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Allowing Uniswap To Use Your Tokens – What It Really Means

●   3 min

If it’s your first time swapping a token or adding liquidity on Uniswap, you must have come across the prompt to ‘Allow Uniswap Protocol to use your tokens‘. This is essentially a request for you to approve the Uniswap protocol to access and move the specified tokens from your smart wallet.

Here’s everything you need to know about what this prompt means, when it is required, and how to approve its request. 

What Does ‘Allow Uniswap to Use your Tokens’ Mean?

‘Allow the Uniswap protocol to use your token’ is essentially a token approval request by the Uniswap decentralised exchange (DEX). Approving this request gives the DEX permission to access and swap the token in question from your crypto wallet.

Each token from your linked wallet requires this approval only once. Once you have approved the request, you’ll never be required to approve access for that token again on the Uniswap Web. 

When Are You Required to Allow the Uniswap Protocol to Use Your Tokens? 

You get this prompt when adding liquidity or swapping a token for the first time. Regardless of the linked crypto wallet, the prompt will look like this: 

How Do I Allow the Uniswap Protocol to Use my Tokens? 

For a swap to go through, the smart contract needs to control enough tokens in your crypto wallet. Again, you need to approve the router to withdraw as many tokens as required to facilitate the swap. This is where Uniswap token approval comes in. 

You can  grant the Uniswap protocol access to your tokens in a few steps, as follows: 

  1. Open the Uniswap Interface and Pair Your Wallet 

Navigate to the Uniswap Interface on your browser and connect your crypto wallet. Once done, launch the Uniswap interface once again and then click on ‘Swap’.

  1. Select the Tokens You wish to Swap 

Click on the drop-down menus to expand them then choose your preferred token icon for both the tokens you wish to trade and the ones you want to get. You could also search for tokens by their name or just paste the token contract address. 

Now, you can enter the number of tokens you wish to spend or receive and the other field will be auto-populated. 

  1. Approve the Auto Router to Use Your Tokens 

If it is your first time swapping the desired token from this wallet, you’ll automatically get a prompt requiring you to allow the Uniswap protocol to use your token. For example, if you are swapping UNI tokens for the very first time, you will get an ‘Allow the Uniswap Protocol to use Your UNI’ prompt, as illustrated below: 

Just click on the highlighted ‘allow the Uniswap protocol to use your token’ button towards the bottom of the screen. In the above case, approving the request will allow the Uniswap auto router to access and swap 1 UNI token from your linked crypto wallet.

  1. Review and Confirm Your Swap 

You should bear in mind that granting Uniswap token approval will not complete the swap transaction. After you have allowed Uniswap to use your tokens, you still need to swap the tokens. To do this, click on the Swap button just below the ‘allow the Uniswap protocol to use your tokens’ button. 

This should display a preview/summary of the swap. Verify that everything is in order then click on the Swap button at the bottom of the page. 

Note: Token approval is considered to be a transaction on its own. As such, you will be required to pay the appropriate network fees for it to go through.

Why Won’t My Tokens Swap on Uniswap?

Swapping tokens on Uniswap should be a rather straightforward process, as illustrated above. However, several things may render this impossible. If you are unable to swap tokens on Uniswap, here are some of the things you should check: 

  • Be sure to Swap after Token Approval, as explained in step 4 above—Allowing and Swapping are separate transactions 
  • Check whether you have enough ETH to cover the required gas fees for the approved and swap transactions 
  • If the swap went through, but you can’t see the tokens you were to receive, you should just add the custom tokens to your crypto wallet
  • If the transaction keeps failing, ensure that your Gwei and gas limit settings are set high enough—ideally more than 250,000 for the gas limit. 

If none of these seems to be the problem, you should get in touch with the customer support team at Uniswap for further assistance. 


‘Allowing the Uniswap protocol to use your tokens’ is just token approval on the Uniswap DEX. You get this prompt when you are adding liquidity or swapping a token for the first time on the platform. Consenting to this request allows 

Uniswap to access and swap the approved tokens from your wallet.  As you have learned in this guide, approval is a separate transaction from swapping and requires gas fees to go through. 

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