How to Cancel a Bitcoin Transaction in the Mempool
3 min readApr 12, 2024



Bitcoin transactions are often regarded as immutable once they are broadcasted to the network. However, there are scenarios where a sender may wish to cancel a transaction before it is confirmed in a block. Perhaps you’ve made an error in the transaction amount or the recipient address, or the transaction fee was set too low. In such cases, it’s possible to cancel the transaction if it’s still in the mempool — the pool of unconfirmed transactions waiting to be included in a block.

Understanding the Mempool:

Before diving into the cancellation process, let’s briefly understand what the mempool is. The mempool is a temporary storage area on each Bitcoin node where valid, unconfirmed transactions are held. Miners select transactions from the mempool to include in the next block they mine. Transactions remain in the mempool until they are confirmed in a block or dropped due to expiration.

Steps to Cancel a Bitcoin Transaction:

  1. Identify the Transaction: The first step is to identify the transaction you want to cancel. You’ll need the transaction ID (TXID) of the transaction, which is a unique identifier assigned to every Bitcoin transaction. You can usually find the TXID in your wallet or transaction history.
  2. Determine if the Transaction is Still Pending: Check whether the transaction is still unconfirmed and in the mempool. You can use blockchain explorers like, or a Bitcoin wallet that provides mempool information. If the transaction is already confirmed in a block, it cannot be canceled.
  3. Create a Replacement Transaction (Optional): If the transaction fee was too low and you want to ensure faster confirmation, you can create a new transaction with a higher fee to replace the original one. This new transaction should spend the same inputs as the original transaction but with a higher fee.
  4. Send a Replace-by-Fee (RBF) Transaction: If your original transaction includes the Opt-In Replace-by-Fee (RBF) flag, you can create a new transaction with a higher fee and the same inputs, effectively replacing the original transaction in the mempool. Most modern wallets support RBF transactions.
  5. Use Child Pays for Parent (CPFP): If your original transaction doesn’t have RBF enabled, but it’s stuck due to a low fee, you can create a new transaction (the child transaction) that spends the unconfirmed output of the original transaction and includes a higher fee. Miners are incentivized to include both transactions in a block, as the combined fees (parent and child) are higher.
  6. Wait for Confirmation: Once you’ve sent the replacement transaction or the CPFP transaction, wait for it to be confirmed in a block. Miners will prioritize transactions with higher fees, so your new transaction should get confirmed faster than the original one.


Canceling a Bitcoin transaction that is stuck in the mempool is possible under certain conditions. Whether you’re replacing the transaction with a higher fee or using techniques like RBF or CPFP, it’s essential to act quickly to ensure your transaction gets confirmed in a timely manner. However, keep in mind that not all wallets support these advanced features, so it’s essential to use a wallet that provides flexibility in managing your transactions. With careful attention to detail and the right tools, you can successfully cancel a Bitcoin transaction and regain control over your funds.



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