If you’ve worked in the Ethereum network before, you’ve noticed that sometimes it takes longer than usual to confirm transactions. The fact is that miners process transactions with higher fees first.
If your transaction is “stuck” in pending status due to a low gas fee, you will have to wait for the network fees to drop and for the miners to process your transfer. However, you can speed up processing if you replace that transaction with another one with a higher fee. Sound confusing? Actually, it’s easier than you think. This method also applies to ether (ETH) and all ERC20 tokens.
The first thing to keep in mind is that confirmed transactions cannot be canceled or replaced. However, during times of high network load, some transactions may remain in a pending status for a long time. During such periods, it takes hours or even days for a transaction to be confirmed.
Sometimes the blockage is eliminated on its own, either due to system malfunctions or lower fees. Although it is impossible to cancel an Ethereum transaction, there are several ways to speed up the process. In fact, they all involve replacing a pending transaction with one with a higher commission.
In this guide, we’ll look at how to speed up transactions using MetaMask and Trust Wallet. It can also be done using other cryptocurrency wallets that support Ethereum blockchain, but the process may be different.
- MetaMask or Trust Wallet installed.
- Private keys (sid-phrase) to log into your Ethereum Wallet.
- Internet access.
Why is my Ethereum transaction not confirmed?
Ethereum operates on a betting system. The commission for a transaction will depend on its complexity (i.e. how much processing power it requires). Three important terms need to be mentioned here: cost of gas, price of gas, and limit of gas.
The cost of gas is the price per transaction, taking into account the computing power required for that transaction, while the price of gas is the cost per unit of the gas itself. In other words, the cost of gas is the amount of work required, and the price of gas is the price for “every hour” of work. The gas limit is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a transaction.
If the cost of gas is determined by the complexity of the transaction, you can set the price of gas and the gas limit yourself. The total fee will serve as an incentive for miners to confirm the transaction as soon as possible. However, if the price of gas is too low, your transaction may be pushed back in line by other users with higher commissions and it will be stuck waiting. If this happens, Ethereum will not confirm new transactions from the same wallet address, so you will have to wait for confirmation from the miners anyway.
How to speed up a transaction with MetaMask
- Login to your MetaMask wallet from which the unconfirmed transaction was sent. If it is an external wallet, you will need to import the address with your Sid Phrase or private key.
- Find your unconfirmed transaction on the [Activity] tab and click [Speed Up].
- This process will allow you to notify the miners of your transaction again. Be sure to set a higher gas price by clicking [Fast] and then [Save].
- If that doesn’t work, you can click the [Advanced] tab to set the gas price manually. You can check the actual commission amounts and average confirmation time on Etherscan or EthGasStation.
How to replace a transaction with MetaMask
- Login to your MetaMask wallet from which the unconfirmed transaction was sent. If an external wallet is used, you will need to import the address using your Sid Phrase or private key.
- Locate your transaction in processing on the [Activity] tab. Click it to check the details and record the [Nonce] value.
Note: if you have several unconfirmed transactions, you will need to start with the earliest one (with the lowest nonce value).
- Then go to [Settings] and click [Advanced].
- Scroll down the page and turn on [Customize transaction nonce].
- Go back and copy your wallet address.
- Click [Send] to create a new transaction and paste your wallet address into the [Add Recipient] field.
- You must send 0 ETH to your wallet using an unconfirmed transaction (mentioned in step 2). When you are ready click [Confirm]. Note: if the gas price is too low, this transaction may also get stuck waiting, so make sure you set a reasonable price.
- Wait for the new transaction to be confirmed and for the transaction to be replaced in processing. Note: To be on the safe side, make sure you turn off [Customize transaction nonce].
How to cancel a transaction using Trust Wallet
- Click on an unconfirmed transaction in the Trust Wallet app and look for the [Nonce] field.
Make a note of that number.
- Create a new transaction and add your wallet address to the [Recipient Address] field. Make
sure the address is the same as the unconfirmed transaction. Set [Amount ETH] to 0 and click
[Next]. Open the settings in the upper right corner.
- In the [Nonce] box, enter the value you wrote earlier. Make sure that you set the [Gas Price]
high enough so that your transaction is no longer “stuck” in suspense.
- Wait to confirm the new transaction and replace the transaction in processing.
Creating an Ethereum transaction and finding that your Gas Price has been “outbid” can be frustrating. Worst of all, you can’t use your wallet until the pending transaction completes in error or is confirmed.
Sometimes stuck pending transactions are cleared automatically when network fees go down, but that can take a while. Luckily, you can cancel an unconfirmed transaction by running the transfer with 0 tokens. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a sufficient gas fee to successfully cancel the transaction.