I'm trying to use Web3 to access the current account I have selected on Metamask by doing web3.eth.accounts[0] in order to display it on my UI (in VueJS). However web3.eth.accounts[0] always returns the same account, the first one of the 10 given to me by Ganache TestRPC.

Even if I switch to the 8th account (screenshot below) and refresh the app, console.log(web3.eth.accounts[0]) still outputs the first account in the array.

enter image description here

Here's my code (in Vuejs, contract has already been created):

    var ethereumUri = '';   
        let web3 = new Web3(new Web3.providers.HttpProvider(ethereumUri));
        if (!web3.isConnected()) {
            return 'Unable to connect to ethereum node at ' + ethereumUri
          var escrowContract = web3.eth.contract(abi); //abi initalized at start
          var instance = escrowContract.at(this.contractAddress); //contractAddress is initialized at the start


How would I make web3 output the current selected account address in Metamask?


2 Answers 2


The http provider you are using is only connecting directly to ganache so it's bypassing the MetaMask web3 provider which is why you are always seeing account[0] from ganache. If you use web3 = new Web3(web3.currentProvider) it will pickup MetaMask as the active provider.

You can also check if MetaMask is enabled before defining your web3 variable with:

if(typeof web3 !== 'undefined') {
    web3 = new Web3(web3.currentProvider);
} else {
    web3 = new Web3(new Web3.providers.HttpProvider(ethereumUri);

This only runs on initial load. To monitor for changes in MetaMask you can use a monitoring function that runs an interval-based check to see if web3.eth.accounts[0] has changed. You need to hold the current active account in a variable (eg, currentAddress) to do this check.

watchAddress: function () {
    var checkAddress = setInterval (function() {
        if (web3.eth.accounts[0] !== currentAddress) {
            // Account has changed
            // set currentAddress = web3.eth.accounts[0];
            // Do something, eg reload
    }, 100);
  • This is slightly incorrect, and would only apply if you had two diffferent providers, metamask, and ganache. OP has configured his metamask extension to bypass the provided eth node, and instead connected it to his ganache instance, so it is the same. Remember, metamask can connect to ANY node and use that as a provider
    – hextet
    May 17, 2018 at 3:20
  • @hextet It doesn't matter what MetaMask is configured to do here, because the code in the OP's question doesn't use MetaMask. (It uses an HTTP provider to connect directly to ganache.)
    – user19510
    May 17, 2018 at 5:42
  • @smarx Thanks. When I change web3 to use Metamask as the provider and try to access web3.eth.accounts[0] it returns Error: Invalid JSON RPC response: undefined. My Metamask is connected to HTTP:// (running via Ganache). Code is: var ethereumUri = ''; var web3 = window.web3; if(typeof web3 !== 'undefined') { console.log("1"); console.log(web3.currentProvider); web3 = new Web3(web3.currentProvider); console.log(web3.eth.accounts[0]); } else { console.log("2"); }
    – kws3778
    May 17, 2018 at 23:48
  • I haven't been able to reproduce an error from your code. I get a working web3 connecting to MetaMask. Which version of web3 are you running and what response do you receive from the - console.log (web3.currentProvider); - in your code? May 18, 2018 at 10:49
  • Update: I fixed it, I had to change web3js version to a 0.2 version. I was using 1.0.0-beta.34 Thanks for the help!
    – kws3778
    May 28, 2018 at 19:56

This is 100% as designed. web3.eth.accounts[index_num] will always refer to whatever account was created in that particular order. So web3.eth.accounts[8] would refer to the 9th account created, whileas we3.eth.accounts[7] will be the 8th account created. I'm not sure if you can use web3js to select the currently selected account in metamask, you would however be able to check the address of the 8th account from the eth.accounts array to whoever is attempting to send a transaction, or invoke a function call.

  • @KevinShen This answer is wrong. The answer by @machine-uprising is correct. Your current code doesn't use MetaMask. If you did use MetaMask, you would see only one account in the web3.eth.accounts array, and it would be the currently active account in MetaMask.
    – user19510
    May 17, 2018 at 5:42

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