What does my wallet's backup do?
This article explains the Exodus backup process and why it is critical to store your backup safely and keep your password strong and unique.
In this article:
- What does your wallet's backup do?
- Why create a backup?
- Backup components
- Email backup link (pre-version 19.2.1)
- How to keep your wallet safe?
- How is your Metadata is encrypted?
What does your wallet's backup do?
In case something happens to your computer or phone (you lose it, it breaks, etc.), your wallet’s 12-word secret recovery phrase allows you to restore your wallet on another device. For this reason, only you should ever have access to your backup. No one at Exodus can recover a lost wallet or reset a password for you.
Exodus automatically updates your wallet settings and transaction metadata on our servers since this information is not stored on the blockchain. Your metadata is encrypted with your 12-word phrase so only the holder of this 12-word phrase can access the data. If you ever lose access to your wallet, your 12-word secret recovery phrase will not only restore access to your funds on the blockchain, but also your exchange details and any personalized wallet settings you may have set.
We do not store your private keys, password, or 12-word phrase on our servers. Your private keys are generated on your local machine and remain there.
Why create a backup?
Backing up your wallet is the most important thing you can do to protect your funds and make sure you will always have access to your crypto. You only need to backup once.
One of the reasons Bitcoin was created was to give control of money back to individuals. As it stands right now, when you deposit your money into a bank account or your crypto into an online exchange wallet, you are entrusting the bank or exchange to hold onto your funds.
On the other hand, Exodus gives you the tools (a wallet with an easy to use interface) to access the blockchain so that you can send and receive funds as you wish, putting individuals in full control of their wealth.
Exodus the company does not control nor have access to your funds. We do not store your 12-word phrase nor password and cannot retrieve or reset any of these items for you. If you lose access to your wallet, we cannot help you recover it. You alone are in full control and responsible for creating a backup and keeping your 12-word phrase safe.
This also means that if something goes wrong at Exodus (we get hacked, we shut down, etc.) you still have control over your assets. All you would have to do is import your 12-word phrase into another similar solution.
Therefore, during the backup process, make sure to write down your 12-word phrase on paper and create your wallet's password. You only have to backup once! Once you have your 12-word phrase, you don’t have to worry about losing your funds if something happens to your device. Simply restore your wallet, and Exodus will gather all of your balances, transactions, and exchange history, so that you can pick up where you left off!
All of these are really important and they are all private information for your eyes only!
12-word secret recovery phrase
Your 12-word phrase is the “master private key” to all of your assets. All of your private keys are mathematically derived from your 12-word phrase, also known as the seed or secret phrase. In other words, the 12-word secret recovery phrase itself will give full access to all of your blockchain assets to anyone who has it!
See our article on The Do’s and Don’ts of 12-Word Phrases and Private Keys for tips on keeping your 12-word phrase safe.
Tips for keeping your 12-word phrase safe and secure:
- Write them on a piece of paper.
- Keep that piece of paper secret.
- Do not take any screenshots of them.
- Do not store them in any electronic form. Especially a cloud service like Gmail/DropBox/EverNote!
- Make sure the words are spelled correctly and in the correct order.
Your 12-word phrase is meant to be kept hidden and used only as a last resort.
Your password is extremely important, too. It encrypts your private keys (and the assets they control) on your computer. This ensures that if anyone opens Exodus on your computer, they won’t be able to decrypt your private keys and access your wallet’s funds without knowing your password.
Use a random, strong and unique password that you don't use anywhere else. A password manager, such as Enpass or 1Password, is a great tool to create and remember such a password.
For tips on creating a good password, check out our article The importance of a good password.
Don't lose your password because it can't be recovered. If you do, you'll have to use your 12-word secret recovery phrase to restore your wallet.
Email backup link (pre-version 19.2.1)
If you created an Email Backup, which was an option in earlier versions of Exodus (the backup link was only available prior to version 19.2.1), your password can also restore your wallet when combined with the backup link you received via email.
The backup link is a copy of your 12-word phrase but encrypted with your password. This means that the link by itself is useless without the password to decrypt it. However, this also means that anyone with access to your email account and your password will have full control of your assets.
For this reason, you must secure your email with 2FA and use a random, strong and unique password for your email account that you don't use anywhere else. Otherwise, if your email is breached, someone else might restore your wallet and gain access to your coins.
If you ever suspect that your password or email may have been compromised and you have created an email backup, you need to create a new wallet.
How to keep your wallet safe?
While Exodus does not store any of your information and you have full control of your blockchain assets, Exodus Wallet itself is only as secure as the device it is running on. On top of keeping your 12-word phrase, password, and email account safe, be sure that your device is safe too.
If you use pirated software, download pirated media, don't exercise safe browsing, or store your 12-word phrase in a text file on your computer or email, you are an easy target. To learn more about how to secure your wealth, check out our comprehensive security guide.
How is your Metadata is encrypted?
Only the metadata from your account is encrypted and stored on our servers. This includes things like your wallet settings, currency choice, skins, added devices (like a Trezor), exchanges etc. This means your seed and private keys are only encrypted on your computer. They never leave your computer and are never sent to our servers.
All of your private keys are linked to your 12-word secret recovery phrase. This phrase is like a master key, which unlocks all of the private keys from the various assets you will store in your wallet. You can either restore this phrase in another wallet or generate your private keys directly from the phrase and spend your money.
Your wallet generates a separate public key which is associated with your metadata. Your metadata is then backed up to our servers so that you can easily restore the same experience onto other devices.
The way we generate the public key for your wallet follows the BIP32 process outlined here.