By the end of the guide you should know how to install and manage MetaMask, a digital wallet for ETH and ERC20 tokens.
Chrome or Brave browser
MetaMask offers a mobile wallet and a browser extension. This guide will focus on the latter because it's the most used form of interaction with the application.
The installation process is similar to installing any other browser extension. You can find the latest version on the official website or the Chrome Webstore. Click Add to Chrome button and confirm as follows:
Create Your First Wallet
After installing the MetaMask extension, you will be prompted to get started. Follow the instructions and create your first wallet by clicking on the Create a Wallet button.
The last step is to save and verify your backup phrase. This is a mechanism to make sure you can always restore your funds if you lose access to the laptop or mobile device where the wallet is currently used.
Make sure to save this phrase in a secure place offline, and never share it with anybody. After you copied the secret words, you'll need to enter them in the exact sequence as they were presented to you before.
As a result, you can finally access your Ethereum wallet as follows:
Add ERC20 Tokens
Working with the Ethereum network implies working with ERC20 tokens. Each token is defined by its smart contract address that you can find on Etherescan or other blockchain explorers:
After you copied the contract address, open your MetaMask wallet, and add a custom token as follows:
Note, the tokens in your wallet will appear immediately only if you're the issuer of this token. Otherwise, you won't see any tokens in your wallet until somebody sends them to you.