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How to use a recovery seed

Keep your recovery seed safe for the long-term security of your digital assets.
 
- Do not share your recovery seed with anyone else
- Do not keep digital copies of your recovery seed (this includes screenshots, photographs, emails, Dropbox backup etc)
- We will never ask you to tell us your recovery seed, even if you're speaking with one of our customer support agents
- Never enter your recovery seed anywhere unless prompted by your Trezor device
 

What is a recovery seed?

 
  • Your recovery seed may also be referred to as a: seed, seed phrase, mnemonic, recovery phrase, BIP-39 seed phrase (plus various combinations of these words)
  • It is an ordered list of words that contains all information necessary for recovering your wallet (i.e., accessing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency funds on-chain)
  • A recovery seed provides full access to the associated wallet (the private key is mathematically derived from the seed) -- this is why you must keep it safe
 
Recovery seeds were introduced as part of Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39 (commonly referred to as 'BIP-39') to serve as a human-friendly method for backing up your wallet


Your recovery seed is a 'plain English' representation of a random number, from which all of your keys and addresses are mathematically derived.
  • Your recovery seed is an ordered sequence of 12 or 24 words (standard length for the Trezor Model T and Model One respectively) chosen from this list of 2048 words
  • When you backup your seed, the words must be copied down in the same order they appear
  • It is very important that you keep your recovery seed private and safe, so that your cryptocurrency is never at risk
  • Having a safe backup of your recovery seed means you can recover your Bitcoin in case of hardware failure or the loss of your device

Your Trezor derives your private key from your recovery seed, which can then be used to spend your Bitcoin.
 
We will never ask you for your recovery seed phrase!
- Scammers, perhaps posing as Trezor support team members on social media and chat forums, will try to persuade you to share your seed
- Please also be aware of increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks (usually in the form of fake websites or emails that often appear legitimate) that aim to steal your security info (recover seed, PIN, passphrase etc)
 

Recording & storing your recovery seed

The physical security of your recovery seed is even more important than that of your device.

Your Trezor hardware wallet ships with a pair of recovery seed cards that you should use for writing down the recovery seed when you backup your device - this is a strongly recommended step when setting up your Trezor.
 
  • Trezor Model One has a 24-word recovery seed card
  • Trezor Model T has a 12-word recovery seed card

If your Trezor is lost or stolen, it is highly unlikely someone would be able to access it without your PIN. However, if someone steals your recovery seed, your coins can be accessed easily using a different device or wallet.

When backing up your device, you should:
  • Make sure you have all of the words correctly spelled and in the correct order
  • Never make a digital copy of your recovery seed cards (this includes backing up via Dropbox, e-mail, encrypted folder, or taking photos)
  • Keep your recovery seed cards safe from theft and damage
 
Learn more about "How to store your Bitcoin wallet backups" on the Trezor Blog
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