During your use of PancakeSwap, you may have encountered the error “transferhelper: transfer_from_failed”. The full error message goes “The transaction cannot succeed due to error: TransferHelper: TRANSFER_FROM_FAILED. “This is probably an issue with one of the tokens you are swapping (or This is probably a problem with one of the tokens you are exchanging)”.
This error means that you are unable to swap or liquidate the token from your crypto wallet. If you pay attention, this usually happens with new tokens; tokens that you purchased recently but then decide to liquidate or exchange.
According to PancakeSwap, the main reasons for this error are that you may not have sufficient funds for the transaction or that the contract does not have the allowance to spend the amount of funds you are trying to trade.
However, with extensive research, we have found that the most common reason for this error is that the coin you are trying to trade back is a scam. And if this is the case, there is often nothing to do other than count your losses.
There are also other reasons such as contract terms, swapping amounts, and PancakeSwap versions. We will take a detailed look at how to resolve the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error from both the user and developer perspectives.
Why Does PancakeSwap Say transfer_from_failed
The transferhelper: transfer_from_failed Mean error is a generic error message, meaning that it could be caused by one of several possible factors. Below are the most common of these factors:
1. Token Is A Scam
Cryptocurrency popularity is currently at an all-time high. Even governments and businesses are adopting them as an official transaction currency. Unfortunately, scammers are also paying attention and taking advantage of this.
It is common to hear about users who bought coins early enough and got huge returns from selling them off years later. And, just as well, you will hear about coins claiming to be the next big investment that will rival coins like Dodgecoin and Bitcoin.
However, many of these new coins are scam and are not based on a working blockchain technology. It is true that most coins do not have official documentation, which makes it even harder to differentiate scam from real. But the projects that claim on public media to be official, legitimate, and the next big thing, should have publicly-available audited Contracts and Codes.
2. Token is Un-sellable
Some coins are coded in their contracts to only be purchased but not sold.
Users have reported cases where, even though they check the contract source of a token before buying, it still turns out to be unsellable. What scammers do is that they have a separate contract that they do not release to the public.
Such contracts prevent anyone except the owner from swapping the coin. So, when a substantial number users buy these coins, they simply extract the funds and make away with investors’ money.
Another trick is to add a code in the tract that prevents it from being approved on any platform.
Token Sniffer provides instant details such as Audit Score and Sellability of the token when you search for the token.
This will help you confirm that the token contract released by the owner is exactly the same as that being used on the blockchain technology.
To know an unapprovable contract, look out for words in the code like:
1. “def approve”
2. “if not caller”
3. “revert with”
4. Long hexadecimal numbers
3. Bug In Software
Sometimes, however, the “transferhelper: transfer_from_failed” error may be as a result of an innocent bug in the software that powers the transaction. This could either be on the PancakeSwap platform or in the code of the token. In such cases, contacting PancakeSwap or a developer as the case may be will resolve the issue. We will explore both options later.
Another cause of the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error is a temporary malfunction that could have happened anywhere such as on PancakeSwap, the blockchain technology, your phone, or your internet connection. Such issues usually go away on their own.
5. Code in the Contract that Blocks Transfers to the Liquidity Provider
Another cause of the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error is when there is a code in the token contract that block transfers to the Liquidity provider.
When you try to swap a token on PancakeSwap, PancakeSwap has to get approval to transfer the token to other accounts. If there is a code in the contract of the token that prevents transfers to the liquidity provider, PancakeSwap is unable to complete the transfer and thus returns the error message.
How to Fix transfer_from_failed
1. View Its Transaction History to Make Sure It’s Not A Scam
There are lots of tokens on the crypto market today. The first thing to keep in mind is, if the promise on a token is too good to be true, then it is probably too good to be true. It is true that crypto works on a high-risk, high reward basis. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of risk and still have the possibility of high rewards.
After you have used the steps outlined in the previous section to verify the status of the token contract, the next step is to check out the transaction history of the token on a reliable website.
The token does not need to be popular (in fact, the hope is that it isn’t), but at least there should be a record of it being sold rather than only bought.
You may use either of the links below to check transaction history of the token
- On Ether Scan, simply enter the name of the token in the search bar and click search
- In the search results, click the Erc20 Token Txns tab. This will display recent transactions on the token.
- You will see a column between From and To, stating if the transactions were buys (in) or sales (out).
The process is pretty much the same on Poocoin.
If the token only has a history of being bought but not sold, it is very likely to be a scam or unsellable token. If that is the case, there is no recourse. However, some users report that they were able to get out by swapping the problem token for a Cake on PancakeSwap.
A Cake is a token that is proprietary to PancakeSwap. To try to swap your token for a Cake, please follow the steps below:
1. Go to the PancakeSwap exchange page.
2. Select the Token you want to swap from the dropdown menu under the From section
3. In the To, section, select Cake as the token you want to trade to
4. Enter the amount for your To currency in the box provided.
5. PancakeSwap will automatically estimate your From token amount that matches the To amount you have entered.
6. If you have sufficient balance, you will be able to click Swap.
If not, reduce the To amount until you can swap.
7. Check your details and click Confirm Swap
Please note that this will not work for every unsellable token.
2. Verification From Contract Build
Another way to quickly know whether to bother with a token at all is from the contract build number. If the contract is on a build containing 0.5.17, it is most likely a scam. You can also find contract build number of a token on Poocoin.
- Search for the token name in the search bar
- On the page that opens, click on the Contract tab
- You will be redirected to the token’s contract on the BscScan website
- The contract build number is the Compiler Version
- On Etherscan, enter the name of the token in the search bar and click search
- On the page that opens, click on the Contract tab
- You will see the Compiler Version (build number) under the Code section
- You will also see whether the code matches that deployed on blockchain
3. Try Changing the Last Number on the “From (estimated)” Field on PancakeSwap
In some cases, increasing or reducing the last number on your From token amount value can resolve the issue. This is because there may be a code in the token that restricts the swapping of that particular amount you were trying to swap, especially when it comes to round figures.
So, if you were trying to swap From 2000 Ouija, you could change to 2001 and retry the transaction
4. Choose Another Token
If you are still unable to swap the token in question, try using another token. This will help you narrow down the causes of the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error.
If you are able to swap another token, then the issue is likely with the other token. If you are also unable to swap the new token, there is a greater chance that there is an issue on PancakeSwap, your internet, or general crypto transactions.
5. Try Using “V1” of PancakeSwap Instead of “V2
If you are using PancakeSwap on the web, you may have upgraded to the latest v2 version. Users have reported issues while using the v2, including encountering the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error.
This is possibly a bug in the software update and PancakeSwap is yet to release a fix for it.
A more likely reason for this, according to PancakeSwap, is that some tokens were hard-coded for the v1, which causes swapping to fail on v2. In this case, developers are advised to prevent users from being able to add such hard-coded tokens to the v2.
8. Increase the Slippage
Sometimes, the reason for the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed error is that the liquidity of the token you are swapping is low. Low liquidity means that the market for the token is volatile, and so the price changes often and sharply when you buy and sell them.
Slippage is the difference between the price of the token at the time of confirmation and the actual price of the token that users are willing to accept when swapping.
Slippage is affected by the liquidity of the token. When the liquidity is low, the slippage should be higher.
When you encounter the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed on PancakeSwap, increasing the slippage may balance out the low liquidity and resolve the error.
Please follow the steps below to increase the slippage of the token:
1. Go to pancakeswap.finance
2. Click on Trade and Select Swap or Exchange
3. Select the token you want to swap in the From field
4. Select the token you want to acquire in the To field
5. Click the Settings icon beside Swap
6. On the page that opens, scroll to Slippage Tolerance and increase it by 1%
7. Retry the transaction.
8. If it fails again, keep increasing the slippage by 1% and retry, or just quickly increase to 12%
If the error persists after increasing to 12 or 15%, please follow the next step
9. Contact Developers and Tell Them to Input “false” & click on “Write” on “setSwapAndLiquifyEnabled” in BscScan
Sometimes, as explained earlier, the problem may be from a code in the contract that controls transfers to the liquidity provider. In such a case, there are steps you can take to correct the error.
If you are a developer or if you can contact the developer, please have the following steps followed by the developer:
1. Visit BscScan and search for the token that’s having issues.
2. On the page that opens, scroll down to the section containing Transfers – Holders – Info – DEX – Trades = Contract – Analytics – Comments
3. Click on Contract
4. On the page that opens, click on the Write Contract tab
5. This opens a page with different parts of the contract that you can edit
To be able to make any changes to the contract you have to connect to Web3 first. The option is available on the page
6. Click on Connect to Web3 and select the crypto wallet you want to connect to
7. Authenticate your identity and connect.
8. On the page that opens, scroll down to the “setSwapAndLiquifyEnabled” option
9. Set it to False
10. Click on Write
The feature is now disabled. Retry the transaction on PancakeSwap to see if the error is cleared.
This is not the ideal situation. However, the issue came up with the v2 update.
10. Try Swapping a Lower Amount
There are two reasons to lower the amount you are trying to swap:
1. You may not be able to swap as much of the token as you are trying to due to insufficient balance or restrictions in the code
2. The platform may not support the amount you are trying to swap at a time for that token.
Whatever the case, lower the amount you are trying to swap and retry. Once successful, swap the same amount again until you reach your target.
11. Use Another Phone
Whether you are using the app or the web on your phone, the transferhelper: transfer_from_failed may result from a problem on your phone such as
1. Overloaded or corrupt cache
2. Issues with phone network adapter or settings
3. IP address restrictions
Changing your phone will bypass all of these issues. If you cannot use another phone, you may try clearing the cache or resetting your network
To clear the cache on the PancakeSwap app on Android:
1. Long-press the PancakeSwap app
2. Select App Info
3. Select Clear Data
4. Select Clear Cache and confirm
To clear the cache on the PancakeSwap app on iOS
1. Navigate to Settings on your device
2. Select General
3. Select iPhone Storage
4. Select TikTok
5. Select Offload app
6. Confirm the action
7. Select Reinstall app
To clear the cache on browser on Chrome and similar browsers:
1. Click the menu button at the top-right of the browser
2. Select History
3. Select Clear Browsing Data
4. On the page that opens, ensure that only the Cached Images and Files option is checked. In the time range, select All time
5. Click Clear Data
1. Open Safari
2. From the Menu Bar, click Safari
3. Select Preferences
4. Select Advanced from the top bar
5. Check to Show Develop menu in bar and close
6. Back on the Menu Bar, click Develop
7. Click Empty Caches
To Reset Network on Android OS:
1. Open the Settings app on your phone
2. Select System
3. Select Reset
4. Select Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth
5. Click Reset Settings
1. Open the Settings app on your phone
2. Select Connection and Sharing
3. Select Reset Wi-Fi, mobile networks & Bluetooth
4. Select Reset Settings
To reset for iOS:
1. Open the Settings app on your phone
2. Select General
3. Select Transfer or Reset Device
4. Select Reset
5. Select Reset Network Settings.
12. Improve Internet Connection
Poor internet connection is another possible reason why you are unable to complete transactions on PancakeSwap. The transferhelper: transfer_from_failed may occur because your phone is unable to connect to the servers of the exchange platform due to poor internet connectivity.
Kindly confirm that your internet connection is reliable by streaming a video, say on YouTube. If there is buffering, then it is likely that your internet is not strong enough to complete the swap transaction on PancakeSwap.
13. Restart the App
Your PancakeSwap app may be experiencing a glitch. A glitch is a temporary failure in the functioning of a device or software. Glitches hardly require user action but can also be resolved by a restart.
To restart the app:
1. Exit the app
2. Swipe it away from your recent apps
3. Wait one minute and reopen the app.
Alternatively, you could restart your phone so that the app has a complete refresh.
14. Log Out Then Back In
The transferhelper: transfer_from_failed on PancakeSwap could also be a result of issues with your current login session. Also, the app may need to reauthenticate you before completing the transaction. Whatever the case, logging out and logging back in has been known to resolve the error.
15. Reinstall App
If the step above does not work, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the app. This will remove every account information, user data and setting, and other files that may be affecting the performance of the app. It also ensures that you have the latest version of the app, which may have fixes for the bug that’s caused the error.
16. Wait Until the Developer Fixes the Issue
If you have tried all the solutions above and the error remains, chances are that you are not the only one experiencing it, and it’s a bug in the developer’s code or contract. You might make some quick searches on Google to see if it’s a general issue, in which case you would have to wait for the developer to fix it.
A good place to check is Reddit. Just type in the name of the token on the Reddit website to see if there are recent complaints about the token.
17. Contact Pancake Swap
There is no direct customer support for PancakeSwap. You would have to try the channels listed on this page to join their communities.
The fasted way to receive feedback on your query is on their Telegram platform. There are several thousand active users on the platform and they may be able to help you too.