Education, How Abra Works

How to transfer your Abra wallet when you upgrade your phone

The new iPhone is out and if it’s on your shopping list (lucky you!) or if you plan on upgrading your phone (Android or iOS) in, well, ever, below are some important steps to take before you make the switch. This will ensure that you’ll have full access to the funds in your Abra wallet after you’ve upgraded your phone.

Abra is a non-custodial wallet. That means that we don’t hold onto your funds on your behalf. You are the only person with access to your funds. Generally, non-custodial wallets are considered more secure than hosted wallets, but it does mean that you have more responsibility for making sure you always have a way to access your money.

What does this have to do with getting a new smartphone?

When you upgrade your phone, your Abra wallet information (including any funds stored there) will not automatically transfer over. This is a deliberate security decision, to ensure your wallet is not accessible on multiple devices. You need to transfer your wallet yourself. You do this by using your unique recovery phrase – a series of thirteen random English words — which is like the key to your wallet.

Essentially, what you need to do is make sure you have the recovery phrase from the app on your old phone, and port that over to the app on your new phone. You know how you back up your files on your computer so that one day, if you spill coffee on your laptop, hypothetically speaking, you can simply restore your old files from a cloud backup or a hard drive onto your new device and go about your business like nothing happened? It’s sort of like that.

Here’s the step-by-step:

Before you upgrade your phone:

  1. Open up your Abra app on your old phone
  2. Go to the Menu in the top left corner
  3. Scroll down and choose Wallet Security (“Backup” on older versions of the app)
  4. Choose View recovery phrase
  5. Write down your wallet recovery phrase, and store it in a safe place

If you already did this when you signed up for Abra, just make sure you still know where you keep your wallet recovery phrase. So far so good?

After you upgrade your phone:

You’ll see the Abra app on your new device, but you’ll still need to restore your wallet on your new phone.

Restore bitcoin wallet after iPhone upgrade1. Open up your Abra app on your shiny new phone

2. At this point, Abra doesn’t recognize you. It thinks you’re a new user. Not true! So you have to tell Abra you’ve been here before by clicking on the Restore Your Wallet link (see screenshot).

3. You’ll be asked to verify your phone number. Do that. Use the same phone number you used to create your Abra wallet way back when.

4. Then you’ll be asked to input your recovery phrase.

And you’re done!

You can learn more about the recovery phrase, and how it keeps your funds safe, on our Security page. And as always, feel free to comment here or email us with any questions – we’re always happy to help!