Mist Migration Patterns

Mist Browser and Ethereum Wallet are no longer supported. For the context around this decision, see this blog post.

The Mist team strongly recommends that you migrate from Mist and Ethereum Wallet to alternative solutions, and this guide will walk you through some of your options. We are confident that you will be well taken care of by our friends running other projects in the ecosystem.

TL;DR — To access your wallets outside of Mist/Ethereum Wallet, use your keystore file and password within another wallet app, such as MyCrypto, MyEthereumWallet, or MetaMask. The MyCrypto desktop app is the most complete replacement for Mist/Ethereum Wallet.

Mist’s features can be broken into three categories: wallet, contract interaction, and DApp browser. Alternatives to each are provided below. This is by no means an exhaustive list of options; if you prefer a tool that was not listed in this post, please share that in the comments.

Wallets 💰

There are many excellent tools for accessing your wallet. Using them just requires importing your account keystore file within their apps.

A keystore file is created when you generate a wallet within Mist or Ethereum Wallet. It contains your private key, encrypted with the password you chose upon creation.

You can find your keystore files within Mist via the menu: File > Backup > Accounts. The location of the files depend on your operating system:

  • Linux: /.ethereum/keystore
  • MacOS: /Library/Ethereum/keystore
  • Windows: %APPDATA%\Ethereum\keystore

Keystore file names begin with UTC-- followed by a timestamp and address.

⚠️ If you haven’t already, take a moment to create a backup of your keystore file(s). If you lose it, there is no way to regain access to your wallet. ⚠️

There are many great wallet apps to choose from. We recommend starting with the MyCrypto desktop app, MyEtherWallet web app, or MetaMask browser extension. Using any of these apps will not lock you into anything and you can always switch to another.

Each of these options will allow you to access your account via your keystore file. Follow the instructions in MyCrypto or MyEtherWallet to select your keystore file and input the password. You will need to do this each time you want to manage your assets.

If you choose MetaMask, install the extension on your platform of choice, then use the menu to select Import Account. Select JSON File as the import type, enter your password and confirm. Once your wallet is imported, you will not have to repeat this process; MetaMask will securely store your credentials.

NOTE: MyCrypto and MyEtherWallet will rightfully warn you that keystore files are not the most secure way to manage your private keys. Consider investing in a hardware wallet.

Bonus points:

For security and network health, we recommend continuing to run your own Ethereum node if you have the resources. While this is possible via command line, keep an eye out for our upcoming project, Grid, which will allow you to easily download and manage Ethereum clients within a desktop app.

Try out Parity’s Fether — an open-source desktop wallet that runs a light node. At the time of writing, a beta release is available for testing.

MetaMask, MyCrypto and MyEtherWallet all have options to connect to your locally running node, avoiding the need to rely on centralized infrastructure. See their respective documentation for configuration details.

Wallet Contracts 📄

If you used Mist/Ethereum Wallet to interact with a wallet (or other) contract, the MyCrypto desktop or web app provides a nice interface for interacting with contracts. On the desktop app, just select the Contracts tab.

If the contract code you’re interacting with has been published to Etherscan, you may also read and write to it directly within Etherscan using MetaMask.

Another interesting alternative is One Click dApp. Once given the contract address and ABI, One Click dApp will provide you with a simple shareable GUI for the contract. MetaMask may be used to sign transactions.

DApp Browser 💻

The most popular way to interact with decentralized apps in the browser today is via MetaMask. Their extension is available in Brave, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. The Brave browser is making exciting strides with Ethereum feature integration — please do give them a try if you haven’t lately.

Mobile DApp browsers have emerged as worthy alternatives or companions to desktop DApp browsers. In many ways, their native UX is superior to multi-window experiences on the desktop. Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet, Opera, Status, imToken, and more are worth your consideration.

Thank you 🙏

We appreciate your support over the years. Ethereum tooling has changed dramatically for the better since this project was born, and the Mist team is proud to have contributed to that end. However, there’s still no shortage of work to be done. We’ll continue our contributions to the community in the form of package signing, node management, and usability improvements to core projects. Read Alex’s blog post for more details on these projects.