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For example, to prevent problems if my dog eat my usb stick with my wallet, is it safe to make backup of wallet ?

If so, what would be a correct procedure to make (i.e, what are the important part to backup, the ones to write down and lock in a safe, the ones that can be safely erased, etc ?)

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You can use any of those methods:

  • backup the mnemonic seed, a 25 word list of words that encode your private keys. This is the simplest way, and you can then restore your wallet with monero-wallet-cli --restore-deterministic-wallet later. After creating a wallet, you can obtain its seed with the seed command in monero-wallet-cli.

  • backup the keys file and the password you saved it with.

  • backup the private spend and view keys. You can then restore your wallet with monero-wallet-cli --restore-from-keys. After creating a wallet, you can obtain its keys with the spendkey and viewkey commands in monero-wallet-cli.

Note that when you restore a wallet, you lose all information about tx keys (needed if you want to prove payment later), any tx notes you saved in monero-wallet-cli, and extra information on outgoing transactions (such as the destinations addresses).

  • 1
    While the .keys file + password is the minimum required to restore the balance, it's probably better to back-up all the wallet files, so other info you mentioned (wallet cache, tx keys, address history etc.) is kept as well. If someone decides to go with backing up the .keys file, there's no reason not to copy the cache as well (for low usage wallets, it's around 50Mb at present) – JollyMort Oct 19 '16 at 5:40
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Write down your 25 word seed. That is all you need to restore your wallet and all your funds if any disaster occurs. If you didn't write it down at the time of wallet creation, simply type "seed" into the wallet command line. Obviously, keep your seed in a safe place.

  • How is the wallet password stored/handled ? If I just wrote down the seed and then later I restore this seed on another computer, is the new wallet without a password ? – adrianTNT Feb 3 '18 at 19:14
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You can write down the appropriate addresses and put it in a safe. If you want to make a safe backup of your wallet, look for a few ways of securely saving your wallet information, but make as much effort as possible to make these backups only accessible to you.

  • Writing down an address does not back up anything. – pl55 Oct 9 '16 at 14:19

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