What do I do if I forgot my hardware wallet PIN?

You need to reset your hardware wallet, restore your seed phrase, create a new PIN, and check that your key can still sign.

Warning: The following steps impact the keys securing your bitcoin and missteps can result in permanent loss of funds.

If you'd like to speak one-on-one with a bitcoin expert to walk through this process, we strongly encourage you to sign up for Premium Support.

While we recommend using a PIN you can easily remember (4-8 digits are plenty) and writing down your PIN once you have chosen it, sometimes the time between performing key checks or signing transactions can cause you to forget your PIN.

Thankfully, forgetting your PIN won't mean having to conduct an arduous key replacement, nor will it cause permanent loss of funds, as long as you have your seed phrase backup.

1. Retrieve the seed phrase for the respective device

First, retrieve the corresponding seed phrase backup for the hardware wallet with the forgotten PIN. If you followed operational security best practices for your vault, it should be in a secure, secondary physical location.

If you had a Concierge Onboarding call, please double check if your PIN is written down with your seed phrase, which is a common recommendation we make.

2. Reset or acquire a new Trezor, Ledger, or Coldcard device

If your hardware wallet is broken, you'll need to buy a new one from a reputable retailer. It's usually best to purchase devices directly from the manufacturer. 

If you have an existing hardware wallet you're not using  that supports a factory reset, move forward with your manufacturer's instructions to perform one. 

Factory reset a Trezor device

    Factory reset a Ledger device

    Warning: For Coldcard, there is no way to reset or recover your PIN. If you forget your PIN, your Coldcard is "bricked"—you will need to purchase a new device. 

    3. Initialize the new device using your existing seed phrase

    Next, initialize the newly-reset device (Trezor or Ledger) or a brand new device (Coldcard) by restoring the seed phrase backup your retrieved in the first step.

    Follow the instructions from the corresponding manufacturer:

    4. Ensure you can sign with your recovered key

    Check that your key can sign again in the Unchained platform. See our video guide or follow the steps below.

    1. Log in to your Unchained account.
    2. Navigate to the Keys page to see a full list of keys and their status.
    3. Click View for the key for which you forgot the PIN.
    4. Click Check Now.
    5. Choose the proper hardware wallet manufacturer, and follow the prompts to export your public key.
    6. You should see Success! You’re done.

    If your key check does not proceed successfully, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us via Premium Support.

    5. Put your seed phrase back in its secure location

    Following operational security best practices, you should return the seed phrase backup to its secure location.