Troubleshooting: What to do When Your Wallet Won’t Sync
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At some point, pretty much everybody who uses cryptocurrency will come across this problem: your wallet just won’t sync. It gets stuck on a certain block and won’t download / process the rest of the blockchain.
Although every altcoin is different and there may be a unique or exotic problem affecting your particular wallet, there are some very common problems and solutions that seem to work 99% of the time.
Is it Really Stuck?
Before you go any further you do need to check that your wallet really is stuck and it isn’t just being very slow to sync.
There are three ways to tell whether your wallet is actively syncing or if its completely stuck at a particular block: in most wallets you can view the number of blocks processed from within the wallet itself, often from a progress bar along the bottom, or by hovering over an icone that looks like two spinning arrows; if the block number doesn’t change for an extended period of time then its stuck. You can also monitor the chain folder itself to see if it is being modified and added to, or check your computer’s resource use (fluctuating values for memory and CPU use usually means that the wallet is actively syncing and not completely stuck).
Most cryptocurrency wallets display the number of connections that you have to the network, usually in the bottom right hand corner with an icon that has a series of vertical bars. You may be able to see how good your connection is by the number of bars which are filled in with colour, or get an exact figure for the number of connections you have by hovering your cursor over the icon.
If you are seeing zero network connections, or even if it is fluctuating around a very low figure like 1-2, then you may need to manually add the address of nodes for your wallet to connect to. You will need to get a list of nodes which are known to be working from the coin’s developer or community. You should be able to either Google this or ask on a forum. If the coin uses a Qt wallet, which is very common, then you just need to click ‘help’, then ‘debug window’ from the navigation bar, then select the console tab and enter the following command (with one of the node addresses inserted in place of ‘nodeIPaddress1’):
Ideally you should add a few nodes like this, which will make it easier for your wallet to get a good connection to the network. Here is an example of the debug window, with a field at the bottom for you to type the command into:
Qt Wallet Not Syncing
If you have checked the network connections and added nodes if needed, but your wallet still won’t sync, then you may need to delete the blockchain along with a few other files and start over.
One cure-all tip which usually works when a wallet is not syncing at all is to open up your file explorer, go to Users>Yourname>AppData>Roaming>Yourcoin, and then delete everything you find there except for your wallet data. Most coins use a Qt wallet, in which case the wallet data will be in a file ending with .dat (probably wallet.dat).
Other types of wallet may be different, but you should still be able to tell which file(s) hold your personal wallet and which ones contain general data like the blockchain. Be careful not to delete your personal wallet data as you may lose your coins – if you are unsure at all then make sure you create a copy of all the files, and store it somewhere safe as a backup, before you delete anything.
Once you have deleted everything apart from your wallet data, just restart your wallet and check if it is now syncing. Because you will have deleted the blockchain file it will now need to start the download again from scratch, so it may take some time to complete this process.