Running your wallet from a USB drive offers a convenient solution. Your funds are kept in cold storage, and can also be accessed quickly on any PC or Mac*. Just plug it in and you’re ready to go!
*Depending on the wallet software used
For the purposes of this guide, we will place all the files in a folder called ‘xtrabytes’. However, you can put the files anywhere you wish.
Open the USB drive and create a folder called ‘xtrabytes’. If you are on a PC, copy the xtrabytes-qt.exe file (download here) to your new xtrabytes directory. If you are using a Mac, download xtrabytes-Qt-OSX-v1300.dmg (download here). Open the dmg file, then drag xtrabytes-Qt.app into your new xtrabytes directory.
Create a new folder named ‘data’ inside the xtrabytes folder.
Right-click xtrabytes-qt.exe and select Create Shortcut. Right-click the new shortcut and go into Properties. Make sure you are in the ’Shortcut’ tab.
In the Target box, add ’-datadir=data’ after the .exe file.
Make sure there is a space between them. You should have something looking like this:
Click OK. Rename the shortcut to ‘xtrabytes’, or whatever you wish.
Go to your Applications folder in Finder, and open Automater.app. Choose ‘Application’.
Type ‘shell’ in the search box.
Double-click on Run Shell Script.
Type ‘open’ in the Run Shell Script text box. Now, click and drag the xtrabytes-Qt.app from your USB drive into the Run Shell Script text box. It should look something like this (‘wallet’ is the name of the USB drive in this case):
Next, enter a space and type ‘--args -datadir=’. Now drag your data folder into the text box. It should now look something like this:
Make sure you have spaces in the right places.
Click File → Save. Make sure File Format is set to Application. Give your application a name (e.g. xtrabytes.app) and save it to your USB drive xtrabytes folder. Though called an application, this is effectively a shortcut.
Step 4 (Optional)
If you are transferring an existing wallet to USB, simply copy all of the files from your PC or Mac data directory to your new USB data directory (only the wallet.dat is required, however copying everything will avoid having to resync the blockchain). The default directories for the data to copy are shown below.
Mac: $HOME/Library/Application Support/xtrabytes/ OR /Users/username/Library/Application Support/xtrabytes/
To use your USB wallet, double-click the shortcut you created in Step 3.
If you use the regular xtrabytes-qt.exe file or xtrabytes-Qt.app, it will access/store data on your computer (not on your USB drive). Thus you may wish to move the shortcut you created out of the xtrabytes folder to the root directory of your USB drive, to avoid confusion.
Congratulations, you now have a fully functioning USB wallet! For added security, you may wish to also encrypt your wallet.dat file.