In this article you will learn how to restore your Polkadot account either from your mnemonic phrase, your JSON file or a raw private key phrase in Polkadot-JS UI.

We highly recommend that you add your accounts through the browser extension, as it has many advantages:

  1. It provides better security than using the Web UI directly
  2. Your browser won't "forget" your accounts if its cookies are cleared
  3. It allows you to interact with any Web 3.0 compatible site in the Polkadot ecosystem
  4. The extension recognizes all known Polkadot scams and alerts you when you access a phishing site. This will help you protect yourself and your funds.

If you haven't installed the Polkadot extension yet, you can find download instructions here.

Note: The Polkadot extension is an account manager, not a wallet. You will still need to use Polkadot-js UI to interact with your accounts and see your balance. 

a. Restore from your 12-word mnemonic phrase

1. Go to the accounts section and click on Add Account.

2. Delete the pre-generated 12 words shown and enter your own mnemonic phrase

NOTE: If you're getting an error and your mnemonic phrase isn't accepted, please check this article.

3. Tick the box "I have saved my mnemonic seed safely" and click "Next".

4. Choose a name for your account and add a strong and unique password. Then click "Next".

5. On the next screen, click "Save". This will automatically save a new JSON file on your computer, which you can use to restore your account in the future.

Your JSON file will have the name of your DOT address and should go straight to your Downloads folder. Unless you rename it, it will look like this:

You will now see your account added under "Accounts". (Refresh the page if you don't see it right away.)

b. Restore from your JSON file

IMPORTANT! You cannot restore a "batch" JSON file (that contains multiple accounts) directly on Polkadot-JS UI. These files can only be used to restore in the Polkadot extension.

1. In the accounts section, click on Restore JSON.

2. On the next screen, either click in the "backup file" field to select your JSON file, or drag and drop  it into the field. Then enter the password you set for your account when you created it.

Your account has now been successfully restored and you will see it in your list of accounts.

c. Restore from your raw private key

Restoring your account from your raw private key works very similarly to restoring from your mnemonic seed. 

  1. Go to your Accounts page and click on "Add account"
  2. Click on the word "Mnemonic" and select "Raw seed" from the drop-down menu that appears.
  3. Delete the shown private key and enter yours instead.

    IMPORTANT: If your key doesn't start with 0x, add it manually in front of it.

  4. Then check "I have saved my mnemonic seed safely" and click Next.
  5. Follow the instructions and create a password.