Abstract Mass transport of Ag and In on vicinal Si(111) has been investigated by scanning Auger microscopy (SAM). Highly anisotropic surface diffusion and surface electromigration due to direct current were observed for Ag and In adatoms on 0°−, 0.5°−, 3°− and 6°−off vicinal Si(111) surfaces. The diffusion on the intermediate layer is strongly enhanced in the direction parallel to the step edge for Ag adatoms, while it is remarkably suppressed in the direction perpendicular to the step edge for In adatoms. The activation energy of the diffusion for the Ag adatoms ranged between 0.81 and 1.3 eV, while that for In adatoms increased from 0.31 to 0.66 eV with increasing the vicinal angle. The anisotropic diffusion transport is explained in terms of the step structure and the difference in the binding energy at the step site and the terrace site.