How can I get the mnemonics from a specific account in Metamask?

I found the reveal seed words in the settings-dialog, but this seems to be something global.

Instead of this I want to export the 12 words mnemonics from a specific account, to make it available on other machines also. There is the option "export private key", which just give me the private key consisting of several hexa decimal characters. I would expect different options here like the private key and mnemonics also.

My questions:

  1. how can I get the mnemonics from a specific account?
  2. what is the reveal seed words in global settings dialog for? which account is affected with that?


I have found out, that the seed words from settings-dialog stands for the very first account.

I installed MetaMask on another machine, recovered the account with these seeds and imported the very first account of my meta mask accounts from the origin machine.

However, while I can export private key for all other accounts and import them into my second machine this way, I'm curious why metaMask doesn't offer to generate seed words for a specific account instead of only the first account?

1 Answer 1


I'm curious why metaMask doesn't offer to generate seed words for a specific account

Seed words are used as a seed to the master key of a BIP39-compliant deterministic wallet.

BIP39 added the support for mnemonics to HD wallets, with the heirarchical deterministic wallet standard itself being BIP44 (previously BIP32).

BIP44 allows you to generate private keys - which then equate to accounts - in a tree structure, with parent keys being able to generate child keys, down to an inifite depth.

Your set of words therefore seed a set of accounts deterministically. The specific account you're talking about is a member of this set, and doesn't have its own mnemonic.

...instead of only the first account?

It isn't only for the first account, it's for all of them. If you now click "Create Account" in Metamask, it'll give you the exact same second account as you had on your first machine. (i.e. It's deterministic.)

  • 1
    Yes, that's true. Just tried it out. Many thanks!
    – delete
    Jun 20, 2019 at 20:08

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