You may get an error “Recovery phrase is invalid” on the screen of your Ledger hardware wallet while restoring the recovery phrase process.
This can happen depending on several reasons described below:
- Wrong length of the recovery phrase
- Wrong order of words
- Word doesn't belong to the BIP-39 list
- I still can't restore from the recovery phrase
Wrong length of the recovery phrase
You can restore your recovery phrase from different lengths: 12 / 18 / 24-word length.
If you have chosen an incorrect length, for example, 18 words for your 24-word recovery phrase, then you will get the error message: “Invalid recovery phrase”. Make sure the correct length is selected.
Wrong order of words
The order in which the words are entered on your device is very important. The slightest deviation from the exact same order will result in the error or in a completely different set of public and private keys. It’s very important that you write down all the words of the recovery phrase in the correct order on your recovery sheet.
Word does not belong to the BIP-39 list
All the recovery phrases on Ledger hardware wallets are generated from the list of 2048 words, which is also referred to as the BIP-39 List. All other words will not be accepted by the device since they are not on the BIP-39 list.
If you get the error “Invalid recovery phrase”, it’s possible that you mistyped the word on your device. Go to the full list of words and use search (Control + F) on the page and carefully verify each word, one by one.
During the setup process, you wrote down your 24-word recovery phrase. One of the words you wrote down was “pan”. Let’s assume at some point you had to reset your device and restore your 24-word recovery phrase. If you try to enter the word “pan”, you will get an error message immediately.
Then, if you try to find the word “pan” in the list, you will be surprised to see that this word is not in the list. You will see there are other words similar to the word “pan”, the closest one is “pen”.
You should try to restore with this word and you may be able to access your assets. Note that the BIP39 list has been created in a way that all the words from this list have 4 different first letters. This can be helpful to retrieve a word that you might have miswritten.
I still can’t restore from the recovery phrase
If your device still tells you that the recovery phrase is invalid, this means that you have not correctly written down your recovery phrase. Your 24-word recovery phrase is your only backup in case you lose access to your funds. Ledger can not do anything to help in that case.
If after multiple attempts, you are still unable to restore your setup, unfortunately, this means that the recovery phrase is incorrect.
The 24-word recovery phrase is only displayed once during the setup process. You are the only one to have ever seen it.