How to cancel PayPal transactions

How to cancel PayPal payment: 3 step-by-step instructions

Updated: February 3, 2023

PayPal is one of the most famous payment services. It gives its users the ability to send and receive money almost immediately. But what to do if you find out that you are sending your hard-working dollars to the wrong wallet?

How to cancel the PayPal payment, and what are the time frames for this action? Keep calm and stick to the Howly expert recommendations! Everything is going to be fine. 

Save your time posting on forum threads messages like “I sent money to the wrong wallet on PayPal. How to cancel a payment?”  or “ I sent money to the wrong account. How to cancel a payment on PayPal? Ask experts and get the answer within minutes! 

Short brief on how to cancel a PayPal payment

Indicate which payment you want to withdraw. If you want to withdraw a pending PayPal payment, you can do it in 2-3 minutes, both from a web browser or an official app. But it’s pretty unusual to see your payment as pending: you either entered invalid data, or the seller prefers to work with money manually.

You can also stop an automatic payment on PayPal. Open the account settings and manage your wallet from there. You can withdraw a recurring payment on PayPal only with a web version.

But if the payment is marked as Complete, you have a low chance of a refund. Ask the person or shop for it in direct messages. If they don’t send you money, you can try to write a letter to PayPal support. But it may not help, keep that in mind. So, if you want the money back from the shop, you can ask for a refund or even open a dispute.

What payment on PayPal can you cancel?

You can stop payments with Unclaimed or Pending status. Most transactions end within 2-3 minutes, so there is no way to withdraw a PayPal payment that is completed without asking for a refund. There are a few reasons your transaction may stick:

  • You send money to an invalid account. Imagine that you want to send $1000 to Jenna_Doe1989, but instead, type Janna_Doe1988 as the receiver. Shortly after you find out that there is no account with this name, you have no reason to worry about the money. You can cancel a pending payment on PayPal immediately. 
  • You try to send money to the account with an unverified email. The service can’t identify the recipient, so they prefer to put all its transactions on pause. So you have a chance to withdraw a transaction.
  • Some vendors tend to accept every transaction manually. Your payment will have Pending status until the seller confirms it.
  • You try to order from abroad. Some merchants don’t want to deal with international fees. So when they track a foreign address or currency, they mark the payment as Pending.

Usually, PayPal refunds all unclaimed and pending deals after 30 calendar days. So you may just wait until PayPal cancels a pending payment. But if you don’t have time to wait until it gets canceled by the service, check our guide.

How to cancel a pending payment on a PayPalWithdraw the PayPal payment

It’s a simple task that takes less than 3-5 minutes of your time. Just stick to those guidelines to prevent pending a PayPal payment:

  1. Log in and go to the Activity My Money.
  2. Find a payment in question and click on the Cancel button.
  3. You may see some individual instructions from PayPal. Follow them strictly.

 If you want to remove a pending Paypal payment on mobile, open any mobile browser and repeat the same steps. PayPal app owners should follow these instructions:

  1. Sign in to the app.
  2. Open the Wallet tab.
  3. Find the payment with a question mark near it.
  4. Select Cancel.

How to cancel a PayPal payment if it already happened: ask for a refund

If your payment is marked as “Completed,” you can only ask for a refund. There is no way to bring you money instantly. The simplest refund option is to contact a seller. Message them and explain your situation. Usually, they meet your needs, so you’ll get your money back within 7-14 days.

You also can follow the “Issue a refund” link near the transaction. But in that case, you may wait for up to 30 days to cancel a completed PayPal payment.

But if the vendor refuses to refund, you can open a dispute in PayPal’s Resolution Center. If you send money to another user’s wallet, you can’t use a refund option to withdraw the payment. You can request a refund directly because PayPal doesn’t have a tool for it.

How to cancel an automatic payment on PayPalStop auto transactions on PayPal

In this case, you should use slightly different instructions. Auto payments usually store in your account settings, so you should stick to you need to visit this tab to withdraw recurring payments on PayPal:

  1. Sign in to PayPal.
  2. Click on the gear. 
  3. Find the Payments tab.
  4. Take a closer look at the Manage automatic payments.
  5. Choose Show Active in the menu on the left corner of the screen. That’s how you’ll see your current subscriptions.
  6. Find the payment that you want to stop.
  7. Tap on the Cancel button.
  8. PayPal asks you to confirm your intentions. Choose the Cancel Automatic Payments virtual button.

Once you click this button, you stop an automatic payment on PayPal. That means that you no longer withdraw PayPal as a payment option from this subscription.


How to cancel a PayPal payment if it is set as auto?

Open settings. Go Payments Manage automatic Show Active. Find the payment and click on it. Choose Cancel.

I send my friend money, but they don’t have an active PayPal. How to cancel a pending payment?

Usually, PayPal declares those transactions as pending or unclaimed. If you use the web version, follow this path: Activity My Money → your transaction → Cancel. Mobile users should follow this path: Wallet Your paymentCancel.

How to cancel a pending PayPal payment?

If you do it from a PC, sign in and click on the Activity tab. Open the My Money menu and find a payment with a question mark near it. Click on Cancel. If you do it from the PayPal app, open the Wallet tab, find a transaction with a question mark, and tap on Cancel.

Final thoughts

It’s easy to withdraw a PayPal payment that is pending. You can do this both on web and mobile app versions. All you need to do is to find this payment in the list of all payments on your account. 

But what to do if you have a subscription linked to your PayPal? It’s a recurring transaction, so you stop an auto payment on PayPal. But you can do this only on the web version, so you should open PayPal on any browser. If you want to withdraw PayPal payment on mobile, open the browser and launch a desktop version of the site.

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