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How to Stop Validating

If you wish to remain a validator or nominator (e.g. you're only stopping for planned downtime or server maintenance), submitting the chill extrinsic in the staking pallet should suffice. It is only if you wish to unbond funds or reap an account that you should continue with the following.

To ensure a smooth stop to validation, make sure you should do the following actions:

  • Chill your validator
  • Purge validator session keys
  • Unbond your tokens

These can all be done with PolkadotJS Apps interface or with extrinsics.

Chill Validator

To chill your validator or nominator, call the staking.chill() extrinsic. See the How to Chill page for more information. You can also claim your rewards at this time.

Purge validator session keys

Purging the validator's session keys removes the key reference. This can be done through the session.purgeKeys() extrinsic. The key reference exists on the account that originally called the session.set_keys() extrinsic, which could be the stash or the staking proxy (at the time the keys were set).

Purge keys using the same account that set the keys

Make sure to call the session.purge_keys() extrinsic from the same account that set the keys in the first place in order for the correct reference to be removed. Calling the session.purge_keys() from the wrong account, although it may succeed, will result in a reference on the other account that cannot be removed, and as a result that account cannot be reaped.


If you skip this step, you will not be able to reap your stash account, and you will also need to rebond, purge the session keys, unbond, and wait the unbonding period again before being able to transfer your tokens.

See Unbonding and Rebonding for more details.

Unbond your tokens

Unbonding your tokens can be done through the Network > Staking > Account actions page in PolkadotJS Apps by clicking the corresponding stash account dropdown and selecting "Unbond funds". This can also be done through the staking.unbond() extrinsic with the staking proxy account.