In this guide, you will learn how to setup your Ledger Nano S bitcoin hardware wallet. Lets get started by plugging in our Ledger Nano S with the supplied USB cable. The device will now power on and you should see a message on the screen saying “Welcome … Press both buttons to begin”. As the message says, we are going to press both buttons at the same time to begin our setup. Our Ledger Nano S will now give you some tips about navigating the hardware’s menu.
We should see the following message: “With Ledger Nano S, side buttons are used to interact and control the user interface. User left/right buttons to change values. and navigate through multiple choice lists. Use both buttons when you wish to confirm/continue with an application. To begin configuration press both buttons.” This is simply telling you that if you need to make a selection choice from an option listed on the hardware screen, press both buttons at the same time to make the selection. This is this like double clicking a mouse to open a program, except here we are pushing to buttons at the same time instead. Options the how up on the left and right side of the screen (such as confirm/deny) can be chosen by clicking the corresponding left or right button. An example of this will be shown on the next step in our tutorial. For now, to continue onto our setup, please press and hold both buttons.
The screen will now show a message that says “Configure as new device”. An X will show on the left hand side of screen and a check mark is showing on the right hand side. Press the right button to select the check mark to continue device setup.
This brings us to step 1 in our setup. We will need to select a pin code to protect our wallet from anyone else that might get their hands on it. Press both buttons at the same time to begin choosing our pin. Our pin selection has numbers 0-9. We can use our right button to cycle through numbers in increasing order, or our left button to cycle through numbers in decreasing order. To choose a number you have selected press both buttons at the same time. After choosing our first number, a new option with a backspace arrow will appear. If you selected the wrong number, you can use the backspace to delete it and select a new number in its place. For this example we will use pin 0123. Please think of a more secure pin during your setup. After we have at least a 4 digit pin on the screen, a new option will appear with a check mark. This will end our pin selection at 4 digits, however you can continue to make your pin code longer if you want maximum security. Simply select the check mark icon when you are finished. That being said, with our check mark selected on our screen, press both buttons at the same time to continue.
Step 2 will be to confirm our pin that we just entered. Click both keys to continue. Enter the pin you choose in step one. This will confirm you entered the correct pin code. When finished, with our check mark selected on our screen, press both buttons at the same time to continue.
Step 3 is our recovery phase. This step is very important. Using a pen and paper, write down your recovery words and store them in a safe place. Please view the tutorial Bitcoin Keys – Backups, Seeds, and Safe Storage for more detailed information on safekeeping your bitcoin.
Scroll through your words thing the right and left buttons. Make sure you are writing your words down in the correct order. When you are finished writing down all of your recovery words, press both buttons at the same time to continue.
Step 4 will confirm your recovery words. You might think its a time consuming to verify which order your words were given to you. The importance of verifying your backup is detrimental to securing your funds. You should always be patient, and verify your backups appropriately. Hardware wallets are one of the safest methods to securing your bitcoin, especially large values of it. The hardware is only as secure as your setup and backups. Using your buttons to scroll right and left to select words, press and hold both buttons when you have your requested word selected. Repeat this step for the requested words, in the order you wrote them.
Your hardware wallet is now setup with your private keys required to operate your bitcoin wallet. However, now we need to download a software wallet to interact with the hardware wallet.. Hardware wallets are compatible with many different wallets that support them. For this tutorial we will be installing and using the manufacture’s software from the Ledger Nano S website.
First we need to download the Ledger Manager software. This will allow us to download ‘apps’ on our Ledger Nano S. Our main app we will be focusing on is Bitcoin. Navigate to the Ledger website at the following link: https://www.ledgerwallet.com/apps/manager and click “Get the app” with the download icon. You will likely need the google web browser installed on your computer to use the program. If you do not have Google Chrome installed, follow this link to the download website: https://www.google.com/chrome/ . After your Ledger Manager is installed, check the app for a notification regarding your firmware version. If this needs updated, please follow our “How to Update Ledger Nano S Firmware” tutorial. We will continue on now with setting up our bitcoin wallet. However, please make sure you update your firmware before sending any funds to wallet. At the top of your list of ‘apps’ on the Ledger Manager, you should see “Bitcoin” with an arrow down button to its right. Click the arrow down button to install the “Bitcoin App” on your Ledger Nano S. Check your device to enter your pin. Click the check mark icon using the right button on your device. After a few seconds, you should see the bitcoin icon appear on your device screen. Your bitcoin wallet is now setup on your hardware wallet.
Finally, its time to download the Ledger Bitcoin Wallet software. Navigate to the download page on the Ledger website by following this link: https://www.ledgerwallet.com/apps/bitcoin and select the install button under “Ledger Wallet Bitcoin”. Once installed open the program. You should see a message that says “To begin, connect and unlock your Ledger Wallet”. Unlock your Ledger Nano S and using your buttons to move left and right, select the bitcoin icon and press both buttons at the same time. Your wallet software on the computer will now begin to load your bitcoin wallet.
If you see a message on your screen that says “Which Bitcoin chain do you want to use?” check mark the “Remember my choice” button below, then click the button that says “Bitcoin” located on the left.
If you see a message on your screen that says “Choose your address type” click the button that says “Segwit” located to the far right.
Your software wallet is now setup and ready to use.