Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of networks on your MetaMask wallet? I‘ve been there too.
Over time, as you explore different blockchains, you end up adding a bunch of testnets and sidechains to MetaMask. Before you know it, your network list is cluttered with chains you no longer use.
Having too many unused networks can get confusing. It increases the risk of making a transaction on the wrong network.
So it‘s good practice to clean up your network list by deleting any networks you don‘t need anymore.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through how to delete a network on MetaMask step-by-step. I‘ve also included some tips on hiding test networks without fully removing them.
Let‘s get started!
Do You Really Need to Delete That Network?
Before you go deleting networks, let‘s first understand when you should remove networks from MetaMask:
- You added a testnet to play around but don‘t need it anymore
- You tried out a sidechain that you won‘t be using going forward
- An airdrop or token claim required you to add a custom network temporarily
In these cases, it makes sense to delete the network since you likely won‘t need it again.
However, if you actively use a network, you probably want to keep it in your MetaMask.
For example, if you use Arbitrum for DeFi or xDai for cheap transactions, deleting those networks would be inconvenient.
So first decide if the network is no longer necessary before removing it.
What Happens When You Delete a Network?
When you delete a network from MetaMask, here‘s what happens:
- The network will disappear from your network drop-down menu
- You won‘t be able to switch to that network anymore
- Any site that requires that network will stop working
- Your transaction history on that network will no longer be visible
However, deleting a network does NOT affect your accounts or funds in any way. Your wallet address remains the same across networks.
Your assets on that network will continue to exist. You just lose easy access to them through MetaMask.
If you ever need to access a deleted network again, you can simply re-add it using the custom RPC.
Okay, now that you know what deleting a network means, let‘s look at how to actually do it.
Step 1: Open MetaMask and Unlock Your Wallet
To get started, open the MetaMask browser extension and click to unlock your wallet.
Make sure you see your account address, network, and wallet balance before continuing.
If you haven‘t used MetaMask in a while, take a minute to refresh your memory on how it works before making any changes.
Step 2: Access Network Settings
To manage your networks, you need access MetaMask‘s network settings.
Click on your profile picture on the top right corner. This will open a drop-down menu.
From this menu, click on Settings.
This will open up the Settings page.
Step 3: Click on "Networks"
On the left sidebar of the Settings page, click on Networks.
This will display a list of all the networks currently configured on your MetaMask wallet.
Scroll down to see testnets, sidechains, or any custom networks you‘ve added in the past.
Step 4: Identify the Network You Want to Delete
Carefully look through your network list and identify which one you want to remove.
For this guide, let‘s say we want to delete the Rinkeby Test Network.
Make sure this is a network you no longer need access to on MetaMask.
Step 5: Click on the Delete Button
Once you‘ve decided on the network to remove, click on the trash can icon next to the network name.
This will trigger MetaMask to delete that network.
Note: The default Ethereum Mainnet network cannot be deleted from MetaMask. The delete option won‘t show for that.
Step 6: Confirm the Network Deletion
A popup will appear asking you to confirm the deletion. Click Delete to confirm.
This will permanently remove the network from your MetaMask wallet.
Step 7: Verify the Network Was Deleted
To verify that the network was properly deleted, go back to the main MetaMask screen and check the network drop-down menu.
The network you deleted should no longer show up in the list.
For example, I can confirm that Rinkeby was removed after deletion.
And that‘s all there is to it! With these simple steps, you can clean up your MetaMask network list by removing any unwanted networks.
Pro Tip: How to Temporarily Hide Test Networks
Deleting testnets entirely may be a bit extreme if you think you‘ll use them again later.
Luckily, MetaMask gives you the option to hide test networks instead of fully removing them. Here‘s how:
From MetaMask Settings, click on Advanced instead of Networks.
Scroll down and toggle Show Test Networks to Off.
This will immediately hide all testnets from the network drop-down without deleting them.
To view testnets again, come back and toggle Show Test Networks back on. Pretty handy!
How Many MetaMask Users Have Added Custom Networks?
To understand how common it is for people to add custom networks, let‘s look at some data.
According to Statista, MetaMask has over 30 million monthly active users as of September 2022.
A MetaMask survey from 2021 provided some insight into how many of these users have added custom networks:
- Over 65% of respondents had used custom networks before
- 13% had added 6 or more custom networks
- Only around 25% had not added any custom networks
This suggests a significant number of MetaMask users add additional networks beyond just the Ethereum mainnet.
As a result, it‘s very likely that many MetaMask users need to remove cluttered network lists from time to time.
Top Networks Added by MetaMask Users
The same MetaMask survey shed light on the most common custom networks added:
|Network||Percentage of Users|
|Binance Smart Chain||56%|
|Polygon (Previously Matic)||54%|
As you can see, popular sidechains like Polygon and BSC top the list.
Given how congested Ethereum has been, it‘s no surprise users are expanding to other cheaper and faster networks.
But as people experiment with different chains, cleaning up your network list becomes critical to avoid mistakes.
Common Reasons People Delete Networks from MetaMask
There are several reasons MetaMask users delete custom networks from their wallets:
No longer using a testnet: Added a testnet temporarily to try out a dApp but don‘t need access anymore.
Sidechain is obsolete: Migrated to a newer sidechain like Arbitrum so older ones like xDai can be removed.
Temporary network for an airdrop: Added a custom network for an airdrop claim and then removed it after receiving the tokens.
Accidentally added incorrect network: Entered the wrong RPC URL resulting in a non-functional network.
Network swap failed: Attempted to bridge assets to a sidechain but transaction failed, so network is useless.
As you can see, deleting outdated, incorrect, or temporary networks helps keep your MetaMask neat and clutter-free.
Risks of Having Too Many Networks in MetaMask
Here are some key risks that arise when your MetaMask network list grows too large:
Wrong network transactions: You could accidentally send transactions on the wrong network, especially if the names/tokens are similar. This often leads to lost funds.
High confusion: With so many networks, it becomes confusing to remember which is which or track your assets across chains.
Overwhelming for beginners: An overly crowded network list adds to the learning curve for cryptocurrency beginners.
Difficulty managing assets: Having assets scattered across too many chains makes it hard to manage and track your overall portfolio.
Security vulnerabilities: More networks means a larger attack surface for potential hacks, scams, or human errors.
As a rule of thumb, it‘s best to limit MetaMask networks to only the ones you actively need access to. Delete any extras that are just taking up space.
Do You Need to Re-Add Tokens After Deleting a Network?
A common question that arises is whether you need to re-add custom tokens after deleting a network.
The short answer is no, you do not need to re-add tokens.
MetaMask stores your token list separately from networks. So deleting a network does not affect added tokens or token balances in any way.
Your custom list of tokens is maintained globally across networks. The tokens you‘ve added will still be visible after removing a network.
The only exception is native coins like BNB or MATIC. These are tied to their respective networks. But other tokens will persist.
So you don‘t need to worry about losing token configurations when removing networks.
I hope this guide gave you a good overview of how to delete networks on MetaMask and the implications of doing so.
Here are the key takeaways:
Delete networks you no longer need to declutter MetaMask and avoid mistakes
You cannot delete the default Ethereum Mainnet or test networks
Use the Advanced Settings to hide (not delete) testnets
Review your network list regularly and remove obsolete or temporary networks
Deleting networks does not affect your accounts, funds, or token lists
Be cautious before deleting networks you actively use to avoid losing access
Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help MetaMask users.