How to Set Up a MetaMask Wallet in Less Than 10 Minutes

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MetaMask is one of the most popular Ethereum wallets in the world. The decentralized crypto wallet lets users store, send, and stake cryptos via a single app.

If you are new to crypto, this guide will help you set up your MetaMask wallet, as well as offer tips and tricks on how to secure it, use its special features, and more.

How to Set Up a MetaMask Wallet

You can set up a MetaMask wallet on your computer/laptop or smartphone.

How to Set Up MetaMask on a PC

MetaMask is supported on the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Opera. MetaMask is not supported on Safari. Macbook users will have to download one of the five browsers mentioned above.

MetaMask will be downloaded as an extension on your browser. Here are the steps to install it:

  1. Visit metamask.io (always be super careful when dealing with crypto that you are on a legitimate site).
  2. Click on ‘Download.’
  3. Click on ‘Install MetaMask.’
  4. If you are using Chrome, you will be taken to the Chrome web store.
  5. Click ‘Add to Chrome.’
  6. A pop-up will show up telling you the permissions that MetaMask needs.
  7. Click ‘Add extension.’
  8. MetaMask will be downloaded.

Walkthrough Guide: Adding MetaMask Extension to Chrome

Setting Up Your Wallet

Once the browser extension download is completed, you will be taken to a MetaMask wallet setup page.

  1. You must agree to the terms and conditions and click ‘Create a new wallet.’
  2. Next, you will have to agree to MetaMask’s data usage policy to continue.
  3. You will have to create a password for your MetaMask wallet.
  4. On the next page, you will find information and a video tutorial about crypto wallet recovery phrases.
  5. Click on ‘Secure my wallet.’
  6. On the next page, you will find the 12-word secret recovery phrase. Click ‘Reveal secret recovery phrase.’
  7. You can save the 12-word secret recovery phrase in a password manager on your device or write it down in a personal notebook.
  8. In the next step, you will have to confirm the 12-word secret recovery phrase.
  9. Click ‘Done.’ Your MetaMask wallet is now ready to use.

A Screenshot of MetaMask Secret Recovery Phrase

How to Set Up a MetaMask Wallet on a Mobile Phone

You will need to install MetaMask on your Android or iPhone from Google Play and App Store, respectively. 

Once you’ve downloaded the app, follow the same steps mentioned above to set up your MetaMask wallet on your phone.

You can even set up a passcode and face authentication lock to secure your mobile wallet app.

Securing Your Metamask Wallet: SRP, Private Keys and Self-Custodianship

Secret Recovery Phrases

Secret recovery phrases (SRP) are an important security layer that gives you access to your crypto wallet. Most crypto wallets use 12-word SRP and 24-word SRP.

Unlike your Facebook or Instagram account, you cannot reset your password by simple means of email or mobile authentication. MetaMask cannot help you recover your password in case you lose or forget your wallet password.

This is where SRP comes in handy. Users require their SRP to set up a new password, restore wallets, and validate ownership. As long as you have your SRP, you can always uninstall your MetaMask wallet from any device and restore it on another device.

You must secure your SRP. If someone knows the SRP in your wallet, they will have complete access to the cryptocurrencies and NFTs held in that wallet. 

Private Key

Each wallet address has a private key. A private key is uniquely associated with each wallet. It is used to compute a digital signature that verifies the ownership of the wallet and funds held in it during a transaction.

Like the SRP, crypto wallet users must ensure that their private keys are secure and remain a secret.

Although you will not be interacting with private keys directly, it is essential to learn about them. You can find the private keys to your MetaMask wallet under Settings > Security & Privacy > Show Private keys.

Just like the SRP, anyone with your private keys will have full access to your wallet and its funds.

You can use private keys to import any crypto wallet account to your MetaMask wallet.

Self-Custodianship

An important point for all crypto wallet users is that you are the sole custodian of your wallet.

When you use a non-custodial wallet like MetaMask, you alone are responsible for securing your crypto assets held in your wallet. If your wallet gets hacked, recovering your funds will be incredibly difficult.

Remember, MetaMask representatives will never ask for your SRP in any scenario.

How to Use Metamask Wallet

Here are some important information on how to use a MetaMask wallet.

Connecting to Different Blockchains

Your crypto wallet is the gateway to the crypto world. You can use various EVM-compatible blockchain networks from your wallet. 

MetaMask sets the ethereum mainnet as its default blockchain. You can choose between various EVM-compatible blockchains, layer-two blockchains, and test networks, including Polygon, BNB Chain, Avalanche C-Chain, Optimism, Arbitrium, and more.

An Infographic of the different blockchains on MetaMask

You cannot use the Bitcoin blockchain from your MetaMask wallet or access other non-EVM-compatible blockchains, such as Solana and Cardano.

Therefore, you cannot hold BTC, SOL, or ADA on a MetaMask wallet.

If you want to hold BTC on your MetaMask wallet, you must buy a wrapped bitcoin, an EVM-compliant token representing BTC on an EVM chain.

Adding Tokens To Your MetaMask Wallet

You will need your wallet address to send crypto tokens to your MetaMask wallet. 

Make sure that you send only tokens that exist natively on EVM-compatible chains to your wallet address.

Your tokens will show up on the ‘Tokens’ tab. If your tokens do not show up, you can search for the token by clicking on the ‘Import tokens’ button.

MetaMask has an ‘enhanced token detection’ feature that can be switched on and off from the settings.

Once you have cryptocurrencies in your MetaMask wallet, you can swap cryptos directly from your wallet home page. Ensure that you hold the native token (ETH, BNB, MATIC) of the blockchain to pay for gas.

MetaMask will search across decentralized exchanges (DEXs) for the most competitive rates. The app charges a service fee of 0.875% on each swap.

Sending Tokens From Your MetaMask Wallet

The most important point to remember while sending tokens from your MetaMask wallet is to ensure that the recipient’s wallet address is correct. Otherwise, your tokens will be lost and will become irretrievable. 

Specify the amount you want to send while remembering that the blockchain will charge a gas fee to execute the transaction.

You can also set the amount of gas fee you want to spend depending on network congestion and transaction priority.

Using Decentralized Applications (dApps)

You can access various dApps encompassing decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain gaming, NFTs, and more with your MetaMask account. 

Your MetaMask app will serve as your login to these Web3 websites. You can visit these websites from your browser on your PC/laptop as long as you have installed the MetaMask browser extension. 

If you have not installed the MetaMask browser extension on your PC/laptop, you can use WalletConnect to log in using your MetaMask account. This is useful for browsers like Safari that do not support the MetaMask browser extension.

The experience on your smartphone is slightly different. The MetaMask mobile app comes with an inbuilt browser that allows you to seamlessly log in to Web3. 

Ensure that the blockchain that your wallet is connected to is the same one where the dApp exists.

Interesting Features of MetaMask

MetaMask Portfolio

MetaMask Portfolio is a dashboard that tracks all your cryptocurrencies and NFTs in one place. This dashboard shows users the history of all transactions conducted via their MetaMask account, the value of their portfolio, and the real-time market price of their tokens.

Users can also create a token watchlist and buy/sell crypto using their debit cards (only available in select geographies).

Swaps, Bridges, and Staking

Without leaving the interface, users can swap, bridge, and stake their cryptocurrencies directly from the MetaMask Portfolio dashboard.

MetaMask searches for the best prices on DEXs for token swaps. The wallet allows users to bridge their tokens from one blockchain to another. MetaMask also allows users to stake their ETH and MATIC tokens using third-party applications like Lido and RocketPool.

FAQs

Is MetaMask a Good Wallet?

Can I Use MetaMask on My Macbook?

Can I Use MetaMask on Safari?

Can I Hold Bitcoin on My MetaMask Wallet?

Can I Send Bitcoin to My MetaMask Wallet?

Can I Send Solana and Cardano Tokens to my MetaMask Wallet?

Which Tokens Does MetaMask support?

Does MetaMask Charge Any Fee?

How Do I Secure My MetaMask Wallet?

How to Recover My MetaMask Wallet if I Have Forgotten My Password?

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Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.