Ledger: Can I Import an Existing Account from Polkadot-JS UI to my Ledger Device? Print
Modified on: Wed, 26 Apr, 2023 at 1:53 PM
This article examines whether it's possible, or advisable, to import an account created on Polkadot-JS UI or the Polkadot extension into your Ledger. This is usually the case when you have bought a new Ledger and you want to move your funds to it for better security.
Is it possible to import my account to Ledger?
Unfortunately, the answer is no, it's not possible. Accounts created in Polkadot-JS UI, the Polkadot extension, and other third-party ecosystem wallets, use a different derivation mechanism than Ledger.
This means that if you were to restore your Ledger with the 12-word mnemonic phrase of your account, you wouldn't get the same account.
But even if it was possible, it wouldn't be recommended. A hardware wallet's security relies on the fact that the private keys are never, nor have ever been, exposed online. Restoring on Ledger an account that was previously online would severely compromise its security.
Furthermore, if it is not a new device, restoring your Ledger with a mnemonic phrase other than the one you got when you first set it up would remove any previously created accounts on all chains, which means you would lose access to any accounts you had previously created on your Ledger, along with their funds!
What can I do?
The best approach is to create a new account on your Ledger and send all your funds from your existing account(s) to it.
If you have staked funds in your account, then you would need to unstake them first and wait until they are ready to be withdrawn. Here's how to unstake your funds:
The unbonding process takes 28 days on Polkadot (7 days on Kusama) and during that time you won't receive staking rewards.
However, if you haven't actively nominated any validators and received rewards in the last 28 days (or the last 7 days on Kusama), you could be eligible for fast unstake, which can make your funds transferable in a few minutes. Please check this article for more details.
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Disclaimer: We always strive to provide you with the best support we can and we take all care to ensure that our instructions are accurate and concise. However, following these instructions properly, as well as the general management of your accounts and funds, is ultimately your responsibility. Web3 Foundation cannot be held liable for any accidental loss of funds or any other damage you might incur.