When you upload your files to ArDrive, they are sent directly from your device to the decentralized storage network called Arweave where they are stored on servers across the world.
This process is not perfect, and sometimes your files do not appear on the network.
Let’s demystify what this means and what you can do about it.
What is supposed to happen
After a a file is uploaded, the Arweave network cryptographically secures the file’s transaction and distributes it across the different servers (miners) that make up the network. The file ends up “mined” in a “block” and is permanently stored and freely accessed.
End-to-end, this can take upwards of 30 minutes.
On average, blocks are mined every 2 minutes, but can sometimes take up to 15 minutes.
The miners building and maintaining the Arweave blockchain may periodically reorganize the transactions from last few blocks on the chain into different blocks (a.k.a. “fork recovery”), potentially dropping your transaction from the network history. However, each additional block added after the block containing your transaction, or “confirmation”, makes it increasingly less likely that your transaction will be reorganized into another block or dropped from the chain. Therefore, ArDrive waits for 15 confirmations before considering your transaction sufficiently “confirmed”.
Arweave Gateways have to index the transaction into a GraphQL index so ArDrive can find this file in the future. For “bundled” transactions like those that ArDrive uses to get you the best possible storage pricing, Gateway “unbundling” must take place before your transaction can be indexed and searchable by ArDrive. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours during times of heavy network usage.
After files are mined and indexed, they are accessible via ArDrive and any other Arweave block explorer, like Viewblock.
Tracking Upload Status
ArDrive tries to track the status of each transaction in order to let the user know when their files are stored on the network.
Green status means the file was successfully replicated and mined on the network.
Orange status means the file upload transaction to the network has completed, but ArDrive is awaiting a sufficient number of confirmations and any potentially necessary unbundling to complete.
It could take up to 3 hours for this process to complete, so please be patient.
Red status means the file upload transaction has failed or the app thinks that file failed, when really it’s still unpacking at the gateway (this will be reworked for clarity by the ArDrive team in the near future).
NOTE: If a file’s transaction is not mined or is dropped by the network, the AR payment made for this file is effectively “refunded” by the network. However, this is not the case for failed or omitted unbundling by the Gateway.
Troubleshooting “Red” Status
While it does not happen often, uploaded file transactions may not be “mined” successfully during periods of high network congestion or dropped by the network during a fork recovery. This could result in a “Red” file status icon.
We recently began packing all ArDrive transactions into bundles to improve ArFS reliability and reduce overall transaction costs for users. One tradeoff of this approach is that bundled transactions have to be unbundled by the Arweave Gateway, and this can sometimes take more time than expected. Soon we'll be making updates to the web app that will allow for more "unbundling" time at the Arweave gateway so that ArDrive transactions don't appear as 'failed' for the period of time that they are yet to be unpacked.
If your file status is red, the transaction may have failed and your file may not be permanently stored on the Arweave network. Use arweave.net/<Transaction ID> to see if your file made it to Arweave 5-15 minutes after you upload your data through the web. If your file fails to reach Arweave, the fees you paid for uploading this data are not spent, and the funds return to your ArDrive wallet.
Using an Incognito Tab or logging out of ArDrive will clear your local cache of data, including files that have not been mined. If you log out and back in, the files marked red will disappear.
Using the Arweave Block Explorer
Advanced users can look up every transaction they have made with their ArDrive Wallet by navigating to the Arweave Block Explorer, hosted by Viewblock
In the Block Explorer, you can search for your ArDrive Wallet address. It will show you every transaction you have made, including your ArDrive transactions. This is another way to validate your transactions and their status on the Arweave network.
Is the symbol for an Arweave Token transaction. These transactions involve moving AR tokens from one wallet to another.
This is the symbol for an Arweave Data transaction. These transactions involve uploading data to Arweave, and will include every ArDrive drive, folder and file upload.
This is the symbol for an Arweave Bundled Data transaction. These transactions include multiple files packed into a single bundle and can also include the ArDrive Community Tip as well.