Skip to content
Home » Blog » Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Tools and How to Use Them

Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Tools and How to Use Them

There are several ways to recover lost access to your Bitcoin wallet. One of these is through specialized software programs that leverage cryptography and data recovery techniques to help the user regain access to a previously inaccessible Bitcoin wallet. These are called Bitcoin wallet recovery tools, notable examples include Bitcoin2john, John the Ripper, and Hashcat. 

The good news about these tools is a lot of them are open-source. Therefore, you can download and access them for free. You also don’t need to be a data expert to use them. Anybody comfortable enough in technical situations should be able to find their way around one of these tools. 

Overall though, there are a few crucial things you need to know about Bitcoin recovery software before you can use them.

Top 5 Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Tools & How to Use Them

When to use Bitcoin wallet recovery tools

Like any other tool, Bitcoin wallet recovery tools have an appropriate use. This means they can only be used in certain situations, typically those involving your wallet’s seed phrase and passphrase.  

Seed phrase in the wrong order

The seed phrase acts as proof of ownership of its particular wallet and is cryptographically linked to the public and private keys. Therefore, it can be used to recover (make working copies of) the wallet, making it really crucial to owning a wallet. 

When a wallet’s seed phrase is generated, it is given to you in a specific order. If you ever need to restore or make a copy of the wallet, you’ll need to use the phrase in this specific order. 

However, due to the large number of words involved, people often mix up the sequence. This means that while they have the correct seed phrase, they have it in the wrong order, which pretty much renders it invalid. 

Fortunately, a wallet recovery tool can be used to remedy this situation. The tool will use your wallet’s cryptographic keys plus the disordered seed phrase to find the correct sequence of words. 

Troubleshooting an invalid seed phrase

Arranging words in the wrong order is just one way to render your seed phrase invalid. The phrase will also not work if it has a wrong word in there, is incomplete, i.e., there is a missing word(s), or there is at least one wrongly spelled word. 

While the latter issue is usually easy to spot, it becomes more challenging when there are homophones involved. These are words that sound similar but have different spellings, like cell and sell, bare and bear, etc. It’s also a challenge with words that are spelled differently in different English dialects, like neighbor and neighbour, harbor and harbour, etc. 

A wallet recovery tool can come in handy in the above situations. This, however, depends on the extent of the problem. Generally, the fewer missing or wrongly spelled words there are, the easier it will be for the tool to correct your seed phrase. 

Forgotten passphrase

Core wallets and some other wallet applications utilize an extra layer of protection called a passphrase – a word or phrase that is used to access the wallet. For hardware wallets this is used to create hidden wallets. To access a hardware wallet with this setup, you’ll need your complete seed phrase plus the passphrase, making it a problem if you lose the latter. 

Bitcoin wallet recovery tools can be used in this scenario. Like in the previously mentioned scenarios, the tool uses whatever information you have, that is the seed phrase and the wallet’s cryptographic keys. 

Situations where tools are useless

There are instances where a recovery tool offers little help. In such cases, you will need to find another solution to help you regain access to your bitcoins. They include:

  • Corrupted files: Your wallet’s files can get corrupted by a virus, causing it to misbehave. To fix this problem, you’ll need to remove the virus from your phone/computer before restoring the wallet. Wallet recovery tools are not virus cleaners. Therefore, they will be useless in this situation. 
  • Restoring wallet.dat: Wallet.dat is a crucial file in Bitcoin Core that contains private and public keys. Your core wallet cannot work without this file. So, if it is damaged or corrupted, you will need to restore an intact version of the file. This doesn’t require any tools. Instead, you’ll need to have a backup of the file.
  • Hardware failure: Hardware failure can result from water or physical damage to your hardware wallet or the device containing your software wallet. In this case, it may be possible for an expert to recover data that can then be used to restore your wallet. 
  • Syncing problems: Bitcoin wallets will sometimes have syncing problems. This results in incorrect wallet balances and outdated transaction history being displayed. Depending on the type of wallet you’re using, a fresh install is enough to fix the problem. Bitcoin Core Wallet also supports some commands that will let you dump your keys. 
  • New Computer: If you’re just transferring your wallet to a new computer, you only need your seed phrase to restore it. If this is missing, you can use backup files (if you have any) of wallet.dat or a keystore file. These file contains the private and public keys needed to restore a crypto wallet. 

Bitcoin wallet recovery tools and how to use them

Bitcoin2john, John The Ripper, Hashcat, BTC Recover, and Ian Coleman’s BIP39 Mnemonic Code Converter are some good recovery tools freely available on the internet. Here’s a closer look at each one of them: 

Note that due to the sensitive nature of the data involved, you’ll have to exercise some caution when using a tool to recover your Bitcoin wallet. One way to ensure absolute security is to perform the recovery process on an airgapped computer. This is a device that is completely disconnected from the internet and other devices. 


Bitcoin2John is a small, open-source Python script that can be used to recover Bitcoin wallets. It is a fork of Pywallet, a Python-based open-source utility project containing a set of tools and functionalities for interacting with Bitcoin wallets. 

Bitcoin2John works by extracting the hash from a Bitcoins Core’s wallet.dat file. These hashes are then passed through another tool, like Hashcat or John The Ripper, which then attempts to extract the passphrase or seed phrase. 

John The Ripper

John The Ripper is a popular open-source password recovery tool. It uses a variety of attacks to crack passwords, including dictionary attacks and brute-force attacks, and supports various hash algorithms, including Bitcoin’s own BIP39. This makes it a suitable tool for recovering an invalid, disordered, or incomplete seed phrase. 


Hashcat is another popular password-cracking tool that has found use in Bitcoin wallet recovery. The tool uses a variety of attacks to crack password hashes. 

It also leverages the computational power of GPUs to accelerate the password-cracking process and supports other specialized hardware accelerators. This means you’ll need specialized hardware to fully utilize its speed.  


BTCrecover is an open-source Bitcoin recovery tool. It is designed to help users recover their lost passwords and passphrases. The tool works with wallets based on BIP32 and BIP39 hash algorithms. It uses dictionary and brute force attacks to systematically try different combinations until the correct seed or passphrase is found. 

Ian Coleman’s BIP39 Mnemonic Code Converter

Ian Coleman’s BIP39 Mnemonic Code Converter is a popular tool used to recover Bitcoin wallets. It was developed by Ian Coleman and works by converting BIP39 mnemonic phrases into their corresponding private keys and seed values. 


Bitcoin wallet recovery tools are a viable way to recover your Bitcoin wallet, especially if you’re having issues with its seed phrase or passphrase. These tools are able to recover a seed or passphrase using a variety of cryptographic and password-cracking techniques.

However, there is no guarantee that they’ll work. This means that you might have to turn to a crypto recovery specialist, like Professional Crypto Recovery (PCR). PCR is a data recovery company that has been helping people recover their cryptocurrencies in a swift and affordable manner. 

Contact us to book a free consultation.