How to switch to a new data directory

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

  • Privay
  • 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 privay 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

Using multiple Bisq instances

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.

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I have had some trades in the past, does that mean my bank account account details are public somehow? How could I prevent that?

Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding what exactly it means for my data.

Not at all.
Your bank account details are only known from your counter-party (which is necessary to transfer the money), but that’s all.

If you want to fully avoid disclosing bank account information, please notice that Bisq offers also F2F (Face to Face) trading. (Probably to use carefully in Brazil !).

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The account age witness concept is designed that way that no private data are revealed but the peer ina trade is able to very the date when you created your account. So no worry, your account data are private and only shared to your trading peers.

Hi Manfred,

What about the BSQ balance in the DAO, how does one move their BSQ balance when moving to a new data directory?

BSQ is tied to your bitcoin wallet, so if you’ll be importing the previous wallet into this new directory, the funds will come along. But if you’ll be starting a new wallet, you need to transfer the funds from the old wallets to the new one by going to DAO > BISQ WALLET > SEND.