Backing up your Recovery Passphrase

As you're probably aware by now, it's extremely important to securely back up your 25-word recovery passphrase for each Algorand account you create. The reason why this is so important is that it's the only way to regain access to your account in the event of loss of account access.

Let's say that you find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • You drop your phone in the toilet and it's destroyed
  • Your phone is stolen
  • Your Algorand Wallet app gets deleted from your phone
  • You forget the PIN to access your Algorand Wallet
  • You've memorized the recovery passphrase but one day you wake up and can't remember it!

While some of these situations may seem like they could never happen to you, I assure you that they're possible. The good news is that if you back up your 25-word recovery passphrases, you'll always have access to those respective accounts.

What is a Recovery Passphrase?

Simply put, a recovery passphrase is a string of 25 words that gives you access to an Algorand account. Basically, this is the key that unlocks your account and all the transactional power that comes with it. Anyone with your recovery passphrase has total control over your account and the assets it contains.

When you create an Algorand Account, you'll be prompted to create a backup of your 25-word recovery passphrase (Step 1). These 25 words are what you'll use when you recover an account.

1. Recovery Passphrase back up step during account creation.

How should I back up my passphrase?

When backing up your passphrase, you have many options to choose from. The main consideration when choosing how to securely back up your passphrase is how likely it is that someone could gain access to it.

While each method of storing your passphrase has downsides, generally the most secure storage mechanisms involve storage that's completely disconnected from any device that could access the internet. The least secure storage are methods that involve saving your passphrase on devices or cloud accounts that could be easily hacked. Here's a glimpse at this spectrum below:

Excellent Passphrase storage:

  • Putting your passphrase on a weatherproof Cryptosteel and storing in a secure location
  • Writing your passphrase down on a piece of paper and storing it in a secure location
  • Sharing parts of your passphrase with trusted friends, family members, etc.

OK Passphrase storage:

  • Using a password manager such Lastpass, 1Password, etc. to save your passphrase

Bad Passphrase storage:

  • Saving a screenshot of your passphrase on your phone
  • Emailing yourself your passphrase
  • Texting your passphrase to someone
  • Uploading your passphrase to a cloud based service such as iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox, etc.

Where can I find out more about backup phrase storage?

A simple google search using terms such as "recovery passphrase," "crypto storage," and "seed phrase storage" will yield you thousands of articles written on the subject.

Additional Info:

  • Your passphrase is not case sensitive - you don't need to worry about capital or lower-case letters
  • This is just an overview on safely storing you recovery passphrase. Everyone's situation will be different. It's important to do your own research to determine what's best for you.
  • Never share your passphrase publicly.
  • Never share your passphrase with Algorand employees. We will never ask to see your passphrase.
  • Your Algorand Wallet can contain multiple accounts. You must store you a recovery passphrase for each account created this way.