The JSON backup file stores your account's information encrypted with the account's password. It's a second recovery method in addition to the mnemonic phrase. 

When you create your account directly on Polkadot-JS UI, the JSON file is automatically downloaded to your Downloads folder. If you create your account in the Polkadot extension, you need to export the JSON file manually.

This article will teach you how to manually export your JSON backup file in the Polkadot extension and Polkadot-JS UI.



The JSON file is meant only as a redundancy to the mnemonic phrase, which you should always have stored on paper, in a safe and secret location. 

Do not rely on the JSON file as your sole recovery method for your account. If you lose your password or the JSON file is corrupted, you'll have no way to restore your account or change your password!

Store the JSON file in a USB drive and separately from your password. Do not store it on the cloud or on your computer.

In the Polkadot extension

1. To export your JSON backup file, click on the three dots to the right of your account and select "Export Account":

2. Next, you will be asked for your account's password. Enter it, and click on the button to export the account.

3. Finally, the JSON file will be downloaded to your default Downloads folder. Its filename will be like this:

[your account address].json

Export all accounts in the Polkadot extension

The Polkadot extension allows you to export all your accounts added to it in a single "batch" file.

1. Click on the plus icon and select "Export all accounts":

2. Enter a password for the batch JSON file.


The password you enter in this step is for the batch JSON file only! You will need this password in order to restore your accounts from the JSON file.

This password is unrelated to the individual passwords of your accounts. After restoring from the batch file, each account will still need its own password to make transactions.

3. The JSON file will be downloaded to your default Downloads folder. Its filename will be like this:


where the number at the end is a Unix timestamp of the time it was exported.

On Polkadot-JS UI

1. First, navigate to the Accounts page of Polkadot-JS UI:

2. Next, click the three dots to the right of the "send" button, and select "Create a backup file for this account":

This will only work for accounts that were created directly on Polkadot-JS UI. Please check the sections above if you added your account through the Polkadot browser extension.

3. You will be asked to enter the account's password, which will also be the JSON file's password.

4. Finally, the JSON file will be downloaded to your default Downloads folder. Its filename will be like this:

[your account address].json

That's it! Your backup JSON file has been exported!

If you ever need to restore your accounts, you can do so with this file and the password. For more details on how to restore, check these articles:

How to restore your account in the Polkadot extension

Polkadot-JS UI: How to Restore Your Account

If you prefer visual instructions, this video covers the creation of accounts and exporting the JSON file, as well as changing your password, both on Polkadot-JS UI and the Polkadot extension. The instructions for manually exporting the file from the Polkadot extension are at the 03:13 timestamp.