Windows User Guide

Connect to the Decred network

Step One

Download the latest Decred software from the Decred releases page. Choose the zip for either decred-[version]-windows-386-[date] if you have a 32-bit version of Windows or decred-[version]-windows-amd64-[date] if you have 64-bit (How can I tell?). If you are running Windows Vista or higher, you may need to unblock the zip file. After the file has downloaded, open the file location in Explorer, right click the file, and choose properties. You may see a security section at the bottom. Click Unblock then OK. Double-click the zip to open it and copy the files in it to any location, e.g., C:\Decred. Now we need a command prompt. Open the folder where you copied the files. In the location bar at the top, type in cmd and press Enter.

Step Two

You should now have a command prompt window open. Type the following (replacing the text in square brackets with your own values):

C:\Decred> dcrd --rpcuser [daemon username] --rpcpass [daemon password]

Choose any username and password. You do not need to register these anywhere and they will only be used to allow your wallet and control tool to communicate with the daemon you are running. Save these, you will need them later. You can also put them in a file so you do not need to specify them on the command line or in scripts (See: Storing Login Details). This program is what is known as the daemon. It works in the background and you will not interface with it directly. It exists solely to connect you to the network.

Step Three

You should now get a whole lot of text as the daemon connects to the network and starts processing blocks. Wait until it is completed. You will see a line at the start like:

22:58:04 2016-02-09 [INF] BMGR: Syncing to block height 617 from peer

Then, as it downloads the blocks, you will see lines like:

22:58:16 2016-02-09 [INF] BMGR: Processed 321 blocks in the last 10.03s (544 transactions, height 322, 2016-02-09 09:50:34 +1000 EST)

Once the most recent block your daemon has processed is the current block height (you can either tell by the date and time in the log message or by comparing the height against the online block explorer. This may take quite some time as the block height grows larger (there is no limit). Note that you are not mining at this point, you are just connected to the network. This connection will be used in the future. You must leave this cmd window open to use the wallet.

Create your wallet

Step One

Now that you are connected to the network, the next thing you need to do is create a wallet that will hold your account addresses and DCR balance. If you participate in mining or stake mining, this is where your payments will go.


During the creation process you will be provided with a list of 33 words that form the private key for your wallet. Treat this list in the same way you would a physical key to a safe. If you lose your key you lose access to your wallet and all funds within it permanently. It cannot be recovered, not even by Decred developers. It is up to you to keep a backup. It is recommended you write it down on paper then store that somewhere secure. If you decide to keep it on your computer, it would be best to keep it in an encrypted document (just do not forget the password) in case the file or your computer is stolen which brings us to the next point:



We will discuss the hex key soon. If you give someone either key, they can use that to copy your wallet which gives them full access to your funds. It is like cutting a copy of a key, giving it to some random person on the train and telling him where the safe it opens is. And that you will be out of town for a few days. So to reiterate, keep your key words safe and do not give them to anyone else. With that in mind follow these steps to create a wallet:

Step Two

Make sure you have the dcrd daemon running (See: Connecting to the Decred network). Open a new command prompt in your Decred folder. To do that, open Windows Explorer, navigate to your Decred folder and type cmd in the location box at the top then press Enter. Type: dcrwallet --create and press Enter.

C:\Decred> dcrwallet --create
Enter the private passphrase for your new wallet:

Enter a password that you will use for this wallet. It should be different to the one you used for the daemon. Enter again to confirm. Make sure you save this somewhere.

Do you want to add an additional layer of encryption for public data? (n/no/y/yes) [no]:

Step Three

As you can see above you will now be asked if you want extra encryption for your public wallet. If you say ‘yes’ then you should use a password that is different from any of the other passwords you used in this guide. We will have a look at putting all these passwords in a configuration file so you do not need to remember them in a seperate tutorial.

Do you have an existing wallet seed you want to use? (n/no/y/yes) [no]:

You are now asked if you have an existing seed. This is the list of words that make up your private key as explained above. Since this is a new wallet, say no. If you ever need to recreate your wallet from the seed, this is where you would enter it. Your key words will now be displayed. If you have a seed, say yes and enter that instead.



Read this entire step before you do anything. There are two very important pieces of information displayed on the screen. The first, and most important part is your key words. These words form the private key that is used to generate your wallet. If you lose this list (and the order they appear in) your wallet will be lost forever and any funds it contains will be lost permanently. As was mentioned above, no one, not even the developers can retrieve them.

The second part is your hex key. This is generated from your key words. Write this down as well, as you will use it to confirm you entered your seed words correctly if you need to restore your wallet. The two forms of the key are completely equivalent although most people find the key words easier to deal with.

Step Four

Write down the key words and hex and store them somewhere safe. Seriously. This is the most important step. Also remember these words (and the hex string) are the keys to your wallet. Do not give them to anyone else. If you do, they can restore your wallet on their computer and steal your DCR.

Your wallet generation seed is:
[list of 33 words]

Hex: [long string of letters and numbers]
IMPORTANT: Keep the seed in a safe place as you
will NOT be able to restore your wallet without it.
Please keep in mind that anyone who has access
to the seed can also restore your wallet thereby
giving them access to all your funds, so it is
imperative that you keep it in a secure location.
Once you have stored the seed in a safe and secure location, enter "OK" to continue:

Once you have written the key words and hex down type OK and press Enter. It should be noted that if you did not write the words down before continuing or somehow otherwise lost them, start this process again (See: How Do I Remove My Wallet?).

Creating the wallet...
The wallet has been created successfully.

The wallet will now be created. This might take a few minutes if you have a slow computer.

Connect your wallet to the Decred network

Now that you have created your wallet and connected to the Decred network, you need to link your wallet to the network so it can send and receive coins and participate in mining.

Step One

Open another command prompt in your Decred folder (or use the last one if you have just created your wallet). Type the following (filling in your own info instead of the square brackets):

C:\Decred> dcrwallet -u [wallet username] -P [wallet password] --dcrdusername=[daemon username] --dcrdpassword=[daemon password]
  • First, the wallet username. You have not used this before, so just make one up. It is only used to allow the control program to connect to the wallet.
  • Second is the wallet password. You have not used this before, so just make one up. It is only used to allow the control program to connect to the wallet. Note the capital P, Decred is case sensitive.
  • Third and fourth are the username and password you used when staring the daemon (Step Two in the Connecting to the Decred network guide).
  • Alternatively, if you use the same username/password combination for both dcrd and dcrwallet you can skip --dcrdusername and --dcrdpassword and just use -u and -P.

The wallet will now connect to the network via the daemon. It will begin scans of the network and active addresses which can take a few minutes on slow computers. Eventually it will start showing lines like:

[INF] WLLT: Connecting block 0000000000002004ea8fa74af334cb291a22832642b5be603995683534bbb97b, height 9990

This means your wallet is successfully connected to the network through your daemon.

Step Two

Finally, you will need to unlock your wallet to allow it to send and receive funds. To do so we will introduce the third program in the Decred suite; dcrctl. This is the program you will use to control Decred. Open a third command prompt in your Decred folder. Type in (once again using your values for the square brackets):

C:\Decred> dcrctl -u [wallet username] -P [wallet password] --wallet walletpassphrase [wallet password] 0

What we are doing here is authenticating with the wallet and using the --wallet command to send the wallet password to unlock the wallet. The 0 means unlock without a time limit. Do note, however, that this only unlocks the wallet for the current session. If you close the window the wallet is running in, you will need to unlock it again the next time you start it. You will not get a confirmation from dcrctl, but if you look at your wallet window, it will say:

[INF] RPCS: The wallet has been unlocked without a time limit.

Step Three

That is it! You are now up and running. Some things you might want to try: