Where is my data directory?

Bisq stores all of it’s files specific to a user in the data directory.
Data directory is at different locations on various operating systems:

  • Mac OSX: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Bisq
  • Linux: /home/username/.local/share/Bisq
  • Windows 7,8,10: C:\Documents and Settings\username\AppData\Roaming\Bisq
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Bisq

How to switch to a new data directory?

There are several reasons why users might want to start over newly with a new data directory:

  • Privacy
  • Stability
  • Performance


If you trade a lot and use always the same data directory your onion address is connected with all offers and you might leak more information as you want to. Beside that the wallets transactions easily leak privacy on the blockchain level (coin merge).


The internal wallet-database can get messed up in certain situations (hard to reproduce issues but there are some open known bugs). This can lead to failed take-offer attempts or failed payouts. Starting over newly cleans up a messed-up wallet-database.


BitcoinJ - the SPV wallet library Bisq uses - is not built for high performance use cases and the more transactions you have done with Bisq the heavier the wallet gets. The wallet file becomes larger and writing to disk can become more vulnerable to disk write errors which could lead to a corrupted wallet (there are automatic backups though). SPV sync at startup can take very long if you have not started Bisq for longer time.


There is one main downside if you start over newly: You lose your local reputation which is based on your onion address. Beside that, you can only do that if you have no open offers, trades and disputes. You can export your accounts and trade history but other data will be also lost in case you make a reset to a new data directory. You should always backup your data directory before doing that, so in case you need to go back you still have access to the old data. You also need to send out the BTC funds to the new wallet. It is NOT recommended to reuse the seed words for the new wallet (you would lose the privacy benefits on the wallet side).

Here are postings about how to switch to a new data directory and how to make sure that you don’t lose your account age witness data (for Fiat accounts):

How to keep my onion address and with that my local reputation?

If you prefer to keep your local reputation (other peers see how often they have traded with you) you can copy over the onion key to the new data directory.

Copy the hiddenservice folder from the old data directory and paste it to the new data directory. The data directory structure gets created at startup, so you can quit Bisq quickly after staring up and then copy over the folder and restart again.

[PATH TO DATA DIR]/btc_mainnet/tor/hiddenservice

How to run multiple Bisq instances on same PC?

If you want to start up with the old data directory without renaming or copying the data directories you can start Bisq with the program argument --appName (e.g. /opt/Bisq/Bisq --appName=Bisq_old on Linux). By default the data directory name is Bisq. You can run multiple Bisq instances in parallel and they are completely separated. All data is kept in side the data directories.

How to install Bisq on Fedora?

To run Bisq on Fedora it needs to be unpacked from the debian package. This can be done by using ar program on Linux and unpacking tar archives.

ar x Bisq-64bit-0.9.1.deb
tar -xf data.tar.xz
cd opt/Bisq

Bisq directory in the newly unpacked opt directory can be copied to /opt/ in order to fully install Bisq in the usual place for Linux systems.

Desktop file “Bisq.desktop” can also be found in the Bisq folder and can be copied someplace else for future easy use from the GUI.

Restoring your wallet from rolling backups

If you get an UnreadableWalletException at startup the bisq_BTC.wallet got corrupted.
That happens very rarely and luckily recovering is not too hard.

We use rolling backups, so at every start the wallet gets backed up with a timestamp up to 15 backups. The the oldest will be deleted.

So what you need to do in such a case is to look up for the last wallet which was ok.

First do a backup of the whole data directory, just in case.

You can find the bisq_BTC.wallet file in the data directory inside the btc_mainnet/wallet folder.

Further inside there is a btc_mainnet/wallet/backup/backups_bisq_BTC_wallet/ folder and there you find all backups. Sort by date and use the one with the date when the wallet was still ok.
Copy that to the btc_mainnet/wallet folder, rename it to bisq_BTC.wallet and start Bisq again.

You can check if the balance is correct by opening the emergency wallet too with cmd+e.
There you can see the total balance. Compare that with the sum of available balance + reserved balance. It must be the same, otherwise report it here.

Please be reminded that doing regular backups, writing down the wallet seed words and using a password to protect your wallet is highly recommended.
So far no bitcoin has ever been lost with Bisq, but if you lose your wallet (e.g. due a HD crash) and have no backup we could not help.