Aqueous biphasic systems (ABSs) had been perceived way back in 1896 when its mere possibility was observed by Beijerinck. However, the immense capability of these systems towards solving several analytical problems was understood at a much later time. Applications of ABSs first began with separation of different biomolecules which increased in the later years in leaps and bounds in separating cells, dyes, nanoparticles and several other analytes. Extraction and separation of metal ions using ABSs took off a little later and was found to show competence in separating a large category of metal species with judicious modulation of physical parameters. Optimum conditions for separation of a particular metal species is found to depend on factors like pH, temperature, concentration of the phase forming components, polymer chain length and so on. This particular review is an endeavor to draw a picture of the present scenario of metal extractions using ABSs which represent a cleaner alternative in separation chemistry. Though several analytes have been separated using ABSs we have chosen only the metal species for the present review as they have special requirement of conditions that facilitate their extractions in a unique way. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.