Why Can’t You Cancel a Pending Transaction on Metamask?

The inability to cancel pending transactions on Metamask can be a frustrating experience for any user. The system does not allow for any other transactions to take place until the pending is resolved. So why exactly can these transactions not be canceled? 

You can’t cancel a pending transaction on Metamask if you’re not using the correct custom nonce. This is the most common and easiest way to cancel a pending transaction on Metamask, so always make sure you’re enabling this setting by going to the advanced settings of your wallet. 

Keep reading as I’ll suggest a step-by-step method of how users can complete this process to cancel their transactions on Metamask. I’ll also explain how you can prevent pending transactions on your Metamask and what happens when transactions fail. 

Why Won’t Metamask Cancel My Pending Transaction?

Metamask won’t cancel your pending transaction if you’re not following the correct instructions. The two main ways to cancel a pending transaction are through the nonce number or in-app cancellation. Always make sure you have the correct settings before attempting to cancel the transaction.

The section below will discuss how to easily cancel a pending transaction on Metamask.

How To Cancel a Pending Transaction on Metamask 

Canceling a pending transaction on Metamask can be done using one of the two available methods: 

  • Canceling the transaction using the in-app cancellation 
  • Creating a custom nonce number

Keep in mind that in-app cancellations can only be completed if the transaction you want to achieve is still pending on the network. 

There are actions you can take to ensure that you’re never stuck again. You’ll need your Ethereum address, and Metamask installed with your address running on it to do this correctly. Follow the easy steps below: 

  1. Log on to Etherscan and pull up a list of your pending transactions. You can do this by pasting your Ethereum address. 
  2. Find your oldest pending transaction and note the corresponding nonce number. To do this, click on the transaction and then on ‘Click to see more.’ 
  3. Enable custom gas settings and custom nonce on Metamask by clicking on the top right-hand icon and selecting settings. 
  4. Click on Advanced and enable Advanced Gas Controls and Customize Transaction Nonce. 
  5. Exit settings and click the Send button. 
  6. Paste your Ethereum address and increase your gas fee by 10 GWEI to ensure the miner will pick it up. Click next when you’re done. 
  7. Paste the nonce number that you made a note of earlier into the custom nonce field and click Confirm. 
  8. Sign your transaction and send it. If your gas price were above the ETH Fast Gas Price recommendation, your transaction would be confirmed quickly, and your previous, pending transaction will be canceled. 
  9. Repeat this process for all other pending transactions if necessary. 

An important take-home from this method is how important it is to set the gas price to the right amount. This could be the difference between your transaction being confirmed in minutes or sitting in your pending transactions collecting dust. 

If you’d like further assistance with canceling your pending transactions on Metamask, check out this video by Ethereum-Blockchain-Developer:

How Can I Prevent Pending Transactions on Metamask? 

As is made clear by the above guide, pending transactions can be a hassle. If you’re using Metamask, you can do some things to minimize the number of pending transactions that you’ll receive. 

You can prevent pending transactions on Metamask using the ‘Send’ button rather than the ‘Next’ button. Doing so will increase your chances of having your transaction picked up by miners and confirmed quickly. Setting a higher gas price is also effective for getting picked up by miners.

If you want to know how to avoid pending transactions entirely, then using MyEtherWallet (MEW) instead of Metamask could be an option. MEW does not currently have the same issues with pending transactions that Metamask has, so you won’t have to worry about creating a new account when you want to move your ETH from one wallet to another.

How Are Ethereum Gas Prices Decided? 

Ethereum gas prices are decided based on how busy the network is. If the network is highly busy, miners will only choose transactions with the highest gas fees, which will give them the highest rewards. But if the network isn’t busy, gas prices will be lower due to the lack of demand.

The Ethereum network is a complex system that requires a lot of work to run it smoothly. Miners have to do their part by ensuring the network remains secure and also by validating transactions. Miners are rewarded with transaction fees and new coins in return for this service.

However, for miners to be able to collect their rewards, they have to be able to create blocks fast enough for the network to remain operational. If blocks are not made fast enough, there will be delays in transaction times, which will cause the overall value of Ethereum tokens (ETH) to fall.

Therefore, if you want your transactions processed quickly, then you should set a high gas price when sending your ETH tokens. Setting a higher gas price will ensure miners are incentivized enough so that they can create blocks faster and confirm your transactions quickly. 

If you don’t put a high gas price, then you could end up waiting hours or even days before your ETH is processed.

How To Change Gas Prices on Metamask 

Changing your gas fee on Metamask is a great way to get your transactions confirmed quickly. The best way to do this is by using the ‘Send’ button, which will allow you to choose how much ETH you want to send and how much gas fee you wish to pay. It will also let you know whether or not miners will pick up your transaction before it is sent.

According to Metamask Support, it is recommended to set your MAX FEE at least 30% higher than the transaction you want to cancel. Alternatively, if you want to know how much gas you need to send a certain amount of ETH or tokens, check this out.

You can change your gas fee on Metamask by doing the following:

  1. Click on the ‘Send’ button. You will then be presented with a pop-up window.
  2. Type in how much ETH you want to send and how much gas fee you wish to pay.
  3. Click on ‘Next’ at the bottom of the screen. You’ll then be presented with a confirmation screen which will let you know whether or not your transaction will be picked up by miners before it’s sent. If it doesn’t get picked up, then you’ll have to pay a higher gas fee for it to be picked up by miners.

What Happens When Metamask Transactions Fail? 

Your crypto remains in your Metamask account when transactions fail. However, you won’t receive the gas fee back because Metamask doesn’t receive the gas fee—the Ethereum miners do. What happens next depends on the type of token you’ve been using.

If it is an ERC-20 token, then the tokens will remain in your Metamask wallet and can still be used for other transactions. But if it is not an ERC-20 token, then it may get lost if not retrieved by the sender within 24 hours.

Final Thoughts 

You can take the frustration out of pending transactions on Metamask by either canceling the transaction in the app or creating a custom nonce number. It’s essential that you set the correct gas fee for the transaction so that the miner picks it up.

If a transaction fails on the application, an ERC-20 token will stay in the wallet and can be reused. But if it is not an ERC-20 token, then this will need to be retrieved or run the risk of being lost. 


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