Is your Ledger Nano device out of date? Here in this beginners guide you’ll learn how to upgrade your Ledger wallet’s firmware.
Just like how you keep your softwares up to date you also need to keep your hardware device up to date. Upgrading the device firmware enhances security, improves performance, add fixes and improves the overall user experience. So it is essential that you update your Ledger crypto wallet firmware.
Previously we’ve explained how to update Trezor wallet firmware. Similar to that guide here let’s see how to upgrade Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X devices to the latest firmware update.
This is a general firmware upgrade guide for Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S.
Updating the device firmware is quite simple. All you have to do is install Ledger Live, open up the Ledger Live application, connect your Nano device, go to the manager section, start the firmware update and follow the on screen instructions on Ledger Live to complete the upgrade.
But before you perform the update you need to take some precautions. We’ll explain that and we’ll also share some tips on keeping everything up to date.
So why to upgrade, when to update and how to update the firmware?
Ledger firmware updates
Just like how a good piece of software regularly receives updates; Ledger also releases new firmware from time to time for your hardware device. Whenever Ledger rolls out a new firmware you need to update your Ledger device.
Here are some of the benefits of keeping your hardware wallet up to date.
Every firmware update brings in additional advantages like:
New features, bug fixes, enhanced security settings, improved privacy features, improvement in user interface, support for latest coins, tokens and network upgrades. Also support for new cryptographic algorithms and bringing in several user experience improvements. For Nano X it can offer better battery performance and feature a faster Bluetooth transfer rate.
Ledger releases new firmware updates separately for both Ledger Nano X and Nano S. Read the release notes to find out more about the particular firmware update and the changes that it brings in.
Now Ledger firmware releases aren’t on the GitHub. You won’t find link to the GitHub for each release like its available for Trezor and other open source wallets. Release notes are only posted on the official website.
Also basically to update Ledger Nano firmware to the latest version you need the Ledger live desktop app. Once you connect your device to Ledger live you’ll see a notification banner telling you to update your device to the latest firmware version. It will display the release notes with all the features and fixes the latest firmware update brings in to your device.
Additionally you can also follow Ledger on social sites to get the latest updates.
Follow Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ledger
Follow Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ledgerwallet/
Note: Beware of phishing sites and fake social media profiles. Always make sure you are downloading softwares from the official website.
Also if you are planning to buy a new Ledger device then buy it from the official website here:
Never buy hardware wallets from unauthorized dealers and never buy it from Amazon, E-Bay or Alibaba.
When to update Ledger device firmware?
No matter whether the device is new or old you need to check and ensure that the device is running the latest software and all the installed apps are up to date. At least do it for the sake of security of your hardware device.
We are seeing a lot of people keep running the same old version without updating. There are few reasons for this.
1. Coins gone from Ledger Nano after firmware upgrade
Previously when performing a firmware upgrade Ledger wipes out everything from your wallet. This was a security measure designed to prevent hackers from stealing coins by updating Ledger Nano to a tampered firmware that could reveal the secret keys.
After the upgrade is done you’ll have to manually restore the device using your 24 word recovery seed phrase. Here is a guide to restore Ledger device from secret recovery phrase. After restoring; all your coins and tokens will be available again.
But this is not the case anymore. With latest firmware updates Ledger live automatically restores all your assets and accounts once the firmware upgrade is complete.
Note: People who have lost their coins after firmware upgrade are the ones those who haven’t backed up their device. Always remember no matter what happens to your device you will never lose your coins if you have your secret recovery backup phrase safe.
2. Device glitches, resets during update
This is another main reason why users get stressed out when doing the firmware upgrade. There have been times where upgrading firmware have caused issues with the device. Some might experience glitches and some may face trouble accessing their device and the coins. These are very rare and it mainly occurs when there is a power failure during the firmware update process.
In worst case your device could glitch and you’ll temporarily lose access to your accounts. You can easily resolve this by resetting device and restoring the wallet using recovery phrase.
Again remember that as long as you have the 24 word back up mnemonic recovery phrase, you are not going to lose your crypto. You can always restore your device whenever necessary.
Learn how to backup Ledger Nano device.
3. Concerned about dodgy phishing attempt
Ledger keeps rolling out new firmware for your device from time to time. Most of the time when you open Ledger live you’ll find a notification at the top saying that there is a new firmware version for download.
There are users who assume that it could be a phishing attack. Because previously users of electrum have suffered through this where they’ve downloaded malicious app and lost their coins. You can read more about it here.
This is why you always need to verify the app before using. Here is how to check hash and verify PGP signature of Ledger Live.
Also is Ledger Nano safe and can we trust their firmware release as everything is kept closed source? Because you’ll never know what kind of malicious codes are running on the device. This is another common doubt amount Ledger users and this is why we recommend Trezor – A secure open source wallet.
Anyways Ledger firmware is proprietary. Every new release is rigorously tested and is also certified by several third parties. Also there is bug bounty program from Ledger so many white hat hackers are regularly testing the software for vulnerabilities.
To know more check out the following links:
Anyways just be on the safer side don’t rush in and update your ledger for a week or so after you see the “new firmware update” reminder. Wait few days for the community feedback. If there is no reports or complaints on the latest firmware then you can proceed to update your device.
How to update the firmware on your Ledger Nano S & Nano X
Updating Ledger Nano firmware can be quite a nerve racking process but don’t be afraid to update. It’s always a best practice to keep your device and software up to date. Failing to update may not be bad in the short term. But running the same old version for years might cause issues.
So what happens if I don’t touch the device for more than a year? Is it going to cause problems when updating the firmware? If you haven’t used your device in years then probably you might be using older firmware (earlier version of the firmware like ex: 1.1.5).
In such case it won’t let you update the firmware directly through ledger live. You’ll have to reset the device and update the firmware to new version. This is why it is advised to take the device out every now and then atleast to run firmware updates.
If your old device is not updating or causing troubles then you’ll have to buy a new Ledger and restore your current wallet using the 24 words recovery phrase. Having a backup ledger wallet is a good strategy. Just in case if you mess up the original wallet you can have a peace of mind knowing that you have a backup device to access your coins.
Anyways here are some precautions to note before your upgrade your Ledger Nano firmware to the latest version.
Before you start firmware upgrade
As we said updating Ledger firmware does not reset your recovery phrase anymore. But just to stay safe never ever update your ledger firmware if you don’t have your recovery seed phrase with you. If you are using passphrase then you need that information as well.
We recommend testing your backup recovery phrase to ensure if you got the right backup before you proceed with the upgrade. Here is how to check mnemonic seed backup on Ledger. If the test is successful then proceed with the upgrade. If not then setup a new Ledger device, backup your new wallet and transfer all your funds to the new device.
Now to update Ledger device to the latest firmware version you need Ledger Live. You can download it from the official website here: https://www.ledger.com/ledger-live/download
Note: Beware of phishing links. After you download verify the Ledger live app to ensure if the software is genuine.
Ledger live software is available for both desktop and mobile. But to perform the firmware upgrade you need the desktop version.
If you are a Nano X user then you might be using Ledger Live Bluetooth option with your phone. You can also use your iPad and iPhone with your Nano X using Bluetooth. However you cannot update the Nano X device with your iPad/iPhone via Bluetooth. Unfortunately the mobile Ledger live application does not support firmware updates. So you cannot update the firmware using your phone. You either need a desktop or a laptop to perform the firmware upgrade.
What if I don’t own a laptop or desktop?
It doesn’t have to be your computer. You can use any computer to do this. You can also use your friend’s computer to perform the upgrade. Its completely safe. Just install Ledger live on their PC or laptop, connect your device and run the firmware update. Once the upgrade is successful you can uninstall the Ledger live from their machine.
Once the device is done with the firmware update you can safely disconnect your Ledger. Just connecting the device to Ledger Live won’t let your friend to access your crypto and there is no way for you to access your friend’s crypto. This operation is completely safe. However it can cause some personal issues. As they say “friendship and money don’t mix”. By doing this operation if something goes wrong with your friends device they are going to blame you and you’ll blame your friend if something wrong happens to your device.
So if you are holding thousands of dollars worth of crypto then its advisable to buy a cheap laptop for a few hundred dollars at least to mange your crypto related stuff.
Alright let’s now update the firmware on your Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X. The procedure is same but anyways let’s first start with Ledger Nano S.
Ledger Nano S firmware update
1. Before you start again make sure you got the 24-word recovery phrase available, as a precaution.
2. Next you need the latest version Ledger Live which we hope you have already installed. If you are using older version then update Ledger live through the notification banner. Or you can download the Ledger Live latest version from the official site here: https://www.ledger.com/ledger-live. Download and install the update.
After the update is over Ledger live will reopen and will display the latest version release notes. Read and continue.
3. Next connect your Ledger Nano S device to your PC. Enter PIN and unlock your device.
4. Once unlocked open Ledger Live and go to manager section which is device specific. Allow Ledger Live manager to access your device.
Finding the current firmware
Once the device is connected Ledger Live manager will display your device’s current firmware version and all the apps that you have on your device. If you are using older version then it should say firmware is outdated. The procedure to check the current firmware version is same for both Nano S and Nano X.
5. Now on the same page (Ledger Live manager section) at the top you’ll see an orange notification banner stating “update firmware to 2.x.x is available” like you see in the image above. Click update firmware to proceed with the update.
6. After you click update firmware you’ll see the release notes of the latest firmware. Read everything, check I have my recovery phrase and then click continue.
7. It’ll start downloading the update. Please wait for the update installer to be downloaded. It’ll take some time. Meanwhile if your device gets locked then unlock it again in order to continue with the update. Never disconnect while its processing the update.
8. Once downloaded press confirm the update on your device. Now wait for the firmware to update and unlock your device with your PIN.
That’s it! You should now see “Firmware updated” message on your Ledger live which means you are done with the firmware update on your Ledger Nano S. Your device is currently using the latest firmware version.
With recent firmware updates you don’t have to manually install the apps anymore. Ledger live remembers all your apps that you had installed previously. Just hit install apps and all the apps that you had previously will be automatically reinstalled on your device. Follow the on screen instructions to complete this.
After the update:
Note: New firmware might take some extra space. Also App sizes may vary from one version to another. So you might notice an increase in the app storage capacity limiting the total available space on the Ledger Nano S.
Also the new firmware upgrade might reset some of your previously configured settings. Like for example contract data in the Ethereum app, blind signing on the Solana app etc. It resets most of the apps to it default settings so any app related settings have to be manually re-enabled.
Also after the upgrade if your device displays “Welcome to Ledger Nano S” then it means the device has been reset. Not to worry. All your assets are safe. Use your 24-word recovery phrase to restore your Ledger device.
Ledger Nano X firmware upgrade
Since the procedure is same follow all the above steps from 1 to 8 of Ledger Nano S to update the firmware of your Ledger Nano X.
How to Upgrade Your Ledger Nano X to Firmware Version X.X? First make sure your Ledger live software is up to date and make sure you have your 24 word recovery phrase with you.
Open Ledger Live application and connect your Ledger Nano X to Ledger live manager. If you are using an older version then at the top you’ll see an orange banner stating “update available”. Click update firmware.
Download update, Verify update (verify the identifier), verify that the identifier on the device is same as show in the ledger manager. Finally click Perform Update, the device will enter bootloader mode, all you have to do is wait for the update to finish, once the update is finished you’ll have to re-enter pin and on ledger live and you’ll see the message saying firmware updated.
Just follow the onscreen instructions on Ledger live to successfully complete the firmware upgrade.
After the firmware update is complete enter PIN code to access your device. Then click re-install the apps and all the apps that you had in your Nano X will be automatically reinstalled.
In case if your device gets reset during the update then you can always restore it using recovery phrase.
Bluetooth pairing issues on Nano X
After the firmware update you might experience some Bluetooth connectivity issues. To fix this forget Ledger Nano X on your phone by removing the pairing. Then try pairing your Ledger Nano X and your mobile again. It should work.
That’s all! We hope you’ve successfully updated firmware on your Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X.