MyEtherWallet (MEW) offers a variety of ways to access one’s Ethereum wallet, by selecting the ‘Access My Wallet’ option on the front page.

They are, from most to least recommended:

  • Hardware Wallets (Ledger Nano S, Trezor, Digital Bitbox, Finney, etc.)

  • MEW wallet, MEW’s official mobile app for iOS and Android, and WalletLink / WalletConnect

  • Browser Extensions a.k.a. Web3 (MEW CX, MetaMask, etc.)

  • Software

    • Keystore/JSON File + password

    • Mnemonic Phrase + extra word (optional)

    • Private Key

If you'd prefer to watch a video, click on the link below:

MyEtherWallet | Accessing your wallet on MEW web


Most Recommended

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets use the highest security measures to encrypt a private key within the device itself, keeping phishers and hackers at bay. Users of most hardware wallets do not receive their private key, but instead, receive a 24-word mnemonic phrase for recovery purposes. The devices are also usually accompanied by a pin code or password used to unlock the device, and all information about each wallet is kept on the actual physical device itself.

MEW wallet

This is our fully-fledged MEW mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones. It’s simple, fast, and secure to use. When creating a wallet with MEW wallet, your private key is kept encrypted on a secure, local vault in your phone. For backup, you are given a mnemonic phrase (much like the hardware wallets above). The wallet is also accompanied by a pin or password, which is used to unlock it on your device.

To learn more about accessing MEW with MEW wallet, reference our MEW wallet User Guide.

WalletLink / WalletConnect

WalletLink is a connection protocol used by the mobile app Coinbase Wallet, and WalletConnect is another connection protocol that’s already being used by over 20 mobile wallets like Trust Wallet, MetaMask, Coinomi, etc. By integrating support for all these wallets to connect with MEW, it’s now possible to explore all of Ethereum from many different outlets.

These wallets each have their own connection processes, but it always boils down to the same action- scanning a QR code with your app to connect to MEW.


Browser Extension (Web3) Wallets:

For more information about Web3, go ahead and check out the following link:

>> The Essential Wallet guide

MEW CX

MEW CX is MyEtherWallet’s official Web3 Chrome Extension wallet. It offers all the functionality of the web version of MEW in the convenience of a toolbar extension. It also hosts the ability to interact with web-based Dapps, such as CryptoKitties.

MEW CX will come in conflict with any other Web3 wallets you have, such as MetaMask or Brave Browser’s in-house wallet. Make sure all other Web3 wallets are disabled before using MEW CX.

To connect MEW with MEW CX:

Step 1. Install the MEW CX wallet via our Chrome Extension.

Step 2. Open the extension and select ‘Add Wallet’ to create a new wallet or add an existing one.

Step 2. Once you’ve saved a wallet, head to the MEW website. On the front page, select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 3. Select the ‘Browser Extension’ option to connect.

Step 4. Read and accept the ‘Terms and Conditions, then select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 5. Confirm which wallet you’d like to connect within the MEW CX pop-up window, or select ‘Burner Account’ for a temporary wallet.

Step 6. You’re done!

MetaMask

This is a Chrome Extension that allows the creation of an ethereum-based wallet that keeps one’s private key encrypted within the extension itself. It also generates a 12-word mnemonic phrase for recovery purposes. MetaMask allows users to name their separate wallets, see funds within the extension and offers the option to import the private key information of a previously created wallet if desired.

To connect MEW with MetaMask:

(This assumes you already have a MetaMask wallet.)

Step 1. Login to your MetaMask wallet via their Chrome Extension.

Step 2. On the MEW front page, select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 3. Select the ‘Browser Extension’ option to connect.

Step 4. Read and accept the ‘Terms and Conditions', then select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 5. Confirm the connection in the MetaMask pop-up window.

Step 6. You’re done!


These methods are not recommended

Keystore/JSON + Password

The Keystore/JSON is a file that holds an encrypted version of one’s private key. This key is encrypted with a chosen password by the user. As such, it is impossible to change the password for these files. The only way to change the password is to make a completely new Keystore file, which can be achieved in our MEW Chrome Extension with one’s private key. Keystore files should not be opened. They are only to be utilized when accessing the Keystore/JSON option on our site and when prompted for one’s ‘JSON file’. Check out our article about the functionality of a Keystore/JSON file.

To connect with Keystore/JSON + Password:

This is not a recommended way to connect. We highly suggest using MEW offline for this option.

Step 1. On the MEW front page, select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 2. Choose the ‘Software’ option to connect, then select ‘JSON File’ and click ‘Continue’.

Step 3. Locate your Keystore/JSON file in the pop-up window. It should begin with ‘UTC–’.

Step 4. Enter your password, and click ‘Unlock wallet’.

Step 5. You’re done!

Mnemonic Phrase (+ Extra Word)

This is a list of 12 to 24 words that are generated and given to users upon certain forms of wallet creation (i.e. the MEW wallet app, MetaMask, Hardware Wallets, JAXX wallets, etc.). Sometimes these phrases have an extra word associated with them, and sometimes they do not. The order and spelling of the words in a mnemonic phrase is directly tied to one’s private key and therefore is not recommended as a regular way to access a wallet. It is best to only use this phrase for recovery purposes.

To connect with Mnemonic Phrase (+ Extra Word):

This is not a recommended way to connect. We highly suggest using MEW offline for this option.

Step 1. On the MEW front page, select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 2. Choose the ‘Software’ option to connect, then select ‘Mnemonic Phrase’ and click ‘Continue’.

Step 3. Choose whether it was a 12 or 24-word phrase, then fill out the form.

Step 4. Enter your extra word (leave this blank if you’re using the MEW wallet app phrase), and click ‘Unlock wallet’.

Step 5. Choose your wallet’s address amongst the list generated, and you’re done!

Private Key

The private key is a string of 64 characters tied permanently to a public address. This is sometimes given to users when wallets are created and sometimes kept encrypted (in the case of the MEW wallet app, MetaMask, and Hardware Wallets). Using one’s private key should always be a last-ditch effort of access, only to be utilized when all else fails. This should not be the main method of entry for anyone to access their wallets. Private keys are the number one most sensitive information anyone can have for a wallet because private keys allow immediate access and can never be changed. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep this safe, secure, and secret.

To connect with Private Key:

This is not a recommended way to connect. We highly suggest using MEW offline for this option.

Step 1. On the MEW front page, select ‘Access My Wallet’.

Step 2. Choose the ‘Software’ option to connect, then select ‘Private Key’ and click ‘Continue’.

Step 3. Copy and paste your private key into the value field.

Step 4. Click ‘Unlock Wallet’ and you’re done!


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