How to Cancel an Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction?

On April 9, 2019, the total number of confirmed bitcoin transactions passed the 400 million mark setting a new record. Impressive stats, right? You probably know that every confirmed bitcoin transaction is unchangeable, and it cannot be canceled.

However, not every bitcoin transaction gets confirmed. Why does this happen? Well, there are several possible causes for that. For example:

  • A transaction hasn’t received a confirmation on the blockchain within 24 hours
  • The fee is to low, and the smaller the amount of your transaction, the lower the chance of confirmation
  • The network is overloaded and it’s unable to process transactions fast enough

While confirmed bitcoin transactions are irreversible, that’s not the case with unconfirmed bitcoin transactions. With little effort and the help of our guide, you can cancel your unconfirmed transaction. Here are the steps on how to do that:

Step #1: Check if your transaction is really unconfirmed

You can easily check whether your transaction is unconfirmed:

  • Go to the website Blockchain.com, which is a block explorer (you can use another if you prefer)
blockchain.info unverified transaction
  • Copy your transaction ID (you get it when you make a transaction) and paste it to Blockchain.info search bar
  • After that, you’ll see the information about your transaction

That’s it. If the page is showing that your transaction is unconfirmed you can proceed and try to cancel it. There are two ways for doing that:

  • Replace by Fee (RBF Protocol)
  • Using the higher fee to Double-Spend transaction

In step two, we’ll show you how to cancel an unverified transaction by using RBF Protocol. Let’s dive in.

Step #2: Use Replace by Fee method to cancel an unconfirmed transaction

Using RBF protocol means making another, second bitcoin transaction with a higher fee. This way, it’s more likely to be picked up by miners and confirmed, and the previous transactions will be canceled. Just keep in mind that not all BTC wallets support the RBF Protocol, so make sure to check that.

transaction

In case using RBF Protocol isn’t an option for you, you can use the other method, known as Double-Spend transaction. And this leads us to step three.

Step #3: Double-Spend method to cancel unconfirmed transaction

To use this method you’ll have to make a new bitcoin transaction and send an equal amount to yourself. But make sure that this time the transaction fee is higher than the previous one. After that, miners should pick up your new transaction and you’ll get bitcoin back to your wallet.

Still, keep in mind that a lot of miners and wallets are protected from double spending, so this method can fail in some cases.

Final words

I hope that this guide helps you and that you manage to cancel the unverified transaction. Neither of these methods is perfect, but with a little luck and skill you’ll have bitcoin from the unverified transaction back in your wallet.

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