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There are a couple of reasons why you might not be able to unbond your DOT. Read on to find the solution to the most common issues.


The "Unbond funds" action is disabled

There are generally two accounts involved in staking - the stash and the soon-to-be-deprecated controller account. 

In order to unbond, or perform other controller-based actions, the controller account must exist under the Accounts page in Polkadot-JS UI.

If you're unsure which one is the controller account for your stash, you can see all of your stash/controller combinations under Network > Staking > AccountsYour controller account will be listed to the right of the stash account.

If it is not in your Accounts page, it will display only the raw address of the controller instead of the account's name, and all the controller-based actions will be disabled, as shown below. 


As mentioned, controller accounts are being deprecated. You can still use existing ones for now, but creating new ones is no longer possible.

For this reason, the recommended way to resolve this problem is to change the controller to the stash account. Please refer to this article on how to make that change. Once that's done, and after refreshing the page, you will be able to issue all staking actions from the same account (your stash).

You can then restore the former controller account if you want to from its mnemonic phase or JSON file.


If you don't want to use your stash account often, you can create a staking proxy which can do all staking actions on its behalf. It has the same advantages as the controller, but even more flexibility.

Check how to do it in our article "How to Create a Proxy Account".

Insufficient Funds

Your controller or staking proxy needs to have enough transferable balance to pay for transaction fees. Even 0.1 DOT is enough to pay for multiple transactions.

If your account is inactive, meaning it has zero balance, you need to transfer at least 1.1 DOT to it. The 1 DOT is the Existential Deposit and the additional 0.1 DOT is for the fees.

If your account has balance but all of it is locked, you will need to transfer just a small amount  to be able to pay for fees. 


If your account has a balance of exactly, or very close to, 1 DOT it won't be able to pay for transaction fees and you'll get the same error.

"Insufficient Bond" Error

If you didn't chill your account first (i.e., stop nominating) and you try to unbond all your funds, or the funds left bonded are below the minimum needed to nominate, you will be unable to unbond and will receive the 'Insufficient Bond' error. To resolve this, click the Stop button first and then you'll be able to unbond successfully all your funds. For more information, please read this article.