How do I rescue an overwritten wallet?
In this article, we’ll be showing you how to restore your wallet from an archived wallet backup within the wallet data directory.
It is not possible to rescue an overwritten wallet on Exodus Web3 Wallet. The only way to regain access to an overwritten Web3 Wallet wallet is by restoring from its 12-word secret recovery phrase.
In this article:
- How do I rescue an overwritten desktop wallet?
- How do I rescue an overwritten mobile wallet?
- How do I manage my backup history?
How do I rescue an overwritten desktop wallet?
Keep in mind that this is a safety feature and not intended to be the standard medium of wallet backups and recovery. Ideally, you should use the 12-word phrase, but if you overwrote your wallet before you had access to either of those, this will be your best option.
This is an advanced method of recovery and you should not be trying this without the consultation of our support staff.
If you restore an Exodus wallet with a different wallet’s secret 12-word phrase, it will overwrite and archive the current wallet’s 12-word phrase, addresses, and private keys. Sometimes it can happen that you may have ended up with a blank 12-word phrase that overwrote your current wallet or perhaps mixed up the 12-word phrases of two different wallets.
Recovering an overwritten Exodus mobile wallet is only possible if its 12-word secret recovery phrase isn't permanently erased. Formatting your mobile device, or uninstalling Exodus, will result in the permanent erasure of your 12-word phrase.
Important: In some cases, uninstalling Exodus from an iOS device may not result in the deletion of your 12-word phrase - nevertheless, it's better to assume that it will!
Thankfully, as long as the wallet files are still there on your computer, you can still restore them by swapping the archived wallet files into the current, active wallet folder.
Your wallet backup files will only be kept for 90 days after overwriting them.
First, before doing anything else, back up your data folder. This will ensure that any changes made to the data directory can be undone. Using the developer menu, export your data folder as a zip file:
This will export a copy of your data directory to your Desktop. Check to make sure it's there before continuing. You'll need it in case something goes wrong.
Then open the developer menu again, and click on Open Data Folder. This should open your file explorer, where you can now open the Exodus folder. Depending on your operating system, you should now be at:
Windows :: Windows (C:) > Users > YOUR_USERNAME > AppData > Roaming > Exodus
macOS: Hard Drive > Users > YOUR_USERNAME > Library > Application Support > Exodus
If navigating through your file explorer directly, you may need to enable hidden folders to be able to find this location.
Now please exit and close your Exodus wallet. You must perform the following steps with Exodus closed.
Once you find the folder, look inside it to see if you can find a sub-folder labeled Backups.
If this folder is there, you should be able to see a folder called Wallet and some time-stamped folders within that:
Each of those time-stamped folders is a copy of a previously existing wallet, which was archived the moment it was overwritten by restoring.
If you look deeper into the file structure of the backups, you’ll see another folder called Exodus.wallet and a couple of files with a .seco extension, and maybe a Passphrase.json file:
These are the important files that contained your previous wallets’ raw private key data.
Normally the archive you try to restore will depend on your situation, but we'd usually recommend trying all of them to be 100% certain you've covered all the bases. To restore one, copy the Exodus.wallet folder inside the archive by right-clicking on it and selecting Copy "exodus.wallet":
Return to the top of the data directory. Notice the folder at the top level also labeled exodus.wallet. It is this folder we're going to replace, so just rename the current one to something else, like exodus.wallet BACKUP;or any name you'd like. This prevents the current wallet files from being overwritten when we restore the archived backup.
Now you can safely paste the copied folder into the data directory by right-clicking and selecting Paste:
Once pasted, you can now open your Exodus wallet, and you should have access to whichever wallet you just restored. If you had a password set, you will need it to access your encrypted files.
Remember to always back up your wallet in the future so you don't have to go through this trouble again! Here's a helpful guide for how to back up your wallet.
Tutorial video: How to rescue an overwritten wallet on Mac
How do I rescue an overwritten mobile wallet
Due to the nature of each mobile operating system, this section will only work if you have not permanently erased your 12-word secret recovery phrase from your device by accident.
- iOS: Your 12-word phrase will be permanently erased if you format your device. Since it's possible the 12-word phrase will be deleted if Exodus is uninstalled from the device, it's safer to assume that it will!
- Android: Your 12-word phrase will be permanently erased if you format your device or uninstall Exodus from your device.
- a) Tap on the Profile icon, then b) tap Security.
- Tap Backup.
- Make sure you check your surroundings and when you are in a safe spot, tap View Secret Phrase.
- Now tap the history icon in the top right corner.
- Here you will see a list of all your previously used secret phrases as well as your current secret phrase.
- Just tap on the secret phrase you want to restore, then again check your surroundings and tap Restore.
How do I manage my backup history?
In step 5 above, you may have noticed at the bottom of the screen it said Manage Backup History.
Here you can choose how long your Exodus wallet will store an old secret phrase for you, the default is to keep your old secret phrases forever, but you can choose to have your wallet automatically delete old secret phrases after 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months.
Just tap which option you want, the choice is yours!