Backup & Recovery
All of your Bisq data is stored locally on your own computer. It is never transmitted or stored on any central server. This concept works great for security and privacy because only you have access to the data. However, this puts the responsibility of securing this data in your hands. This is why backing up your Bisq data is very important. This page guides you through the process of backing up and restoring data and the directory structure of where the data resides on your computer.
As you use Bisq, you’ll accumulate data you will want to save, like your payment accounts, onion address, local reputation, and more. Backing up this data not only protects you in case of unexpected events (e.g., computer crash, data corruption, etc), but it also gives you the flexibility to migrate elements of your Bisq environment to another machine.
Let's take a look at what to backup and how to do it!
Bisq's Data Directory
The Bisq data directory is stored in specific places depending upon your operating system. Here is where the data is located:
- MacOS: /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Bisq
- Linux: /home/<username>/.local/share/Bisq
- Windows 7+: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Bisq
- Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Bisq
1. The Bisq Directory
This directory contains a variety of files and folders, the most important are the following:
- bisq.log---> This contains the Bisq program log file which may come in useful if you experience issues with Bisq. This may contain some private information, so it is not recommended to share it publicly.
- btc_mainnet ---> This contains the following folders - bisq payment accounts (keys/db), Tor information, onion address (tor), wallet information (wallet) and database files (db).
- keys/db ---> this directory contains all the information related to your account details and account aging.
- tor ---> This contains all information related to Tor such as your personal onion address which holds your reputation on the Bisq network.
- wallet ---> This contains your BTC and BSQ wallet files, the bisq.spvchain file and a wallet backup directory.
2. Full Directory Backup
The safest, quickest, easiest, and most comprehensive thing you can do is to back up this whole folder at regular intervals.
You can either close Bisq and copy this folder to your backup location, or you can export a backup directly to your backup location while Bisq is running from the Backup tab of the Account screen.
Payment Accounts & Account Age Backup
There are two components to payment accounts on Bisq: account details and account aging.
Account details consists of all the payment methods you have set up and their associated account numbers, bank information, addresses, etc. You can export this data from within Bisq on the National currency accounts and Altcoin accounts tabs of the Account screen. Click Export accounts and Bisq outputs a file that you can use to import these details later.
Account aging is a measure to reduce fraud risk for fiat payments. Newer accounts have lower trading limits. It takes 3 months for a payment account to reach the maximum trading limit. See more details on account aging [here]. Note that account aging does not apply to altcoin accounts since they don’t have chargeback risk.
To restore account details, simply import the file you exported earlier through the same interface.
To include account aging with your account details import, you will also need to replace the btc_mainnet/keys/sig.key file with the sig.key file from your backup. Be sure there are no open offers, trades, or disputes before changing sig.key, or else you will not be able to respond to those activities.
If you do not have an account export file, but you have a full backup of the data directory, you can still fully restore your account details and account aging by manually copying the following files to your data directory from a backup:
btc_mainnet/db/UserPayload (account details and salt)
btc_mainnet/keys/sig.key (key for signing p2p messages)
Be certain you do not have any open offers, trades, or disputes before changing sig.key.
Before manually making any changes to Bisq data files, ensure that the Bisq program is closed and that you have a current backup of your Bisq data directory.
Your wallet data is stored in Bisq/btc_mainnet/wallet. There are three primary ways to work with wallet backup files to resolve wallet issues.
1. Re-sync SPV chain
Wallet issues (e.g., incorrect balance showing, corrupted/out-of-sync SPV file) can often be solved by re-syncing the SPV chain and restarting the Bisq program.
You'll find a detailed walk-through on re-syncing here
2. Restore a wallet backup
If issues persist, you can try to restore a wallet backup file from:
This folder holds your most recent wallet backups made on a rolling basis. Replace the bisq_BTC.wallet wallet file in btc_mainnet/wallet with a recent wallet backup file and rename it to bisq_BTC.wallet. You will also need to resync the SPV chain, so be sure to delete bisq.spvchain when restoring a wallet backup.
Start Bisq and see if your issue is fixed. If not, repeat with another wallet backup file.
3. Switch to a new data directory
If neither re-syncing the SPV chain or restoring a wallet backup solves the problem, you might have a corrupted wallet. In this case, it’s best to switch to a new data directory and start using a new wallet.
Note : Bisq SPV wallets use the bitcoinj library. This library is not designed for high performance, and the wallet file gets larger with more transactions to the point that disk write errors become a real threat (which can corrupt the wallet file) and performance can suffer (e.g., long startup times if you have not started Bisq in a while). For these reasons, you may want to consider switching to a new data directory after a while even if you are not having issues at the moment.
First, make sure you do not have any open offers, trades, or disputes, as you will not be able to respond to these activities afterward.
Then, send any funds in your Bisq wallet to an external wallet (either through a regular transaction from the Funds screen, emergency wallet tool with Ctrl/Cmd + E, or by restoring from seed words with a tool like Electrum).
Once you’ve retrieved your funds, here’s how to generate a new data directory:
- close Bisq
- delete the entire Bisq directory (after backing it up, just in case)
- start Bisq (this will generate a fresh new data directory)
- send your funds back into Bisq
- optional: restore payment accounts and/or Tor keys through the processes outlined above
Make sure you do not have any open offers, trades, or disputes before doing this.
Warning: Before manually making any changes to Bisq data files, please ensure that the Bisq program is closed and that you have a current backup of your Bisq data directory.
Bisq runs as a Tor hidden service to protect your privacy.
As you complete trades, you will build local reputation whereby Bisq shows you how many trades you have completed with other peers. The idea is that if a trade with someone went well, it is reasonable to expect your next trade with that person will go well too, creating a rudimentary sort of reputation indicator while maintaining anonymity.
This mechanism is tied to your onion address. You will see it when browsing open offers: Bisq will add a bubble next to the avatars of peers you have previously traded with indicating how many times you have already traded with them.
If you want to carry over a particular onion address (and keep your local reputation), you can replace the Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/hiddenservice folder in your data directory with the one from your backup.
If you want to change your onion address, just delete the Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/hiddenservice. The next time you start Bisq, you will have a different onion address. You’ll lose your local reputation, but you’ll gain privacy since you will appear as a new trader on the network. That means your past trading partners will no longer be able to recognize that your new offers are from you.
Make sure you don’t have any open offers, trades, or disputes before changing your onion address, as doing so will make you unreachable.
Warning: Before manually making any changes to Bisq data files, please ensure that the Bisq program is closed and that you have backed up the current state of your Bisq data directory.