How to Set up and Use The Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S Brief Overview

Having the compact size of your average USB memory stick, the Ledger Nano S solves the problem of crypto hacking. You have, no doubt, noticed that crypto exchanges present a prime target for cybercriminals. For the price of convenience, people are willing to give up their private keys to these exchanges, voiding major cryptocurrency features — security and decentralization.


As a cold storage hardware wallet, Ledger Nano S achieves the balance between convenience and the highest form of security:

  • Offline storage of your cryptocurrency wallets, through which you can shuffle with two buttons.
  • Ownership of your private key.
  • Device wipeout if the pin code is entered incorrectly three times.
  • Offline creation of a 24-word recovery phrase, with which you can recover the devices wallets.
  • Stainless steel-protected screen just large enough to view your cryptocurrency addresses, different wallets, pin code, and recovery phrase.


With the Ledger Nano S, you can conduct a cryptocurrency trade with any device, mobile, or desktop that has a USB port. Although not as convenient as just tapping on your smartphone to get into your crypto wallet of choice, the extra security offered by Ledger Nano S more than makes up for it.

What’s in the Box?

The Nano Ledger S box weighs 16.2g, while its dimensions are 56.95 mm x 17.4 mm x 9.1 mm. Here is what you will find in the Nano Ledger S box:

Ledger Nano S

  1. Recovery sheet and three paper cards within the 59-page Ledger Nano S user manual, which you can also download here.
  2. USB 3.0 cable for connecting the device (it is not battery-powered).
  3. Keychain attachment with two rings.
  4. Lanyard accessory.
  5. The Ledger Nano S device.

Setting Up Your Ledger Nano S

ledger screen

Set Your PIN Code

When you first connect your hardware wallet via the included USB cable, you will see a welcome screen. Press both upper buttons to begin. Then, press the right button to confirm the “configure as new device?” prompt.

The company doesn’t preconfigure their hardware wallets with PIN codes, so make sure it doesn’t have one. Then, choose and memorize your PIN code. If you upgrade its firmware to 1.3 or higher, you will have the option to create an 8-digit PIN code.

Moreover, if you want to make sure the device is authentic, you can connect it to the Ledger Live app for verification. A genuine Ledger device will hold a secret key, which enables it to connect to Ledger servers.

Although you only have two buttons at your disposal, navigating through digits is intuitive: 

  • When you are prompted with Choose a PIN, press both buttons to proceed.
  • Cycle through numbers with the right or left button, and press both buttons to confirm each digit.
  • Likewise, press both buttons when you select the checkmark icon to confirm your PIN code.

Set Your Recovery Phrase

After you are done creating your PIN code, it’s time to record the core security feature — a 24-word recovery phrase. Each word will be displayed word by word on the screen as randomly generated on the secure device. Write down each word on the included Recovery Sheet, and double-check you entered it correctly to your Ledger Nano S.

After you have entered the 24th word, you will be prompted to confirm your 24-word recovery phrase. As always, press two buttons to confirm.

Updating Firmware

By creating the PIN code and 24-word recovery phrase, you have initialised the device. However, you may have to update the firmware of the wallet before you can continue with normal usage, download and install Ledger Live. If you’re firmware is not at the latest version, you will see a notice within Ledger Live prompting you to update. 

Depending on what firmware version is currently loaded onto your Nano S, you may have slightly different instructions on how to update.

Please refer to the official Ledger guide on how to update your particular firmware version.

Sending and Receiving Crypto Funds by Adding an Account

With setting and updating out of the way, it’s time to get down to the business of storing and using your cryptocurrencies. With the Ledger Live app, it is easy to manage and sync your crypto assets. As the “Live” moniker infers, each account’s public address will be stored on your computer/smartphone. That way, Ledger Live can track your crypto assets just as you would on any web-based crypto exchange.

To begin, first add an account in your Ledger Live app by clicking on Accounts and add account.

Ledger Live

Of course, to tap into accounts, you first have to install apps depending on what cryptocurrency you want to trade in. By default, Nano Ledger S holds three pre-installed apps: for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and FIDO U2F (authentication protocol). Altogether, Nano S can hold up to approximately 3-8 apps at any one time (depending on the asset type). 

Ledger Manager allows you to uninstall the pre-installed apps and install new ones from Ledger’s free app store. This just means when you want to interact with an alternative currency, you will have to load that app via the Manager onto your device before adding those accounts.

Once you click on Add account, it will ask you the type of cryptocurrency you want add. Afterward, proceed with Connect and unlock your device prompt. Plug in your Ledger device itself, enter the PIN code and press both buttons for confirmation.

Ledger Live Account

Then, as you open the app, you are all set to trade in cryptocurrencies. Within each app, you can create and delete multiple accounts, based on your needs, with each account representing your public address.

As the final step, sending and receiving cryptocurrency is a piece of cake.

Sending bitcoin

Within each account, you will see blue Send and Receive buttons, waiting for you to enter the amounts and addresses.  If you have any problems, please check the regularly updated Ledger website from which you downloaded the apps.

If you need any further assistance setting up your Ledger Nano S, please feel free to contact us!