When dealing with cryptocurrencies or crypto-assets such as Ether and ERC-20 tokens, it is crucial to always be aware of and have your private keys, mnemonic phrases, and passwords backed up in case the unexpected occurs. For more on seed phrases and your MetaMask Secret Recovery Phrase, see here.
Backing Up When You Install MetaMask
When you create a new MetaMask account, you are prompted to accept two screens concerning privacy and terms of usage followed by a page where you enter a password. This password is what allows you to unlock your local MetaMask account once installed. However, if your computer crashes or if you are somehow unable to access your MetaMask, this password will not help you gain access to your funds from another machine or after a crash.
The following page, where you are given your 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase, is the most important bit of information for you to record and keep safe in managing your MetaMask account.
You can write your Secret Recovery Phrase down on a piece of paper (or, you know, titanium) or a flash drive; optionally, we allow you to download a file containing the phrase.
Backing Up After You Install MetaMask
If for some reason you forgot to record your 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase or you lost the original copy, as long as your MetaMask account is still unlocked, you can reveal your Seed Phrase / Secret Recovery Phrase so you can back it up again.
On the web extension:
Navigate down to Settings:
Go to Security & Privacy:
Scroll down, and click on the button that reads "Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase".
Enter your password to reveal your Seed Phrase / Secret Recovery Phrase.
Tap on the three horizontal lines in the top left. Select Settings:
In Settings, choose Security & Privacy:
In Security, tap on Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase and then on Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase view enter your password to reveal your Secret Recovery Phrase:
To better communicate the importance of never sharing your seed phrase, we've changed the name of the phrase to "secret recovery phrase". Learn more here.