When dealing with cryptocurrencies or crypto-assets such as Ether and ERC-20 tokens, it is crucial to always be aware of and have your private keys, mnemonic phrases, and passwords backed up in case the unexpected occurs. For more on seed phrases and your MetaMask Secret Recovery Phrase, see here.
Backing Up When You Install MetaMask
When you create a new MetaMask account, you are prompted to accept two screens concerning privacy and terms of usage followed by a page where you enter a password. This password is what allows you to unlock your local MetaMask account once installed. However, if your computer crashes or if you are somehow unable to access your MetaMask, this password will not help you gain access to your funds from another machine or after a crash.
The following page, where you are given your 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase, is the most important bit of information for you to record and keep safe in managing your MetaMask account.
You can write your Secret Recovery Phrase down on a piece of paper (or, you know, titanium) or a flash drive; optionally, we allow you to download a file containing the phrase.
Backing Up After You Install MetaMask
If for some reason you forgot to record your 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase or you lost the original copy, as long as your MetaMask account is still unlocked, you can reveal your Secret Recovery Phrase so you can back it up again.
Navigate to Settings > 'Security & Privacy'.
Click on the button that reads 'Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase'.
- You'll now have to answer two brief questions to confirm you understand the implications of self-custody: that responsibility for the Secret Recovery Phrase is yours and yours alone, and that you need to keep it secure and not share it, as MetaMask cannot retrieve it for you if it's lost.
- With the questions correctly answered, you will now be prompted to enter your password, and click 'Next'. This enables you to click on the 'Hold to reveal SRP' button that appears if you entered your password correctly.
- Click on the Settings button located on the lower right side of the screen.
- In Settings, choose 'Security & Privacy'.
- In this menu, tap on 'Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase'.
- You'll be presented with a new screen, where you can click on the button that reads 'Get started', to answer the two questions.
- After you answer them correctly, enter your password and click 'Next'.
- Click on the button that reads 'Hold to reveal SRP' until your Seed Phrase / Secret Recovery Phrase is displayed.