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How to recover your passphrase accounts?

This article describes how to restore your passphrase accounts on a new Ledger device or after your existing device is reset.

Restoring your passphrase accounts

  1. Grab your recovery phrase and passphrase.
  2. Restore your recovery phrase into your new (or reset) Ledger device as shown here.
  3. On your Ledger device, hold both buttons simultaneously to open the Control Center.
  4. Navigate to Settings > Security >Passphrase > Set up Passphrase.
  5. Select Attach to PIN.
  6. Chose and confirm your passphrase PIN. You can use your old passphrase PIN or choose a new passphrase PIN.
  7. Enter your existing passphrase.
  8. Confirm your passphrase by carefully checking the spelling on the device's screen.
  9. Confirm your passphrase with your current PIN. This is the PIN you chose during the device's initial setup.
    Your device displays Processing then Passphrase set.
  10. Switch off your device, switch it back on then unlock your device with your passphrase PIN to load your passphrase private keys into the device.
  11. Open Ledger Live, navigate to the Accounts tab then use the +Add account button to add your passphrase accounts. You're done!

  Did you know?

  • All the recovery phrases and passphrases created by your Ledger device comply to the BIP39 standard.
  • As such, you can import a recovery phrase + passphrase created by a third-party hardware wallet (like a Trezor or ColdCard) into your Ledger device.
  • The opposite is also true. You can safely restore your passphrase accounts from a Ledger into any third-party hardware wallet that is BIP39-compatible.
  • However, keep in mind that it's not safe to import a recovery phrase created by a software wallet (like Metamask) into your Ledger device. More on this here.

 I've attached my passphrase to a PIN, but I've lost the PIN. How do I recover the accounts associated with my passphrase?

In this situation, there's no need to reset your Ledger device. Instead, go to Settings > Security > Passphrase > Set up Passphrase > Attach to PIN, choose a different PIN than the one you lost but attach your existing passphrase. This will effectively overwrite the lost PIN, replacing it with a new one, while maintaining your existing passphrase accounts on your device. Feel free to change your passphrase PIN in this manner as many times as necessary. It's actually recommended to do so if you've lost your passphrase PIN or if it has been compromised.

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