In hardhat I'd like to get the privateKey from a signer, the privateKeys are initialised in the hardhat.config networks.network.accounts.

import { ethers } from "hardhat";
import { Signer } from "ethers";

const accounts = await ethers.getSigners();
const account0: Signer = accounts[0];

I don't see any attribute/method on the Signer instance to get the privateKey.

2 Answers 2


You can get the private keys from the network config (localhost, mainnet, etc):

import { config } from "hardhat";

console.log('Accounts from config:', config.networks.mainnet.accounts);

In case you want to get the private keys for hardhat accounts:

const accounts = config.networks.hardhat.accounts;
const index = 0; // first wallet, increment for next wallets
const wallet1 = ethers.Wallet.fromMnemonic(accounts.mnemonic, accounts.path + `/${index}`);

const privateKey1 = wallet1.privateKey

Here is an example, how I use this:


  • Thanks for this, however the default hardhat accounts i.e. config.networks.hardhat.accounts is an HD Wallet config, is there a simple way to get all the private keys from that config? { initialIndex: 0, count: 20, path: "m/44'/60'/0'/0", passphrase: '', mnemonic: 'test test test test test test test test test test test junk', accountsBalance: '10000000000000000000000' }
    – MShakeG
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 21:38
  • See the updated answer. This was smth you want?
    – tenbits
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 21:53
  • 1
    Yeah, that's exactly it, though I got the private keys by simple starting the hardhat node which logs all the private keys for all 20 accounts.
    – MShakeG
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 20:59

Well, think on connecting ether.js with some wallet. The private key wouldn’t be passed to the library because than it could be stolen. The library issues a request to the wallet to sign the transaction.

So the private key isn’t stored inside Signer.

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