The ins and outs of desktop wallet security

Keeping your wallet secure is extremely important if you want to prevent your AIPG from being stolen.

There are some very simple things you can do to prevent this from happening. I am going to explain the ins and outs of how to properly secure your desktop wallet.

This guide is applicable to all OS versions of the desktop wallet.

When you first created your wallet, there were several passphrases that were created. Sometimes this can be very confusing but the one rule I always recommend is record every seed phrase, recovery passphrase and wallet passphrase somewhere safe. To be extra secure, don’t store your wallet on any cloud service or online drive, for example, Onedrive or Google Drive to name a few.

First, let me explain each part of the wallet seed, recovery and passphrases.

  1. Seed phrase — This is a 12 word mnemonic that was created when you first loaded up the wallet. You may remember it from this screen after clicking “Generate” -

Your seed phrase is the most important piece of security for your wallet. Make sure you have written it down somewhere or stored it offline in a text file, like a USB drive. Without your seed phrase, it becomes more tricky to recover your wallet.

2. Recovery passphrase — This is an optional passphrase that serves as an additional layer. Think of it as the thirteenth seed phrase, which can be any word you choose. You would have entered it on the same screen as before, but in the section displayed here -

You must also record this passphrase somewhere as it is needed in addition to your seed phrase if you ever need to recover your wallet.

3. Wallet passphrase — This can also be referred to as your wallet password. When you created your wallet, this would have been a mandatory step where you had to enter it twice to confirm. The image below shows the wallet passphrase entry box -

This passphrase is needed for when you want to send AIPG anywhere. Without it, you will only ever be able to see your balance. Trying to send AIPG with an incorrect wallet passphrase will fail. You must also make a note of this passphrase as well.

That’s basically the three type of passphrases associated with the desktop wallet.

To be absolutely sure you will always be able to restore your wallet, you can also back up your wallet.dat file. You must know your wallet passphrase if you plan on just using your wallet.dat file to restore your wallet.

If you chose the default installation location, in Windows this is located in C:\Users\your_user\AppData\Roaming\Aipg.

In MacOS this is located in ~\Library\Application Support\Aipg

So what happens when it all goes wrong and you need to restore the wallet?

I have written guides to restore in the usual methods here

9 times out of 10, one of these methods will work.

There are times when you lose where you recorded your passphrases, it happens. As long as you still have access to your wallet, then there is a way to retrieve all of your passphrases. This can be invaluable in this situation.

The first thing you need to do is open the wallet you can still access and go to “Wallet” -

Select “Unlock wallet” from the drop down menu and enter your wallet passphrase -

This will then enable you to follow the next steps.

Go to “Tools” and then select “Debug Window” -

This will open the following window -

In the bottom text box, enter “dumpwallet wallet.txt” without quotes and press enter.

The console will report that the file “wallet.txt” has been created and where it is located -

Go to where this file is located and open it with something like Notepad or if on MacOS any suitable text editor. You will be presented with a lot of text, but there are important things to know. This is an example of a dumpwallet text file —

As you can see, there are 3 very important fields. I have put explanatory notes into each field. Save your dumpwallet text file somewhere safe! It contains all the information you may have forgotten to enable you to restore your wallet.

As mentioned earlier, if you want to restore just from your wallet.dat file, without your seed phrase or recovery passphrase, this is perfectly possible AS LONG as you have your wallet passphrase.

When you recover your desktop wallet with a fresh install, you can go through all the usual steps to create a wallet, however when the wallet opens you can simply close it.

On Windows, go to C:\Users\your_user\AppData\Roaming\Aipg and delete the newly created wallet.dat file. On MacOS you will need to go to ~/Library/Application Support/Aipg -

Copy your own wallet.dat file that you have backed up into this folder and restart the wallet. This will now load your wallet.dat file and show your balances and transactions.

If it doesn’t, you may need to go to “Tools” and then select “Wallet Repair” and then choose “Rescan blockchain files”. After a little wait, the wallet should now show your balance correctly.

That’s basically it, all you need to know about the desktop wallet and it’s different types of passphrases and how to use them.

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