Connect Sparrow Bitcoin Wallet to Bitcoin Core

Step 1 – Make sure Bitcoin Core is running.

Make sure Bitcoin Core is running. For this guide, use Bitcoin Core on the SAME COMPUTER, and ideally, this computer should be a fresh install of the operating system, and not used for anything else. Linux is best, but most people will use the easier option of Windows or Mac.

Step 2 – Check and edit the Bitcoin Core configuration file (bicoin.conf)

Open the configuration file…

Then, make sure these two lines are present (see image below). If they don’t exist, or their values are zero instead of one, make changes.

There may be other lines here. If you have trouble connecting, you can turn on/off some of these lines by typing a “#” in front, which tells the computer to ignore what follows for that particular line of text. For more information, Google “commenting out”.

Make sure you save and then restart Bitcoin Core.

Step 3 – Edit Sparrow Preferences

You’ll find Preferences in the menu:

Click the giant blue SERVER tab button:

At the top, you’ll see three options. The first is to connect to a Public Server. Don’t. Well, you can if you are testing the software or if you are using a wallet that has already been exposed to a public node. Going private from that point onwards adds very little. But if you have a fresh wallet that has never been exposed to a public node, then you want to only ever connect to your own node. There is the Bitcoin Core option (explained here), and also a Private Electrum server (typically if you have a MyNode, or RaspiBlitz, or Umbrel node package usually running on a Raspberry Pi 4).

Click Bitcoin Core.

Because Bitcoin Core is on the same computer, we use the LocalHost URL, which is also written as 127.0.0.1 (it’s protocol). Make sure the port is 8332. Authentication is “Default”. I believe if you use a different computer, then you need to use “User/Pass” and those details need to be added into the bitcoin.conf file as well.

Do check your data directory is accurately typed here.

If you didn’t edit the default path when you first set up Bitcoin Core, then the path will depend on the operating system, as follows:

If you have a non-standard data folder (eg if you put your Bitcoin blocks on an external hard drive), then take extra care to type the path exactly correct here. Bitcoin core shows you your data directory only if your Bitcoin Core wallet is off/disabled. To do this, add a line in bitcoin.conf “disablewallet=1”. Restart Bitcoin Core and the “Overview” tab will display your data directory instead of your wallet. Once you get the data directory information, you need to re-enable the wallet otherwise Sparrow will not connect to Bitcoin Core.

Test the connection. If successful, it looks like this…

Step 4 – Connect Sparrow to Bitcoin Core

Close the preferences window and go back to the Sparrow Desktop Wallet Window. Click the little toggle button on the bottom right of the window to connect to Bitcoin Core.

Congratulations, you should now be connected to your own Bitcoin Core node.

Troubleshooting

If none of the troubleshooting I mentioned on the fly has helped, I suggest taking a look at Sparrow’s comprehensive page to see if there is something there that might help.

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