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Backing up your Wallet
Backing up your Wallet

Understand why it's important to back up your crypto wallets, and learn how to do it

Farhan avatar
Written by Farhan
Updated over a week ago


Backing up your Wallet app effectively means creating a password that allows you to access your funds in the event you lose or damage your device. Just reinstall the app then enter your password to restore access to your funds.

⚠️ IMPORTANT ⚠️ does not store your password or recovery phrases! If you lose access to your device, the only way to access your funds is with your password or recovery phrases. It is extremely important to back up your wallets and keep your password/recovery phrases safe.

Table of contents

What does it mean to back up my cryptocurrency wallet?

Like a vault protects physical assets, the Wallet app protects cryptoassets - and in both cases, you need the right access key.

Backing up your Wallet app means creating a digital key (in the form of a password) that allows you to access your funds in the event you lose or damage your phone. Importantly, this digital key is stored outside of your phone.

Why should I back up my crypto wallet?

When you first install the Wallet app on your device, you have the option of setting up biometrics or a PIN. This acts as the key to access the app, but what happens if you lose or break your device? If you haven't backed up your Wallet and/or don’t have the password/recovery phrases, you won’t be able to access your funds from your new device. In other words, your digital assets will be lost forever!

Can't I just ask to restore/recover my wallet?

In a word, no.

Since the Wallet app is "self-custodial," no third party (neither nor anyone else) holds the password/recovery phrase(s). It's just you! This setup is essential for making your Wallet "permissionless," meaning you never have to ask for permission to use your funds (unlike with custodial services like banks and credit cards).

However, with great power, comes great responsibility: If you lose your password/recovery phrase(s), you lose access to your cryptoassets — forever!

How do I use my backup?

If you lose or damage your phone, just reinstall the Wallet app, then enter your backup password/recovery phrase(s). You'll again have access to the funds in your wallets. See below for detailed guides on how to restore your wallets.

What's a recovery phrase and how is that different from my password?

Recovery phrases consist of 12 randomly generated words, like this:

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Each of your wallets (eg. Bitcoin, Ethereum) has its own recovery phrase which you can use to regain access to that wallet. The Wallet app also has an automated cloud backup system (see below) which you can use to encrypt all of your recovery phrases. If you use the automated cloud backup system, you will create your own master password. Using that single password, you will be able to recover all of your wallets in the event you lose access to your device or if you want to reinstall the app.

I'm ready to back up my Wallet. What should I do?

The Wallet app provides you with two ways to backup your wallet. You can use either or both.

Automatic cloud backup service (recommended)

Here, you create a single custom password that decrypts a file stored in your Google Drive or Apple iCloud account. If you lose access to your device, you can reinstall the Wallet app on a new device, enter your password, and you'll again have access to all of your funds.

Importantly, with the automated cloud backup service, whenever you add more wallets within your Wallet app, your backup file will automatically sync. This means you never have to worry about creating a new backup for each new wallet you create!

🔍 Note: To use the Cloud Backup Service, you'll first need to login to either Google Drive or Apple iCloud through the Wallet app.

Setting up automatic cloud backup

  1. Tap on the Settings tab (bottom right of the home screen).

  2. Select "Backup & security."

  3. If you haven't already, you'll need to sign in with Apple or Google.

  4. Create a master password.

    You'll use this password to recover all your wallets if you lose or damage your device. It's non-recoverable, so you should write it down and store the paper somewhere safe. See our article on crypto-asset security for information on password management best practices.

    🔍Note: Your master password must be at least 8 characters long and include upper and lowercase alphanumeric characters and at least one number. Your master password should also be different from the password you use for your Apple/Google account.

  5. Tap the "Create Recovery File and Sync" button.

Your entire Wallet is now securely backed up!

Restoring your wallets from cloud backup

If you backed up your wallets using the automated backup via Google/Apple cloud option, you just need to enter the master password you created when you backed up your wallets.

Here’s how easy it is to restore your wallets from cloud backup:

Manual Backups

For manual backups, you'll be assigned a random set of 12 words (a "recovery phrase") for each of the crypto-wallets within your Wallet app.* Then, when you reinstall the app, you'll need to enter each wallet's 12-word passphrase to gain to access each wallet.

  • Note that your Wallet app consists of multiple cryptocurrency wallets, at least one for each of the blockchains we support. For example, you may have a Bitcoin wallet, a Bitcoin Cash wallet, an Ethereum wallet, and an Avalanche wallet. Within your Ethereum wallet, you may have several cryptoassets that live on the Ethereum blockchain; like USDC, SNX, UNI and so on. When you back up your Ethereum wallet, you're backing up access to all the cryptoassets associated with that wallet. Additionally, you can create as many new wallets as you want just by tapping on the '+ADD/IMPORT' button on the app's home screen. When you use the cloud backup, all your wallets are backed up automatically and accessible by a single password of your choosing, but when you manually backup, you'll need to manage all your secret phrases separately.

Manual backup instructions

  1. Tap on the Settings icon.

  2. Select "Backup & security."

  3. Go to "Manual backup."

  4. Choose the wallet you'd like to backup. Eg. Tap on "My BCH wallet."

  5. Write down your 12-word passphrase. Please see our article on cryptoasset security for vital information on password management best practices.

This video demonstrates how to back your wallets up manually:

Restoring your manually backed up wallets

You can add any supported wallets you've previously backed up by entering the 12-word passphrase for each wallet.

  1. From the Funds tab, tap the ADD/IMPORT button.

  2. Select "+IMPORT WALLET"

  3. In the "Asset type" field, choose the wallet type you'd like to import (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, or BNB Smart Chain).

  4. If relevant, select the Wallet type (Personal wallet or Shared Wallet. Learn more about shared wallets here.)

  5. Enter the 12-word recovery phrase or, if you've backed up your wallet in QR-code form, you can scan the code. Leave a space between each word if entering the recovery phrase manually.

This video demonstrates how to manually import a wallet:

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