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How to unfreeze your Venmo account

Don't freak out! You might be able to get your account back really soon.

Published onMarch 23, 2024

Is your Venmo account frozen? We can understand how frustrating, or even scary, a situation like this can be. After all, this is money we’re dealing with. We’re sure you’ll want to resolve the issue as soon as possible, which is why we’ve put together this guide to unfreeze your Venmo account.


If you have payment failure issues, you can unfreeze your Venmo account by covering the amount due. The fastest way to do this is by using a debit card. On the other hand, those with accounts frozen for security and user agreement breaches will have to contact Venmo directly to resolve the issue.


Why is my Venmo account frozen?

Venmo stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

You’ll usually find out right away if Venmo froze your account. This is because Venmo will send you an email informing you about the situation, as well as a reason why this happened. There are many reasons why Venmo will freeze your account.

The most common occurrence causing frozen Venmo accounts is payment failure. In other words, Venmo will temporarily freeze your account if you make a payment using your bank account, and the bank transfer doesn’t go through for any reason. This can happen when there are no sufficient funds in your account. You can also exceed the ACH transfer limits allowed to your account. Banks can kind of work in mysterious ways sometimes.

How much you can transfer will depend on your identity verification status. Those with an uncompleted identity verification can only transfer $999.99 to their bank and spend $299.99 weekly. Verifying your identity will increase the bank transfer limit to $19,999.99, with an added limitation of $5,000 per transfer. Additionally, Venmo limits transfers from your bank account to your Venmo account. You can transfer up to $10,000 weekly from your bank account to Venmo, or $2,000 weekly using a debit card.

There are many other reasons why Venmo will freeze your account, though. All other grounds that lead to this are more complex. In summary, if it’s not for the reasons above, chances are Venmo froze your account for security or user agreement violations. This will happen when the system notices any suspicious activity.

Because PayPal owns Venmo, the same list of prohibited activities applies to the more casual money service. Venmo can freeze or suspend your account if you happen to break any of these rules.

You can’t use Venmo for activities that:

  • violate any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.
  • relate to transactions involving (a) narcotics, steroids, certain controlled substances, or other products that present a risk to consumer safety, (b) drug paraphernalia, (c) cigarettes, (d) items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity, (e) stolen goods including digital and virtual goods, (f) the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime, (g) items that are considered obscene, (h) items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction, (i) certain sexually oriented materials or services, (j) ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories, or (k) certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law.
  • relate to transactions that (a) show the personal information of third parties in violation of applicable law, (b) support pyramid or ponzi schemes, matrix programs, other “get rich quick” schemes or certain multi-level marketing programs, (c) are associated with purchases of annuities or lottery contracts, lay-away systems, off-shore banking or transactions to finance or refinance debts funded by a credit card, (d) are for the sale of certain items before the seller has control or possession of the item, (e) are by payment processors to collect payments on behalf of merchants, (f) are associated with the sale of traveler’s checks or money orders, (g) involve currency exchanges or check cashing businesses, (h) involve certain credit repair, debt settlement services, credit transactions or insurance activities, or (i) involve offering or receiving payments for the purpose of bribery or corruption.
  • involve the sales of products or services identified by government agencies to have a high likelihood of being fraudulent.
  • relate to transactions involving any activity that requires pre-approval without having obtained said approval.

You can take a look at these rules on PayPal’s acceptable use policy page.

How to unfreeze your Venmo account

Venmo app on phone 4

If you’ve already figured out why Venmo froze your account, it’s time to do everything you can to regain account access. The process to unfreeze your Venmo account will be different depending on the reason behind the situation.

When due to payment failure

If Venmo decides to temporarily freeze your account for failed payments, you can follow the account recovery prompts in the app to get everything back up and running. The Venmo app will let you know when the company froze your account. You will also get recovery prompts whenever you try to send another payment.

Essentially, you’ll have to pay the money to get your account back. The fastest and easiest method is using a debit card, as using a bank transfer can take three to five days.

When due to security or user agreement violations

If Venmo froze your account for any reason other than payment failure, you will need to talk to the team via email to resolve the issue. You can reply to the notification email Venmo sent. It’s also possible to contact the team using the Venmo ticket form.

While Venmo doesn’t suggest other methods of communication, you might also want to try contacting them through the app’s chat feature from 8 AM to 10 PM CT, or calling them at (855) 812-4430 from 8 AM to 8 PM CT.

How long does it take Venmo to unfreeze your account?

Venmo stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Keeping your Venmo account up and running may be important, so we can understand why you want to fix any issues immediately. The good news is that this happens for a failed payment, Venmo will reinstate the account as soon as you cover the amount owed. The fastest way to do this is by using a debit card. This instant payment method should get everything in order in a matter of minutes.

If you pay the balance using a bank account, you will have to wait three to five days for the payment to process. Additionally, Venmo will automatically apply any incoming payments to the balance. Simply getting a transfer from someone else may fix the issue! This means you could just hand cash to a friend and ask them to send you a Venmo transfer that covers the debt.

Now, if your account freeze is due to security and user agreement problems, the process will be longer. We can’t give you a definite time frame, as it will be up to the Venmo team to decide when and if you’ll get your account back. Venmo will take some time to request any information it needs to resolve an issue, and it will verify it. Given that the company has everything it needs, most say the process takes two to five days. The process length can vary depending on the complexity of each situation, though.


Venmo will let you know if it froze your account, via email. Additionally, it will usually inform you of a possible reason. The most common cause is payment failures. Venmo can also freeze your account for security concerns and user agreement breaches.

Venmo makes money off its users, so it will try to keep everyone around. It can, however, shut down accounts permanently. This should not happen often, but it may be done when issues arise too often, or security concerns are substantial.

If Venmo permanently deletes your account, you will be able to withdraw your funds to a bank account. You will need to contact customer support and get that sorted.

Basic Venmo accounts have no FDIC insurance, but some qualify for passthrough FDIC insurance through Venmo’s banking partners. You will get FDIC insurance if you have used direct deposit or deposited a check through Venmo. Your account will also qualify if you have bought or received cryptocurrencies.

If you need more help, we also have a guide on common Venmo scams you should watch out for, as well as a tutorial on what to do when Venmo isn’t working.

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