This post walks you through the setup process of MetaMask in Google Chrome. We choose Chrome as it is more widely used than any other browser. However, the process to install MetaMask plugins in Firefox and Opera is also the same.
What is Metamask?
MetaMask is essentially a browser plugin that is supported by Chrome, Firefox and Opera. It lets you set up your very own Ethereum wallet right in your browser. You can make transactions into and out of your Ethereum wallet with ease using MetaMask.
Step 1: Go to https://metamask.io/
Click on the GET CHROME EXTENSION button which is highlighted in the below image.
Step 2: Install MetaMask Extension
Click on the ADD TO CHROME button to add it to your chrome extension list.
The browser will check the compatibility and a dialogue box will pop up as shown below. Click on the Add Extension button to proceed.
Step 3: MetaMask added successfully!
You have now successfully added MetaMask to your browser. Congratulations!
Step 4: Open MetaMask
Open a new tab and click on the small orange fox icon in the top right corner of the browser as shown in the below figure.
Step 5: Accept Terms
This will be followed by a bunch of terms that you should read and accept as shown below.
Step 6: Create a Wallet
You must now enter a secure password with at least 8 characters in the boxes provided.
After entering the password and before clicking the create button as shown in the below figure, please take your time to understand the look and feel of the MetaMask fox as he follows around your mouse pointer. Pretty neat design, eh?
Step 7: Wallet Seed Words
You will now come across 12 words that let you restore your MetaMask accounts. Make sure you keep them safe and secret. I have masked the words below except for the last word economy, for flair. You can either choose to copy the words somewhere safe or save it as a file in your computer. Both options are present as buttons below.
Step 8: Congratulations! Wallet created!
You now have a MetaMask wallet!
- View account on Etherscan – This will take you to Etherscan.io where you can see all the transactions that have happened on your public address.
- Show QR Code – This will show your public address as a QR code.
- Copy Address to Clipboard – This copies your public address to your clipboard.
- Export Private Key – This is very IMPORTANT as access to the private key determines access to your wallet.
You can also edit your wallet name to whatever you want by clicking on the edit option. I have changed it to ‘My First ETH Account’ as shown below.
Step 9: Public and Private Keys
You can now view your public and private keys. DO NOT SHARE YOUR PRIVATE KEYS with anyone.
The following screenshots show public keys and private keys (which are hidden because they shouldn’t be shared)
Step 10: MetaMask Wallet Overview
You can now do transactions in ETH directly from your browser! You can explore the BUY and SEND buttons as shown in the below steps.
Step 11: Buy / Send ETH
You can buy ETH from Coinbase or Shapeshift as shown below.
You can also send ETH to other recipients by specifying their addresses and the amount you want to send.
This concludes the MetaMask setup tutorial.
Hopefully, this brief tutorial successfully helped you create an Ethereum wallet on your browser using MetaMask.