Preface

The following assumes you are not using a Ledger or TREZOR hardware wallet. Due to their ease of use and security, we recommend a hardware wallet for cold storage.

To save / backup your Ledger or TREZOR device, simply write down the 24-word phrase on the card they provide and keep it very, very safe. Never put this key on an online device or type it in to MyEtherWallet.com.

How To

  • Go to https://www.myetherwallet.com/.
  • Enter a strong but easy to remember password. Do not forget it.

    • This encrypts (protects) your private key. It does not generate your private key. This password alone will **not** be enough to access your Ether.
  • Click the "Create New Wallet"
  • Download your Keystore / UTC file & save this file to a USB drive.

    • This is the encrypted version of your private key. You need the password to access it. It is safer than your unencrypted private key but you must have your password to access it in the future.
  • Read the warning. If you understand it, click the `”I understand. Continue”` button.
  • Print your paper wallet backup and/or carefully hand-write the private key on a piece of paper.

    • If you are writing it, it is recommend you write it 2 or 3 times. This decreases the chance your messy handwriting will prevent you from accessing your wallet later.
  • Copy & paste your address into a text document somewhere.

    • Search your address on https://etherscan.io/ . Bookmark this page. This is how you will view your balance at any time
  • Send a small amount of Ether (0.0001 ETH) from your previous wallet or exchange to your new wallet.
  • Unlock your new wallet from the Keystore / UTC file on your USB drive or via the private key that you printed out. Ensure it unlocks the wallet you are sent to and matches the bookmark you have.

    • Do not simply leave your new wallet open. Pretend you are coming back a year later to access your riches. Can you do it?
  • Send a small amount of Ether (0.00001 ETH) from this new wallet to another address.

    • Perhaps our donation address? We are a free, open-source service. There are no fees, no ads, no tracking, no cookies, no selling your data.
  • Ensure you have recorded all necessary bits of information and the addresses match at all times. If they don’t, you mis-wrote something somewhere. That means it’s time to start from the beginning in order to make sure you never lose access to your funds.

Doing all of this is tedious, but it ensures you (1) have complete access to your funds (2) the address you sent to is correct and matches the private key you have saved and (3) you can rest easily for years to come, knowing you will be able to access your ETH later.

Safe Storage of Backups

It is recommended that you store backups of both forms of your key (the Keystore / UTC file version and paper wallet version) in physically separate, offline environments.

This prevents loss of the private key & password due to: dead hard drive, lost USB drive, wet piece of paper, etc. Keep in mind that physical loss can affect an entire area (e.g. fire, flood).

We cannot recover your key

MyEtherWallet is not a web wallet and cannot recover your private key or password, access your account, move funds, recover funds, nor cancel/reverse transactions.

We are a client-side interface that allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Please secure & back up your key like the millions of dollars it could some day be worth.

Short Version (Advanced Users Only)

  1. Go to https://www.myetherwallet.com/ .
  2. Enter a strong but easy to remember password.
  3. Click the "Create New Wallet" button.
  4. Click the "Download" button & save your Keystore / UTC file. Back it up.
  5. Read the warning. If you understand it and promise not to lose your private key, click the "I understand. Continue"button.
  6. You now have the option of printing a paper wallet, saving your private key, or saving a QR code of your private key. Back up at least one (offline).
  7. Then click "Next: Save your Address"
  8. Unlock your wallet that you just created using the Keystore / UTC file you just downloaded or the private key.
  9. Save your address to a text document & bookmark the link to it on https://etherscan.io/.
  10. Ensure all information matches. Don’t lose this information. Double check your work. Don’t be dumb.

How to Access Your Wallet

Now that you have created your wallet, we want to make sure that we can access this wallet, now and in the future.

If you can successfully unlock your wallet and send ETH out of the wallet, you can rest assured that you will have access to any funds you send to it.

Accessing your Wallet

  • Navigate to the Send Page.
  • Select your keystore file or your private key.
  • If the wallet is encrypted, a text box will automatically appear. Enter the password.
  • Click the Unlock Wallet button.
  • Your wallet information should show up.
  • Find your account address, next to a colorful, circular icon. This icon visually represents your address.

    • If you printed out your wallet, check to be sure the circles match. They should be the same colors, and shapes. Otherwise, something went wrong and you should start over.

You can share your address with others so they can send you ETH. Your account will not be compromised, just make sure to send them your PUBLIC wallet address and not your private key.

TIP: If you are planning on holding a large amount of ETH, we recommend you send a small amount to test first, before depositing a large amount.

The Future

While we used the Send page to access your wallet this time, it is not recommended that you do so in the future. You only need your address in order to see your balance. Do not enter your private key anywhere if you just want to check the balance or see incoming and outgoing transactions.

Instead, search your address (or bookmark it) on https://etherscan.io/.

While you are at it, you should bookmark https://www.myetherwallet.com/ as well.

MyEtherWallet is a client-side wallet, which means you hold your own keys. If someone gets your private key (keystore file, mnemonic, passwords), they have complete access to your funds. There is no stopping transactions, canceling transactions, or resetting passwords. Once a transaction is on the blockchain, it’s final.

For this reason, it is very, very important to keep your private key a secret and use it as rarely as possible. Only enter it on sites after double-checking to be sure you are on the correct site.

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