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How to set up an Ethereum wallet on MetaMask

Learn how to create your own Ethereum wallet that you control with MetaMask

By Jeremy Keeshin

CEO of CodeHS

Say you want to start trying out Ethereum and interacting with the many new applications there. How do you start? One of the first things you'll need is a wallet application. A wallet lets you store your tokens and also interact with the different protocols. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can get set up with the MetaMask wallet, one of the most popular wallets for interacting with Ethereum.

Step 1. Download MetaMask

The first thing you'll want to do is visit and click Download.

Then you'll want to install MetaMask for your browser, so you can click "Install MetaMask for Chrome."

This will take you to the Chrome Web store to download a browser extension. A browser extension is some code that runs in your browser that adds functionality for interacting with websites. You'll want to double check you are downloading from a trusted source.

I'll click "Add to Chrome," and then "Add Extension" to install the browser extension.

Now, it's installed! It should take you to a page like this.

The extension is accessible in the top right corner with the puzzle piece icon, if you click that, you can click the pin to make it easier to find.

After you pin the extension you'll see it in the top right of your browser here.

Step 2. Create your Wallet

Now that you installed MetaMask, you have the browser extension. You'll then get to a page that looks like this. Since this is our first time trying it, we'll select "Create a Wallet."

On the next step you can choose whether you want them to collect analytics. I'll select "No Thanks."

Now, you create a password. This will unlock the MetaMask extension on your computer. Type in your password and click "Create."

Then it will take you to an informational video with how MetaMask works explaining your key. I'd recommend watching it.

Step 3. Back Up and Verify Your Secret Backup Phrase

This is a very important step! Next you'll be presented with your Secrete Backup Phrase. This may also go by other names, like recovery phrase, or wallet seed phrase. This is your super secret password which provides access to your wallet.

If you lose this phrase, you lose access to your tokens. If someone else gets this phrase, they get access to your wallet.

Click to reveal the secret words. This is a 12 word phrase.

You need to back up this phrase-- I'd recommend using a password manager to store it.

After you back it up, it will confirm that you have it backed up by testing it on the next screen.

Once it is backed up, MetaMask will give you some security tips, which I'll also repeat here:

• Save a backup in multiple places.

• Never share the phrase with anyone.

• Be careful of phishing! MetaMask will never spontaneously ask for your Secret Recovery Phrase.

• If you need to back up your Secret Recovery Phrase again, you can find it in Settings -> Security.

Now you have created your wallet, and backed up your seed phrase. Nice!

Step 4. Find your Ethereum address

Now that you have your wallet set up, you can find your Ethereum address. You can open your wallet by clicking the fox icon in the top right corner and that will open your wallet. Now if you click the letters and numbers that start with "0x...." and copy that -- that is your address.

You can also click the three dots to view "Account Details" or click "View on Etherscan."

Now you have a wallet set up that you can use, and interact with Ethereum!