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What to do if your Hardware Wallet is Lost, Stolen, or Damaged

What to do if your Hardware Wallet is Lost, Stolen, or Damaged

This article provides step by step instructions on how to recover your cryptoassets if your Trezor Model T, Trezor One, or Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is lost, stolen or damaged.

If your hardware wallet is lost, stolen or damaged, you can easily and securely recover all of your cryptoassets, as long as you have access to the 12, 18 or 24 word recovery seed. 

All of your cryptocurrency is actually stored on the collective Blockchain network. The hardware wallet stores the recovery seed that you backup offline, on paper or on cryptosteel.

If you no longer have access to your hardware wallet, you can import the recovery seed into another wallet and you will regain access to all of your accounts, balances and transaction data.

If your device is damaged and you still have access to it, then there is no risk of the recovery seed being compromised. Ledger and Trezor products come with warranties and you should be able to get a free replacement, especially if you purchase from an Authorized Retailer.

In this case, you can just recover your cryptoassets by importing the recovery seed into the replacement hardware wallet.

When your hardware wallet is lost or stolen, you have two main options.

  • Wait until you get a new hardware wallet to recover your cryptoassets.
  • Immediately import your 12 word seed into a software wallet(s) and recover your assets using the software wallet(s).

There is a low risk that if your device is lost or stolen, an experienced hacker with engineering skills who has access to the physical device could extract the recovery seed.

If your Trezor Model T was lost, or stolen by a random person not specifically targeting your cryptoassets, then the chances are low that an expert hacker will be able to get their hands on the device and extract the 12 word seed from the microchip before you can send your assets to a new recovery seed.

Note: Even though this risk is low, you can eliminate it by purchasing an extra hardware wallet. This way, if one of your devices is lost, stolen or damaged, you can immediately recover your cryptoassets on another hardware wallet. You can recover many of the same cryptoassets with both Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets.

However, if you are concerned about the risk of a hacker getting their hands on your device, and you only have one hardware wallet, you can import your recovery word seed into a compatible software wallet and send your assets to a wallet with a different recovery seed.

Make sure the software wallet is compatible with the coins that you are sending. Exodus and Jaxx are good software wallets that support a variety of cryptocurrencies.

Usually it is safe to wait for a new hardware wallet to recover your crypto assets. At The Crypto Merchant we offer overnight as well as 2 day express shipping on verified secure hardware wallets

Once you get a new hardware wallet, it is recommended that you eliminate the risk of your recovery seed being compromised by first recovering your assets with your original recovery seed, and then sending your assets to a new recovery seed.

You can do this even if you only have access to one hardware wallet. Below are step by step instructions on how to complete this process with the Trezor Model T, Trezor One or Ledger Nano S.

Trezor Model T or Trezor One:

  • Setup the wallet with a new word seed. Go to https://trezor.io/start/. Plug in your device and select "Create a new wallet."

 

  • Securely backup the new word seed offline.
  • Copy down all of the public addresses for the coins that you are using. You can just copy and paste them into a text document. Each coin has their own unique public addresses. However, the ERC20 tokens all share Ethereum addresses. To copy the public addresses for each coin, click on receive and then confirm the action on your device. The address will then be available to copy. 


 

  • Wipe the device. Click on the name of your device -> advanced -> scroll down and wipe device. 



  • Recover the Trezor with the word seed that is on the lost device. Disconnect and Reconnect the Trezor. Go to  https://trezor.io/start/.  Click "Recover wallet."

  • Follow the steps and import the recovery seed that was on your lost device.
  • You will now have access to all of your cryptoassets, balances and transaction data.
  • Send all of your crypto assets to the public addresses that you copied into the text document (This will send all of your cryptoassets to the new word seed that you created).



  • Wipe the device.
  • Recover the Trezor with the new word seed. Click "Recover wallet,” but this time, import the new word seed.
    You will now have all of your cryptoassets on a new Trezor Model T with a new and secure word seed.

Ledger Nano S:

  • Reset Ledger Live. Open Ledger Live and click on settings (the gear icon in the top right). Then “help” and scroll down and click “Reset.”

  • Setup your new Ledger Nano S with a new word seed. Plug in your Ledger Nano S, open Ledger Live and click on “Initialize as new device.”

    • Securely backup the new word seed offline.
    • Copy down all of the public addresses for the coins that you are using. You can just copy and paste them into a text document. Each coin has their own unique public addresses. However, the ERC20 tokens all share Ethereum addresses. To copy the public addresses for each coin, click on receive and then confirm the action on your device. The address will then be available to copy.

    • Reset your Ledger Nano S. On the Ledger Nano S, go to Settings -> Device -> Reset All. (If you lost your PIN code, you can reset your device by entering in three failed PIN attempts).
    • Reset Ledger Live.
    • Recover the Ledger Nano S with the word seed that is on the lost device. In Ledger Live, click on “Restore device from recovery phrase.”

    • Follow the steps and import the recovery seed that was on your lost device.
    • You will now have access to all of your cryptoassets, balances and transaction data.
    • Send all of your crypto assets to the public addresses that you copied into the text document (This will send all of your crypto assets to the new word seed that you created).

    • Reset the Ledger Nano.
    • Reset Ledger Live.
    • Recover the Ledger Nano S with the new word seed. Select “Restore device from recovery phrase” but this time, import the new word seed.
      You will now have all of your cryptoassets on a new Ledger Nano S with a new and secure word seed.

    You now have all the necessary steps to recover your cryptoassets safely in the unfortunate event that your hardware wallet is lost, stolen or damaged. In order to complete this process, you must have access to your recovery seed. This is why securing the backup copy of your recovery seed is the highest priority of hardware wallet security.

    Always remember to keep your recovery seed offline, secure and accessible. As long as you do this, you can rest assured that your crypto assets are protected and retrievable at any time.



    Leave a comment

    5 comments

    • Braylon Dancho

      Reset Ledger Live. Open Ledger Live and click on settings (the gear icon in the top right). Then “help” and scroll down and click “Reset.”

      My ledger life is stuck on “genuine check” I can’t even access the gear icon on the top right

      I lost my laptop and Ledger Nano S, so I have to use a different computer where it Doesn’t have Ledger Live installed at the first place. What can I do?

    • JOHN ZAKA

      I lost my money through three hyper yielding investment platforms whose companies were registered in London, UK. They claimed to have registered their companies in the US as well. The three companies are Moni-Finex  (Moni-Finex Global), HybridReserve and CRYPTONXT.

      Moni  Finex’s webpages have been inactive since the beginning of August and I have been unable to withdraw since July 12 The MF migrated July 25 to MoniFinex  Mining, again unable to withdraw. The sites posted they were performing  an internal audit during the month of August; subsequently, it announced  the systems were being upgraded since early August. All official Chat-rooms at Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook are now disabled and some vanished altogether. I Contacted the CEO via WhatsApp, he did not read my notes or respond.

      CRYPTONXT would keep promising mouth watering ROI to lure you in showing you simulated trades and it is almost impossible for you to make a withdrawal. One excuse after the other. That’s when it became crystal clear that I have been scammed of my hard earned money.

      My total lost with these three companies was USD532,876.21 as of August 1, 2019.  I needed a major portion of this balance to pay off the down-liners who were threatening to file charges for misleading as well as fraud. Their combined balance is approximately USD600,000. A top wealth recovery company in the US brilliantly helped recoup 92% of my lost capital to these fraud companies all within a 2 week period. I can’t thank you enough (PAUL.WRIGHT AT GLOBALASSETRECOUP DOT COM) I am typing this with tears rolling down my cheeks! Please stay away from HYPER YIELDING INVESTMENT PLATFORMS to avoid the agony and pain I went through!  Spread the word and help unsuspecting victims from falling prey!

      DO NOT DO BUSINESS RECOVERY COMPANIES USING A GMAIL ACCOUT. IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!! STAY CIRCUMSPECT.

    • Safa Rojas

      Last year December I was contacted by a broker who convinced me to invest into Cryptoallday. I made an initial investment of € 190,00 and they asked for € 14,500 more in order to access my withdrawal. I followed their instructions and made another deposit. For 2 months now I have been trying to contact Cryptoallday but I got no response. I talked to my friends and colleagues about it and luckily for me a friend of mine just got out of a situation like that and introduced to a wealth recovery team that helped her during her investment problem, within 3 days of contacting them they were able to help me get 100% of my lost money back. They only got paid after the recovery and I had no problem with giving them 10% from the recovered funds after I got it back. You can reach out to them for more insight.
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    • Safa Rojas

      Last year December I was contacted by a broker who convinced me to invest into Cryptoallday. I made an initial investment of € 190,00 and they asked for € 14,500 more in order to access my withdrawal. I followed their instructions and made another deposit. For 2 months now I have been trying to contact Cryptoallday but I got no response. I talked to my friends and colleagues about it and luckily for me a friend of mine just got out of a situation like that and introduced to a wealth recovery team that helped her during her investment problem, within 3 days of contacting them they were able to help me get 100% of my lost money back. They only got paid after the recovery and I had no problem with giving them 10% from the recovered funds after I got it back. You can reach out to them for more insight.
      Bitcoinretrieval2018 gmail com / WhatsApp: +1 (347)201-0316

    • Freddy

      Nice write up….

      Its a sad experience to lose ones bitcoin.
      2019 i was a victim of a investment crypto scam. i invested a lot of money in a popular bitcoin investment scheme, i lost all my savings, i was depressed, sick and frustruated.

      I tried different bitcoin recovery experts and non worked after paying some token but november last year i was referred to zachary smiths (crypto recovery expert) who assured me of recovery.

      I joined his bitcoin recovery programme and after submitting my bitcoin details and waited for few weeks. i got my bitcoin back….including the profit i had anticipated when i invested in the crypto investment trade)… i
      I was glad i invested when bitcoin was down last year. i’m really indebted to mr zachary smiths he kept responding to my messages and telling me as the recovering process is ongoing. hes a life saver and his charges are so affordable. you can reach him here zacharysmiths@techie.com