Getting started with MetaMask

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What is MetaMask?

Public blockchains like Ethereum are the next evolution of Internet databases, and MetaMask is the next evolution of the browser.

MetaMask is a web browser extension and mobile app that allows you to manage your Ethereum private keys. By doing so, it serves as a wallet for Ether and other tokens, and allows you to interact with decentralized applications, or dapps. Unlike some wallets, MetaMask keeps no information on you: not your email address, not your password, and not your Secret Recovery Phrase or other private keys. You retain all power over your crypto-identity.

 

For detailed information on specific topics such as blockchain technology, tokens, swaps, Layer 2 networks and the rest, scroll down to "Next Steps".

 

 

How to install MetaMask:

Browser extension Mobile app
Chrome
  1. Visit https://metamask.io/
  2. Hit "Download" in the menu bar.
  3. Click “Install MetaMask for Chrome”. You will be directed to the Chrome Web Store.

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  4. Click “Add to Chrome”.
  5. On the pop up, click “Add extension”.

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After adding MetaMask Extension, MetaMask will automatically open. You can also make sure it's easily accessible in your toolbar by clicking the jigsaw icon in the top-right of the screen, and hitting the pin icon. 

Firefox
  1. Visit https://metamask.io/
  2. Click on "Download"
  3. Hit "Install MetaMask for Firefox".
  4. In the new window that opens, click on "Add to Firefox"
  5. On the pop up, click “Add”
    NOTE: Don't be alarmed by the fact that the Firefox plugin is listed as being published by "danfinlay, kumavis" -- they're a couple of the main minds behind MetaMask!

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After adding MetaMask Extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser; click on it to open MetaMask.

 

Edge
  1. Visit https://metamask.io/
  2. Click on "Download".
  3. Hit "Install MetaMask for Edge".
  4. Click on the Edge icon, and follow the prompts in the window that opens to install the extension.

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After adding MetaMask Extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser. You may click on it to open MetaMask.

Brave
  1. Visit https://metamask.io/
  2. Click “Download".
  3. Click on "Install MetaMask for Chrome". Ignore the alarm bells that are ringing: the reason it says "Chrome" here is because Brave is a Chromium-based browser and shares the Web Store with Chrome itself. 
  4. In the Chrome Store that opens, click 'Add to Brave'.
  5. In the popup that appears, click 'Add extension'.

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After adding MetaMask Extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser. You may click on it to open MetaMask.

Alternatively, you could also access each browser's extension store and search for MetaMask. Whatever you prefer! 

Note:

When adding MetaMask to your browser, you may ask why you’d have to approve an extension to “read and change all your data on the websites your visit”. Get ready, the answer is technical:

In order to enable dapps (decentralized applications) to access the blockchain, MetaMask needs to inject a Web3 JavaScript object into each page. By doing so, it will not change the website, but merely allows it to access the network.

If you are still not convinced, a good way to experiment and manage your browser is to sandbox your MetaMask: create a separate browser profile so that MetaMask is only installed there. This will let you get used to MetaMask and Web3 in an environment that's separate from your existing web identity.

That said, MetaMask is safe for browsing. Welcome -- you're joining over 30 million MetaMask users all over the world!

 

Next Steps

Learn the basics of blockchain and Ethereum

User Guide: Secret Recovery Phrase

User Guide: Gas

User guide: Dapps

User guide: Swaps

User guide: Tokens

User Guide: Custom networks and sidechains

User Guide: Troubleshooting

Field Guide to Bridges

Hardware Wallet Hub

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