If you are trying to send your entire balance out without leaving the existential deposit of 1 DOT, the system will protect you from losing your funds. 

Locked Tokens

Another reason your transfers may be failing and cannot send funds out, is that your tokens are locked. There are a variety of ways that a portion of the DOT in your account can be locked (unable to be transferred). See this article for more information on locks and balances.

To check whether some of your tokens might be locked:

  1. Go to https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/accounts 
  2. Look for your account 
  3. Click on the dropdown arrow to display details of your account, including locks: 

You may see locks for the following reasons: 

1. Vesting You must wait a certain number of blocks before transferring. Click on the i icon next to "vested" to see at which block the vesting period will be over and how much time it will still take.

Once the vesting period is over, click on the three dots next to your account and select "Unlock vested amount" to unlock them and be able to transfer them. 

2. Staking - You have some tokens bonded for staking. You can verify this by clicking on the i icon next to "locked". Before you can transfer those tokens, you need to unbond them. This will take ~ 28 days on Polkadot and ~ 7 days on Kusama. 

Once the unbonding period is over, click on the three dots next to your account on the Account Actions page and select "Withdraw unbonded" 

3. Democracy - You have voted for a referendum (which can include a time lock, especially if you use a time-lock multiplier). Click on the clock icon to see when your lock expires, or if it already has.

When your lock has expired, you can unlock your tokens by clicking on the three vertical dots next to your account and then selecting "Clear expired democracy locks" from the menu. For more details, please watch the video on the bottom of this article.

4. Council vote - You have locked some of your tokens when voting for Polkadot or Kusama Council members. To unlock them, go to the Council page on Polkadot-JS and click the Vote button. On the next screen select Unvote all

Video Tutorial

For more details on all of the above, please watch this video tutorial by our Tech Education team: