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ledger nano x setup guide

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Ledger Nano X: Complete setup guide

This article is a complete setup guide for Ledger Nano X. What is Ledger Nano X? It is a crypto hardware wallet designed to provide ultimate safety. We’ll go through the Ledger Nano X set-up process step-by-step and show you how to manage your device.

General information about Ledger

Nano X is a cryptocurrency wallet made by the French tech company Ledger. It is an updated version of the popular Ledger Nano S crypto wallet. Deliveries of Nano X started in the spring of 2019.

Ledger Nano X is a hardware wallet, which is also called a cold wallet. It means that your precious private keys are stored offline. Private keys are needed to unlock funds of any blockchain address.

The opposite of a cold wallet is a hot wallet, which is always online. Practically all other wallets are considered hot wallets. This includes mobile wallets, desktop wallets, and online services. We have published a separate beginner’s guide to crypto wallets. Read that article if you want to know more about the pros and cons of different wallets.

Cold storage (hardware wallet) is recommended for investors of all sizes. It provides ultimate protection for small and large portfolios. A hardware wallet requires some technical skills, but nothing too fancy. Anyone who is familiar with installing software on a PC or mobile can manage a Ledger.

This article will guide you through the installation of Ledger Nano X. We’ll cover each step of the set-up process and you will also learn how to transfer coins to (and from) your Ledger wallet.

Ledger Nano X vs. Ledger Nano S Plus

The predecessor of Ledger X is the Ledger Nano S wallet. It became the most popular hardware wallet already years ago. Millions of Ledger Nano S wallets have been sold worldwide.

The first-generation Ledger Nano S is not offered by Ledger anymore. It is still a perfectly safe and usable product if you happen to own one. Ledger upgraded the Nano S model to Nano S Plus in the spring of 2022. This new model looks very much like the Nano X flagship model.

ledger nanos

The biggest upgrade has been done to the storage capacity of Nano S. The new S Plus has room for about 100 apps, just like the Nano X. Both support more than 5500 different cryptocurrencies and over 50 external crypto wallets.

The major difference between these models is connectivity. Nano S Plus has the same USB cable connection as Nano S did. The flagship model Nano X has a Bluetooth connection included. At the time of writing this article, Nano S Plus costs 89 euros and Nano X costs 149 euros. From a technical point of view, both are as safe wallets.

Buy Ledger Nano X   Buy Ledger Nano S Plus

It is very important to buy the wallet from the official Ledger website. This way you can be 100 percent sure that the device hasn’t been manipulated. Never buy one second-handed from internet marketplaces!

Leder Nano X setup

The Ledger Nano X device is managed with the Ledger live software. It can be installed on a PC or mobile device. Since Ledger Nano X has the Bluetooth option, we will manage the device with a mobile device. This installation guide has been done by using an iPhone, but an Android installation is no different.

Note that your Ledger Nano X might be low on power when you open it. If the battery is low, plug the device into a power source with the USB cable that comes with it.

Now we are ready to begin the installation process!

Installing the Ledger Live

Start the setup process by installing the Ledger Live app on your phone. Download it from the Apple store or Google Play store. Once you have downloaded the app, open it.

You’ll first see a screen saying Welcome to Ledger Live and a button Getting Started. Start the installation by clicking this button.

Next, the app asks you to pick the correct device. Select Ledger Nano X.

Once you have chosen the device, you’ll see four options:

  1. Import desktop accounts
  2. Initialize as a new device
  3. Restore from recovery phrase
  4. Use initialized device

Since we are installing a new device, select option number two.

Initializing the Ledger Nano X

Next, the Ledger Live app asks you to start your Nano X device. The Nano S had two small buttons on the side, which you had to push simultaneously to select or confirm actions. Nano X has two big round buttons instead, one of them black and one grey.

The Nano X box doesn’t contain any instructions, really. It just tells you to download the Ledger Live app and follow the online instructions.

ledger nano x contents
Contents of the Ledger Nano X box.

Nano X asks you next to click the right button to continue. Once you have done that, the device makes sure you have downloaded the Live app. After that, more on-screen instructions follow. When you want to confirm or accept something, click both buttons at the same time.

Once you have walked through the instructions, you’d see this on the screen of your Nano X: Set up as a new device. Click both buttons to confirm and begin the setup process.

The PIN code

Nano X asks you next to choose a PIN code of 4 to 8 digits.

IMPORTANT: Select a code you won’t forget under any circumnstances. You need this every time you use Nano X.

ledger nano X PIN code
Entering the PIN code for Nano X

Click both buttons at the same time to pick a PIN code. Use the left or right button to browse numbers up or down. Once you have found a number you like, click both buttons to confirm it. The icon looking like <[x] after zero will remove the previous number.

Nano X allows you to confirm a PIN code of four (4) digits, but you can also use 5, 6, 7, or 8 digits if you want.  After saving the PIN code, Nano X asks you to confirm it as well.

The recovery phrase

Next, you’d see the following text on your Nano X: Write down your recovery phrase.  This is a phrase consisting of 24 words and these words are the key to your Nano X. Anyone who possesses these words has an access to your wallet.

IMPORTANT: The recovery phrase is the single most important piece of your wallet. You have to look after it more carefully than your Nano X device. If you lose the Nano X, you can always just buy a new one. But if you lose the recovery phrase to someone else, your funds are gone. Don’t ever store this recovery phrase near your Nano X. Don’t take a picture of it on your phone.

Think carefully about where and how you will store the paper. It’s not a bad idea to cut it into two pieces and store them in separate locations.  There are three pieces in the Nano X box you can use to save your phrase.

ledger nano x recovery sheets
Ledger Nano x recovery sheets.

Click both buttons on your device to continue. Next, Nano X is warning you of exactly the same thing you just read in this article. Click the right button to move on to the first word.

IMPORTANT: It’s critical to write down each word clearly, so you don’t have any problems reading them afterward. Write down the first word as shown in the Nano X and click the right button to continue. Write down the second word and continue until all 24 words are done. After this, you’ll have to confirm these words to make sure you stored them correctly.

In the confirmation process, Nano X is giving you several options for the first word. Browse them, select the correct one and confirm with both buttons. Continue this process until you have confirmed all 24 words. If you have done everything correctly, you’ll see the following text on your Nano X: Your device is now ready >

Click the right button to continue and you’ll see the words: Access Dashboard. Click both buttons to enter the dashboard of the device.

You have now initialized your Ledger Nano X device.

Connecting Nano X to Ledger Live

Next, it’s time to connect your mobile phone and Nano X. Go back to Ledger Live app on your mobile. Before moving to Nano X, we were at part three of the setup process, where Ledger Live was telling about the PIN code. Click the Continue button to move forward.

Ledger Live gives you next some additional information about backup codes, which we went through already. Continue.

You’ll then see some security questions, which you must answer. Proceed through and you’d see the following picture on your Ledger Live app.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on your mobile before you continue.

ledger nano x bluetooth
Connecting your Ledger Nano X.

Now it’s time to connect the devices. Click the Add new Ledger Nano X button. It’d take about 10 seconds from the Live app to find your Nano X device. If this happens, you’ll see a Bluetooth confirmation code on your Nano X, which you then have to confirm by clicking both buttons.

Next, the Ledger Live app asks you to input a password.

IMPORTANT: This password is for the Ledger Live app only. It prevents unauthorized use in case your mobile phone is lost. After typing in the password, you can change it to fingerprint recognition if your mobile device supports it.

HELP: You might encounter a problem connecting the devices. Should that happen, go to the dashboard of your Ledger Nano X.

ledger nano x control center
The Control Center of Nano X.

Select the Control Center and hold both buttons simultaneously for a few seconds for it to open. Choose Settings -> Security -> Reset Pairings. This will reset all Bluetooth connections from Nano X. Your mobile phone should then find Nano X without problems.

Creating accounts

Now your Ledger Nano X is initialized and connected to the Live app. Next, we can create a cryptocurrency wallet.

Open the Ledger Live app from your mobile phone. You’d see the following picture because there are no apps or accounts installed yet.

ledger nano x portfolio
Ledger Live App.

Select Manager from the footer menu and your Nano X from the options that follow.

After this, you’ll see a list of all cryptocurrency apps that Nano X currently supports. Begin by installing the Bitcoin app. The installation should start immediately and take about one minute. After it’s done, you’ll see a small Bitcoin app icon on your Nano X.

Now you can create Bitcoin accounts, which means Bitcoin addresses in practice. Click Go to accounts from the Live app. After this, the Live app asks you to open the Bitcoin app from Nano X as well. Do that and the synchronization process begins. It’d take about 10-15 seconds.

Ledger Live App gives you now an option to add a new account. Select the Bitcoin 1 Segwit row and click Continue. Now you’d see your new wallet under Accounts.

You can add different cryptocurrency accounts in the same way. First, you need to install the app for each cryptocurrency. After that, you can create as many accounts as you want.

The Ledger Nano X setup is now complete!

How to receive transactions with Ledger Nano X

Your brand new Ledger Nano X device is now initialized, but it’s still empty. Let’s move some cryptocurrency into it. You probably have some Bitcoins in an exchange or in an online wallet you want to move to Nano X for more security.

Open the Ledger Live app and select Transfer from the footer menu and then Receive. Click the Bitcoin account we created earlier. Next, the Live app asks you to open the Bitcoin app from Nano X too. You’d see a text Application ready on your Nano X.

Next, the Live App asks you to confirm that the receiving address is the same in the Live app and on your Nano X screen. This is just a security measure. You’ll see the address after clicking Continue in the Live app.

Now it’s time to make a Bitcoin transaction to that address from any wallet you want.

ledger nano x approve
Approve the transaction by clicking both buttons on your Nano X.

You get the screen cleared by approving the transfer from Nano X by clicking both buttons (see the image).

IMPORTANT: It’s always a good idea to make a small test transfer first when using new services or devices.

Bitcoin transaction shows fast on your Nano X, but it takes a few confirmations until it can be sent forward.

How to send cryptocurrency with Ledger Nano X

Sending cryptocurrency with your Nano X is as easy as receiving it.

Open the Live app from your mobile phone and select Transfer from the footer menu followed by Send. Next, the app asks you to scan the QR code of the receiver. Scanning the QR code is by far the best and easiest way to input the receiver’s address. You’d never type it letter-by-letter but at minimum use copy-paste.

Once you have inputted the receiving address, click continue. The Ledger Live app asks you next to input the amount of crypto you want to send. Finally, a summary is shown on the screen.

ledger nano x send
Sending cryptos with your Ledger Live App & Nano X.

Next, the Live app asks you to open Nano X and the correct cryptocurrency app. If you are sending Bitcoins, you need to open the Bitcoin app.

Once you have selected the app, Nano X asks you to review the transaction information as well. If everything looks ok, you just confirm the transaction.

The Ledger Live app should broadcast your transaction to the Bitcoin network in about 20-30 seconds. The receiver then gets it after a couple of block confirmations – the exact time depends on the wallet software being used.

How to use the recovery sheet

As mentioned earlier, the 24-word recovery sheet is the most important piece in your Ledger puzzle. If you lose the recovery sheet, a hostile actor can initialize a new Nano X device with them and get access to all your crypto possessions.

You might need this sheet yourself in the following situations:

  • You forget the PIN code to your Nano X
  • Your Nano X is stolen or lost
  • Your Nano X has a technical issue

All these events are very unlikely, but you better know what to do, should they ever occur. This is why we recommend trying the device recovery before moving a large number of funds into it.

IMPORTANT: You should remember that your cryptocurrencies are never stored on your computer, on your Nano X, or any other device. Cryptocurrency is always stored in its blockchain. What you store in your Nano X is the key to accessing those funds.

Ledger hardware wallets enable easy and secure private key management. When you set up your device, a unique master private key is created by Ledger’s secure hardware and software. As all your private keys and public addresses arise from your master private key, you can manage many accounts and crypto assets with a single device. (Ledger)

Ledger Nano X recovery is not a difficult process. See the video below for a step-by-step guide.

After completing the process in the video, you need to also re-install the apps on your device.

How to buy and sell crypto

It’s now possible to buy and sell crypto by using the Ledger Live app. Most popular crypto wallets have this feature these days. It blurs the difference between wallets and exchanges, but there is one significant benefit of using Ledger Live.

If you make a purchase via Ledger Live, you always have full control of your funds. All trades are executed using a third-party provider that will send the newly-purchased coins directly to your wallet. If you go to an exchange, you have to first deposit your coins to the exchange account before trading. You are not in control of your coins until you’ve withdrawn them back to Ledger.

There is a catch, though. Many wallets charge extremely high costs for their trading service. At first, the trade might even look feeless, but the fees are then hidden to spread. Meaning, if you swap 1000 USDC to USDT you might only get 900 back. Even if they’d trade 1:1. We don’t recommend any wallets for active trading. If you want to make a lot of trades, use an exchange.

You’ll find the Buy, Sell, and Swap buttons from the Ledger Live main menu.

Final words

Ledger Nano X is the leading cold wallet in the market for a good reason. It’s a great fit for pros and amateurs alike. The Bluetooth connectivity is a great addition compared to the Nano S Plus model.

Note that you don’t need to shut down the Nano X once you’re done. It will go to a power save mode automatically when not used. If you are using the Nano X wireless and via Bluetooth, you need to plug it in for a charger now and then.

Never ever buy your Ledger from anywhere else except the official Ledger website. Otherwise, you’ll run into a risk of losing all your funds. Keep your 24-word backup codes also safe. They should be in a safer place (and never in the same location) than your Ledger Nano X device.

We recommend Ledger Nano X to all crypto investors who seek ultimate safety and a good night’s sleep! With Ledger Nano X, this is guaranteed.

Buy Ledger Nano X now

One final reminder. No crypto wallet is 100% safe. Even if you’d have a Ledger Nano X, there is nothing wrong with diversifying your funds to different wallets or services. Read more from our beginner’s guide to crypto wallets.

AboutBitcoin Team

Hey! We're the AboutBitcoin squad, a team of crypto lovers who've been all about cryptocurrency since 2017. Every week, we drop the latest news and cool insights from the crypto world. Come hang with us as we dive into the crazy, ever-changing scene of cryptocurrencies – it's gonna be an awesome adventure!