an address you can check the unspent bitcoin value associated with that address by using any of several blockchain explorer websites.

Useful references here


Posted 2018-09-05T20:41:03.827

Reputation: 9 949

The problem now his my funds are not coming out, i have recovered my wallet, but it totally brings out noting zero funds zero history, please help – Perry – 2018-09-06T09:05:52.023

@Perry, stay calm. some wallets need time to synchronise with the network before thay can add-up how much bitcoin your control. For example, I recently installed bitcoin-core and it took a week to synchronise. Lightweight wallets will be faster. It may be best for you to write a new question. Take your time to write a good question - include a link to this question - state exactly which wallet you are now using - state exactly what you did - what you expected to happen and what actually happened - include screenshots if relevant. Majke sure never to show seed-phrases or private keys. – RedGrittyBrick – 2018-09-06T09:14:12.920


It is good you wrote down the 12-word seed phrase. Without that, you bitcoin may have been lost forever! Do not share that phrase with anyone, no matter what! If you do, they will be able to easily steal your bitcoin.

You can use that 12-word phrase to recreate your wallet on another device. It sounds like what you have is likely a BIP39 mnemonic seed phrase, so you'll need a wallet which accepts a 12-word BIP39 seed phrase.

You can use a website like btcinformation.org to browse available wallet software. It is important to do your research and choose a wallet that is legit, look for many independent reviews of the wallet if you can.

Once you have the wallet software running, you should see a prompt to either start a new wallet, or recover an existing wallet. Choose the recovery option, and follow the steps to input your 12-word seed phrase. Doing so should recover your wallet, and once the software is synced you should see your bitcoin balance again.


Posted 2018-09-05T20:41:03.827

Reputation: 13 841

Any particular reason to suggest btcinfotmation.org rather than, say, https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet ? Just curious.

– RedGrittyBrick – 2018-09-06T08:55:58.503

@RedGrittyBrick btcinformation.org is a fork of bitcoin.org, but I like that it is neutral in terms of advertising. I'm not too strongly opinionated on the issue though, and in general I would recommend someone check out multiple sources (which I tried to mention in my reply). I think both sites provide good info – chytrik – 2018-09-06T09:04:08.450

Please click my new link, https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/78957/i-recently-forgot-the-software-which-i-created-my-wallet-i-created-a-thread-for , I cant seem to see anything that shows that my old wallet is in recovery

– Perry – 2018-09-06T10:59:48.013