This article describes what to do in the event you lost your 24-word recovery phrase but still have access to your PIN and Ledger device.
What is a recovery phrase and why is it so important?
Your 24-word recovery phrase serves as a backup to all your private keys. As long as you have your recovery phrase, you will always be able to regain access to your crypto assets. You can restore any Ledger device from your recovery phrase to recover the wallet configuration and access your funds. Learn how to restore your Ledger device from your Recovery phrase in this article.
This is why it is so important that you store your recovery sheet in a secure location. Anyone with access to your recovery phrase can steal your crypto funds without even having access to your Ledger device.
Ledger does not store your private key and we will never ask you for your recovery phrase.
You can learn more about your 24-word recovery phrase and how to keep it secure here.
Not sure that your recovery phrase is correctly backed up?
If you’re not sure that you have correctly written down your Recovery phrase, you can use the Recovery Check app in Ledger Live. The Recovery Check app developed by Ledger allows you to verify that the Recovery phrase has been written without any error in spelling or word order.
To learn how to install the Recovery Check app and check your Recovery phrase, refer to the following article: Recovery Check.
Lost your Recovery phrase?
If you lost your Recovery phrase but still remember your PIN code, you can unlock your Ledger device with the PIN code and manage your crypto assets. However, it is highly recommended to quickly send all your crypto assets to temporary accounts and generate a new set of 24 words since the Recovery phrase is the only backup to your crypto assets.
1- Send your crypto assets to temporary accounts
In rare cases, if you have outdated Ledger firmware, it will prevent you from sending your crypto to temporary accounts. Before updating the firmware, try to send your crypto to temporary accounts. In that case, downgrading Ledger Live Desktop to an old release may help.
Follow the steps below to downgrade your Ledger Live Desktop:
- Download and install Ledger Live desktop 2.30.0 (from page). The process is described in more detail here.
- Connect your outdated Ledger Nano (S or X) to Ledger Live 2.30.0.
- Send your crypto assets to existing or temporary safe accounts. It can be accounts created on an exchange service, a software wallet, or any account linked to another hardware wallet.
- Update Ledger Live.
- Update the firmware of your Nano S or Nano X.
- Continue with the further steps of this article 2 - Remove all your accounts from Ledger Live.
Send all your crypto assets to existing or temporary safe accounts. It can be accounts created on an exchange service, a software wallet, or any account linked to another hardware wallet.
2- Remove all your accounts from Ledger Live
Once you're done transferring your crypto to safe temporary accounts, it's recommended to remove your (now empty) accounts. This way, you don't risk accidentally sending funds to compromised accounts in the future.
If you wish to keep a record of your transaction history, please export your transaction history before removing your accounts.
To remove an account from Ledger Live:
- Select the account.
- Click the edit wrench button.
- Click Remove from portfolio.
- Click Confirm.
3- Reset your Ledger device
Resetting the device removes all private keys, applications, and settings from your Ledger device. The device can either be reset from its settings menu or by entering three incorrect PIN codes when unlocking it.
Please note: It's highly recommended that you avoid wiping your current Ledger device if you have a second one. Even if you believe you've transferred all assets linked to the seed phrase, it's advisable to keep the device set up in case you missed something.
Choose one of the two options below:
- Hold both buttons to access the Control Center.
- Navigate to Security and press both buttons to validate.
- Choose Reset all by pressing both buttons.
- Read the warning by pressing the right button to continue.
- Press both buttons to Reset all.
- Enter your PIN code to confirm. Your device will then be reset.
- Turn on your Ledger device.
- Enter an incorrect PIN code three times in a row.
- The device will reset after the third incorrect attempt as a security measure.
4- Set up your device as a new device
Setting up your Ledger device as a new device will generate a new Recovery phrase.
- Turn on your Ledger device.
- Select the option Set up as new device.
- Choose your PIN code.
A new Recovery phrase will be displayed.
- Write down your new Recovery phrase on your Recovery sheet. You can download a new Recovery sheet to print here.
5- Update your device firmware
It is highly recommended to update your device to the latest firmware version to benefit from the optimal security level and user experience offered by our products.
- Make sure you have updated Ledger Live through the notification banner or downloaded the latest version of Ledger Live.
- In My Ledger, click on the blue Update firmware button.
You have started the firmware update: the update will be downloaded and the update process will continue automatically.
6- Transfer back your crypto assets
You can now transfer back your crypto assets to your newly configured and updated Ledger device. Your crypto assets will be secured by your new Recovery phrase generated by your Ledger device.
Since your Recovery phrase is a full backup to your crypto assets, make sure to store your Recovery sheet in a secure location.