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You can decide to unstake and stop being a nominator anytime. 


Please note that there is an unbonding period, which serves as a cooldown. You will be able to make your tokens transferable after this time has passed (currently 28 days on Polkadot and 7 days on Kusama).


Note: If you encounter an "InsufficientFunds" error message during this process, then your controller account doesn't have enough transferable balance to pay for the transaction fees. You will run into this if you have e.g. exactly or slightly more than the existential deposit of 1 DOT (or 0.0000333333 KSM) in your controller account, because the fee can't be deducted without the controller's balance dropping below the existential deposit. To fix this, transfer a small amount to your controller account to be able to cover any upcoming fees during the unstaking process


Unstaking your tokens can be done by navigating to Network > Staking > Account Actions in the Polkadot-JS UI. (This example is on the Westend testnet but the result will be the same on Polkadot).


STEP 1


Unbond all tokens

If you want to unbond all your funds, click on the "Stop" button on the right:

 


IMPORTANT: If you don't click the Stop button first, you will receive an "InsufficientBond" error if you try to unbond all your funds.


Unbond only some tokens

If you want to unbond only part of your funds, while keeping some bonded to continue nominating, you don't need to click the Stop button. Instead, proceed to Step 2. Just make sure that your bonded funds are still above the minimum bond needed to nominate, otherwise you'll receive the "InsufficientBond" error mentioned above.


 

Note: If the Stop button is not active, it means that your controller account does not exist in your accounts page. You will have to restore your controller account there first, and then come back to this page again to proceed.


I don't see a Stop button

If you don't see the Stop button then it means you're not nominating any validators. The "active/inactive/waiting" column will also be missing. In that case, you can move to Step 2.



STEP 2


Once you've clicked the Stop button and unstaked your tokens successfully, they will still be bonded. This means they stay ready to be used to nominate. To actually withdraw them, you need to unbond them first. This process will take 28 days on Polkadot and 7 days on Kusama. 


To do this, click the three dots next to the account you want to unbond tokens for, and select "Unbond funds". 



A small clock will appear next to your unbonding balance. Hovering over it with your cursor will show you how much time remains until the funds are unbonded.



STEP 3


Once the 28-day unbonding period has passed there is another step to be carried out before your tokens are completely unlocked: Click “Withdraw Unbonded”, which will then be available in the same menu as above. Your transferrable balance will subsequently increase by the amount of tokens you've just fully unbonded. 


You will find a thorough tutorial on the process in our Wiki here.