All articles

Passphrase & hidden wallets issues

A passphrase works like an extra word added to the 12 or 24 words that make up your recovery seed. As passphrases are not stored on your Trezor, when using the feature, your Trezor will ask you to enter the passphrase which will then be combined with the recovery seed (generated during Trezor setup) and a new unique passphrase-protected hidden wallet will be created. Any time you wish to access this hidden wallet, the exact same passphrase must be used.

If you forget a passphrase, there is no reliable method available to recover it. Please only set up a passphrase when you fully understand how they work.

This means:

  1. Each unique passphrase will create a unique wallet with unique addresses
  2. If you already had some crypto stored on your Trezor before the passphrase feature was enabled and used, then you can access your original wallet by selecting 'Standard wallet'
  3. The passphrase for a particular wallet cannot be changed or removed, but bitcoin and other supported crypto can be transferred between wallets with different passphrases via the standard transaction procedure
  4. A passphrase can be any word or any set of characters (in  ASCII format  up to a maximum of 50 characters)
  5. Although best practice is to commit a passphrase to memory, if you need to write it down, always keep it separate from your recovery seed backup and ensure it is protected from the elements
  6. If you forget your passphrase (or wrote it down incorrectly if you made an offline backup) then there is no way to restore access to your passphrase-protected wallets.

When you use the passphrase feature, you can create wallets that are protected by the text you type in the passphrase dialogue (window).

You can create several passphrase protected wallets (1 unique passphrase = 1 unique wallet). The original passphrase-less wallet can be always accessed by clicking on the "Standard wallet" option in Trezor Suite.

Passphrase protection is an advanced feature and must be used carefully. Each passphrase needs to be typed precisely, as by "mistyping" a passphrase you will (inadvertently) create a new passphrase-protected hidden wallet.

For example, if you choose the passphrase "TrezorSafe3ProtectsMyBitcoin", this wallet can be accessed only when the passphrase is entered exactly as it is written here; if you mistype even a single character (e.g. "Trezorsafe3ProtectsMyBitcoin") or accidentally include a space (e.g. "TrezorSafe3 ProtectsMyBitcoin") then you will create an entirely separate new wallet under a new passphrase. Remember, every character counts and passphrases are case sensitive.

Don't use the words shown in the example above, they are used solely for illustrative purposes.
If you're having trouble accessing a passphrase-protected hidden wallet, please do the following:
  • Check all possible variations for typos (passphrase length can be 50 characters max, it is case-sensitive, and these ASCII characters are all valid)
  • If entering your passphrase using your computer keyboard, make sure you have it set to the correct layout
  • When typing a passphrase, you can click on the eye icon in the input field to confirm the characters you have entered

If you have passphrase enabled, after entering you PIN and unlocking your device you will see the following prompt in Trezor Suite:



After entering your passphrase to access your hidden wallet, Trezor Suite will ask you to confirm the passphrase on your Trezor device and it will then check the account balances.



If the passphrase is incorrect, it will ask you to confirm that the wallet is empty. 



After entering your passphrase to access your hidden wallet it will ask you to confirm the passphrase on your Trezor device again. The account will then be loaded in Trezor Suite. 



Remember: Every "incorrect" passphrase creates a new hidden wallet. Therefore, if you enter the passphrase correctly for the wallet you are looking for, you will always see the same accounts and balances.

All wallets, accounts and addresses are derived from a unique combination of recovery seed and passphrase, so if one of them (or both) differ, then the private keys differ as well and a new wallet, accounts and addresses are derived.

Also note that by using the same combination of recovery seed and passphrase, the same wallet with identical addresses is derived - no matter which application is used:

If the passphrase is lost, it can only be found by guessing (brute-forcing) which is often technologically and economically infeasible.

The difficulty of guessing the passphrase varies depending on the strength (complexity) of the passphrase.

More information can be found our blog post "Passphrase - the Ultimate Protection for Your Accounts."


If you require further assistance, please contact us via our chatbot Hal who will help resolve your issue.
a part of SatoshiLabs Group
Copyright belongs to Trezor company s.r.o. All rights reserved.